Wednesday November 22, 2017

SP Environment and Climate Change Canada Toronto Sub-Group

Luncheon & 2017 Annual General Meeting

Date: Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Location:  ECCC, Conference Rooms 1 & 2

Agenda:  11:45 Lunch (provided) 

12:00 General Meeting                     

- Roll call (members of the Sub-Group Executive)

- Adoption of the Minutes from the 2016 AGM

- Report of the President

- Annual Financial Report

- Election (President, Treasurer, 3 Member-at-large)

- Next round of bargaining and C-27 (pension bill)

- New Business

1:15 Adjournment

Introduction (Amir Shabbar)

Amir introduced members of the current Sub-Group Executive and revised agenda.  There were no changes or additions to the agenda.

Adoption of the Minutes from the 2016 AGM  (Amir Shabbar)

Minutes from the last AGM were adopted.  To follow up on issues raised during the last AGM, no parking survey was received by PIPSC and events were organized across the department on mental health.

Report of the President  (Amir Shabbar)

New collective agreement & pay rates:

- Pay increases were received of at least 5% (more for MTs and PC-02s)

- New clause on scientific integrity

- No change in sick leave provision

- Improvement for shift workers (3rd 15-min break in the contract)

- Volunteer day converted to a personal day.  Can be taken in 3.75 hour portions or for full day.

- Professional development, 20.625 h (leave code 621).  This provision is outside of regular training.  If unable to use, can carry over up to 41.25h.  Documentation should be created to explain the purpose of the leave, examples of use, implication on conference fees, travel costs.


- Toolkit has been provided to all stewards

- Employees need to initiate a PAR/feedback form in order for action to be taken to resolve your issue

- 330 000 open cases.

- Members feel PIPSC is not doing enough to get it fixed.

Sick Leave:

- Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) due September 2018.  If PIPSC and TBS can’t agree on it, the current sick leave provisions will continue

- There will be a survey sent and members will be able to vote

- Possibility to have different provisions for different groups, but PIPSC would prefer to keep the same provisions for all groups.

President’s meeting in the fall:

- Amir Shabbar & Julie Narayan attended on behalf of the SP sub-group

- Workplace 3.0 was mentioned.  PIPSC would like to be consulted before any new plans for office configuration are implemented.

- PC staffing/use of candidate pools, concerns that those staffing processes are to a disadvantage for scientists.

Annual Financial Report (Eva Mekis, see Appendix)

- 243 members, contribution of approximately $3000.

- Activities organized since last meeting:

  • 3 meetings of the SP sub-group executive members
  • 1 lunch & learn (PC pay and retro calculation (June 27, 2017))
  • 1 laptop
  • 100 USB sticks pre-loaded with new collective agreement

- Closing balance: $1314.47

- Passed motion to accept the treasurer report.  Accepted by Anna Deptuch-Stapf, seconded by Julie Narayan.

Election (President, Treasurer, 3 Member-at-large) (Bill Sukloff)


  • 2 candidates: Amir Shabbar and Anna Deptuch-Stapf.
  • Each candidate had 2 minutes to explain to members why they should be elected. 
  • Ballots were distributed to members and counted by scrutineers Sandy & Amanda. 
  • Bill announced the elected president: Anna Deptuch-Stapf. 
  • He thanked Amir Shabbar, the former president, for his key role in the creation of the SP sub-group and his sustained dedication to the group since its inception.
  • Motion to destroy ballots proposed by Julie Narayan, seconded by Eva Mekis, all in favor, closed.

Treasurer: Eva Mekis, reelected

Members-at-large (4 positions to fill; 3 two-year terms and 1 one-year term):

  • Dale Boudreau - reelected
  • Jeffrey Karn – new member at large
  • Felicia Kolonjari – new member at large
  • Michael Wheeler – new member at large

Next round of bargaining and C-27 (pension bill) (Amir Shabbar)

Next round of bargaining:

- The current contract expires on September 2018.  A notice to bargain can be filed 30 days before the contract ends.

- Survey will be sent in the February/March timeframe to ask members for their input on priorities for negotiations.  Historically, participation rates are very low (10-15%).  PARTICIPATE! 

- Dispute resolution: arbitration or conciliation with right to strike.  With Bill C-4, Harper took away members rights and put members on the conciliation/strike route.

- Useful websites:

Bill C-27:

- New pension framework proposes to change the way the pension is handled, from defined benefits to target benefits.  With the latter, the risk is passed onto the plan members.

- proposes changes to the Pension Act, which guarantees our pension.

- Affects employees and retirees

- Amir distributed cards for members to demonstrate their concerns in relation to that bill.

- All members were asked to fill the cards and mail to the local MP

New Business / Questions (Q), Comments (C), Answers (A)  (Amir Shabbar)

- New collective agreement:

Q: Who to contact to get the new booklet, contact HR?

A: the collective agreement is available online.  They do not provide printed copies anymore.

Q: Has anyone used their new professional development leave?

A: No

A: Lack of guidance that explains how it works, examples of use, how to get approval from management.

Q: If are attending a course/conference under paid leave, can you fill out a travel request? 

Q: Concern ECCC wants to reduce travel spending through that professional leave?

A: Use of travel requests for this leave type needs to be clarified.

Q: Representation.  If attending a conference under professional development leave, who are you representing, ECCC or yourself?  E.g. employee used vacation to go to CMOS and was told they were representing themselves

A: example of uses: attend course, workshop.

ACTION #1 (For SP sub-group President): To create a 1-pager for management and employees to explain the professional development leave and to address questions above.

- Discussion related to pay:

Q: PSAC encouraging members to fill grievance related to problems with Phoenix.  Does PIPSC have the same position?

A: employees that haven’t been paid for acting assignments should fill out a PAR and follow up if they haven’t received an update on their case.  PIPSC is encouraging members to file a grievance.

C: Lack of information on paystubs makes it hard to figure out if have been and are being paid the right rate.

A: Fill out a feedback form before filing a grievance.  Fill out the feedback form for any outstanding issue.

C: No feedback on the feedback form…

A: call the pay centre to talk to someone that can acknowledge that your item gets addressed.  Ask the pay liaison for a ticket number

ACTION #2 (For SP sub-group President): To suggest including the question “Have you been affected by Phoenix?” to the survey.

Q: If Phoenix affected 90% of the work force, why isn’t the union taking a more active role?

A: It is a priority for PIPSC

C: We do not need representation, we need action.

- Next round of bargaining:

Q: With the upcoming negotiations, we have zero confidence that it can handled, considering the current status with the pay.  Ahead of the negotiations, can the sick leave be tabled to indicate that the government can’t take this on?

A: For the negotiation, TBS has to include a detailed plan on how the new sick leave will be implemented.  It needs to include “how”.

A: It requires dedicated resources to be implemented.  Members were promised that it will be handled internally.

A: No new computer system.  Any further details are unknown.  Sick leave software has to interact with pay system.

ACTION #3 (For SP sub-group President): To consider writing in the survey that members don’t want to enter negotiations as there has been so many problems with the Phoenix implementation.

Q: Every time the union representatives want to express concern, opposition, we send postcards or letters.  How many times does that method work? 

A: If there is a lot of public outcry, TBS will back off. 

Meeting Adjourned at 1:15