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.
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Read this FAQabout Parks Canada Agency bargaining.
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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
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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.
This schedule is tentative, and Parks Canada may still make changes. Note that Phoenix damages payments were made on March 3.
Please keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to continue receiving information about the implementation of collective agreements and the Phoenix settlement.
Help us prepare for the next round of bargaining
PSAC is getting ready to negotiate your next collective agreement with Parks Canada. This next round of talks will be all about the future of work in the federal public service and you can help decide what your union bargaining team brings to the table by completing our member survey.
Please take 15 minutes to fill out the Parks Canada survey to make sure we address your workplace concerns at the table. Your input is essential. We need to hear directly from you about what has changed over the last year. And we need to know more about you so that we can make the case for a contract that equitably addresses our members’ diverse needs. The survey will be open until April 9, 2021.
The pandemic has radically changed the way many PSAC members work. We have experienced the challenges of working remotely from home or having to work onsite with new protection measures; the impact of technological changes; the effect of an uncertain economy on job security; and the major inequalities that remain for women, racialized workers, and many other marginalized groups. These are some of the key issues that can be addressed in the next round of bargaining that begins this summer.
This next round of talks will be all about the future of work in the federal public service and you can help decide what your union bargaining team brings to the table by completing our member surveys.
Take 15 minutes to fill out our Parks Canada survey or CFIA survey to make sure we address your workplace concerns at the table. Your input is essential. We need to hear directly from you about what has changed over the last year. And we need to know more about you so that we can make the case for a contract that equitably addresses our members’ diverse needs.
Your component union and PSAC will review your proposals and they, along with the survey’s results, will be discussed at a bargaining conference of member delegates from across the country who will decide the bargaining priorities.
The current collective agreements expire on the following dates:
Parks: August 4, 2021 CFIA: December 31, 2021
Please keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to receive more updates as we prepare to negotiate your next contract.
The new collective agreement between PSAC and Parks Canada Agency was signed late last week. The deal was ratified by Parks members on November 4. The new collective agreement gives over 6,000 Parks workers a competitive economic increase, greater parity with the core public service, no concessions, and improved working conditions and job security.
Implementation period begins
The formal signing of the agreement means new contract terms are now in effect, with the exception of monetary provisions which are retroactive. Parks Canada has 180 days to implement wage increases, wage adjustments and allowances.
As explained in the contract ratification kit, in view of this extended implementation timeline, PSAC negotiated a $500 lump sum payment for members into these new contracts. An additional $50 will be added for every subsequent 90-day delay.
Please keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to continue receiving information about implementation of collective agreements and the Phoenix settlement.