Tentative agreement reached for Parks Canada members

In a victory for members at Parks Canada, PSAC has reached a tentative agreement that includes a competitive economic increase, greater parity with the core public service, no concessions, and improved working conditions and job security.  

Members at Parks Canada will also be awarded the Phoenix damages settlement to compensate for the pain and suffering caused by the broken pay system. Please read the following update which provides greater detail on the general Phoenix compensation portion of the settlement, as well as the expansion of the claims process for out-of-pocket expenses and for those who suffered major losses because of Phoenix.  

Annual wage settlement & shift premiums 

PSAC’s bargaining team successfully secured fair wage increases averaging at 2.11% per year. Parks Canada members would receive the following wage increases:  

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 
2.8% 2.2% 1.35% 

In addition, shift premiums for employees working between 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. will increase from $2.00/hour to $2.25/hour (12.5% increase). 

Catch up adjustments to Core Public Administration 

Members in the following groups and sub-groups will receive wage adjustments to catch them up to their counterparts in the core public administration. Adjustments will be applied in Year 3 of the collective agreement:  

AR (all levels) GL-PIP-12  
EG (all levels) GL-MDO-03 
FI (all levels) GL-MDO-05 
HR (all levels) GL-MDO-12  
BI-03  GL-MOC-11 
CO-01 to CO-04  GL-MOC-08  
EL-06 to EL-09  GL-PCF-11 
GL-COI-09 GL-PCF-14  
GL-COI-14 GL-PIP-12  
GL-EIM-12 GL-MDO-03 
GL-ELE-01 GL-MDO-05 
GL-ELE-06  GL-MDO-12  
GL-ELE-14  GL-MOC-11 
GL-MAM-13  GL-MOC-08  
GL-MAN-07  GL-PCF-11 
GL-MAN-08 GL-PCF-14  
GL-MAN-13  GL-PIP-12  
GL-MDO-03 GL-PRW-07  
GL-MDO-05 GL-PRW-08  
GL-MDO-12  GL-PRW-13  
GL-MOC-11 GL-VHE-13  
GL-MOC-08  GS-02  
GL-PCF-11 GS-11  
GL-PCF-14  HP-03 

Lump sums and allowances  

  • A one-time payment of $500 in recognition of the extended collective agreement implementation deadline and an additional $50 for every subsequent 90-day delay. 
  • Effective 180 days following the signature of the agreement, Enforcement Officers at the GT-04 and GT-05 levels will receive an increase to their existing annual allowance from $3,000 to $3,534. 
  • Improved and expanded retention allowance for CR-05, AS-01, AS-02, AS-03 or AS-04 Compensation Advisors working in pay pods under the banner of the Public Service and Procurement Canada Pay Centre (PSPC) to $3,500 per year. 
  • Renewal of $2,500 allowance for AS-01, AS-02 & AS-03 Compensation Advisors working at the Agency.  
  • Extension of temporary incentives for AS-01, AS-02 and AS-03 Compensation Advisors, providing a one-time $4,000 payment and double overtime. This existing provision will apply until September 1st, 2020. 
  • New allowance of $1.00 per hour for Dog Handling.  

Other improvements  

  • Significant improvements to Workforce Adjustment (WFA):
    1. Inclusion of seniority in the Voluntary Departure Process, ensuring that selections will be done on the basis of seniority.
    2. Requirement to have joint Workforce Adjustment committees.
    3. Expanded definition of alternation, allowing surplus employees to alternate into an indeterminate position within the Agency.
    4. Increase to the Education Allowance from $15,000 to $17,000 for indeterminate employees who are laid off during workforce adjustment process.
  • Memorandum of understanding (MOU) reached between the parties agreeing on the value of returning to full membership of the National Joint Council (NJC). Creation of a union-management sub-committee that will discuss Parks Canada’s assessment of its policies related to the NJC and the feasibility of a full and expedited return to the NJC. This work will be completed prior to the next round of bargaining.
  • Improvements to parental & maternity leave:
    1. Updated language to match the new legislation including a new extended leave option and the sharing of parental leave.
    2. Expanded supplementary allowance for every week an employee is on extended or shared parental leave.
    3. Additional weeks for parents covered under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, when both parents work in the public service.
    4. Better language on return to work following a maternity or parental leave, giving more flexibility to parents who wish to change positions within the federal public service.
    5. New language specifying that employees may take their parental leave in two periods subject to employer discretion.
  • Increase in maternity related reassignment or leave qualification from 52 to 78 weeks following the birth of a child.
  • New provision providing access to ten days of paid domestic violence leave.
  • MOU establishing of a joint committee to review the use of Indigenous languages in the Agency, examine Indigenous language skills in the performance of employee duties, and consider the advantages that Indigenous language speakers bring to the Agency.
  • MOU regarding Mental Health in the Workplace.
  • Recognition that all provisions in the collective agreement referencing a gender are meant for all employees, regardless of gender identity.
  • Expansion of scope for the following Leave improvements now inclusive of a person who stands in place of a relative for:
    • Leave without pay for the care of the family
    • Bereavement leave
    • Leave with pay for family-related responsibilities (now also inclusive of stepchild)
  • New MOU providing up to $150,000 to fund a one-year joint learning program pilot project (MOU will be outside the collective agreement).
  • Improvements to travel time to pay for up to five hours compensation for any stopovers. Increase of travelling cap to 15 hours from 12 hours.
  • An increase in meal allowance for overtime from $10 to $12.
  • Updated and improved language to match the new legislation on Compassionate Care and Caregiving Leave.
  • New language specifying employee’s right to access official copy of an investigation report (Article 17 – No Discrimination & Sexual Harassment).
  • Better language to allow the use of employer facilities for union activities.
  • Deletion of MOU on Supporting Employee Wellness. As a result, sick leave will remain untouched.

