While the environment, both weather and bargaining, is all over the place, your bargaining team is cutting through the chaos, focused on getting you a better deal.

It has been a couple of months since last we (Treasury Board and the SP Group Bargaining Team) met, and hoo-boy, has it been a busy time in the sphere of collective bargaining. A number of PSAC Groups have had their Public Interest Commission (Conciliation) reports completed, CAPE has a number of groups that are in the process of mediation, and all of the core PIPSC groups are actively bargaining with Treasury Board. All of PIPSC is focused in getting you the best deal possible.

And now the elephant in the room. We call him George. George doesn’t really listen to us, no matter how much it would make his life easier in the long run.

What? That’s not what you meant?

Oh…OK… Sorry George.

R.T.O.  (Return to Office)

Forcing employees back to workplaces without purpose (or even health & safety guarantees) shows a lack of trust and respect.  Flexible work arrangements are crucial to the public service keeping up with the changing times and keeping top talent like you. PIPSC continues to fight for a return to the office plan that is safe, flexible, and based on the “presence with purpose” principle. 

Telework/remote work/work from home is not something that is being discussed at the individual group tables. As we mentioned in our previous communication, telework is a topic that is being discussed at the Central Table. The Central Table and Treasury Board exchanged proposals on January 13th. You can see the Central Table proposals and follow progress in the talks about Central Table issues here

SP Group Bargaining

We’ve now moved from the initial phases of bargaining, which is mostly exchanging proposals and basic explanations, into the middle phase, where we try to figure out Treasury Board's priorities and where we try to find mutually beneficial proposals. This can be difficult when the other party is exceedingly rigid, slow, and/or dogmatic. It’s a mix of Go Fish, Mastermind and Calvinball, all played at once. This is where having a wide range of experiences and backgrounds on the team really helps. We all see things in a different way, and quite often, it is a comment or question by someone on the team that helps us see things in a radically different light.

Inflation is hitting hard. 

It is crucial that our members are paid at a rate that reflects both the value of their work and the skyrocketing cost of living.  SP members are educated, talented, passionate and committed to their work. The government has repeatedly touted the value of science in government policy and decisions. The work of our members is critical to the health and well-being of Canadians. We deserve a deal that represents that value, and we're ready to fight for it.

SP Group AGM

By the time this email gets to you, the SP Group AGM will be only a couple weeks away. There will be a panel on Collective Bargaining with Enzo Barresi (SP Group Bargaining Chair), David Griffin (SP Group and Central Table Negotiator), and David Yazbeck (Director, National Labour Relations), so if you have any questions or comments, reach out to your AGM delegate or sign up to watch the stream or, as always, reach out to your bargaining team.

Random thoughts:

1 - Read the PIC reports. TC Group (french link: https://decisions.fpslreb-crtespf.gc.ca/fpslreb-crtespf/d/fr/item/521000/index.do

SV Group (french link https://decisions.fpslreb-crtespf.gc.ca/fpslreb-crtespf/d/fr/item/521003/index.do?q=590-02-44771) EB Group (French link https://decisions.fpslreb-crtespf.gc.ca/fpslreb-crtespf/d/fr/item/521007/index.do?q=590-02-44770) They are an interesting look at what happens when bargaining goes sideways, and to give us an idea of what Boards are looking for should we end up in front of one.

2 - Random Teams and/or Zoom updates in the middle of a meeting SUCK.

3 - My messy office; thanks to whomever invented the blur bkground feature in Teams and Zoom!