May 27, 2017

Attendees: Daniel Jubainville, James Meade, Devon Telford, Patrick Potter, Dong Mei, Simon Cowell, Daniel Leus, Eric Neilson, Steve Colwell, Thomas Landry, Norma Domey, Michael Forbes, Enzo Barresi, Donald Lefebvre, Nicole Deschenes, Elizabeth Ptasznik, Sushil Dixit, Marcel Beaudoin, Tarek Salem, Daniel Ingram, Judith Leblanc, Shamil Cathum, Aruna Dixit, Tariq Francis, Waheed Khan, Jyoti Gupta, Joanne Papineau, Phil Wang, Stefan Palko, Sally Hanna, Helen MacDonald-Piquard, Mervat Mikhail, Nadia Roufaiel, Marlene Shehata, Celine Fletcher, Mary Murphy, Tommy Bibiscos, Jeremy Craigs, Matthew Scuby, Amir Shabbar, Patrick Cherneski, Denise Ilchyna, Mihai Voicu, Sara Christianson, Alex Donaldson, Michael Elliott, Georges Pelletier, Serge Proulx

Observers: Michael Mohammed, Kathees Anandavel, Jean-Bernard Bitchoka, Lisa Kelly, Atiq Rehman, Mei Li, Reginald F Linco, Dave Johnston, Marcie Smerchanski, Bryan Van Wilgenburg


Thomas Landry - Welcomed the delegates to the AGM. Thanked all for attending the hospitality suite, as well as Enzo for organizing it. SP Group has a lot to celebrate after signing of Collective Agreement. Looking forward to having delegates helping in deciding direction of SP group in the next year. Thanks to Tarek for suggesting the integration of the celebration of 150th Anniversary of Canada into our AGM.


The participants introduced themselves.


Agenda modified to add Mobilization Report (by Tarek). Acceptance of Agenda moved by Marcel Beaudoin, seconded by Tarek Salem.


Only item required for follow-up was adoption/creation of a workplan. Daniel Ingram will be presenting this later during the day. Adoption of minutes moved by Michael Forbes, seconded by Waheed Khan.


  • Thomas thanked the Executive and the Bargaining Team. An occasion to celebrate signing of Collective Agreement. Difficult bargaining round with many challenges overcome. We got valuable guidance from the Institute, especially from Shannon Bittman and Debi Daviau. Getting Scientific Integrity enshrined ensured no future governments will be able to muzzle scientific work in the Public Service.

Thomas was named chair of Professional Recognition and Qualifications Committee. He will be building on the back of Scientific Integrity and will be using it to promote the professionalism of the Federal Public Service.

Fortunate to have a very strong Bargaining Team over the past 3 years, but important to also note the strong help we have had from Suzelle over the past several negotiations. Thanks to Jean Marcheterre for his incredible help over the past several years as Administrative Assistant for the SP Group.

Waheed Khan - Want to raise issue that many PC members do analysis, policy and regulatory work in positions that, once they become vacant, they give them to EC classifications. Would like to propose work on PC positions, the good work they do, how they lag behind for compensation, as well as the lack of opportunities for career development.

Thomas - Tentative agreement from Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) was not fair, but was one we felt members would support. Having said that, big benefit of current CA is the flaws. It allows us to go back to table at the next round of bargaining with TBS. Going to continue working and building up business cases to improve our situation. Will cover this in Bargaining Report later on today. Noted help of all the consultation teams in ensuring departments give us what we have gained over previous negotiations.

Jean Bernard - Recognizes hard work done over negotiations for economic increases as well as enshrining of Scientific Integrity.

Joanne Papineau - Echo Waheed’s comment about PCs. Feels that, for same pay, PCs work much harder as compared to chemists or biologists of same level. Question on how Bargaining Team is chosen.

Thomas - Choice of Bargaining Team will be discussed later this afternoon during bargaining. Internal harmonization was explained.

Enzo - Where we ended up was not where we wanted to go. Explained usage of PC Professional Development days. Emphasized need for PCs to use them.

Michael Mohammed - 1.25% Salary increase is < inflation. 20% turnover rate of employees in a department being acceptable is bizarre. Higher than turnover rate for fast food restaurants. Doesn’t feel that compensation package is equivalent to what he would be getting in private sector.

