MEETING: Montréal Centre Branch AGM
LOCATION: 777 Robert-Bourassa Boulevard, Montréal, Québec
DATE: Thursday, March 28, 2019

IN ATTENDANCE: 65 members

Heather Filiatrault, Carole Pronovost, Josée Hamel, René Boudreau, Luke McCrory, John Monti, Ronald Pétion, Patrick Sioui
Guest: Steve Parent, Regional Representative, and Sandra Guéric, LRO, PIPSC Regional Office
Absent: Yvon Brodeur, Québec Regional Director

Call to order:

Ronald Pétion called the Montréal Centre Branch AGM to order at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Approval of the agenda:

Ronald Pétion asked that the agenda be approved.

Moved by: Patrick Sioui

Seconded by: Andrei Vitko Carried unanimously

Approval of the AGM minutes and business arising from the minutes:

As Patrick Sioui was President of the Montréal Centre Branch at the 2018 AGM, Ronald Pétion handed the floor to him. Mr. Sioui presented the minutes of the 2018 AGM and requested their approval.

Moved by: Giovanni Monti

Seconded by: Luke McCrory Carried unanimously

President’s Report:

As Mr. Sioui was President of the Montréal Centre Branch for most of 2018, he gave his presentation and submitted his report for 2018 (see below).

Guest: Steve Parent presented his report as the Quebec Regional Representative (you can read it on the PIPSC website, AFS Group).
Mr. Parent gave an update on the topic of the day: negotiations.

Annual financial report:

Giovanni Monti presented the financial statements and budget. He revised the most significant expenditures and demonstrated the effort made to ensure integrity in 2018. He asked that the financial statements and budget be approved.

Approval of financial statements moved by: Giovanni Monti

Seconded by: Andrei Vitko Carried unanimously

Approval of budget moved by: Giovanni Monti

Seconded by: Glenn Amzallag Carried unanimously

Guest: Sandra Guéric, PIPSC Labour Relations Officer, reported on the favourable decisions against the CRA. She also talked to us about the services available to members, the delays in hearings at the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board and Bill C-65 (harassment and violence in the workplace).

Report by Election Chair:

There was no election this year and therefore no election report.

Introduction of the new Montréal Centre Branch Executive Mr. Sioui presented the new Executive:

Ronald Pétion, President

Patrick Sioui, Vice-President

Giovanni Monti, Treasurer

Heather Filiatrault

Josée Hamel

Carole Pronovost

Luke McCrory

René Boudreau

Guest: Yvon Brodeur, Quebec Regional Director. Mr. Brodeur was unable to attend due to other obligations. Ronald Pétion read Mr. Brodeur’s message to the assembly:

Stewards are here to represent you. The Quebec Region wishes to meet with the Quebec Federal Council for a discussion on recognizing the work of Stewards in federal government departments and agencies.

Presentation on harassment: Carole Pronovost gave a presentation on harassment and violence in the workplace. She made the following key points: the goal should be zero tolerance and not better statistics. (to be completed by Carole)

By-Laws: No changes to the By-Laws.

Resolution on the environment: Patrick Sioui tabled a resolution concerning the environment, which is considered the most important issue at the moment, in addition to unionism, policy, management, economics, etc. See below.

Moved by: Patrick Sioui

Seconded by: Paulette Lachance

Carried unanimously


Moved by: Patrick Sioui

Seconded by: Alain Descotes

Carried unanimously

Report by Patrick Sioui, Outgoing President, Montréal Centre Branch – 2018

Quebec region logo

For the Public Good


Representation of all AFS members in the Quebec Region

The difference between a Sub-Group and Branch is that the Sub-Group is part of the National AFS Group while the Branch is part of the Quebec Region. The Montréal Centre Branch represents all AFS members on the island of Montréal. If there is no Sub-Group in a workplace, the Branch can ensure representation of the members in that workplace.

Employee Wellness Program

In the last collective agreement, the employer and the AFS Group agreed on a memorandum of understanding (Appendix L). The Montréal Centre Branch held an information evening on the new program. We tried to organize a lunch and learn with a labour expert on this file but, unfortunately, all submissions are awaiting final settlement.

Negotiations are going well in that respect. The amendments will be made to the collective agreement. You will have the last word on the amendments by voting for or against them in the vote on the agreement.

Harassment and violence in the workplace

A bit later this evening, Carole Pronovost will speak to us about this particularly difficult issue. Ms. Pronovost is an Executive member of the Montréal Centre Branch and we benefit from her broad expertise in this area. There are many things to come concerning this matter, both this year and in the future.


One of the mandates of the Montréal Centre Branch is visibility of the union in the workplace. That is why we pursued a number of related initiatives, such as the holiday coffee party at the Café Dépôt at the Complexe Desjardins, where Branch members shared their labour concerns and asked questions in an informal setting.

