To UNDE Local 70682 Members
Working for NPF HQ Ottawa and CFSU Ottawa (Admin only)
April 23, 2020
Just prior to the events surrounding the pandemic being declared, your bargaining team had resumed negotiations with the Employer in early March in hopes of reaching a tentative agreement. Although the parties were able to resolve most of the non-monetary issues, when the discussion turned to monetary a serious divide was exposed.
The Union presented a comprehensive wage proposal that includes a wage grid restructure, the application of market adjustments and a fair general economic increase in each year of the agreement, which was met with a far inferior proposal from the Employer. Even so, we continued to meet in order to resolve as many of the other outstanding issues as possible. Despite those efforts it was evident that the parties were too far apart to reach a settlement.
Following that last bargaining session (March 2 – 4, 2020), it was clear to the team that we had reached impasse. A required discussion of next steps by the Regional Strategy Coordinating Committee (RSCC), that involves participation of UNDE and PSAC, was delayed once the global pandemic was declared and the Union re-focused on the immediate advocacy work required on behalf of all NPF members. This advocacy related to the continuation of pay and benefits for those not working, and critically for health & safety measures advanced for those working from home and for the essential workers still in the workplace.
The RSCC discussion took place on April 23rd amongst the various parties of the UNDE and PSAC that are involved with providing support to members during this stage of bargaining. Therefore, the PSAC will now make an application to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) for the establishment of a Public Interest Commission (definition of PIC).
Please note: During this round of bargaining, three (3) other NPF bargaining units (Valcartier, St. Jean and Bagotville), also declared impasse. As such, (PIC) hearings have either taken place or are scheduled for each of those units. The recently released PIC report for the Valcartier unit can be found here. The Petawawa bargaining unit tabled their wage proposal the week after our team did so, which was similarly rejected by the Employer. The five (5) other PSAC NPF bargaining units are currently at earlier stages of bargaining.
Since the last round of bargaining, members have clearly communicated that in addition to improvements to contract language dealing with our working conditions, that the wage inequities need to be addressed by the Employer.
- Category I members are not paid fair wages: From base to base the pay grids are completely inadequate and contain some of the lowest pay levels in the federal public sector.
- The pay grids are shockingly inconsistent across bases. Members are paid wildly different wages for the same jobs and all positions are paid less than the same jobs in the public service and often to comparable jobs outside of the public service.
- Through their Union, Members have been urging the CEO of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) to speak up for Category I employees at Treasury Board and seek the necessary changes to the funding model to ensure that Category I members’ work is fairly compensated.
The bargaining team recognizes that members expect better treatment from their Employer and are tired of waiting for a fair deal that corrects the longstanding problems with wages and the wage grid irregularities.
Remember to stay in touch with your Local executive for further information both on how you can demonstrate support for securing a fair deal and for bargaining updates. If you have not already provided your personal email address to the Local, please do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or PSAC Regional Representative Caroline Bedard email@example.com with the information.
Local 70682 Bargaining Team
Julie Laframbroise, Team Member
Daniel Pion, Team Member
Omar Burgan, PSAC Research Officer
Brenda Shillington, PSAC Negotiator