Currently more than 1,500 RO/RCO staff work at the National Research Council -- in the Research Divisions, IRAP, Business Management Services, and Corporate services. Everyone in the NRC RO/RCO group is represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).
PIPSC is a public-sector union representing more than 55,000 people, including about 15,000 science and research staff across the federal public service. PIPSC provides many services to RO/RCO members, including collective bargaining, representation and other benefits, listed here.
All NRC RO/RCO staff pay union dues to PIPSC. Our union dues pay for the PIPSC professional staff in Ottawa and all the regions, including negotiators, researchers, labour relations officers, administrative staff and the legal team as well as the PIPSC Board. Union dues pay for training and support for RO/RCO volunteers on the RO/RCO Executive, the RO/RCO Bargaining Team and the NRC Consultation teams. (All RO/RCO members can volunteer for these teams). The union dues also pay for RO/RCO meetings and social events as well as the activities of the many RO/RCO members active in PIPSC branches across Canada. In addition to the services available to all RO/RCOs, PIPSC members have access to Service Plus, the member benefits program: http://www.serviceplusgroup.ca/
You need to sign your union card to become a PIPSC member. If you are unsure if you signed up, check to see if you have a PIPSC membership number.
If you would like to sign up, or need more information on PIPSC membership, here is the link.
How can RO/RCO members contact PIPSC?
For questions about your rights in the workplace, contact an NRC RO/RCO steward. Any RO/RCO working at NRC can volunteer to become a steward and represent PIPSC members at NRC. The list of stewards is here.
If your steward is unable to help, or to contact the PIPSC union directly, call your regional office or the national office if you are in Ottawa. Ask to speak with the Employment Relations Officer (ERO) responsible for NRC RO/RCO members. The list of PIPSC offices across Canada is here.
For general inquiries about the RO/RCO group, contact an RO/RCO group executive member or send an email to the RO/RCO executive.
What does the NRC RO/RCO group executive do?
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the NRC RO/RCO group, every PIPSC RO/RCO member can put their name forward to be part of the 11-member group executive. The NRC RO/RCO group web page on the PIPSC site includes a list of the current group executive members, our bylaws and other information.
The NRC RO/RCO group executive has six key functions:
1. Forming a bargaining team to negotiate our collective agreement. A collective agreement is the contract between NRC management and RO/RCO staff that includes a range of rights and responsibilities. The current collective agreement is available from the NRC RO/RCO group page on the PIPSC website, listed above. The page also has a link to the list of members on the bargaining team.
2. Supporting RO/RCO stewards. Stewards support our members in the workplace and participate in the NRC Consultation teams. We always need more RO/RCO stewards. Every RO/RCO member is welcome to apply to become a steward. Training is available, including salary replacement for the training days. After basic training is completed, further courses are available to RO/RCO stewards to enhance their knowledge and ability to work professionally with NRC management. The list of NRC RO/RCO stewards is on the PIPSC website.
3. Supporting the PIPSC NRC Consultation team. Consultations with NRC management represent the bulk of the work by RO/RCO stewards at NRC. The PIPSC NRC Consultation team works with NRC management at local and national levels to improve our work environment and find solutions to common challenges. PIPSC is represented on the NRC OSH committees across Canada as well as the national COSH (NCOSH) and NRC diversity committees. The PIPSC NRC Consultation president as well as the president of the RO/RCO group also meet with NRC management on an ongoing basis to consult on NRC policies. The minutes of the national quarterly union-management consultation meetings (Joint Consultation Committee) are available on the NRC MyZone site. The PIPSC NRC Consultation team is listed here.
4. Ensuring regular communications with RO/RCO members. Our quarterly newsletter is published on our NRC RO/RCO web page, and we also send updates to members by email. Each year, the NRC RO/RCO group executive visits members in Ottawa and at least two NRC locations outside of Ottawa.
5. Developing strategies to improve the work environment for RO/RCO members. In the 2015-2017 period, the RO/RCO group is working on two key strategic activities:
- A Call for Action working group of RO/RCO members is meeting monthly with NRC senior management to find common solutions to the challenges raised in our Call for Action document tabled with NRC management.
- A small team of RO/RCO representatives and NRC directors are working to revise the RO/RCO promotion criteria. This included conducting a survey of RO/RCO members and coordinating feedback on draft promotion criteria to the NRC management.
6. Working with PIPSC on core common issues. The NRC RO/RCO group president and NRC PIPSC Consultation team president work closely with the PIPSC organization and the other PIPSC federal research and science groups to share information and develop actions on core issues of concern to our RO/RCO members.