As part of the collective agreement that PSAC negotiated during this round of bargaining for Parks Canada members, the $2,500 pensionable lump-sum payment will be issued to all eligible members on January 31, 2024.
See our FAQ for full details about eligibility for the lump sum payment.
The employer has 180 days from the date of signing to action retroactive pay, the $2,500 pensionable lump-sum payment and implement wage increases, wage adjustments and allowances. All non-monetary terms of the collective agreement took effect immediately upon signing on September 26, 2023.
Unfair labour practice fight ongoing
PSAC filed an unfair labour practice against Parks Canada, arguing that members who completed their contracts between the date of ratification on August 4 and September 26, 2023, should also receive the $2,500 pensionable lump-sum payment that was negotiated in good faith at the table.
Instead, Parks Canada delayed signing the agreement by almost two months after it was ratified by a majority of members. As a direct result of this delay, vulnerable term employees did not receive a benefit that they had just voted to accept. We will update members as soon as we have a decision on this complaint.
Send a letter to the Minister of the Environment Stephen Guilbeault and President of the Treasury Board Anita Anand to push the employer to honour the collective agreement.
PSAC has filed an unfair labour practice against Parks Canada Agency for refusing to provide seasonal and term workers the pensionable lump sum payment negotiated as part of the collective agreement signed September 26.
Parks Canada blamed wildfires for the nearly eight-week delay in signing the collective agreement, causing many of the very PSAC members who were on the frontlines fighting these fires to lose out on receiving the $2,500 lump sum payment. For members to receive the lump sum payment, they must be in the bargaining unit when the collective agreement is signed. Take Action
The delay means approximately 300 Parks Canada members who are term and seasonal workers will not receive the payment, including firefighters who battled wildfires, members in seasonal term positions at Canada’s historical sites, in the midst of a national housing crisis. Contracts for these workers typically end between late August and early September.
PSAC will be arguing that members who have completed their contracts since the ratification on August 4 should receive the $2,500 pensionable lump-sum payment that was negotiated in good faith at the table.
UNE Local Representatives have been dealing with a high volume of inquiries about the latest on the Parks Canada Retroactive Payment.
The employer has 180 days from the signing of the contract to implement wage increases, wage adjustments and allowances. If the Parks Canada Agency is unable to meet this deadline, there is a lump sum of $200 payable if the outstanding amount is more than $500 owed.
The agreement was signed September 29, 2023. Therefore, the employer has until March 27, 2024 to make the payments.
PSAC and the Parks Canada Agency have signed the new collective agreement eight weeks after it was ratified by members. However, the employer has backtracked on discussions to ensure that members in precarious positions—including firefighters—receive the one-time pensionable lump sum.
Using wildfires as an excuse nothing less than shameful
As the employer delayed signing, using fires in Canada’s North as an excuse, PSAC pushed for an agreement that would not leave our members, many of whom fought those same fires before their contracts ended, as victims of employer delays.
“We pushed the employer to get this deal signed so that seasonal term workers would benefit,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president. “But now it’s clear. The Parks Canada Agency used wildfires as an excuse to delay, while it’s firefighters who they are shortchanging.”
Based on information from the employer, there are roughly three hundred members who will not receive the lump sum payment due to the delay. This includes firefighters who have been on the frontlines of wildfires that have ravaged communities, members in seasonal term positions at Canada’s historical sites, and students in the midst of a national housing crisis. We negotiated a collective agreement to support term and seasonal workers, not leave them further behind.
PSAC and the Parks Canada Agency have signed the new collective agreement eight weeks after it was ratified by members. However, the employer has backtracked on discussions to ensure that members in precarious positions—including firefighters—receive the one-time pensionable lump sum. Tell the Ministers to make this right.
Last week, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) appointed a Public Interest Commission (PIC) to help advance negotiations for 5,000 Parks Canada members. The appointment of the PIC follows PSAC’s declaration of impasse after a year –and –a half of bargaining.
If mediation fails to result in a settlement, PSAC and Parks will advance to PIC hearings.
What is mediation?
During mediation, a neutral third party with expertise in contract negotiations helps two parties in a labour dispute reach an agreement. In this case, the mediator is appointed by the Labour Board.
How does the PIC work?
On receiving a request for conciliation, the chairperson of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board may recommend that a PIC be established for conciliation of issues in dispute.