Full text and next steps 

We will share the final text and full details of the tentative agreement as soon as it becomes available. Shortly thereafter, members at Parks Canada will be invited to participate in online ratification votes. Details about the votes will be shared as soon as possible.  

Your bargaining team unanimously recommends the ratification of the tentative agreement.   

To ensure that you receive all updates and can participate in the ratification process, please ensure that you have either updated your contact information on PSAC’s member portal, or that you create an account if you have not done so already.  

Bargaining team: 

  • Angela Decker
  • Daniel Toutant
  • Daniel Britton
  • Kassandra McKinnon
  • Marc Phillips
  • Omar Murray
  • Birch Howard

Negotiator: Ashley Bickerton  
Research Officer: Maxime Thibault-Gingras  

UNE Multiculturalism Day

By Hayley Millington

Multiculturalism, the very idea in itself speaks to an ideology, a policy enacted by Canada’s government that gave birth to the perception that people of different cultures could co-exist within the wider framework of society. For the most part, Multiculturalism can be defined as the co-existence of diverse cultures, where cultures includes racial, religious, or cultural groups and is manifested in customary behaviours, cultural assumptions and values patterns of thinking and communicative styles. Canadians refer to the cultural mélange as its very own Multicultural mosaic.  

As you read this article, you may ask yourself what exactly does multiculturalism entail?  Well, here in Canada, at the core of Multiculturalism was immigration placing it in a position of social importance. Historically speaking, in Canada, during the 1970s and 1980s, the government officially adopted Multiculturalism and this is reflected in law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988; as well as it being mirrored in section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The policy itself is administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage.

On June 27, 2003, Canada celebrated its first Multiculturalism Day, an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the uniqueness of Canada’s multicultural mosaic as it relates to the contributions of Canada’s immigrant populations, cultural communities and the values that we all share.

One can say that the diversity displayed by Canada has shaped the wider society and subsequently our way of life. Through Canada’s immigration, people from around the world have made Canada their home with the expectation of having, dare I say, the same opportunities and experiences as all “Canadians”.

As a black Trini-Canadian woman and one of the immigrant populous, I’d like to bring into focus the reality, irrespective of the misnomer that is multiculturalism. In recent weeks, we have had a rude re-awakening as present day events have only served to deconstruct the notion that Canada is immune to racism. The belief, fuelled by the sentiment that Canada, unlike the US, has exercised racial tolerance can be traced back to the country’s role in the Underground Railroad and Canada being a safe haven for runaway slaves.  “Stories” like these have added to Canada’s perception of itself and even contributed to how Canada is viewed on the worldwide stage. This kind of persona has provided its inhabitants with a false sense of security that denies the existence of racism as a tangible reality as black Canadians face systemic racism on all fronts.

Multiculturalism has in no way made us as a country, a society immune to the depravity of a life challenged by inequality and racial injustice. We each should be reminded that a truly multicultural society is one that we have not yet attained and is but a work in progress.

Canada’s strength lies in its diversity and now is not the time to turn a blind eye and miss the opportunity to eradicate the inherent racist policies and practices that litter Canada’s multicultural landscape and institutions while sullying Canada’s vision for a society that genuinely values diversity and richness along with the contributions of all its citizenry.

I would be remiss to not mention how Multiculturalism and inclusivity seems a distant goal as it remains lost and elusive to the people native to this land whose past and present struggles continue to be dis-regarded, dis-respected and dismissed.

These concepts should be a given to all that call this land, whether by birthright, by birth or through immigration, home.    

In Solidarity, I ask you to stand up, speak out, become an ally and align yourself with your fellow citizens who continue to live their daily lives plagued by the pestilence of racism and discrimination for a multicultural society reflects the true meaning of inclusivity, and not simply for the reasons of celebrating another’s culture or sampling their fare. It requires each individual’s commitment and attention. The events of the recent past demand it.

Hayley Millington is the UNE National Equity Representative for Racially Visible People.