To all proud IT Group members,
Your bargaining team met with the employer for the eleventh session of negotiations on June 7-9, 2023.
During this session we exchanged several comprehensive offers with the Treasury Board Secretariat
(TBS). While there was movement with some withdrawn concessions on the part of TBS, there were only
marginal improvements on pay. They failed to address our demands for pay parity and market
adjustments that reflect the recruitment and retention issues in the IT field. The employer maintains
their position on the removal of Article 30 on the use of contractors.
We also had the opportunity to receive a presentation on the employer’s perspective on recruitment
and retention. Their statistical analysis indicated that there is no R&R issue within our Group. Clearly,
their methodology is flawed as it is out of touch with the reality of the shortages of IT professionals in
both Canada and North America.
We made every effort to reduce our demands within reason and to focus on wage increases for our
members. Unfortunately, this did not cause TBS to move closer to our position. It became clear over the
3 days of our meetings with the employer that we were not going to reach a consensus on these key
The bargaining team felt that there was no other recourse than to declare an impasse, of which you
were informed last weekend. We believe that this is our best way forward to reach a fair result for our
Our next step is to apply for arbitration. We chose this dispute resolution route as we felt that this was
the best route given the current environment. We may also engage in further negotiations at any time
leading up to arbitration. You can find a summary of this process and timelines in the attached annex.
I would like to thank the IT Bargaining Team for its efforts, and the national IT Executive, IT Subgroups,
and all of our members for their support throughout this round of negotiations.
IT Group Bargaining Officer
Annex A/ Annexe A
Arbitration Process / Procédure d'arbitrage
The interest arbitration process is a mechanism used to resolve labor disputes between employers and employees when they are unable to reach a mutually agreeable contract through negotiations. It’s typically employed in situations where collective bargaining has reached an impasse in negotiations.
During interest arbitration, an independent and impartial arbitrator or a tripartite panel is appointed to make a binding decision on the terms and conditions of employment. If selecting a single arbitrator, both parties must reach a consensus on its selection. Alternatively, the parties can each appoint a representative, and the two of them will select an impartial arbitrator. In this case, the final decision will be made by a majority vote of the three.
The arbitrator or the panel considers the positions of both parties, including their proposals, arguments, and evidence, to determine a fair and reasonable resolution which will attempt to replicate the conclusion the collective bargaining process would have reached. The arbitrator’s decision is legally binding and sets the terms of the collective agreement, which may include wages, working conditions, and other relevant provisions.
The process of interest arbitration typically involves several stages. First, the parties submit which outstanding proposals are to be arbitrated. The parties must then agree on the selection of the arbitrator. The arbitrator conducts hearings where both sides present their cases and provide supporting evidence. The arbitrator thoroughly examines the evidence and arguments presented before issuing a final decision.
Interest arbitration is designed to ensure fairness and impartiality in resolving labor disputes, as it allows an unbiased third party to decide based on the merits of the case. It provides a means for employers and workers to overcome impasses and reach a resolution that balances the interests of both parties. The process helps stability by preventing prolonged labor disputes that could disrupt operations and harm the economy. However, interest arbitration is generally considered a last resort, and efforts are made to encourage voluntary negotiations and collective bargaining as the preferred methods of resolving labor disputes in Canada.
Timelines vary on the availability of arbitrators. It can be expected to take between three and nine months between the moment parties file for arbitration and the moment an arbitrator renders a decision. During that time, parties may settle for a negotiated settlement which would interrupt the process. While negotiated settlements must be presented to the Union membership for a vote to be ratified, an arbitrated settlement is binding and in effect from the moment the decision is made. An arbitrator’s decision is therefore not subject to a ratification vote.