The PIC is a panel of three people – a chairperson appointed by the Labour Board and one nominee each appointed by the union and the employer. Each side presents briefs to explain their positions on outstanding issues at a hearing. The process ends when the PIC issues a report with non-binding recommendations for reaching a settlement. PIC hearings can take months to complete.
What comes next?
The Parks Canada bargaining team will continue the bargaining process in mediation June 20-23. No dates have been set yet for the PIC, but PSAC expects to have dates soon.
Stay informed and engaged
Read this FAQabout Parks Canada Agency bargaining.
Fill out this member survey to get involved at this critical time.
Make sure you receive all the latest news about bargaining with the Parks Canada Agency by keeping your contact information up to date.
Show your support for the Parks Canada bargaining team
The Parks Canada bargaining team had more than 5,000 members across the country top of mind when they made the tough decision to declare an impasse late last week. This decision follows nearly a year of bargaining with the employer, who has come to the table with no mandate to bargain, no monetary proposal, and no serious engagement on important issues our team has at the table. While the Parks Canada continues to stall, we continue to fight for a fair contract.
Parks Canada workers are tired of waiting
We have key issues on the table to improve the day-to-day lives and working conditions of Parks members, but the only response we’ve received from the employer has been about grammar and acronyms in the collective agreement. The employer gave no response to our team’s monetary package that would raise the bar for Parks workers from forestry technicians and park wardens to workers in physical sciences and architecture and general labourers. Parks Canada members deserve better.
Declaring impasse means our bargaining decided that we’ve gone as far as we can in the bargaining process with no resolution in sight. We have been working hard to secure a deal, but without a counter-proposal on the table from the employer, we are forced to take action.
We expect the employer to take our proposals seriously and engage in meaningful negotiations.
Our team is looking for a fair contract that provides wage increases that keep up with inflation as members try to balance household budgets and recognizes workers never stopped coming into the workplace throughout the pandemic. Parks members in term and seasonal contracts have been hit especially hard.
Already, tens of thousands of PSAC members have registered for strike votes that will start this month for federal public service workers. We know that our union’s real power lies with workers, including Parks Canada members.
Our Parks Canada bargaining team will be ramping up plans to mobilize members for upcoming actions and events in the months ahead.
We will keep you updated when we have more information from the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment about our declaration of impasse.
Make sure you receive all the latest news about bargaining with the Parks Canada Agency by keeping your contact information up to date
Have you filled out our mobilization survey? Tell how you want to help reach a fair contract for members across the country
The Parks Canada bargaining team met with the employer on January 17-19 to discuss non-monetary items and to table monetary proposals to improve working conditions for more than 5,000 Parks Canada members across the country.
The bargaining team reiterated key issues that matter to members – wages that keep up with soaring inflation, exploitation of workers through part-time and seasonal contracts, and an acknowledgement of the unique positions of park wardens as peace officers.
We need wages that keep up, because members are already falling behind
The current collective agreement that covers Parks Canada members expired in August 2021. This means that while inflation has skyrocketed, Parks Canada members have been struggling to keep up.
If you haven’t already, use our inflation calculator to assess the value of your real wage when adjusted for changes in consumer prices to understand why we’re fighting for fair wages that keep up with rising costs.
Highlights of the Parks monetary demands
Three years of increases that reflect real inflationary pressures on members in the hardest hit regions and the uncertainty of the year ahead
Market Adjustments and Restructuring based on internal and external comparators (see Monetary Package for full details)
New allowances and improvements to existing allowances
A new physical fitness allowance of $600/year
A new term and seasonal employee housing allowance
A new proposal tying increases for existing allowances to future economic increases
Overuse of seasonal and part-time contracts is unacceptable
From coast to coast to coast, thousands of Parks Canada frontline workers contribute to the wellbeing of communities, natural spaces, waterways, and countless other environments that we all benefit from. Parks Canada is the only known federal law enforcement department or agency that employs peace officers on a seasonal basis.
Your bargaining team is fighting for fair contracts for more than half of Parks Canada workers who do not have full-time positions even when they’re required year-round. These workers deserve a fair contract.
The Parks Canada bargaining team will be meeting with the employer February 7-9 for the next bargaining session where we hope to make some progress on advancing the members’ demands. The team continues to show up for members at the table with comprehensive proposals while the employer, unfortunately, continues to drag their feet.
Following up on their meeting in December 2021, the Parks Canada team met to prioritize their outstanding issues, including constraining the employer’s right to demand medical certificates, and parity between park wardens and other enforcement officers in the federal public sector.
