On June 1, 2017 the Institute and the employer signed the RE collective agreement. This marks the conclusion of a successful and historic round of bargaining that focused the RE Group’s efforts on public interest bargaining issues such as the muzzling of government scientists.

The employer has 120 days from the signature date to implement retroactive pay. The work on a procedure to co-develop Scientific Integrity policies has begun for our departments and agencies in consultation with the employer.

Today’s signing of the RE Group collective agreement follows the group’s ratification in March 2017 of the tentative agreement reached with the employer in December 2016.

This is the second collective agreement to enshrine scientific integrity and the right to speak for government scientists after the SP Group signed its contract earlier this month. Still to come are collective agreements at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the Canadian Feed Inspection Agency, and the National Research Council.

Key elements include:

  1. a new clause dealing with the right of members to speak about science and their research without being designated as a departmental spokesperson. (This was a central part of our strategy and is a historic and unprecedented achievement.)
  2. a memorandum of agreement committing departments with more than 10 RE or SP members to develop their own Scientific Integrity Policies and Procedures in consultation with PIPSC in the coming months. (This represents a historic opportunity for our members to co-develop science policy within their departments.)

The Institute thanks members for their solidarity and support throughout the course of these tough negotiations. Although we have made significant progress, we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us. For many members, negotiations continue. The Institute will continue to fight to achieve improvements in collective agreements for all our members. It is important that all members continue to stand together in solidarity to support each other. Together we are strong.

Signing of RE Agreement

Seated: Michael Urminsky, PIPSC negotiator, and Patricia Phee, negotiator, Treasury Board Secretariat

Standing (left to right): Humayoun Akhtar (RE), Jean Berubé (RE), Edward Chen (RE), Matthew MacLeod (RE Group President), Christine Barrass (RE), David Dolson (Treasury Board), Andrée Bolduc (Treasury Board), Sylvie Houle (Treasury Board), Julie Bourbonnais (Treasury Board) and Camille Boulet (Treasury Board)