It's me, your friendly neighbourhood subgroup president with a quick email for you. (Narrator: That is a lie. This email is long, so pull up a chair and grab a snack.)
Earlier this summer, the 50 Victoria Street subgroup hosted the first ever virtual drop-in session for people to chat, meet some members of the sub group executive committee and ask any questions they had. Here is a brief summary of the topics covered.
- EWSP: The question was asked about the status of the EWSP. PIPSC (and the other labour organizations) have always pushed for "it will be for public servants, managed by public servants" as a view to eliminating the need for profit. Over the past several years, in addition to a change in mandate due to an election, there have been numerous complete changeovers in personnel in the Treasury Board Secretariat. With the change in leadership came a change in desired direction. They wished it to be managed by a 3rd party outside of the Federal Public Service. For PIPSC, this is a line they will not cross. There are currently high-level discussions ongoing to try to get the EWSP back on track.
- Returning to the office: best guess is not before 2022. Right now, they have not even started discussing how it might happen, let alone when. There are too many changes going on in the pandemic landscape for anything concrete to be determined right now.
- GC Workspace: there was a working group that was developing a new GC Workplace environment for CIPO. However, with the pandemic, and no clue on how the provincial/local health regulations will end up and what type of guidance and policies will be coming, the decision was made to not continue spending money to develop a plan that might, in the end, not be permitted to be brought to fruition. The Working Group was disbanded and will be reformed once the environment is more conducive. There was a question about a wellness center (to be used for various things). Right now, we don't know how that will work. It is something that will be brought up, and when the Working group is re-formed, I will be polling the subgroup for their concerns.
- SG-PAT 5 in office time: Work at home is being reviewed. Due to work at home for everyone due to COVID, there is a lot of information that has been accumulated for what is working well and what isn't working well.
- Bargaining: While we are still a little over a year from the end of our contract, the SP group is getting ready for the next round of bargaining. There will be a call for interest for members of the bargaining team (in the fall/early winter is my guess) and a call (winter/early spring is my guess) to take part in the bargaining conference. The bargaining conference is where members from every subgroup across the country get together and create a list of priorities to provide to the bargaining team. It is a fun time, and really gives you an idea of how different subgroups are from one another. There will also be at least one survey, and I highly, highly recommend filling it out.
- NJC Bargaining: the NJC (National Joint Council) is where all the bargaining agents get together to negotiate things that are outside of the collective agreement. Health care limits, death benefits, etc. They are all discussed on a rolling cycle.
It went very well, and we are looking forward to doing another one in the fall.
Next up, the 50 Victoria Street subgroup AGM. Last year, we were not required to hold one, because COVID. We are still not required to hold one, but it is encouraged. So, I am reaching out to see if there is interest in holding one. In addition, because of COVID, elections to the subgroup exec were basically put on hold.
So, given that, two questions:
- Is there any interest in holding a virtual AGM (via Teams)?
- Due to COVID, the expiry of subgroup executive positions were put on hold. Is anyone interested in putting their name forward for an at-large position or for one of the portfolios (president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer)? If so, we will figure out how voting will be done.
President - SP 50 Victoria Subgroup
Vice President - SP Group Executive Committee
Bargaining Team - SP Group member