With seasonal and term employees making up almost half of Parks Canada’s workforce, job security and precarious work remain areas of serious concern, alongside harassment and discrimination, acting pay, Indigenous language allowances, vacation leave, parental leave, workplace accommodation and equity.
The team will meet one more time to finalize their proposals before entering a new round of bargaining March 1, 2022.
Show your support and solidarity for your bargaining team by downloading our electronic bargaining materials. Use your group’s video background during your virtual work meetings, update your profile photo with the social media frame, and print a poster for your work area.
The Parks Canada bargaining team met to prioritize the bargaining issues that will drive the next round of bargaining with the employer November 29 to December 1.
Alongside growing concerns about job security and precarious work, the team discussed the importance of getting Parks Canada representation on the National Joint Council and the Joint Learning Program.
Many crucial issues, like harassment and discrimination, acting pay, Indigenous language allowances, vacation leave, parental leave, workplace accommodation and equity were also addressed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Parks Canada members redoubled their efforts to ensure that the public had safe access to the country’s national parks, canals, marine areas and national historic sites. The pandemic required unprecedented restrictions on indoor gatherings, making nature and protected places even more important for physical and mental health. Despite the crucial role that members have had throughout this pandemic, seasonal and term employees make up almost half of Parks Canada’s workforce.
The team is set to meet again in January to finalize the package of proposals they will present to the employer in early 2022.
Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date through our member login to receive all the latest updates about Parks Canada bargaining.
Passion and commitment were on the agenda at the Parks Canada Agency’s National Virtual Bargaining Conference, held from May 31 to June 2. Delegates from the Union of National Employees (UNE) and the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) came out of the conference more united than ever after electing their bargaining team and setting priorities for the new round of talks starting this summer.
Meet the Parks Canada Agency bargaining team:
Jaison Van Tine
The bargaining team will be supported by the following PSAC staff:
John Eustace, negotiator
Djimy Theodore, researcher
Parks Canada Agency members proudly work to offer Canadians the best outdoor experience. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected their work, but they stepped up to guarantee safe access to green spaces across the country. Their essential work in these uncertain times ensured that everyone could keep connecting with Canada’s rich natural and cultural heritage.
At the bargaining conference, members outlined the impact of the pandemic on their work and proposed solutions to improve their working conditions, all of which must be addressed with the agency.
Here is an overview of the key issues discussed at the conference:
In an agency where seasonal and student jobs are common, achieving job security is a top priority. Under the current system, precarious employment creates a lot of stress and is detrimental to mental health.
PSAC is committed to opposing all forms of precarious employment and ensure that all members have access to indeterminate employment.
We must secure wage increases that reflect the rising cost of living as well as our members’ skills, professionalism and dedication.
Many members have also experienced a widening wage gap compared to their private-sector counterparts. We need wage adjustments that keep up with the wages of those doing similar work both within and outside the federal public service.
We believe that provisions governing remote work will be most effective if negotiated into collective agreements.
We must also ensure that remote work is free from remote surveillance and unreasonable performance expectations, that employers cover associated expenses and that concerns relating to accommodations, ergonomics and health and safety are addressed.
Contracting out and privatization
Contracting out and privatization of public services increase costs and risk to taxpayers, reduce the quality of services, erode the internal capacity of the public service, create precarious work, and undermine initiatives that address pay equity and systemic racism.
We must tackle the alarming increase in contracting out of government work, including through temporary staffing agencies.
We must also expand leave provisions (e.g. 699 leave, family-responsibilities leave and sick leave) to improve work-life balance, which is especially critical for women, caregivers and those with disabilities.
We also need to negotiate flexible work options that allow members to shape their workday to match their personal and family responsibilities.
Violence and harassment
Workplace violence and harassment are a health and safety issue that can have severe physical and psychological consequences for members.
We need to build robust mechanisms to tackle these issues, such as mandatory training and support for members.
Our membership at Parks Canada includes many Indigenous members and several parks are located on traditional Indigenous territories.
In recognition of this, it’s necessary to decolonize our collective agreement. We want the agency to formally recognize Indigenous languages and provide an allowance to members who work in their Indigenous language.
Over the next few months, the Parks Canada Agency bargaining team will meet to discuss the bargaining issues prioritized at the National Bargaining Conference and work on a final package of bargaining demands that will be exchanged with the employer.
Make sure to keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to receive all the latest updates as we prepare to negotiate your next contract.