While TBS may not be interested in your needs when it comes to your collective agreement, your bargaining team remains committed to getting you a better deal.
If you’ve had five dates, and you aren’t feeling the love, they just aren’t that interested.
We’ve had five dates with the Employer and this time they invited us to their place. We hoped this was signaling an increased interest in us, but we were sad to find that we weren’t even offered a cup of coffee, nor were we permitted to go to the bathroom without an escort. It’s not much of a date if they don’t trust you to find your way to the bathroom and back on your own. While it was a friendly chat with lots of questions, nothing they did signaled a desire to move forward in our relationship.
As a matter of fact, they aren’t showing any sign of moving. They aren’t showing any sign of attempting to move. It’s all “we will discuss this and get back to you if we have any questions.” And they come back with serious questions and we put in significant effort to answer the questions to get them to fully understand. It’s understandable. They do not have the lived work experience we do under the collective agreement, so they don’t know the problems as intimately as we do. Then, the next time we meet, they act as if the questions were never asked and answered. To make it worse, the exact same questions come back round after round after round.
Our last “date” with the Employer was over two days on the 22nd and 23rd of March. We came out of it in the same basic place as when we went in. Your bargaining team is working hard at getting progress…at getting the Treasury Board side of the table to give some sort of direction as to their priorities and goals. They came to us and asked for some indication of our priorities and goals, and we did so, expecting the same in return. But we didn’t get anything at all.
Your bargaining team is interested in getting a fair deal. The work you do is important. Not only for your department but for Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The impression that we are getting is they just aren't that into us, and hopefully that is where the similarity ends with the 2009 romantic dramedy “He’s Just Not That Into You” in which the hero and heroine end up finding true love after a series of comedic misadventures.
We believe they are just not that interested in us in the same way people really aren’t that interested in their shovel or umbrella when they don’t need it.
Nearly 10,000 federal scientists who Canadians depend on daily for vaccine and medication approvals, sustainable fisheries, environmental protection, intellectual property services, weather and ice forecasts and warnings, and much, much more. Many of you, in the middle of a global pandemic, put your lives at risk to continue to serve Canada and Canadians because you are truly dedicated professionals.
The Employer should be interested.
But they are not.
The Employer is interested and invested in you when it comes to the work you are doing. However, when it comes to your collective agreement, the Employer is looking around and going “well, I kinda forgot my wallet at home, so do you mind paying for everything?” Your employer wants you to sit back and accept the pittance they are offering. They want you to do your 9 to 5 and that’s it.
Don’t do that. People will tell you that when you contact your management about your collective agreement, it means nothing and has no impact. Those people are wrong. If you do it in a large group and in a short period of time with consistent messaging, it is impossible for them to ignore.
The leverage and pressure that we have at the bargaining table comes from you. So I am asking you to do two things:
- First - show you are interested in a fair deal for scientists and your commitment to your work by getting a “Stick up for Science” sticker and displaying it proudly on your laptop. If you don't know where to get one, please contact your subgroup https://pipsc.ca/groups/sp/subgroups. If you are not a member of a subgroup, contact your regional representative on the SP Group Executive.
- Second - your bargaining team is meeting with the Employer again on May 16th to 18th. The week before, that is to say the week of May 8th to 12th, email your director and let them know, politely, that you want a fair deal with salary increases that are at least equal to inflation. If 10,000 people do this, it is a sign the Treasury Board cannot ignore or brush off.
1 - The TBS building does not look like any sort of government building.
2 - Oh. My. God, the scones from Morning Owl are so incredibly good.
We also want to note our support for our PSAC sisters and brothers, as they return to the table with Treasury Board.
Vice-President, SP Group, PIPSC
On behalf of your SP Group Bargaining Team