In addition, we were involved in four Christmas holiday parties, providing gifts and a (minimal) financial contribution. In return, the employer provided visibility for us in the workplace.

Participation in Quebec Region projects

As I explained in the first paragraph, the Montréal Centre Branch is part of the Quebec Region, which is headed by Regional Director Yvon Brodeur. When the concerns of Branch members need to be escalated, the Region takes the lead. For example, if we want to present a resolution for a regional initiative (for the province), we have to bring it to Regional Council. We have a resolution we will discuss later this evening and, if approved at the meeting, will be brought to the Region at the Regional Council in May. If approved by the Regional Council, we can then present the resolution at PIPSC’s National AGM if we wish. That is how it is done in our union.

We also play an advisory role for our members

and, as such, here is a capsule on operational requirements that we can use for a number of issues, such as leave with income averaging:

Below are some of the principles set out by arbitrators regarding operational requirements (PSLRB references are indicated in brackets after each item):

  • What constitutes operational requirements depends on each particular case. Morton (166-2-14208)
  • “Operational requirements” refer to the type of work to be performed and not the type of accounting or cost analysis conducted by the employer. Sumanik (166-2-395)
  • It is the employer’s responsibility to demonstrate that operational requirements are a valid reason to deny a benefit of the collective agreement. In fact, knowledge of operating requirements is the responsibility of the employer, who can easily obtain that information. Even more importantly, the employer has accepted this responsibility under the collective agreement and can only be released from that responsibility in exceptional circumstances. Morton (166-2-14208)
  • The employer must consider the real alternatives available regarding the use of other staff to replace an employee, rather than refusing the employee’s request for leave. West (166-2-14208)
  • One arbitrator ruled that it was not enough for the grievor to prove that co-workers were willing to do overtime in the grievor’s absence. The employer’s refusal to consider this solution does not mean that the employer unreasonably refused the leave requested by the employee. Dufresne (166-2-14582)
  • The employer cannot invoke a staffing shortage to mount artificial barriers to an otherwise legitimate requirement of the collective agreement. Just as the employer must comply with the obligation to pay overtime and standby payments in the event of an unexpected staffing deficit, the employer must also comply with the obligations under the collective agreement stipulating that it provide meals and relief breaks to the employees. Noakes (166-2-9688)
  • The employer cannot release itself from its obligations under the collective agreement solely because assuming those responsibilities would involve overtime costs. MacGregor (166-2-22489)

When a manager informs a member that they cannot have a benefit stipulated in the collective agreement on the grounds of “operational requirements”, the member must ask the employer for an explanation based on the preceding principles. If a manager invokes operational requirements, this should not be taken at face value.
Contributor: Harinder Mahil, Labour Relations Officer, Vancouver Office.

There is an abundance of regional projects and I know that the Executive of the Montréal Centre Branch will always be here to represent the interests of its members.

Thank you.

Patrick Sioui

Outgoing President, Montréal Centre Branch




“If the world doesn’t change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.” ANTONIO GUTERRES, UN SECRETARY GENERAL
SEPTEMBER 10, 2018


The serious consequences of climate change in Quebec are increasing rapidly (floods, droughts, heat-related deaths, disease, weakened infrastructure, loss of biodiversity, etc.);

  • A greater than two-degree increase in global temperature carries a serious risk that climate change will escalate exponentially;
  • ;The consequences of uncontrolled climate change are a real danger to the survival of our children and their children (food shortages, escalating conflicts, increased mortality, etc.);
  • The negligence and inaction of governments in this regard can be considered a failure to fulfil their primary mission and a violation of human rights;
  • The exceptional mobilization of the various players in Quebec society around the climate crisis;
  • The climate deficit bill that was proposed to the Legault government and that it refuses to pass;
  • The Trudeau government’s repeated investments in the oil industry;
  • The Trudeau government’s uninhibited adoption of the GHG emission targets of the Conservative government that preceded it, knowing that they are clearly insufficient to comply with the Paris Agreement;
  • The lack of a credible plan to achieve those objectives;

Be it resolved:

1. That the union officially support the three demands of the La Planète sinvite au Parlement movement, that is, ask the three levels of government to:

1- Ensure, through regular awareness campaigns, that the public is fully informed of the seriousness of climate change and the collapse of biodiversity;

2- Adopt a climate law that forces the achievement of the GHG targets recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees (the IPCC estimates that a reduction in net CO2 emissions of 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050, along with a significant reduction in other GHGs, would give the world a 66% chance of achieving that objective);

3- Prohibit all new hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation projects and put an end to all direct and indirect subsidies on fossil fuels.

2. That the Institute contribute to the financing and implementation of a media campaign on the climate emergency and loss of biodiversity.

3. That the union hold a one-day demonstration on September 27, 2019, as part of the Earth Strike movement. The demonstration would be conditional on 5,000 Quebec workers from at least 10 local unions voting in favour of it.