Following the issuance of the Public Interest Commission’s non-binding recommendations on June 23, the parties held negotiation sessions on August 10-14, October 19-21 and November 9 but so far are unable to reach an agreement.
The parties are still working to find a solution to several outstanding issues that remain at the table. One of the key issues to getting an agreement is the application of general economic increases on market allowance before rolling it into salary.
As we have indicated in past updates, although Treasury Board Secretariat finally agreed to a long-standing demand of PSAC to roll-in the market allowance into salary, the employer continues to insist on a formula that would lead to a significant monetary loss to our members. The market allowance has always been considered pensionable income and as such has always benefited from the application of general economic increases to it. In this round, the employer is refusing to apply the general economic increases to the market allowance prior to rolling it into salaries. The employer’s position means that members receiving a market allowance would lose the benefit of applying 6.48% on the allowance portion of their pay during the life of this collective agreement and into the future. This would be a significant loss for many of our members who are currently in receipt of the market allowance.
The union’s bargaining team revised its original proposal significantly in the hopes of securing an agreement, only to be faced with steadfast refusal by the employer.
The Public Interest Commission’s recommendation regarding the roll-in of the market allowance (MA) into salary made it 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 as long as employees who receive that market allowance are made whole for any delay beyond the start-date of the collective agreement, and that members receive the full economic increase on their entire pay, not just the non-MA portion.
The bargaining team will be providing a detailed update on the state of negotiations at membership-wide virtual meetings scheduled November 19 – 25. All members are asked to attend these meetings as these updates are critical and provide an opportunity for the bargaining team to hear directly from members.
If you would like to attend the virtual meeting and are unable to do so via the above noted link, contact your local executive by emailing Local70654@gmail.com.