TORONTO CENTRE AUDIT, FINANCIAL AND SCIENTIFIC (AFS) GROUP NEWS
From the President and Vice President
We are honored and proud to be your local President and Vice President when we see our members volunteer and support our fellow Canadians during their crucial times of need. We also understand some of our members have challenges at home with their loved ones and family members coping with Covid-19 issues. During this difficult time, we urge members to help each other and give each other more understanding as mental health affects each individual differently. As we move forward, I can assure you that our local union will continue to work hard, on your behalf. Please do not hesitate to contact a local steward or our AFS Executive for any questions or concerns you may have.
Stay informed, stay safe and keep healthy!
Take time to enjoy, make memories, and have a wonderful summer!
From the Editor
Welcome to our AFS Newsletter. We hope you enjoy this edition and we look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions for future content. This newsletter includes articles on PIPSC’s 100th year anniversary, Employment Equity, Lunch and Learn, Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP), and EAP. The newsletter concludes with AFS contact information.
AFS Vice-President and Newsletter Editor
Your local Executive wishes our members well as we celebrate National Public Service Week.
In 2020, PIPSC is celebrating its 100th anniversary! by Renee Monize
History of PIPSC
- One hundred years ago, a group of concerned public servants founded the Professional Institute of the Civil Service of Canada, dedicated to the promotion of an effective, politically neutral Public Service that would serve the interests of all Canadians.
- Our founding in 1920 marks a very important step forward for the professionalization of Canada’s Public Service, and for the protection of Federal Government employees.
- We became a bargaining agent, a union, following the implementation of the Public Service Staff Relations Act in 1967. We joined the Canadian Labour Congress in 2012.
- Over the years, there have been huge changes in the organization.
- We started off as a very small association one hundred years ago, with no staff. We only had about 500 members originally. Then we grew and grew, doubling our membership over each decade, until by 1970 we had over 10,000 members. By the end of the eighties, we had 20,000. And ten years later, almost 50,000. And today, we serve over 60,000 Public Service professionals.
- And as our membership grew, so did our internal structure.
- We had no staff in 1920. By 1970, we had a permanent staff of 42. Now we have offices across Canada and some 200 staff.
(Source: PIPSC Website)
For more details watch the video at the following link: https://pipsc.ca/news-issues/in-2020-pipsc-is-celebrating-its-100th-anniversary
Due to Covid-19 our celebration for the 100th year anniversary at our office will be postponed until further notice. In the meantime, be on the lookout for the book on the history of our movement, and the special Legacy Foundation scholarships. Until then please stay safe.
Employment Equity by Nesia Cameron, Chair of E.E & D
At this time when so many things are happening in the world; we all need to come together, in love, in unity and also in joy. As stated in a song below (Source Unknown):
No man is an island,
No man stands alone,
Each man's joy is joy to me,
Each man's grief is my own.
We need one another,
So I will defend,
Each man as my brother,
Each man as my friend.
Lunch and Learn (L&L) by Renee Monize, Chair of L&L
In 2019, your local Executives made a commitment to restart the Lunch & Learn program at Toronto Centre. Last year in the spring and summer, two successful events took place (May 9, 2020 - Family related leave and June 20, 2020 - What you need to know about Accommodations) at Oliver & Bonacini restaurant. In 2020, Renee Monize became the chair of the Lunch and Learn committee. Due to Covid-19, all in person events are cancelled until it is deemed safe to resume by local health authorities. In the meantime we are looking into holding virtual Lunch & Learns or Town Hall meetings using Zoom or WebEx. Possible future topics include, but are not limited to, updates on Covid-19 and the Workplace, Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP), Pension Reforms, Informal Dispute Resolution and Grievances, and What to know about 25 St. Clair. If you would like to provide any feedback or make any suggestions for topics please contact Renee Monize at email@example.com. Please stay safe and informed.
Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP) is moving forward
by Satie Narain-Simon
A memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Supporting Employee Wellness was signed by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) on May 26, 2019.
Once the TBS and PIPSC reach agreement on tentative EWSP language and program design, that agreement will be provided to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and PIPSC-AFS bargaining table for ratification and inclusion in their Collective Agreement. PIPSC members eligible for EWSP are expected to vote on ratification of the program in the Fall of 2020.
The following is a synopsis of the proposed replacement of our current ‘sick leave’ policy:
The program and its principles focus on improving employee wellness and the reintegration of employees into the workplace after periods of leave due to illness or injury. The previous MOA identified the following key features:
- contained in collective agreements;
- benefits for up to 26 weeks (130 working days) with income support replacement at 100%;
- the annual allotment shall be 9 days of paid sick leave for illness or injury that falls outside of the parameters of the EWSP;
- 100% income replacement during the 3 day (working) qualification period when the employee’s claim is approved;
- qualifying chronic or episodic illnesses will be exempt of the waiting period;
- the qualification period will be waived in cases of hospitalization or recurrence of a prior illness or injury approved under EWSP within 30 days;
- employees are entitled to carry over a maximum of 3 days of unused sick leave credits remaining at the end of the fiscal year, for use in the following fiscal year;
- the accumulation of current sick leave credits will cease once the EWSP is implemented. Employees with banked sick leave in excess of 26 weeks, will be entitled to carry over those excess days to provide extended coverage at 100% income replacement prior to accessing LTD;
- travel time for diagnosis and treatment;
- internal case management and return to work services focused on supporting employees when ill or injured;
- an employee on EWSP will be considered to be on leave with pay;
- full costs of administering the EWSP to be borne by Employer; and
- increase the quantum of family related leave by one (1) day.
