2019 Annual Report, Lennoxville Branch

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada


Martin Lessard, President, Steward

Melissa Duplessis, Vice-President

Dominic Poulin-Laprade, Secretary-Treasurer

Mélanie Borduas, Regular Member, Steward


Mélanie Borduas, Danyel Bueno Dalto, Pierre Lacasse, Martin Lessard, Guylaine Talbot

Number of members: 35


President’s Report

  1. Union-Management Consultations
  • Two local union-management consultations (May 7 and October 7).
  • Two regional union-management consultations (April 10 and October 23).

The following are the main topics relating to the members of the Lennoxville Branch that were discussed:

i)     Indeterminate researchers and technical support (PIPSC)

The union indicated that there was an urgent need to provide technical support to new indeterminate researchers and would like to know how management plans to achieve this. Management explained that processes are underway and are being done as quickly as possible according to each situation. For example, a new researcher must establish their research program before the required support can be finalized. Both parties agreed that it would be worthwhile to instill a spirit of openness and mutual assistance among research teams.

ii)    Collaboration between research teams

The PSAC proposed to implement a pilot project that would allow molecular biology technicians to work more collaboratively.  Consultation is underway with research teams whose technicians expressed an interest in this project.

iii)   Travel policy and restriction on combining vacation with business travel (PIPSC)

The union (PIPSC) requested the support of the employer to ease the restriction on researchers combining vacation with business travel. The employer cited previous abuses regarding trips. A significant number of trips were prolonged, sometimes systematically. The new travel directive was introduced to curb this practice. The employer pointed out that an off-cycle request can be made by the traveller and that each request for an extension is assessed on a case-by-case basis. There is an opening but not for extended vacations.

The union (PIPSC) will consult its members to draw up a proposal on this issue, which will then be submitted to senior management (DG level).


2)    Scientific video

            The Institute would like to come and make a scientific video to promote the work of AAFC researchers. An initial meeting to discuss the project took place in November with David Francke-Robitaille from CASADEL Films and Denis Caissy from PIPSC (member of the Communications Committee, Quebec Region). The meeting was attended by Christiane Girard, Candido Pomar and Martin Lessard of the Research Centre. We are still waiting for them to get back with details on the chosen approach for making the video(s) and when the project will be carried out.


3)    Reminder of the Memorandum of Agreement for the new Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP)

Key features of the new EWSP include:

  • benefits for up to 26 weeks (130 working days) and replacement income support 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 in the quantum of family-related leave by 1 day.

You will no longer accumulate sick leave each month. When this agreement is ratified, all persons covered by the EWSP will immediately have access to 26 weeks of paid leave at an income replacement rate of 100%.

If accepted by the Steering Committee, the recommendation(s) concerning program implementation, including service delivery and governance, as well as the proposal for the EWSP itself, will be sent for approval from the Treasury Board of Canada and bargaining units.

If approved by both parties, the parties mutually consent to reopen the collective agreement to vary the agreement only insofar as to include the EWSP wording, and include consequential changes. No further items are to be varied through this reopener—the sole purpose will be EWSP-related modifications. The EWSP Program would be included in the relevant collective agreements only as a reopening clause.

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.


4)   Other activities:

  • PIPSC/PSAC Lunch and Learn: Information session with Waad Mazloum and a representative outlining the benefits of contributing to a Fonds de solidarité FTQ RRSP compared to a regular RRSP.
  • Lunch and Learn covering the theme of mobilization organized by Nicolas Devillers and Isabelle Breune to highlight the September 27 March/strike/global climate protest (https://www.earth-strike.com/) and the movement La planète s’invite au travail (https://laplanetesinvite.org/travail/). The Lennoxville Branch contributed to the activity by offering lunch to all members.
  • Participation at the Quebec Regional Council (May 2020). Martin Lessard represented the Lennoxville Branch.
  • Participation at the Quebec Steward Council (September 2020). Mélanie Borduas was the only Branch Steward in attendance.
  • Participation at the PIPSC AGM (November 2019). Martin Lessard and Dominic Poulin-Laprade represented the Branch as delegates.




Prepared by Martin Lessard                                              Date: February 11, 2020

                        President, Lennoxville Branch