Claude Ouellette - How will scientific Integrity be “operationalized”?

Thomas - SP and RE groups most impacted by SI. Building capacity to start negotiating what it will look like. Will be building it via consultation and ensuring it is the same across all departments

Amir Shabbar - What is plan for SP group in terms of sick leave? Status Quo or changing it?

Thomas - Explained desire of PIPSC in improving Wellness Plan.

Tariq Francis - Why are engineers treated as a single group, but scientists are treated as three different classifications (CH, BI, AG)?

Thomas - Explained history of SP group. Goal vs reality

Speaker did not ID themself - Large number of SP Group not happy with deal, especially PCs.


Dan Ingram presented workplan. Explained history behind it, what had been done, and future goals for improving workplan. Goal is to document functioning and bring in an element of accountability and build in succession planning for when members of executive change. Workplan meant to be a living document.


Suzelle Brasseau and Jean Marcheterre recognized for their service to the SP group.


Nicole Deschenes presented budget report for 2016. Explained changes in line items and why the numbers wouldn’t match up exactly. Some increased costs due to renewing laptops (for entire executive) as well as increase in Bylaws committee due to review and overhaul of Bylaws.

Speaker not IDed - Want more detail in breakdown of expenses. Asked for further details on subgroup expenses.
Nicole - Form used is PIPSC-provided. Will provide feedback to PIPSC and request changes. Gave details on subgroup expenses.

Shamil Cathum - What are Bargaining Expenditures?

Thomas - To overcome inconvenience of bargaining. Last minute flights, etc after long bargaining sessions or last minute changes.

Speaker not IDed - Is there an asset inventory for the SP Exec?

Daniel - Only assets are our laptops. Previous laptops recycled as per PIPSC guidelines. Thomas - Will look at adding asset, asset depreciation into financial report and see how it can be added into PIPSC template.

Speaker not IDed - Would like more detail on Executive Expenses, how often Executive meets.

Nicole - Travel expenses covered by PIPSC. Extra expenditures by SP Group for mapping exercise, hospitality for mapping exercise. Covers also special meetings outside of 5 meetings covered by PIPSC.

Approval of 2016 financial report moved by Tarek Salem, seconded by Michael Forbes.

Nicole presented 2017 budget. In order to spend full allocation, want to increase expenditures for subgroups and stewards. Combined some line items for ease of reporting. Increased SP Executive expenses to allow for 2-day team building meeting, parliamentary training, future planning.

Waheed Khan - Question about large increase in cost for stewards. ($600 to $3500)

Nicole - in 2016, only 3 Stewards recognition events after Stewards Councils. In 2017, want to include them in more SP group events. Where possible, SP group piggybacks on branch/regional events.

Speaker not IDed - How is money spent for subgroups?

Nicole - Subgroup presidents zonal meetings significant increase in cost. Need to look at long-term planning. Want to leave executive in a solid place for the future.

Mike Goodread - Has PIPSC downloaded costs?

Nicole - No, extra meeting to get ahead on planning

Mike Goodreid - Is Internet reimbursement justifiable? Would like to coordinate promotional materials for subgroups through the SP group due to higher purchasing power.

Claude Ouellette - How will no increase in allocation impact SP Group? Why is budget greatly increased this year as compared to budget matching for 2016 as compared to proposed?

Nicole - Large increase to allow for buffers for just in case as well as to cover for training, planning and team building when new executive comes in. Also to allow for increased interactions with subgroups.

Shamil Cathum - How much in budget is covered by PIPSC?

Nicole - Everything in budget is items/activities the SP group pays for. Nothing in budget is to be covered by PIPSC later.


Judith introduced Denis Harison, rector of the Universite du Quebec en Outaouais. Denis thanked the AGM for the invitation. Good to come out of his normal environment. Spoke about importance of transferring new knowledge to students in the classical model of learning. Research and research programs have changed a lot over the past 30 years. Fundamental importance in research at universities is freedom of research. Scientific Integrity and ability for federal scientists to share their research freely is an important and essential part of public research. Researchers asked to do more research in constrained groups with somewhat limit freedom to do research in order to cope with lower funding. Also spoke on partnered research with external partners. Both are worrying for freedom of research. Fundamental vs applied research, and how they are converging in some spots. Society is moving towards increasing importance of learned knowledge (through research and schooling vs applied/on the job) and increased role of science. Researchers being asked to focus on specific applied areas as opposed to fundamental research by concentrating finding in applied areas.


