PA Group: PSAC files policy grievance against employer for mishandled transfer of members to Treasury Board

PSAC filed a policy grievance on March 12, 2024, for employer violations of several provisions in the PA collective agreement. Significant issues have come to light and former SSO members are being shortchanged by the employer.  

The move of 1,300 members in the Statistical Survey Operations group (SSO) to the Program Administrative Services (PA) bargaining unit under Treasury Board took place at the end of 2023. This was a welcome move that ensures all former SSO members—organized with PSAC since 2001—are covered under the recently negotiated PA collective agreement from PSAC’s last round of Treasury Board bargaining.  

Key issues affecting members  

  • Classification of part-time employees as shift workers, who are being offered very little hours with erratic schedules—the worst form of precarity that exists in the federal public service; 
  • Data Collection Clerks (DCCs) reclassification not on par with similar jobs in the core public administration; 
  • Members advised they need to complete a one-year probationary period despite their employment history; 
  • Discrepancies between collective agreement provisions and the Employer’s adherence to those negotiated rights and entitlements. 
  • Reduction in the hours of work across the country compared with hours before the move to PA 

Sections of the PA collective agreement that are being violated by the employer include: 

  • Article 25 Hours of work 
  • Article 26 Shift principle 
  • Article 27 Shift and weekend premiums 
  • Article 28 Overtime 
  • Article 65 Part-time employees 

Although the move was welcomed at the time, the employer is creating unnecessary stress for members in what should be a straightforward process, because of an inconsistent interpretation and violations of the PA collective agreement to members of the former SSO bargaining unit.    

The union is fighting to address these violations and calls on the employer to immediately act to make our members whole. 

Stay informed  

Make sure your contact information is up to date and sign up to receive bargaining updates. 

Statistics Canada Data Collection Clerks (DCC) to receive overtime pay corrections

When the merger took place and the former Statistical Survey Operations (SSO) interviewers were offered positions with Statistics Canada, some indeterminate and some part-time, all were advised it would be business as usual with additional entitlements and benefits as core public service employees under the PA collective agreement recently negotiated between TBS and PSAC. Since November 23, 2023, our DCC members have encountered many unexpected obstacles.

UNE believes all former interviewers should be treated as either indeterminate full-time or part-time workers, whereas the employer disagrees and believes part-timers should be treated as “shift-workers” and therefore not entitled to all the part-timer benefits as described in the newly achieved collective agreement.

Although a small victory in a long battle, UNE has worked with the employer on an overtime provision that benefits UNE members making the move from SSO to Statistics Canada. After many meetings between the employer and UNE representatives, the union was notified February 5, 2024 that the employer has agreed to correct overtime entitlements as described in article 25.13 of the PA collective agreement.

Each region will be asked to create a list of interviewers who have worked more than 7.5 hours/day as well as for weeks where interviewers worked greater than 37.5 hours/week. Once the numbers are compiled, the corrections will be made and outstanding overtime will be paid. The employer has now agreed to make the corrections retroactively going back to

November 23, 2023.

The work continues as UNE believes that all former SSO interviewers should be entitled to the benefits outlined in the PA agreement and since none were shift workers prior to the merger and no Stats Can letters of offer indicated any change in status, none should be considered shift workers post-merger. Therefore, shift worker articles do not apply.

UNE will continue to work with the employer to ensure all PA collective agreement articles are applied fairly and not applied selectively as the employer wishes.

SSO workers transition to PSAC’s largest bargaining group

Last month, over 1,300 members in the Statistics Survey Operations (SSO) group transitioned to the Program and Administrative Services (PA) Treasury Board bargaining group.

All members that were part of the SSO group are now covered by the recently negotiated PA collective agreement. All issues, including outstanding issues prior to the transition, will be dealt with under the PA collective agreement going forward. This includes a review of the current structure of SSO locals and how best to integrate them into existing PA locals.

The Union of National Employees, PSAC’s component that represents workers at Statistics Canada, is working on this process and will communicate directly with locals as updates are available. UNE has also compiled a list of frequently asked questions regarding interviewer appointments and additional information about severance calculations, and plans to organize virtual townhall meetings to determine what is working well and what needs to be improved in the coming months.

