Bargaining teams are being convened, member surveys are being conducted, and priorities are emerging, both for individual Groups and PIPSC overall. In short, all Groups should be in a position to begin bargaining by the end of the year. This is of course a very hectic time, during which members have, among other things, the opportunity to share with their bargaining team specific concerns about working conditions. Bargaining is one of PIPSC’s fundamental roles: negotiating successful collective agreements with the employer allows our members to continue providing quality public services to all Canadians.
Work with Treasury Board on the proposed Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP) is also progressing. At the current rate, the parties are confident they will be able to submit their final report late this year. As reported in the last round, the EWSP is designed to replace and improve on the current sick leave plan. The basic parameters were agreed on in December 2016.
Regrettably, some employers not under the umbrella of the Treasury Board of Canada differ from the rest in their stubborn refusal to recognize the true value of their employees’ work. Negotiations with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CRPEG, WTEG, WPEG), for example, are at an impasse. Various approaches will be taken shortly to ensure members’ voices are heard in preparation for the conciliation sessions set to be held this fall. These members were especially hard hit when they were transferred to their private-sector employer.
Effective September 2018, they will lose access to their defined-benefit retirement plan, which will be replaced by a meagre targeted benefit plan, without dental or health benefits. The money the employer saves by doing so will in no way be reinvested in wages.