Elizabeth presented steward report. Increased meeting of SP Executive members with stewards at the stewards councils. Increased conference calls with stewards. Gave breakdown of statistics for stewards vs members (sex, location, classification, department, etc)

Speaker not IDed - What are reasons new stewards want to become?

Elizabeth - Harper government excellent recruitment. Also see other stewards as role models. Many because they need to fill a void where no stewards exist.

Michael Mohammed - Lack of stewards in northern locations. Has that changed?

Elizabeth - One new Northern steward, always looking for more.

Michael Mohammed - Is correlation between work environment and steward retention.

Elizabeth - Not scientifically, but intuitively, poorer work environment makes more stewards.

Shamil Cathum - Try to create an SP Stewards council, similar to SP AGM, etc.

Elizabeth - Excellent idea. Would cost entire budget to bring them all to one location.

Waheed Khan - Can there be a zone where stewards can do some things before they have been fully trained so they can get involved and get some support from existing stewards.

Elizabeth - Need to be careful. Steward protection clearly defined in Collective Agreement

Daniel Jubainville - Will there be budget to send non-local stewards (from executive) to stewards councils in areas where no steward exist.

Speaker not IDed - No stats for non-renewal of stewards. Has SP Group thought of steward elections?

Elizabeth - Steward non-renewal and management is information that PIPSC has. Get it very inconsistently.  SP Exec has never talked about steward elections.
Daniel Leus- 50% of stewards >50 years old. Is there a succession plan in place? Is there a focus on increasing female steward enrollment.

Elizabeth - SP Exec needs to work on a plan on how to recruit more stewards. Can’t really recruit stewards. They are all volunteers.


Enzo presented subgroup report. 2 ways he coordinates with subgroup presidents. Conference calls after Executive meetings. Subgroup Presidents meetings. 2 new subgroups created, some subgroup boundaries expanded. Spoke on expanding subgroup presidents meetings beyond attaching meeting to AGM. Presidents expressed desire to have a standalone meeting. Explained zonal (Eastern, Western and Central) subgroup meetings. Spoke about under-representation of Quebec subgroup presidents in subgroup presidents meetings. Attaching SP Executive meeting to Eastern subgroup presidents meetings.


Judith presented communications report. Numerous messages over past year, especially with respect to bargaining. Always a challenge to communicate things clearly, easily and quickly to members. Working on making things easier for members to get at members. Uses FB and Twitter to communicate with members. Only a small amount, but these are active people that might be worth looking at for stewards. Need to focus on changes/additions to Collective Agreement. Not worth investing in Instagram for the moment, mainly for pictures.


Sushil presented membership report. Lots of requests from subgroups during bargaining. 3rd largest group in PIPSC. About 5% of our 7900+ members are RANDS. Went over demographic breakdown by classifications, locations, departments, gender, etc. Focusing on changing RAND members to active members, support of subgroups. Encourage young members to get involved in unions.

Speaker not IDed - Should it be steward or anyone involved in subgroup approaching RAND?

Sushil - Use both subgroup executives as well as stewards. Each group has advantages.

Speaker not IDed - Casual to term employees who get signed up for unions. Not clear what should be done to get new members signed up for the union? Maybe distribute a one-pager?

Waheed Khan - Employer is supposed to give new employee package to all new employees, including Union information. Perhaps communicate to subgroups about the RAND members.

Simon Cowell - Want clarification on what should be done for new members? Who gets notified, who tells stewards about new employees and vice-versa?

Thomas - Should be brought forward to consultation team. Their responsibility/role to put pressure on management. Management should be giving package to new employees which includes union contact information.


Norma presented the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) report. Explained role of SAC. Want input from members and their involvement in SAC to help shape direction of SAC Strategic plan. Want to concentrate on government and external relations.

Speaker not IDed - Is it possible to get copy of presentations that were done at Canadian Science Policy Conference?

Norma - All presentations should be on the CSPC website.

Shamil Cathum - Training scientists a good idea. Will you focus training policy people to explain science?