The decision to integrate SSO members into the core public administration is an important one that fully recognizes SSO members as federal public service workers who deserve better terms and conditions of employment including fair wages, improved job security, and better benefits. 

Joining the PA group will result in a stronger collective agreement, more bargaining power as part of PSAC’s largest bargaining group and allow SSO members to apply internally to positions across the federal public service. 

The PA group includes over 100,000 federal government workers responsible for program administration, information services, communications, secretarial services, office equipment, administrative services, welfare programs, clerical functions and data processing.

Important Message for SSO Members Regarding the Impending Transfer to Statistics Canada

The UNE understands the angst and stress our members have faced during the difficult transition to Statistics Canada – Program and Administrative Services (PA).

We have fielded and responded to many of you, and we want to support you.  To this end, we have posted on our website a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions with their corresponding Answers.

Interviewer Appointments – Questions and Answers

Severance Calculation

To further support you and to ensure a positive experience after this transition, the UNE will be organizing ‘Virtual Townhall Meetings’ to determine what is working well and what needs to be improved.

Our ultimate goal will be to listen to your concerns and intercede with the Employer on your behalf – advocating improvements to enhance your workplace experience.

Information regarding the Townhalls will be forthcoming in the coming months.

Please know that you are not on this road alone and UNE will be there for you and all our SSO members.

SSO: Register for virtual townhall meetings about your new collective agreement

May 1, 2023

Now that Statistics Services Operations (SSO) members have formally signed a new collective bargaining agreement that is officially in effect as of the March 13 signing, we invite SSO members to attend townhall meetings to learn more about what is new in the agreement.  
You will have the opportunity to ask questions and raise concerns at these meetings.  

PSAC national negotiator Hassan Husseini will provide more information about specific new provisions included in the new agreement and update you on what to expect for the next round of negotiations that will begin by the end of this year. 
Please ensure that your contact information is up to date to receive all the latest bargaining updates as we gear up for the next round of negotiations.  

PSAC and SSO sign collective agreement

March 31, 2023

After more than two years of negotiations began for workers at Statistical Survey Operations (SSO), and five months since an arbitration victory, PSAC and the employer have signed a new contract including key gains for workers that we will continue to build on. 

The collective agreement for more than 1,300 federal public service workers was signed on March 13 and covers the period from 2018 to 2023, expiring on November 30, 2023. 

The new rates of pay, including the five per cent market adjustment, have already been processed and retroactive pay has been issued to members. The $500 implementation payment will be added to members’ March 29 pay. All other changes are effective as of the March 13 signing. 

This new collective agreement closes a long round of negotiations that took place during a merger of two SSO units (field and regional offices) as well as the transfer of senior interviewers into the core public administration. The new contract replaces two previous contracts for SSO members and ensures consistency with the terms and conditions of employment for all PSAC members at SSO. 

What’s next? 

With this new agreement, we will begin preparing for the next round of negotiations, which should begin by the end of 2023. 

Information on the input call and the national bargaining conference will be released soon. Keep your contact information up to date to receive all the latest bargaining updates. 

Source: PSAC and SSO sign collective agreement | Public Service Alliance of Canada (

SSO Bargaining: Standing strong for a fair deal

February 28, 2022

The Statistics Survey Operations (SSO) bargaining team made progress on several proposals during talks with the employer February 15-17.  

There are several key bargaining issues still outstanding, including job security, hours of work, overtime pay, allowances, leave, general economic increases, and market adjustments. Our team is calling on the employer to respect the important work of SSO members by providing fair wage increases and improved terms and conditions. 

As always, the team remains firmly committed to achieving wage parity for SSO workers in line with other federal employees in the core public administration.  

Our team remains hopeful that we can continue to make meaningful progress during our upcoming sessions. If we hit a stalemate with the employer at the table, our team will file for arbitration. If we are forced to move to arbitration, the union and employer will each appoint a person to represent their interests on an arbitration board, along with an independent third person to act as the chairperson. Each party will make its case to the arbitration board, who will consider the submissions and make decisions about the outstanding demands and issue a report. Those decisions are final and binding and will form part of the new collective agreement.  

