The holidays are coming and while your SP Bargaining team isn’t sneaking into your houses through the chimney to give presents, neither are we showing up with lumps of coal. 

At the beginning of November, your bargaining team met to work on our pay proposal. We met with PIPSC researchers and economists, got answers to some questions and asked a bunch more. Determining the desired pay increases is non-trivial at the best of times. Your bargaining team will take its time to get you the best deal possible as opposed to getting a quick deal just to get a deal.

The employer has indicated they are interested in pay simplification. The term pay simplification is a large oversimplification. It is a term that encompasses everything in collective agreements that is programmed into payroll and human resources systems such as: 

  • Accumulation (and payout) of vacation and various other types of leaves, 
  • How acting works, or
  • Overtime rates.


There are many different bargaining groups in the Federal Public Service, and each group has their own unique wants and needs. We won't pretend to understand the needs of Dept. of Justice lawyers and how pay simplification would work best for them, and we don’t think they should be able to determine how pay simplification would work best for professionals in the SP Group. Pay simplification is an issue to be addressed at the PIPSC Central Bargaining Table, where the SP group is represented by our President, Bryan Van Wilgenburg. We are looking forward to a fulsome discussion with the employer at OUR bargaining tables. 

As we get deeper into bargaining, both the employer and your bargaining team will be making counter-proposals and suggesting amendments. The SP Group has no desire to bargain through press releases, as the limited information in press releases often causes more issues in the long run due to needing to correct misunderstandings. Bargaining should be done at the bargaining table where there can be a free and open discussion without worry of misinterpretation. Additionally, we don’t want there to be a “chill” about proposing outside-the-box solutions to workplace issues. Your SP Bargaining Team has a goal of getting the best deal possible for its members.   


In addition to the topics that will be discussed at the SP Group Table, there will also be subjects covered at the Central Bargaining Table. The goal of the Central Table is to save time and resources in bargaining by ensuring the same topic is not bargained at every table. In addition to the above, the Central Bargaining Team met in person for the first time in the beginning of November. This round, bargaining at the central table includes, but is not limited to, the following topics:

  • Greening the collective agreement,
  • Right to disconnect,
  • Telework, and
  • Pay simplification.


One topic that was in the book of demands from the employer as well as your bargaining team was flexible work hours. The employer and your bargaining team spent a morning in an open and wide-ranging preliminary discussion around flexible work hours. While we are awaiting language  around flex work from the employer, you can see the language from your bargaining team here.


Random notes from this bargaining session: 

Scott Stirling - The man, the myth, the legend

Catch 22: Bryan can’t pour coffee without having a coffee first

Enzo’s olive addiction continues…


For additional details including information on the bargaining priorities, please visit our web site: SP Bargaining Update #5 - Bargaining Priorities

If you have any questions, please contact the bargaining team at


In solidarity,

Marcel Beaudoin

Vice-President, SP Group, PIPSC

On behalf of your SP Group Bargaining Team