Message from the President
I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying the snowy winter season we are having in Ottawa-Gatineau. I would like to thank the Sub-Group Executive that elected me as your President. I look forward to work with the entire Executive and our membership to advance issues that matter to all of us.
I know the few past years have been challenging for many and, unfortunately, 2023 will likely not be any easier. We are faced with a forced and unjustified ‘one size fits all’ or should we say ‘one size fits none’ Return to Office Mandate enacted by Treasury Board in a ‘’tridemic’’ context. This coupled with an expired Collective Agreement and rising costs of living like we haven’t seen in more than a generation. I know many of you are upset about the current situation.
However, be assured that PIPSC is there to stand up for its members, especially the most vulnerable ones. Our NR Collective Bargaining Team is experienced, dedicated and determined to get the best deal for our members and will not settle for anything less. This will likely take longer than all of us would like to, but we must continue to support our team to obtain the best results possible at the bargaining table.
Our PSPC Consultation Team, where I have the pleasure of being Vice-President along with our President, Gordon Bulmer, is working tirelessly to advocate on behalf of all PIPSC Members in PSPC to our Branch and Department Senior Executives to ensure that our member’s voices are heard when it comes to issues such as Return to the Office, Occupation Health & Safety, Diversity & Inclusion, Duty to Accommodate and the list goes on. Finally, I need to highlight the incredible work that our small but mighty team of Stewards is accomplishing. Whether it’s answering questions about the Collective Agreement, providing support and guidance in labour relations issues, filing grievances and supporting members facing disciplinary measures, their dedication and volunteer work is at the heart of our union movement.
As I start this new term as President, I have a few priorities I would like to share:
- Increase opportunities for networking and training by organizing a series of in person and virtual events.
- Ensure increased communications by issuing a Quarterly News Bulletin and email updates.
- Increase awareness of PIPSC in the workplace and the services we offer to members.
- Increase engagement, solidarity and sense of belonging among the members.
I look forward to seeing them come to reality as the year unfolds. I hope you find this Quarterly Bulletin informative and useful. I hope to meet all of you at our upcoming events, you will find the details in this newsletter. We are also looking to get a name for our Newsletter, if you have an idea, please send it to me.
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for any questions, concerns, or suggestions. I would love to hear from you.
Yours in Solidarity,
Charles Nellis (he/him), CEP, PMP, LEED Green Associate
Reclassification & Standardized Job Description Review
It has come to the attention of the NR PSPC Sub-Group Executive that several members are in the process of having their job description reviewed and/or are being offered reclassification in another occupational group.
A member cannot be forced to accept a reclassification, it is up to the member to accept it or not. We encourage all members facing this situation to seek advice from your Union before making any decision.
If you have questions or concerns about your job description or reclassification, please reach out to a Steward as soon as possible, so we can advise you on what the best way forward is.
Annual General Meeting 2022
The Annual General Meeting of your Sub-Group was held on Friday, December 16, 2022 in a virtual format (Zoom). It was a highly successful event with over 50 attendees, one of the best AGMs in our Sub-Group’s existence. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by our the guest speakers, Hugo Buttau, John Eng and Dale Hudson who provided an update about the Collective Bargaining process for the NR Group as well as the Central Bargaining Table. John also shared the main findings of the member’s survey and how those help the Bargaining Team to determine their priorities when negotiation with Treasury Board.
Elections were held for the only position available. Thuc Van Quan was acclaimed. The previous executive member Ann Tremblay has decided to step down from her role as she will retire in the coming year. We would like to thank Ann for her contribution to the Sub-Group and as a public servant for several years. Your new executive now includes:
Two-year term (to end of 2023)
Charles Nellis (he/him)
Ranya El Sadawy
One-year term (to end of 2023)
Thuc Van Quan
Elections for Executive Positions
A new executive was elected for your sub-group on January 12, 2023 with Cameron Smith serving on the election committee. The results are as follows:
President: Charles Nellis (he/him), Steward
Vice-President: Niraj Chandra, Steward
Treasurer: Ranya El Sadawy (Appointed at the Executive Meeting on February 9, 2023)
Secretary: Megan Beange
Cameron Smith, Steward
Martin Benoit, Steward
Joseph Wong, Steward
Thuc Van Quan
We continue to have a very strong executive, with a very good representational mix of engineers, architects, project managers, professional planner and landscape architect. Our executive is also diverse and includes representation from women, visible minorities, persons with a disability and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community. Several members of the executive are PIPSC Stewards in addition to fulfilling their roles on the executive committee.
Thank you to Cameron Smith who has stepped down as President but will continue to serve on the Sub-Group Executive and as member of the NR Collective Bargaining Team.
You can find contact information for all Executive Members here: NR PSPC Executive | The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (pipsc.ca)
Update on the Return to Office
Employers have the right to call workers back into the office, but employees have rights too – like the right to a healthy work environment, the right to refuse unsafe work, and the right to reasonable accommodation.
Whether you support or oppose returning to office, or are facing challenges that require accommodation, the employer has an obligation to ensure employees have everything they need to do their job and to do it safely.
If you want a refresher on those rights – or to know what the next steps are if those rights are being violated – Consult our website. If you have health & safety concerns, need support to file a complaint or an accommodation request, please fill out our return-to-office help form and a PIPSC Employment Relations Officer will be in touch.
