After months of waiting for the Public Interest Commission (PIC) process to take place, including delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PIC hearing was heard via video conferencing on June 2-4, 2020. As most of the issues still outstanding at the table are common issues with PSAC bargaining units at the core public administration, the Commission elected to only hear presentations from the parties on CSE specific issues. These are: the roll-in of the MA; FLIP; and pay grid restructure.
On June 23, 2020, the PIC issued a unanimous report containing its non-binding recommendations. The PIC report was silent on the FLIP allowance but made recommendations on the roll-in of the MA as well as salary grid restructure.
With respect to the salary grid restructure, the PIC recommended that the parties “introduce a new compensation structure, in the interest of minimizing the kinds of problems and delays that all parties in the federal public service have had to deal with under Phoenix.” Such a structure would see the introduction of 6 steps instead of the current minimum and maximum rates. As this move would require transitioning employees from their current rates to a step-grid generally found elsewhere in the federal public sector, the parties will create a transitional grid made up of 11/12 steps, as a way to ease the transition to the permanent 6 step grid. The PIC recommendation stated that the transition and the associated timelines “will be set out in a Memorandum of Understanding so that it is clear to employees, managers and pay administrators alike what the source of every employee's rate is.”
The second recommendation with respect to the roll-in of the Market Allowance (MA) into the salary grid, was tied to the agreement on the grid restructure. The PIC recommendation was clear that “to complete the deal, however, the timing of the MA roll-in needs to be considered as well.” The report acknowledged that the union is willing to be flexible on the date of the roll-in of the MA into salaries as long as employees who receive that MA are made whole for any delay beyond the start-date of the collective agreement. The report concluded that “if the employer is looking for a path to settlement, our sense is that there will come a time when the employer will have to decide whether the amount of money involved warrants the continued existence of this issue as an impediment.”
The full report can be accessed below.
We look forward to resuming negotiations with CSE soon, now that negotiations between PSAC and TB have resumed for units at the core public administration representing over 100 thousand PSAC members.