SSO Bargaining

SSO Bargaining

The PSAC has prepared bargaining packages; Statistics Canada has 20 days to respond.

This past Thursday, November 24, the PSAC bargaining teams for the Regional Office and Field Interviewer bargaining units served Statistics Canada with official notices to start negotiations. They have 20 days to respond.

Recently, the PSAC has made great strides in terms of winning rights and protections for part-time, seasonal and other workers that have not traditionally been guaranteed hours of work.

Now it’s our turn. Together, we can make Statistical Survey Operations a better place to work.

If you have any questions, please speak with your Union Representative or a member of our
bargaining teams, or go to www.psac.com.

pdf Download and print this bilingual flyer – share it with other members!

Message from the National President – Tentative Agreements with Treasury Board

Daniel KinsellaDear Brothers and Sisters,

Your bargaining teams have recently reached tentative agreements for the EB, PA and SV groups. Many of you have undoubtedly read about the changes that would be adopted under these tentative agreements. Some changes are straightforward; the bargaining teams were able to secure wage increases, enhanced severance pay for layoff situations, better protection for term employees and more flexibility in times of bereavement or to attend to family-related responsibilities. That being said, a proposed change to voluntary severance pay on retirement and resignation is slightly more complex. As a member, you will soon have the opportunity to vote on your group’s tentative agreement. Therefore, in order to make an informed decision, we highly encourage you to familiarize yourself with what’s in your tentative agreement.

In addition to getting informed, members should ask themselves the following question: given the current economic and political climate, not to mention Prime Minister Harper’s “I make the rules” approach to governing, can we do better by waiting until next year for our regular bargaining?

As President of the National Component and a member of the National Board of Directors, I fully support the ratification of these tentative agreements. A number of factors were taken into account during the negotiations. However, first and foremost, the membership’s best interest was always our prime consideration.

The process by which these tentative agreements were reached was a result of exploratory talks between the PSAC and the Treasury Board. Late last summer, the Treasury Board approached the Union to engage in talks in advance of the regular collective bargaining process. The PSAC agreed, believing that we had an obligation to attempt to defend and further our members’ interests. PSAC President John Gordon remarked that this process would “provide economic certainty and improve working conditions for our members in this difficult economic climate.” The bargaining teams from the last round of collective bargaining were called back to the table to serve our members’ interests during this expedited process. While wage increases were a focus of negotiations, the teams were equally focused on addressing long-standing issues of concern to the membership at each table.

We are aware that the changes to severance pay have garnered much attention and debate in the media, in the labour movement and among you and your coworkers. Let me be clear on this: the bargaining teams would not have agreed to – nor would they have supported – a tentative agreement that would not be in the best interest of the membership, both in the short term and in the long term. Taking into account the current economic and political environment, the union leadership concluded that larger gains could be secured in exchange for severance. It is important to note that severance pay will continue to accumulate for employees forced to leave the public service due to layoffs, death, termination on probation, incapacity or incompetence. Given the complex nature of this topic, I highly suggest carefully reading the Questions and Answers on Severance web page on the PSAC website.

While at first glance, the changes in severance pay seem like a huge a concession, the truth is that upon a more thorough analysis of the tentative agreement, many members will actually gain more in the short term and in the long term. Most importantly, the wage increases will provide members with greater financial security in this difficult economic period and more than offset the changes in severance. For example, an employee making a $52,000 salary would receive an increase of $2,777 by the end of the three year wage increase period, an amount that would continue to be paid year after year. This increase is substantially more than the $1000 that would have been accumulated in severance. Moreover, this wage increase has the additional benefit of increasing overtime pay and translates to higher pensionable earnings.

In closing, I wish to reaffirm my support, as well as the union leadership and the bargaining teams’ support, for the ratification of these tentative agreements. Given the government’s pressure to balance budgets, the general feeling of global economic uncertainty and countless austerity measures being put in place across the world as we speak, the union leadership feels that these tentative agreements offer better provisions than could be reached at a later date. If we factor in Mr. Harper’s growing habit of imposing his will on Canadians, I feel these provisions offer a better choice than the alternatives we may be forced to accept during regular bargaining.

In solidarity,

Daniel Kinsella
National President
National Component (PSAC)

For more information on the tentative agreements and upcoming voting dates and locations, please consult the following sections of the PSAC website:

Vote on Treasury Board dates and locations
What’s in the tentative agreements: overview
Questions and answers on severance
Questions and answers on the tentative agreements
EB – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for EB
PA – PSAC reaches tentative agreement for PA
SV – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for SV

Three tentative agreements reached with Treasury Board

As a result of the early exploratory talks initiated by the Treasury Board, the PSAC has reached three tentative agreements. As an opportunity to vote on these is fast approaching, the National Component wishes to encourage its members to get informed about the proposed changes.

The National Component strongly supports the bargaining teams’ recommendation to ratify these tentative agreements.

The PSAC’s website features comprehensive details of the tentative agreements reached for the three groups affected: EB, PA and SV. As the exploratory talks did not yield tentative agreements for the FB and TC groups, regular bargaining will take place in 2011.

For greater clarity, we also recommend that members peruse the Questions and answers on severanceand Questions and answers on the tentative agreements sections found on the PSAC website.

Important PSAC links:
Treasury Board bargaining
What’s in the tentative agreements: overview
Questions and answers on severance
Questions and answers on the tentative agreements

EB – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for EB
PA – PSAC reaches tentative agreement for PA
SV – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for SV

FB – An Open Letter to CBSA Workers from the PSAC FB Bargaining Team
TC – Message to TC Members from your Bargaining Team