Norma - Should focus on encouraging MPs to put science people in policy positions as opposed to training policy people in science.


Tarek Salem presented mobilization report. Want to focus on best interests of members. Focussed on coordinating between stewards, Stephane Aubry, Shannon Bittman and bringing them to members.


Shannon Bittmann described changes in bargaining, including coordination both between groups in PIPSC as well as coordination with PSAC, CAPE and other federal unions on economic issues as well as the sick leave plan.

Simon Cowell - Will we see an increase in number of sick leave days (as well as carry forward days) (currently 9 and 3 carry forward days and one extra family related day)?

Shannon - MoU will include discussion of sick leave banks. Currently only carry over if you have more than 26 weeks. Might be able to increase sick leave days available using banked days. Went into some brief details on short term illness, chronic illnesses, etc. Chronic illnesses would not go against sick leave bank, would go against wellness plan bank instead.

Kathees Anandavel - How are numbers calculated for back pay and is there any oversight? How can we verify?

Enzo - HR/Phoenix does all the calculations. Onus on employee to determine accuracy of backpay.

Celine Fletcher - Information provided for MoU confusing. What happens if you get the flu twice and it takes you out for 4 or 5 days?

Shannon - Anything over 3 days all goes towards Employee Wellness support plan.


Daniel presented the bargaining team for recognition:

Enzo Barresi

Thomas Landry

Waheed Khan

Marcie Schultz

David Johnston

Lisa A. Kelly

Bryan Van Wilgenburg


Steven described duties and responsibilities of recognition coordinator. Asked all members present to indicate if a steward had retired so they may get a letter of thanks from the Executive as well as a commemorative medallion. Thomas Landry was recognized for his work as a steward for 30 years.


Enzo described the bargaining process, how the bargaining team is composed. Explained how people should go about indicating their pay check or backpay isn’t correct.

Patrick Cherneski - Is PIPSC noticing whether grievances are having an impact on speed of resolution of PARs?

Enzo - Pay center overwhelmed. Government is hiring more pay center employees. No idea of time frame

Devon Telford - When is it effective?

Enzo - All effective as of date of signing

Shamil Cathum - What is next approach to reduce no vote on next ratification vote?

Enzo - Reduction of no votes not a huge concern.

Celine Fletcher - No SG PAT on bargaining team causing problems with interpretation of some parts of CA.

Enzo - No need to have SG-PAT on Bargaining team this round as no special need for an SG-PAT to protect/knowledge about their situation. Bargaining Team agrees with interpretation of SG-PATs.

Celine - Was PCs professional development day available for anyone else?

Enzo - Was only available for PCs, was a take it or leave it situation.

Michael Mohammed - What can be done to get into a position where we are negotiating before the contract expires.

Thomas - Being looked at by PIPSC at a national level.

Michael Mohammed - Is there a limit to when bargaining can start?

Enzo - Limit is based on legal timelines as well as when PIPSC/SP Group is ready to start.


Norma described functioning of Bylaws committee. Described what has been done over past years, as well as goals for what Bylaws that would be presented at 2018 SP AGM.

Joanne Papineau - Question about how often committee met.

Norma  - Explained how often the committee met.

Bryan Van Wilgenburg - Disappointed that with the $9k+ cost, no results presented at SP AGM

Norma - No time to complete full bylaws revision. No time to present to the 2017 AGM.

Norma presented resolutions

Marcel Beaudoin - Presenting resolution on behalf of the 50 Victoria Street subgroup. Many 50 Victoria Street subgroup members unhappy that (a) PIPSC National Executive bypassed the SP Executive in the presentation of the tentative agreement to the members; and (b) the PIPSC National executive decided what was SP members could look at in determining whether or not to vote in favour or not. Members were expected to vote without getting the full details of the tentative agreement. Request the SP Executive send a request to the PIPSC National Executive will comply with the bylaws and present the full text of the tentative agreement to the members to vote upon.

Norma - Legitimate concern. PIPSC did not follow SP group bylaws..