The parties agree to continue the work of the TBS/Bargaining Agent Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP) Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee will complete the necessary work on overall implementation, including service delivery and governance issues no later than March 21, 2020, a date which can be moved based on mutual agreement of the parties.
If the recommendation(s) concerning program implementation is accepted by the Steering Committee, approval will be sought from the Treasury Board of Canada and the bargaining units.
If approved by both parties, the parties mutually consent to re-open the collective agreement to vary the agreement only insofar as to include the EWSP wording, and consequential changes. The EWSP Program would be included in the relevant collective agreements only as a reopener.
Should the parties not be able to reach agreement on EWSP, the existing sick leave provisions, as currently stipulated in Collective Agreements, will remain in force.
EAP by Satie Narain-Simon, Chair
Effective immediately, Rossana Guglietti of Toronto North will be joining Toronto Centre as the interim EAP Coordinator Counsellor while David Richer is on extended leave.
We also wish to remind you that the external service provider, Morneau Shepell, is available to provide confidential telephone-based counselling and/or crisis support to you and your eligible family members 24/7:
Phone: 1-800-268-5211 (EN), 1-800-363-3872 (FR), 1-800-363-6270 (TTY)
In our CRA e-mail inbox there is a daily mail from “Happify Daily”. I found this site very interesting and helpful indeed. This site is best accessed through our personal devices. Happify translates the latest cutting-edge research into fun and interactive activities and games that help you build your well-being skills and form life-changing habits. Optimism, self-confidence, gratitude, hope, compassion, purpose, empathy—these are all qualities that anyone can own. Movies and fun videos are also listed.
I found the following excerpt very interesting:
Happify's S.T.A.G.E.R. framework - six key happiness skills: Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, Empathize, and Revive.
Savoring is a quick and easy way to boost optimism and reduce stress and negative emotions. It's the practice of being mindful and noticing the good stuff around you, taking the extra time to prolong and intensify your enjoyment of the moment, making a pleasurable experience last for as long as possible. Eventually it'll become a habit—one you'll never want to break.
Research by Dr. Fred Bryant, a professor at Loyola University Chicago who coined the term “savoring,” describes savoring as three-fold, meaning we can savor the past (by reminiscing), savor the future (through positive anticipation) or savor the present (by practicing mindfulness).
The simple act of identifying and then appreciating the things people do for us is a modern day drug. It fills us with optimism and self-confidence, knowing that others are there for us. It dampens our desires for “more” of everything—and it deepens our relationships with loved ones. And when we express our gratitude to someone, we get kindness and gratitude in return. In studies by Dr. Martin Seligman, people have written gratitude letters to someone they've never properly thanked and seen immediate increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms.
Feeling hopeful, having a sense of purpose, being optimistic. Study after study shows that people who have created meaning in their lives are happier and more satisfied with their lives. You too can feel more upbeat about your future and your potential. And who doesn't want that? Genuine optimism is a friend magnet.
Everything about giving is a no-brainer. Obviously, when you give someone something, you make them happier. But what you might not know is that the giver—not the receiver, reaps even more benefits. Numerous studies show that being kind not only makes us feel less stressed, isolated and angry, but it makes us feel considerably happier, more connected with the world, and more open to new experiences. Dr. Stephen Post, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University and founder of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, is a pioneer in the study of altruism and compassion. His research shows that when we give of ourselves, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly affected. Mortality is delayed. Depression is reduced.
Well-being and good fortune are increased.
Savoring nature, being mindful of good stuff, intensifying the moment of pure joy.
Pictures were taken on a recent trip to the Iguazu falls. There are 275 falls located in Iguacu National Park, 80% on Argentina’s side, 20% boasting panoramic views on the Brazilian side, Enjoy the magnificence!
by Satie Narain-Simon
It is important during bargaining to have home emails and telephone numbers of all our members. In this way we can contact you with important bargaining information. Also, if we start to have strike activities, we need to be able to contact you outside of the office. Send this information to Satie Narain-Simon, Roland Bastair- Williams or KC Tiow (their emails can be found at the bottom of this newsletter).
It’s easy …
- Read your PIPSC and AFS newsletters
- Respond to PIPSC surveys
- Ask your steward questions
- Attend union meetings
- Provide your input to stewards
If you’ve read this newsletter, then you’ve already taken the first step to get involved … congratulations!
Toronto Centre Steward List:
President KC Tiow
Vice President Satie Narain-Simon
Treasurer Rajan Tharmarajah
Secretary Shiping Zhang
Member-at-Large Roland Bastair-Williams
Member-at-Large Renee Monize
Member-at-Large Nesia Cameron
Member-at-Large Amin Lalji
Member-at-Large Julia Bullough
Member-at-Large Carmine Masciangelo
Member-at-Large Arun Sharma
Steward David Darling
Steward Steve Kyskira
Steward Kidane Afeworki
Steward Bawa Goraya
Steward Shelton Chu
PIPSC Staff Resources
Toronto Centre ERO Tony Jones