On June 7, we reached a tentative agreement with the Employer which will now be subject to a ratification process by members.
The agreement includes improvements agreed to at the central table including economic increases for all members:
2% in 2018
2% in 2019
1.5% in 2020
1.5% in 2021
Additionally, SE-REM members (who missed out on an adjustment last contract) will see a 3% adjustment at the beginning of the contract, HRs will see a 1.35% adjustment, MAs will see a 1% adjustment, and DSes and SE-RESes will see a 0.75% adjustment (also see the note below about the DS pay plan). The employer will also pay members $400 to compensate for longer implementation timelines with additional compensation if implementation deadlines are missed.
Improving access to conferences was a priority area for members according to our bargaining survey. We achieved language setting out timelines and requiring the creation and sharing of selection criteria for conference approval which should help members effectively participate in their communities of practice. We also added 'data sets' to the list of publication types covered under Article 7 on publications and authorship, impacting both our rights around publishing data, but also having access to that data necessary to our work.
The agreement also includes an expanded definition of family for multiple types of leave including catch-all language for family outside the explicit list, including chosen family. There is also an engagement for PIPSC and the employer to work together to update the entire agreement to gender-inclusive language. For the first time, the right to a harassment- and violence-free workplace is explicitly in the collective agreement, and PIPSC and the employer are committed to work on further protections at the National Joint Council
Parental leave provisions have been updated to account for the 18-month extended parental leave and to ensure equitable coverage across provinces and for adoptive parents. The agreement also captures recent changes to EI coverage for caregiving leave so that employees receiving those benefits can apply for caregiving leave rather than improvising with other types of leave.
Members affected by domestic violence will now have access to up to ten days of leave above and beyond sick leave for needs such as relocation, appointments, and court appearances. Survivors as well as their parents or children supporting them will have access to this leave.
The contract includes a provision guaranteeing members confidential meeting space to meet with a steward of PIPSC staff member regarding workplace issues — an important provision in workplaces with more open plans.
Work continues on finalizing the Employee Wellness Support plan, and the collective agreement includes a memorandum of understanding locking in gains in negotiations to date and committing the parties to complete work on the EWSP. This has been one of the issues we keep hearing from MA members in particular about, and we are confident that the PIPSC and management representatives hammering out the plan will create a good one.
Our DS members want improvements to their pay plan, and we negotiated hard to secure those. A joint committee to review the effectiveness and appropriateness of all elements of the Defence Scientific Service Group Pay Plan/Salary Administration System (SAS), with commitment from senior leadership of the parties will be created. Importantly, this agreement includes a provision to automatically re-open the collective agreement to incorporate any committee recommendations regarding the single and double barriers, as well as any consequential changes to pay notes. It also establishes that the DS Pay Plan will be under the direct authority and responsibility of the DND, in the same fashion as other career progression frameworks in the RE Group. We look forward to addressing the concerns of the DS community in a fulsome manner.
Through sometimes difficult and dynamic circumstances, our team was able to maintain solidarity and focus on the identified priorities of our constituents. That said, we recognize that much work remains to fully deliver on the review of the DS Pay Plan/SAS, and to render the language of our collective agreement more gender inclusive.
We wish to thank Nick Pernal (Negotiator), Nicolas Daignault (Labour Relations Associate) and Aline Fournier (Administrative Assistant) for working hard with us throughout this process. Mehran Alaee played a key role as the RE member of the Central Bargaining Team, whose work forms a large part of our tentative agreement. As always we appreciate Richard Beaulé (Director, National Labour Relations) and Debi Daviau (our PIPSC President) for their support at key moments.
Your RE Group Bargaining Team - M. Robin Anderson, Jean Bérubé, John Donohue, Eric Hortop, Emily MacDonald, Matthew MacLeod, Jason Rancourt