We are still awaiting a comprehensive Implementation Plan from PSPC Senior Management on Return to Office following the TBS announcement on December 15, 2022. The PSPC Consultation Team is advocating for an approach that respects the four core principles that PIPSC has put forward. The RTO Plan from PSPC shall be:
- Safe. While many restrictions have been relaxed, COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. It’s the employer’s responsibility to prioritize your health and safety at work. Members returning to their workplaces must have the rules and tools needed to keep them healthy and safe.
- Flexible. Most PIPSC members don’t want to return to the workplace full-time. We have proven that we can be equally productive working remotely. The flexibility to work remotely is critical to many who have care responsibilities, different working styles, and other reasons.
- Fair. Hybrid and telework arrangements must be provided equitably, respect member preferences, and be approved without bias or unreasonable criteria. Accessibility and accommodations need to be considered. Our group executives and consultation teams are working to ensure the unique challenges of your job are considered in the plans being developed by the Treasury Board and other employers.
- Clear. Any formal return to workplace policies must be provided in writing and need to clearly articulate expectations. They must also define the procedures for accommodation requests.
Like you, we have witnessed the chronic lack of clarity, equity, consistency & fairness from Management and disregard to Occupational Health & Safety measures. We encourage all members that have concerns or questions to reach out to our Executive or a Steward.
NR Group News
Collective Bargaining Update
- The first in-person bargaining meeting with the Treasury Board (TB) team, took place on January 24 to 25, 2023.
- At this meeting, bargaining demands were exchanged and clarifications were provided. The NR Bargaining Team has reviewed the TB positions and is preparing responses.
- The next scheduled meeting with TB is March 14 to 15, 2023.
Please check your email or PIPSC NR webpage regularly for further details. The Central Table Bargaining Team has also published an update and the proposals that were exchanged.
NR Group Elections
The NR Group National Executive Elections are currently ongoing. You can consult the NR Group Executive Election Toolkit with the list of candidates and their biographical notes. Your electronic ballot key was issued on February 20, 2023.
The deadline for online voting is March 21, 2023, at 4:30 pm (Ottawa time).
If you don't receive your electronic ballot key, 2023- please contact Elizabeth Morin at email@example.com
Upcoming Sub-Group Events
You Sub-Group Executive is very excited to present of series of events this coming year, both virtual and in person. Separate invitations will be sent by email for each of them, please ensure to check your inbox and register.
- Friday April 21st (12 PM to 1 PM) – Virtual - Lunch & Learn with Jennifer Carr, President of PIPSC – Door Prizes will be drawn at the end of the event.
- Tuesday 6 June 2023 (5:30 to 7:30 PM) – In Person - Spring Social Event for members at The Bridge Public House (1 Donald St, Ottawa, ON K1K 4E6) – Door Prizes will be drawn at the end of the event.
- October 2023 – Virtual - Lunch & Learn on Duty to Accommodate
- November/December 2023 – In Person – Event TBD
- December 2023 – Virtual - Annual General Meeting (AGM)
PIPSC Resources & News
Legacy Foundation Scholarships
Do you have children or grandchildren that will be entering their first year of post-secondary education in Fall 2023 in a full-time post-secondary program at an educational institution (including cégep) in Canada or outside Canada? If that’s the case, make sur they apply to the Legacy Foundation Scholarship. The application deadline is June 30, 2023.
You can also support the future generation of public service professionals by doing a donation to the Legacy Foundation.
Update your Contact Information
Have you recently moved or changed your phone number? Or just unsure if we have the most recent contact information? If so, please ensure to Update your Contact Information. If you receive communication from PIPSC on a professional email address, please consider changing it to your personal email. Our emails are often blocked by the employer’s email system.
If you have colleagues that are currently not a member of PIPSC or new employees within your team, please make sure to share this link to sign up with them. New employees are not automatically members of PIPSC, they must sign up.
2023 Institute Calendar
If you don’t have one already, make sure to get a copy of the 2023 PIPSC Calendar that highlight all pays days and Holidays. You can download an electronic copy.
Free Book on PIPSC History for Members
Published on the centennial of PIPSC’s founding, Leading Progress is the definitive account of our evolution from 1920 to now – and a rare glimpse into an under-studied corner of North American labour history. All members can download a free copy of the e-book or request a printed copy. The book is available in English and French.
We need your help!
We always need help to organize events and conduct other initiatives for the Sub-Group. Members can also attend our monthly Executive Meetings as observers. If this is of interest to you, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also always looking for Stewards to join our team to support members. We are especially looking for Stewards that come from equity seeking groups including women, visual minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous individuals, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community. If this is of interest to you, please consult this link and don’t hesitate to reach to a fellow Steward to get a better understanding of the role and determine if it suits you.
We are also in need of volunteers to become members of local Occupational Health & Safety Committees as PIPSC Representatives. This is a great way to become more familiar with an important aspect of the workplace and contribute to improve the safety of the workplace in collaboration with management. Please note that you can only become a member of the Committee of your official place of work. Training is available and offered by the Department. Please reach out to email@example.com if interested.
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 NR Group Stewards | The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (pipsc.ca)