Marcel - Move (Seconded by Celine Fletcher) the following:

that the SP National Executive request the following from the PIPSC National Executive:

(a) a formal statement of apology for violating the By-Laws of the SP Group; and

(b) a formal statement indicating they (the PIPSC National Executive) will refrain from violating constituent body By-Laws and Constitutions (so long as said By-Laws/Constitution are not in violation of the PIPSC By-Laws and Constitution) in the future.

Dan Leus  - Indicated the BI-2 salary levels were wrong as presented on the website. Introduced a lack of confidence in PIPSC and SP. Members were voted on a paraphrased document, not the actual document.

Thomas - SP Executive Committee apologizes on behalf of PIPSC for any difficulty or confusion the errors on the website caused. Most of national executive did not feel the need for a formal apology. A valid concern by the members.

Enzo - Sympathises with sentiments. Moves (seconded by Donald Lefebvre) to amend resolution (via friendly amendment) to remove Sp Executive Committee and replace with SP Members.

Daniel Ingram - Agrees with friendly amendment. His subgroup had a big problem with only brief summary of details. Members willing to wait longer to get full text and fully translated.

Marcel - Accepts friendly amendment

that the SP National Executive SP Members request the following from the PIPSC National Executive:

(a) a formal statement of apology for violating the By-Laws of the SP Group; and

(b) a formal statement indicating they (the PIPSC National Executive) will refrain from violating constituent body By-Laws and Constitutions (so long as said By-Laws/Constitution are not in violation of the PIPSC By-Laws and Constitution) in the future.

Member not IDed - What is mechanism for the members to ask for an apology? How is the request made?

Thomas - If AGM feels it is appropriate to ask PIPSC to apologize to the members. If members feel an apology is owed to the SP members, the Executive will take steps to get an apology.

Claude Ouellette - Question over confusion over what is amendment.

Thomas - Amendment is only for change of SP National Executive to SP Members

Motion for friendly amendment carries.

Matthew Scooby - Speak against motion. Put instead direction to SP group to provide full text.

Vote held on whether apology is needed.

Vote defeated

Speakers not IDed - Much confusion over whether vote was over removal of line A vs voting on motion as a whole. Discussion was all mixed in.

Friendly amendment to remove of line a was accepted by original mover.

Vote on amended motion:

that the SP National Executive SP Members request the following from the PIPSC National Executive:

(a) a formal statement of apology for violating the By-Laws of the SP Group; and

(b) a formal statement indicating they (the PIPSC National Executive) will refrain from violating constituent body By-Laws and Constitutions (so long as said By-Laws/Constitution are not in violation of the PIPSC By-Laws and Constitution) in the future.

Motion carried

Motions submitted from the floor

Bryan Van Wilgenburg - Asked for explanation on why motion for a modification to the composition of the bargaining team that was submitted was not presented to the AGM for vote/discussion

Thomas - Was not submitted prior to date indicated.

Bryan - Resolution was submitted prior to date indicated on the website.

Norma - Information on website was for non-bylaws resolutions.

Bryan - Was the date for bylaws resolutions published?

Norma - It was published with call for delegates

Motion from the floor presented.

Tarek Salem (seconded by Marcel Beaudoin) asking to consider adding new members and to consider gender equity in composition of bargaining team.

Motion tabled while parliamentarian looks into whether this implicates Bylaws or not.

Verbal motions from the floor concerning the budget were presented.

Enzo - All of these can be brought up during budget discussion, do not need individual motions.

Jean Bernard - Requested all motions be translated so francophone members can take part.


Motion to consider using SP Members who are currently certified and trained in facilitation as opposed to an external facilitator for team building/training, thus reducing cost for team building exercise by up to $XX to $XX and use $X to spend on subgroups and other assets (note, motion was moved and seconded, but the names were not caught on the microphones)

Thomas - Most of the expenditure in the cost is directed towards the logistics of the facilitator. Reducing budget from $XX to $XX by using free facilitator acceptable

Tarek - Speaking against motion. Not up to SP Group to buy projectors and other assets for subgroups. Reducing cost from $XX to $XX would greatly impact travel cost.

Mover - This is a suggestion to not contract out, but to rather use trained facilitators within SP, and thus move the $XX to other areas of the budget. List of facilitators will be provided to Suzelle for consideration.

Shamil Cathum - good idea to use SP members.

Marcel Beaudoin - Would be a bit hypocritical to contract out a service when the CS group is fighting hard against contracting out.

