What is a Public Interest Commission (PIC)?
Under the law that governs NPF contract negotiations (Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA), once impasse is reached at the bargaining table, a PIC is established to help the parties reach an agreement. The PIC is a panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and nominees appointed by the union and management.
The union and the employer submit briefs and explain their positions on the outstanding issues at a hearing with the PIC. The PIC chairperson also has the option of convening additional talks. The PIC then issues a report with recommendations for settlement. The recommendations are not binding. Once the PIC releases its report, the union’s bargaining team will meet to discuss the recommendations and next steps. Often, following the release of a PIC report, the two sides return to the table in a further attempt to reach a settlement.