President’s Evaluation - Report 2019
I am proud of our union. We are unified and strong – and we have seen 100 years of results.
This year 14 groups signed new collective agreements with the Treasury Board. Your bargaining teams worked hard. Your staff negotiators worked hard. And members across the country pulled together to make our solidarity visible to the employer.
We had many central bargaining wins that we can celebrate – historic leave for survivors and victims of domestic violence, increases in family leave, first language on workplace harassment, and cost of living increases for all groups.
There have been wins across the union – Whiteshell Technical Employees Group, Whiteshell Professional Employees Group, Canadian Commercial Corporation, among others – have signed agreements this year.
We have members who are continuing to negotiate and we stand with you. The expertise, experience and the force of our union are with you each step of the way.
I’m glad that we pushed the federal government to see that Phoenix must be replaced. We’ve insisted that unions, like ours, must be consulted on the work to find a replacement pay system. The government responded to our calls to commit funding to the Next Generation Human Resources and Pay System. It is now highly likely that the solution that we have proposed at the CRA to expand their existing system to include pay will be amongst the upcoming pilots. The work to replace Phoenix is now underway.
We won compensation for members paid through the failed Phoenix system. And this compensation did not go through the broken Phoenix pay system!
Most members now have Phoenix compensation days in their leave bank. And we agreed to a settlement framework that will ensure individual members are compensated for financial losses and serious damages. They will get the money they are owed.
This important step forward does not change the very serious personal consequences of the Phoenix failure. Sadly we continue our fight for a least another year or two.
Outsourcing and Contracting Out
We remain defenders of Canada’s public services.
In our 2019 Lobby Day on Parliament Hill, we met with elected officials to make it clear that Canada needs a permanent, not contract, public service. Outsourcing rose from $10 billion annually in 2015 to $12 billion today, despite government promises to reduce it.
In the previous round of bargaining, we secured new language on contracting out. Since then we’ve monitored government contracting practices, filing hundreds of policy grievances when we’ve seen public service work being contracted externally. We have seen progress in shifting the mentality of politicians and executives. But we have a lot more work to do on the ground.
Together we will push the new federal government to make strong commitments to reduce spending on contracting out and to invest in training in the 2020 federal budget. Our policy team will continue to identify not only the symptoms of outsourcing, but the root causes of it, like poor staffing mechanisms. We will oppose over-reliance on contracting out and we will propose well thought out policies that protect Canadians and the public services they rely on.
We have been fighting hard for Canadians to have a fair tax system.
We highlighted that Canadians and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) professionals want to see tax loopholes closed. Seventy-seven percent of Canadians and 87% of CRA professionals agree that e-commerce companies like Netflix, Google, Amazon and Uber should be subject to taxes for business carried out in Canada.
We want a fair tax system that works for everyone, and our members have the expertise to make that happen.
We have made many gains for scientific integrity in the public service.
We celebrated the appointment of the first Departmental Science Advisor at Environment and Climate Change Canada, followed by similar appointments at the National Research Council and the Canadian Space Agency.
We ushered in the implementation of Scientific Integrity policies in all departments that have more than 10 scientists.
During the federal election, we let Canadians know that federal scientists think climate change is a crisis in need of immediate action. And that Canada is not currently doing enough.
2019 Federal Election
We called on federal parties to close tax loopholes and invest in climate action. We also demanded they halt costly and wasteful contracting out. We urgently need those funds for public climate science.
We need a government that protects public services and respects the people who provide them.
Employment Wellness Support Program
A few years ago, our sick leave was under attack by the Harper government. We fought back and won, but one thing became crystal clear. We need sick leave that is not impacted by changing political tides.
Since December 2016, we have been negotiating with the Treasury Board to create an Employee Wellness Support Program. We are now finalizing an agreement. In the months ahead, many members will vote on the new Employee Wellness Support Program, which meets the real needs of our members.
We have committed to undertaking membership surveys – and I’m proud to report that this year’s survey indicates that we are moving in the right direction.
Eighty-one percent of our members are pleased with the work of our union. They are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the work we are doing and the direction we are headed.
Further, 8 in 10 members approve of our union leadership’s views, a sixteen percent increase from 2016. We also know that 5 in 10 members don’t see people like themselves in our union’s leadership. I share this concern and will work with all members to ensure that everyone has access to leadership roles across the union.
Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP)
Health care benefits are important to our members and we are working to get a plan that responds to your changing needs. With an aim to improve the PSHCP, our union has worked hard to gather the necessary facts and evidence. Now we are ready to enter into renewal discussions with the employer. You will hear more on this soon.
The Government of Canada has begun to move to open office workplace designs in some offices across the country. We have members already working in this type of office and some others whose offices will soon be converted. Some members have concerns about productivity, noise, ergonomics and sickness in this new workplace design.
We are pushing to ensure that existing open workplaces are improved. We are also pushing to ensure that the open office design process is improved.
You are entitled to a healthy workplace.
Members, stewards and union staff are working together now through consultation and government relations to resolve the issues with open offices.
We are always laser focused on protecting the pension plans of our members and worked closely with the Canadian Labour Congress and other groups to defeat Bill C-27. We will always remain vigilant when it comes to anything that threatens our member’s retirement security.
One Big Union
We are a union of 60,000 members and 47 professional groups. Every member, every group, every region pulling together – that’s what makes our union strong.
Our listening tour to connect with smaller groups will continue in the year ahead. We are prioritizing work to increase the participation of members from smaller groups in broader union activities. The first step will be understanding where members like you stand.
We are building progress in our union – we are leading progress in Canada.
And, the year ahead will be filled with celebration! We are entering our union’s 100th anniversary and we are building toward another 100 years of results.