Celine Fletcher - Where is $XX coming from?

Thomas - Cost for executive meeting is approximately $XX. Cost of facilitator is approximately $XX.

Vote held

Motion carried.

Bryan van Wilgenburg - Read the information on the call for delegates including the information for date deadlines for submission of resolutions. (March 7th - titled: SP 2017 AGM - Motion Submission). Date deadlines were respected. Want information on why resolutions that were submitted prior to the deadline have not been presented.

Norma - Notice was for non-bylaws resolutions. For Bylaws resolutions, need to be submitted early enough so it can be included in notice for AGM.

Thomas - An error on the part of the SP Executive in that a request for Bylaws Motions was not sent out earlier. For the 2018 AGM, the required calls for Bylaws resolutions will be sent out at the proper time.

Motion from the floor (Sally Hanna seconding, name for mover not caught by microphone)

Motion for a more detailed financial reporting with a line by line accounting for costs. For example - Person X reimbursed $X for Z using specific template already approved by PIPSC. To supplement, with a bit more detail, the current report. Not looking for details of every check. More granularity in proposed budget and financial reports to remove the need to have the separate reports explaining everything that was

Shamil Cathum - We want more detail on the numbers. What is involved in subgroup costs for 2017.

Thomas - See explanation of zonal meeting as indicated by Enzo previously in the day. Thomas went over details again briefly.

Enzo - Discussion out of order, not directed towards the motion.

Nicole - Is it in the PIPSC Treasurer abacus?

Mover - Not one of their tools, but is used by Health Canada NCR branch and approved by PIPSC.

Michael Mohammed - Excellent idea for financial reporting. Should be applied to previous years financial statements, not current years.

Motion carried

Motion to approve the amended budget (Daniel Leus, seconded by Eric Neilson)

Speaker not IDed - Against use of $35 per month for internet costs for Executive members.

Amendment to budget to reduce budget by $5k in administrative costs through the removal of $35 internet costs. (names of mover and seconder not caught by the microphones)

Amendment to remove $35 internet reimbursement withdrawn by mover.

Budget passed.

Motion from the floor

Motion from the floor presented.

Tarek Salem (seconded by Marcel Beaudoin) asking to consider adding new members and to consider gender equity in composition of bargaining team.

Motion tabled while parliamentarian looks into whether this implicates Bylaws or not.

Amir Shabbar - How many new members?

Tarek - To be decided by Executive. Not talking about adding additional members, but to add new members. Intent is to change the team and replace old members, to not use the same team a previously.

Thomas - Changing the bargaining team to add new members is part of the way the bargaining team has always been selected.

Mover amended motion to the following:

consider adding new members and to Consider gender equity in composition of bargaining team.

Joanne Papineau - Many grammatical errors in the french and english versions of the text.

Shamil Cathum - Adding gender equity not a good option. Will force the Executive to a situation where gender equity may not be possible.

Elizabeth - Over half of our members are women, important to try to do that for the bargaining tem as well. Language is not prescriptive.

Jean Bernard - Language in french is so bad, the people voting in french may not be fully understanding what they are voting for.

Serge Proulx - French version is incorrect. Propose voting solely on english version.

Judith - Not possible

Waheed Khan - Friendly amendment to the following:

consider adding new members and to Consider gender equity in composition of bargaining team.

Tarek - accepted friendly amendment.

Thomas - Language poor enough that it is not in a state where it can be voted on as is.

Michael - Have mover withdraw motion so that it can be properly translated and applied by the Executive.

Tarek - Not willing to do so, want to vote on it at the meeting.

Celine Fletcher - Have yet to get any information from PIPSC indicating that the CA has been signed?

Judith - I will poke PIPSC to get them to send something.

Waheed - Have subgroups send the document.

Judith - Will talk with Jean (Marcheterre) and Richard Beaulieu

Michael Mohammed - Question about why Nunavut is part of Quebec and not Northwest Territories. Hope the SP Executive can bring it up to the PIPSC national executive.

Motion (from Tarek as noted previously)

Consider gender equity in composition of bargaining team.

Motion passed.

AGM adjourned (moved by Daniel Ingram, seconded by Waheed Khan)  at 17:15.

Motion carried