Conference Newsletter

The Occupational Health and Safety Conference is off to a great start – and definitely keeping us very engaged (and busy!). If you couldn’t attend, you don’t have to miss out on the highlights. We’ve got you covered!

The Review is the UNE’s official conference newsletter. Best of all, this time, it’s been put together with the kind help of amazing members just like you!

October 19, 2012 | Issue #1
October 20, 2012 | Issue #2

Psst!! Don’t forget to fill out our online survey!

SSO Bargaining Team Declares Impasse

“They informed us that they weren’t budging on their position,” said Réjean Amyotte, Assistant Regional Vice-President for Ontario and a member of the Statistical Survey Operations Regional Office Bargaining Team.

Last week, after the employer indicated that they would not move on some key demands, the bargaining team decided to declare an impasse and seek arbitration.

Amyotte says that the employer was not receptive to the bargaining team’s proposals regarding scheduling and wage parity with other federal public servants.

Based on the present collective agreement, the employer has complete latitude on scheduling hours of work. “There are times when people with more years of experience are working fewer hours in a month than people who were hired six months ago,” says Amyotte. The bargaining team is working to ensure that seniority is recognized when assigning work.

“For years, this bargaining team has wanted and attempted to reach parity with comparable workplaces,” says Amyotte. The union believes that interviewers should be paid at the CR3 level and senior interviewers at the CR5 level. The bargaining team also wants to ensure that Statistics Canada accurately records pensionable hours.

Despite having filed for arbitration, the bargaining team is still open to meet and negotiate should the employer decide to address our members’ concerns.

SSO Regional Office employees work for Statistics Canada in offices across the country. They collect vital information for national surveys, mostly through telephone interviews.

For more information on this round of bargaining, please consult this PSAC update. For the most up-to-date information, please consult the SSO Bargaining section of the PSAC website.

Bargaining continues for interviewers at SSO

The bargaining team for Statistical Survey Operations Regional Office was hard at work last week during three consecutive days of negotiation. Members of this group work as regional office interviewers in Statistics Canada offices around the country.

“We spent the greater part of the three days talking about seniority,” said Réjean Amyotte, a UNE member on the bargaining team and an Assistant Regional Vice-President for our union’s Ontario region.

Brother Amyotte explained that seniority was the overall theme of this round of negotiations. The bargaining team’s proposals regarding scheduling and increased job security are mostly centred on seniority rights.

“I would say that I’m more than cautiously optimistic that we can reach a negotiated settlement,” said Amyotte.

The bargaining team is scheduled to resume negotiations on July 11 in Ottawa, where they will present their wage demands.

To find out more, consult the SSO Bargaining section of the PSAC website.

The Quebec regional seminar: a great success

UNE members from Quebec met in Chicoutimi last weekend to take part in a regional seminar. Among the participants were employees of Parks Canada, Statistical Survey Operations, Passport Canada Measurement Canada, the Translation Bureau and others.

Public service layoffs were a hot topic during the weekend. Participants were able to hear about how the cuts were affecting our members and the services that Canadians receive. Those whose workplaces have not been affected by workforce adjustment are nonetheless experiencing difficulties. “If someone retires, goes on extended sick leave or maternity leave, our employer isn’t filling those positions,” said one employee of Passport Canada.

Our members also took part in employer caucuses to discuss how the union can protect our members affected by workforce adjustment. Nathalie Bouchard, a young worker from Parks Local 10269, thought the discussions at her employer caucus were great for hashing out a plan of action. “We’re all on the same page now,” said Bouchard.

Participants also learned a lot about human rights, pensions and the union structure, among many other topics.

“It was a great seminar,” said Quebec Regional Vice-President Jean Pierre Naud. “I think that the communication between members was exceptional.”

Naud says the seminar was a great opportunity for our members to learn, network and share what’s been going on in their workplace. He was also quite pleased with the large participation by new activists and young workers.

We got a few pictures of the seminar on our Flickr page. Go check them out! For more information about regional seminars – or to find out when your regional seminar will be held – consult the events section of our website.