This week, PSAC reached an agreement with Ingenium to prevent layoffs and pay cuts for national museum workers. Unfortunately, a CBC article published June 17 misrepresents the facts in the memorandum of understanding (MOU) that PSAC worked hard to secure for its members.
We intend to set the record straight.
At no point did PSAC agree to a 20% pay cut as CBC reported – or any reduction in hourly wages – for the 300 members working at the museums of agriculture, aviation and science and technology.
In the agreement, PSAC and museum management agreed to several different options to avoid layoffs, including working reduced hours in some cases, liquidation of vacation banks, temporary cessation of work and access to CERB, but at no point did the union agree to a pay cut.
We raised this inaccuracy with CBC producers and management, who steadfastly refused to rectify the error. In fact, Ingenium management also reached out to CBC to inform them they were misrepresenting the memorandum of understanding that was painstakingly ironed out between the union and management.
A pay or salary cut would be possible if PSAC agreed to an hourly wage reduction, which we did not. There’s an important difference to be made since this impacts the way we move forward in salary negotiations.
PSAC-NCR will continue to pursue fair and just negotiations for members at the museums. And we will continue to pressure the federal government to expand eligibility for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to Canada’s national museums. We’ve written to the Minister of Heritage calling on the urgent need for changes to the CEWS.
PSAC-NCR pushed CBC to accurately report the information regarding the MOU for the Ingenium museum vote in the article published on June 17, 2020. We also re-iterated what we said in the original interview, that employees would receive no salary reduction or pay cut. We also advocated for the following:
-In the MOU, PSAC did not agree to a 20% pay cut, therefore the title of the article published June 17, 2020 is incorrect and we would like this changed.
-The MOU, makes reference to a number of different options for employees such as reduced hours in some cases, liquidation of vacation banks, temporary cessation of work and access to CERB and at no point did the union agree to a pay cut. To say there was a “pay cut” is inaccurate. This was also the case for the MOU at the Museum of Nature, ratified a few weeks ago.
-Pay cut or salary cut would be possible if PSAC agreed to an hourly wage reduction, which we did not. The MOU does not state this. There’s an important difference to be made here since this impacts the way we move forward in salary negotiations. The public will read this and think that we agreed to a pay cut which is untrue.
-The Employer also agrees the title is inaccurate and should be contacting you shortly to voice their concern.
-Changing the title from: “National museum staff agree to %20 pay cut to avoid layoffs” to this: “National museum staff reach agreement to avoid layoffs”.
We have asked the employer to retract their statement, as it’s misleading: "This 20 per cent reduction in work hours will impact our productivity..." And confuses the reader to think that employees agreed to a salary reduction of %20. We are waiting to hear back.
PSAC-NCR will continue to pursue fair and just negotiations for members at the museums. We will continue to pressure the federal government to expand eligibility for CEWS to Canada’s national museums as well. Please read our letter to the Minister of Heritage.