Newsflow - News from the PIPSC PSPC NR Sub-Group

Spring 2018

Annual General Meeting 2017

The Annual General Meeting of your sub-group was held on Friday, December 8, 2017. It was a highly successful event, despite only 37 regular members coming. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by the guest speaker, Yves Cousineau, who talked about the recently concluded round of collective bargaining that resulted in pay increases for all members. In addition, Yves indicated that re-imbursement of professional fees is no longer considered as revenue and will not be counted as a taxable benefit.

Stephane Aubry, Vice President of PIPSC, talked about the union’s efforts to press for replacement of Phoenix with another system as many members have lost all faith in the ability of the government to fix the existing system.

Elections were held for various executive positions during the AGM. There were five positions available for a two-year term, and, three positions available for a one-year term. Most of the positions were filled by acclamation but there were elections for a one-year term position. Previous incumbents retained their positions with the exception of Kostyanin Frolov and Robert Salvador, who did not wish to continue. Your new executive now includes:

Two year term (to end of 2019)

Adel Iskandar

Joseph Wong

Niraj Chandra

Robert Porter

Maurice Quinn

One year term (to end of 2018)

Cameron Smith

Elaine DeCoursey

Lyse Blanchet

Thuc Van Quan

Brian Boyd

Robert Godbout

Elections for Executive Positions

A new executive was elected for your sub-group on January 18, 2018 with Joseph Wong, and Glen Schjerning, PIPSC Steward serving on the election committee.  The results are as follows:

President: Cameron Smith, Steward

Vice-President: Robert Porter, Steward (approval pending)

Treasurer: Adel Iskandar, Steward

Secretary: Niraj Chandra, Steward

Member-at-large   Brian Boyd

Maurice Quinn

Thuc Van Quan

Robert Godbout

Elaine DeCoursey

Lyse Blanchet

Joseph Wong

We continue to have a very strong executive, with a very good representational mix of engineers, architects, project managers and even a landscape architect. Several members of the executive are PIPSC Stewards in addition to fulfilling their roles on the executive committee.

A warm welcome to Brian Boyd, Robert Godbout, Maurice Quinn and Thuc Van Quan, our newest executive members!

Also, a thank you to Kostyantyn Frolov and Robert Salvador, for their excellent and dedicated work for our sub-group!

Workplace Modernization

Many members of our sub-group were affected by the office move on the 8th floor of Place du Portage Phase III last summer. Six months after the move, we find that both managers and the employees working under them are dissatisfied with the move, for a variety of reasons.


  • As seats are unassigned, it is difficult to track where the employees are sitting, what time they come in and when they leave
  • This is affecting assignment of work, and collaboration with the employees
  • It is hard to have conversations with employees due to lack of privacy; it is not always possible to go to a meeting room
  • It is difficult to maintain confidentiality during telephone conversations due to lack of privacy


  • It is a struggle to find an office space every morning
  • It takes time to set up and dismantle  the computer every day
  • There is no sense of belonging any more, as employees work in different locations every day
  • It is difficult to collaborate with colleagues, with different work locations every day
  • There are health issues, as the workspace changes every day and the employees have to adjust to different situations; sometimes the previous employees leave the workspace dirty and creates a health hazard
  • There have been reports of mental health issues as the stress of the office move keeps accumulating, including reports of altercations as people compete for desirable spaces every morning
  • There is limited space to keep drawings and other documents in a secure location
  • The work area is visually less attractive than before the move
  • Employees were promised tools and equipment to help with unassigned seating and the loss of personal space for reviewing large drawings and documents; however, these tools have not yet been provided

We will continue to urge senior management to take a hard look at the results of this office move before implementing it elsewhere. The questions we continue to ask include:

  • Are there any space savings, when the number of workspaces is essentially the same as before?
  • Is there any increase in employee satisfaction?
  • How much is the loss in productivity due to this move?
  • Is this loss of productivity acceptable?
  • Are the employees collaborating better with each other after the move?

If senior management has seen any benefits at all to this office move the employees would very much like to know about them.

If you as a member have anything to add please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the NR Sub-group executive.

Collective Bargaining 2018

A new round of collective bargaining is about to commence as the contract for PIPSC members will expire this coming September, 2018.

Cameron Smith, our NR Sub Group President and steward was asked to be part of the new collective bargaining team as a representation for the AR group. 

A number of surveys are in the works to be sent to members to assist the team in identifying key items that should be considered in this next round of bargaining. In addition, Cameron welcomes comments or suggestions from all NR sub-group members.

Sub-Group Action Plan

Robert Porter, our vice-president, has put together an action plan for members of the executive and our members at large to focus on certain activities and issues throughout the year. This action plan emphasizes a number of key areas, aligned to member needs including:

Mental health and wellness

Professional and career development,


Event planning

Compensation issues

Workplace modernization

A number of members have already volunteered to help with these issues. When finalized, the plan will be made available to all members in the NR sub group.  In the interim, if you have questions or if you wish to volunteer for ant activity, please contact any of the executive for details.

News from the Parliamentary Precinct Branch (PPB)

As part of the Integrated Business Plan 2018-2021 development process Cameron Smith and Adel Iskandar were invited by Matthew M. Grodinsky from PPB Management to participate at a consultation session on February 07, 2018. This is very noteworthy as the union and management at PPB are seeking to work together for the betterment of our members.

A joint PPB Labor-Management Consultation Committee meeting took place on February 20th, 2018 with participation from several unions:

Government Service Union

Monica Mercier, Janice Schauer, Neola Saunders, Emmanuelle Guay, Ian Leblanc

Professional Institute of Public Service of Canada

Adel Iskandar

Canadian Association of Professional Employees

Alex Butler.

This committee will deal with both operational PPB - specific issues as well as higher level issues encompassing consultations at the local and regional levels.

Here is the link for the updated Terms of Reference currently being finalized:

On March 7th, 2018 PPB management organized an Orientation Session for new PPB employees and co-op students at the Library and Archive Canada Building from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. PIPSC participated in this event with a kiosk and fielded questions fielded from attendees.

For an update on various rehabilitation projects going on right now or for the Annual Report 2016-2017 at PPB please refer to the following links:

A recent study found that there are approximately 50 NR’s members in the PPB. This represents almost 25% of the total NR membership at PSPC in the NCR.

To bring awareness and greater accessibility, Adel Iskandar has stepped forward to be the main point of contact for PIPSC members at PPB. Adel will be happy to assist members with issues and to offer advice on PIPSC matters. Adel brings with him a wealth of experience and shares the hat of being both a PIPSC NCR Steward and an Executive member of the NR (NCR) Sub-Group.

He can be reached at 819-775-7333 or at

Your Feedback

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact anyone on the sub-group executive.

We also look forward to your suggestions for lunch-and-learns, or any other type of event that would benefit the members of our sub-group.

If your question is of a personal nature, please contact one of our stewards:

Niraj Chandra

Cameron Smith

Robert Salvador  

Adel Iskandar