President’s Evaluation – Report 2020
We are here for Canadians and we’re here for each other. No matter the challenge.
When the COVID-19 crisis began, PIPSC members responded quickly to meet the needs of everyone in Canada.
We built the systems to get Canadians the money they desperately needed. We helped thousands of stranded Canadians to return home. Laboratories were converted to make hand sanitizer. Our members worked miracles to get personal protective equipment to those who needed it. We built the technical infrastructure to allow public servants to continue their work from the safety of their homes. Our scientists pivoted to important research to find a cure for COVID-19.
As public servants we supported Canadians, and as a union we pulled together to support each other.
We responded quickly to get many members working from home and we advocated to ensure that members who were needed in the workplace were safe. Our team worked in daily meetings with the federal government to address challenges in the move to remote work. Our employment relations team worked tirelessly to support members in your individual challenges.
PIPSC worked hard to ensure you had access to the leave you needed to care for your children and ill family members. When the federal government attempted to pull the Code 699 leave, we fought back.
At the same time, we closed our own offices and your PIPSC staff transitioned seamlessly to supporting you from their own homes. We cancelled, rescheduled and moved online our most important union meetings. And we never stopped keeping you informed of our every move.
I could not be more impressed and proud of you all, as public servants, and as union members. We truly have been here for Canadians and each other.
We fought to protect our Manitoba Association of Government Engineers (MAGE) group members in the face of COVID-19 cutbacks. We are urging the federal government to provide emergency funding to NAV Canada to support our NAV CANADA members facing job loss. We need to retain air traffic control professionals so that we have the skills and experience to keep air travel safe. We are prepared to fight for all members in the face of any COVID-related austerity.
We are working with your employers to ensure safe return to workplace plans. We are pushing hard to stop the federal public service conversion to open offices. We continue to negotiate to protect paid leave for childcare. And our team continues to support you one-on-one to navigate the challenges of work and COVID-19.
Despite a global crisis, bargaining has continued!
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Informatics (CFIA-IN), Scientific and Analytical (CFIA-S&A) and Veterinary Medicine (CFIA-VM) groups - have all ratified new collective agreements. University of Ottawa IT Professionals (UOITP) also ratified their new collective agreement in October. The Yukon Hospital Corporation (YHC) group worked hard to come to a deal with their employer for a new collective agreement.
Our BC First Nations Health Authority (BCFNHA) group and Sunnybrook Radiation Therapists (SUN-RT) group, Radiation Therapists - Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC) group are all in bargaining, working for a fair collective agreement.
And, our Computer Science (CS) group continues to be at the table fighting for a good deal in the face of a challenging employer.
We stand with you all in full solidarity – the strength of our entire union is behind you.
While work on developing and piloting NextGen has been delayed by the pandemic, we continue to push to see progress more quickly. Every public servant deserves to be paid accurately and on time. And we will make sure our members' voices continue to be heard.
We fought hard this year to keep our new RCMP civilian members off of the failed Phoenix pay system. As a result of our work, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos and Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair recommended that the Treasury Board not proceed with the planned RCMP deeming date of May 21, 2020. Deeming continues to be delayed indefinitely, keeping our civilian members at RCMP off the disastrous Phoenix system.
The resources invested now to resolve Phoenix errors must continue to be available and we remain vigilant against any cuts to this work.
Our Phoenix Help team remains available to support you should with any new or ongoing pay errors, and can help expedite solutions where Phoenix errors are causing financial hardship
Our new Protecting Pensions campaign launched this year, to great success. Thousands of members in all groups participated in our Understanding your pension webinar series. Understanding the pensions we have and the potential political attacks against them is the first step to ensure a secure retirement for all members. We have also established a PIPSC pension advisory committee with representation from all of our members' plans to ensure we are well placed to advocate on this important issue.
Human Rights and Diversity Committee
Following the leadership of Black members, the PIPSC board voted to create the PIPSC Black Caucus. The Black Caucus will lead and implement strategies for combating anti-Black racism at PIPSC and with our employers. The webinar, Anti-Black racism, let’s talk about it!, was the first undertaking of this caucus, bringing together PIPSC members to learn about anti-Black racism.
The PIPSC board then voted to create five equity caucuses – the Indigenous Caucus (dis)Ability Caucus, Workers of Colour Caucus, LGBTQ2S+ Caucus and Women's Caucus – to work collectively toward the Human Rights and Diversity committee’s overarching objectives.
Employee Wellness Support Program
Negotiations of the new Employee Wellness Support Program have been slowed as a result of diverted resources for the pandemic response. We are at the table now with the Treasury Board and continue to negotiate. There are still some sticking points but we continue to push hard for a strong result.
Outsourcing and Contracting Out
We released a crucial report, The Real Cost of Outsourcing, making clear that between 2011 and 2018, the federal government outsourced over $11.9 billion in work. We continue to pursue thousands of grievances to protect our members and Canadians against this costly outsourcing.
We continue to participate in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative to put an end to tax avoidance strategies. We are fighting to end beneficial ownership practices by pushing the federal government to create a publicly accessible registry of company beneficial ownership information. The federal Speech from the Throne showed promise on tax fairness – our work with partner organizations like Canadians for Tax Fairness is paying off.
Defending Public Science
The PIPSC Women in Science initiative is developing a new toolkit with information and resources on how to take action in your workplaces to increase equity and inclusion. We are excited to share this tool with you soon.
We are pleased with the reappointment of Dr. Mona Nemer as the government’s Chief Science Advisor (CSA). The position of Chief Science Advisor exists because of our collective hard work.
Our Science Advisory Committee is working diligently for public science in Canada and for the restoration of science-based departmental funding.
One Big Union
We are disappointed that it wasn’t possible to go ahead with our listening tour but when it is safe this will move forward. We were able to host a telephone town hall for PIPSC members at provincial or separate employers to address COVID-19. We have remained in close contact with our smaller groups and reached out to all employers to advocate for your needs in this crisis – we will continue to focus on keeping you informed and safe.
I know we will continue to pull together to get through this crisis. We are here for Canadians, and we are here for each other!