Chloe Plamondon, CS, DND, President Karen Getzinger, CS, DND
Jennifer Cory, SH, DND, Vice-President Harinder Kohli, RPD, DND
Marie Cardinal, SH, FNIHB, Secretary/Treasurer Kunal Jadav, NR, DND
Darren Robson, NR, DND Stacey Kell, CS, DND
Stephen Bertrand, CS, DND Gary Johnson, CS, DND
Donna Rowsell, SH, FNIHB, Member-at-Large
Gilbert McDougall, NR, DND, Member-at-Large
Katherine Benham-Kopala, PH, DND
Guest speaker: Nancy McCune, Regional Director, Prairie/NWT Region
Opening and Introductions
The Annual General Meeting of the North Eastern Alberta Branch was called to order at 1915. Chloe Plamondon, President, welcomed the members and invited guests. Self-introductions were made by the Branch Executive, members and guest speaker.
Approval and Additions to Agenda
Jennifer Cory moved to approve the agenda, motion seconded by Stacey Kell. There were no additions to the agenda. Agenda approved.
Review and Approval of the 2018 AGM Minutes
Members were given the opportunity to review the minutes of the 2018 AGM. Gilbert McDougall moved to accept the minutes of the 2018 AGM, motion seconded by Kunal Jadav. Motion passed.
Review of the Financial Report
Marie Cardinal gave highlights of the Financial Report and group members were given the opportunity to review the report. Donna Rowsell moved that the Financial Report be accepted, seconded by Gary Johnson. Motion passed.
AGM 2019 Elections
Nominations were held for Secretary/Treasurer (2-yr term), and 1 Member-at-Large (2-yr term).
Jennifer Cory nominated Marie Cardinal for the position of Secretary/Treasurer; nomination was seconded by Donna Rowsell. Nomination was accepted. There were no further nominations. All were in favor and Marie Cardinal was elected as Secretary/Treasurer, for a two-year term, by acclamation.
Chloe Plamondon nominated Gary Johnson for Member-at-Large; nomination was seconded by Jennifer Cory. Nomination was accepted. There were no further nominations. All were in favor and Gary Johnson was elected as Member-at-Large, for a two-year term, by acclamation.
Christmas Branch Event
Chloe presented options to the group regarding having a Christmas get-together/dinner event. The majority of the group was interested in having a Christmas dinner. A tentative date of December 12, 2019 was put to the group. Availability and feasibility of various venues will be checked out by the Executive and the group will be notified of the date and location of the Christmas dinner at a later date.
Presentation: Nancy McCune, Regional Director Prairie/NWT Region
Nancy spoke to the group about Collective Agreements. Some of the gains made at the bargaining table included domestic violence leave, general wage increases, sick leave, and Phoenix. There will be a basic wage increase of 7% for all groups over the next 4 years. Some of the other groups will also have an economic increase, based on the market conditions.
If you are owed retroactive pay and don’t receive it within 180 of your collective agreement being signed, you will get compensated $50.00 on the 181st day, then $50.00 for every 90 days after, to a maximum of $450.00, if you still haven’t received your retro pay.
Regarding the domestic violence leave, there will be 10 days of sick leave for those who suffer from domestic violence abuse. Also, when the collective agreements are signed, there will be $400.00 in compensation for every member. There is new language on harassment, although the employer for the CRA group refused to take the word 'sexual' out of sexual harassment. So, if members of the CRA group want to file harassment grievances they have to do it through other avenues than through the collective agreement. For the Parental leave, members who take this leave will no longer have to pay the top up if they move between departments or agencies.
For the changes to the sick leave benefit, it is going to change to Employee Wellness Support. Since the MOA in 2016 was signed off by Treasury Board, there was an announcement May 16, 2019 that they are working on the language that will be forming the Collective Agreements and there will be a ratification vote and it will probably be ratified separately by each group. It may take until spring of 2020 for a ratification vote, and it may be 2-3 years before it’s implemented. Sick leave will continue to be accumulated until the new program is implemented. While the details of the new program will have to be worked out, essentially each member will be granted 9 days per year, with a carryover of 3 days, for a total of 12 days per year. For each incident/illness/injury you will get up to 26 weeks, i.e.: if you broke your leg. There will be a 30 day period where the 26 weeks reset if you suffer from the same type of illness again. For chronic conditions such as migraines, as long as it’s been previously identified, you may be covered for 1 day per week or month, etc. It will probably be like a governance model, where there may be nurse adjudicators like with CPP/disability who will provide the medical/nursing expertise. It is not known as yet how the transition will work, whether a doctor’s note will be required, etc., but once all the details are worked out more information will be shared with the members.
Regarding Phoenix, there have been assurances and money committed for the replacement of Phoenix. For damages, everyone who worked at least 1 day in each of the years from 2016-2020 will be receiving 1 vacation day per year. 4 of the vacation days should already be allocated and the remaining day will be credited after April 1, 2020. For other members who suffered more severe consequences from the Phoenix pay program pay issues they may be eligible for further compensation and there will be some sort of a claims department set up where those members can submit their individual claims. Regarding replacing Phoenix, there are 3 programs that the government has certified and will be piloting. It may be that not all groups will use the same program, they will use whatever program works best for them, i.e.: the DND may use a different program than the CRA. The CRA doesn’t use PeopleSoft and they may pilot the pay module of the SAP program. At present because of all the problems with Phoenix, it is estimated that about 25 % of the time, the CRA time sheets that are uploaded to Phoenix get paid wrong.
There is no definite time line for getting rid of the Phoenix pay system, but there was an announcement September 11, 2019 that the government has finally committed the necessary dollars for replacing the Phoenix pay system.
Nancy spoke to a member of the CS bargaining team and there are no new updates since the August update, CS Bites #11. They went to mediation and it didn’t go anywhere so now they go to the public interest commission, and if no agreement, they have the option of going on strike.
Treasury Board has signed off some of the Collective Agreements, namely the NR, SH, and CRA groups, but as for the other groups there probably won’t be any more bargaining until early next year because of the federal election coming up and also the time it takes the new government to appoint everyone they want, i.e.: Treasury Board.
Nancy encouraged the group to go to the PIPSC website and check out the federal election information posted there. Although PIPSC is non-partisan, they have posted questions there that have been posed to the Party leaders and the party leader's answers will be posted there also.
A question was posed by a member regarding the sick leave benefits and the new wellness program regarding the 26 weeks. Nancy stated that if a member has more than 26 weeks accumulated, they can keep these sick leave credits and use them up before going on LTD, but they can only be used in this manner. If a member has less than 26 weeks accumulated they lose them when the new program is implemented.
Due to venue time constraints Chloe told the members if there were any further questions they could be forwarded to her and she would pass them along to Nancy.
Draws for gift cards were made by the members, and as there were no further concerns brought forward by the members, it was moved by Gary Johnson and seconded by Stacey Kell to adjourn the meeting. All were in favor. The meeting was adjourned at 1952.
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