Our next bargaining session is scheduled from March 1-3. 

Source: SSO Bargaining: Standing strong for a fair deal  | Public Service Alliance of Canada (

SSO bargaining: Moving forward together

January 5, 2022

The Statistics Survey Operations (SSO) bargaining team made progress during negotiations in December, even though the employer did not bring outstanding proposals to the table. The team was disappointed that the employer did not table their monetary proposals, which would have enabled the parties to move through this round of bargaining more quickly and arrive at a long overdue agreement.

However, positive movement on several issues was an encouraging sign and the employer has committed to bringing all outstanding monetary items to the table in mid-February.

The SSO bargaining team continues to push for significant improvements in working conditions and work hours, including:

  • Wage parity with the core public service
  • An allowance to fully cover personal expenses when working remotely
  • Better job security, and a fair and transparent process around the assignment of work hours
  • Improved maternity and parental leave benefits
  • Improved shift premiums for evenings and weekends
  • Improvements to sick leave, family leave, vacation leave and compassionate care leave

A detailed update on the state of bargaining will be shared with PSAC members at upcoming info sessions. More information to come on the dates and times of these local meetings.

Source: SSO bargaining: Moving forward together | Public Service Alliance of Canada (

SSO bargaining: Statistics Canada continues to stall

November 2, 2021

The Statistics Survey Operations (SSO) bargaining team made progress on hours of work for SSO members despite frustrating stalling tactics by the employer during negotiations on October 26-27, 2021.  

Statistics Canada failed to bring any new proposals to the table even though members have been without a collective agreement since 2018. PSAC submitted two comprehensive packages of bargaining proposals in May and July, and the team still hasn’t received an adequate response from the employer.  

Despite the delays by the employer, Statistics Canada and the team had a lengthy discussion about hours of work. The team is advocating for language in the collective agreement that ensures more regular, full-time work hours for SSO members.  

PSAC plans to meet with the employer again before the end of the year and expect Statistics Canada to respond to our proposals for significant improvements in working conditions and work hours, including: 

  • Wage parity with the core public service 
  • An allowance to fully cover off personal expenses when working remotely 
  • Better job security and a fair and transparent process around the assignment of work hours 
  • Improved maternity and parental leave benefits 
  • Improved shift premiums for evenings and weekends 
  • Improvements to sick leave, family leave, vacation leave and compassionate care leave 

Stay up to date with the latest developments by signing up for our mailing list or visiting our SSO bargaining page.  

Source: SSO bargaining: Statistics Canada continues to stall | Public Service Alliance of Canada (

SSO bargaining: Online information sessions available, new bargaining dates set

February 19, 2021

PSAC’s Statistical Survey Operations bargaining team will be holding online bargaining information sessions across the country to bring members up to speed on the issues at the table.  

Negotiations between PSAC (Regional Offices and Field Units at SSO) and the employer kicked off in early December, with bargaining continuing January 27-28. New dates have also been set for the first week of March. 

Negotiations were delayed in part due to the pandemic and the lengthy hiring process of a new employer negotiator.  

During the information sessions, SSO members will have the opportunity to discuss the bargaining proposals put forward by both PSAC and the employer.  

PSAC’s core bargaining demands include: 

  • Better job security, hours of work and schedules; 
  • Improved maternity and parental leave benefits; 
  • Greater protections against harassment and abuse of authority; 
  • 10 paid days of domestic violence leave; 
  • Improved shift premiums for evenings and weekend; 
  • Leave improvements for sick leave, family leave, vacation leave and compassionate care and caregiving leave. 

Discussions continue on these and other proposals as the negotiation process gets underway. 
PSAC proposals:

Employer proposals:

Online information sessions

PSAC national negotiator Hassan Husseini is working with bargaining team members across Canada to organize the online bargaining information sessions over the next few weeks. Please stay tuned for announcements from your local about upcoming meetings in your region.  

We encourage you to make every effort to attend and stay informed about the issues at stake.  

Source: SSO bargaining: Online information sessions available, new bargaining dates set | Public Service Alliance of Canada (