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 (psacunion.ca)

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 (psacunion.ca)

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 (psacunion.ca)

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 (psacunion.ca)

Clarification on the Phoenix Damages

UNE has been given clarification from PSAC with respect to the PSAC Communications re: Phoenix-related damages.

1. The ratification process for Treasury Board (TBS) units had two conditions. One, that we arrive at a tentative agreement at PA and two, that the agreement would be ratified by the PSAC which occurred when the NBOD ratified the damages agreement on July 3, 2020.

2. Parallel agreements will need to be concluded for the following units under TBS control. There has been a commitment by TBS to fund these agreements:

Separate Agencies

  • Parks Canada Agency
  • Statistical Survey Operations (SSO) (Regional Offices/Field Survey Interviewers)
  • Office of the Auditor General of Canada (OAG)
  • Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) (Administrative and Foreign Service/Administrative Support)

3. The following groups will need to be settled/bargained for separately. These groups are outside of TBS control:

Parliamentary Precinct or Crown Corporations

  • Library of Parliament
  • House of Commons
  • Senate
  • Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)
  • National Battlefields Commission (NBC)

The details of the memorandum agreement with respect to all aspects of Phoenix damages will be relayed by PSAC Communications.

 

Important information for SSO Members

July 2, 2020

UNE recently became aware that the Employer started reducing field interviewers’ 3rd quarter Average Work Weeks (AWWs) starting July 1, 2020. This situation could apply to many field interviewers and regional office employees throughout all 3 regions.

To minimize the financial impact, employees are encouraged to apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) if they earn $1000 a month or less.

Please ensure that you apply for the CERB through either Service Canada or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), not both. Before applying for the CERB, please check if you are eligible to receive it.

UNE and PSAC remain in close contact with the Employer to provide you with the latest updates on this evolving situation.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact a member of your Local Executive:

UNE Locals with SSO members – Field Interviewers
UNE Locals with SSO members – Regional Offices

Strike votes for Treasury Board bargaining units begin March 16

PSAC National President Chris Aylward has authorized strike votes for members of the PA, SV, TC and EB bargaining units following the release of the Public Interest Commission (PIC) report last week.

More than 90,000 members of the four bargaining units will have an opportunity to vote at strike meetings to be held from March 16 to May 7, 2020. Strike votes for the 27,000 members of the Canada Revenue Agency bargaining unit are already underway.

“PSAC bargaining teams need a strong strike mandate from members to force Treasury Board to come back to the bargaining table with a new mandate so that we can get a fair settlement quickly,” said Aylward.

Aylward noted that the Public Interest Commission (PIC) report on common issues made it clear that to reach a deal the government will need to offer PSAC members more Phoenix compensation and a wage increase in line with the cost of living. The report also highlighted the need to address compensation gaps and recruitment/retention challenges for those groups that are underpaid relative to comparable groups inside or outside the federal public sector.

The government’s current offer falls short on all fronts. They have yet to table wage increases that would ensure rises in the cost of living are met, and their Phoenix compensation proposal remains meagre and unequal across the public service.

“The threat of a strike will give the employer the nudge it needs to avoid more disruption during their minority government,” said Aylward.

“That’s why we urge all PSAC members to vote yes.”

In the coming weeks members will receive notices of strike vote meetings via email and through your locals and regional offices. The information will also be posted on the front page of the national website, as well on PSAC regional websites.

Please check out the following link if you would like more information on strike votes and strike action. We’ll be adding more information in the days ahead to answer a wide range of questions so make sure to check back.

 

Source: http://psacunion.ca/strike-votes-treasury-board-bargaining-units-begin

SSO Bargaining Conference Readies the Issues for Intense Round of Bargaining

Ottawa, ON – The Statistical Survey Operations (SSO) Regional Office and Field Interviewer teams met for three days to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly as they prepare to head to the bargaining table in (MONTH). Their current agreement expired in 2018 and UNE members are eager to get back to the table and negotiate a fair deal.

UNE National President Kevin King addressed the members:

“Our members at SSO do important, not-for-profit work that is a benefit to all Canadians. And yet, they remain underappreciated by the employer. This needs to change. We are proud to support these two bargaining units and hope that UNE can enforce a fair and just agreement.”

The SSO National Bargaining Conference was an opportunity for members to discuss the intent and prioritize demands submitted by workers from across the country.

Congratulations to the following delegates, elected to the SSO (RO & FI) Bargaining Teams:

Regional Offices
Edmonton Yun-Csang Ghimn
Winnipeg Donna Fidelak
Sturgeon Falls Michelle Rivet
Sherbrooke Alice Vallée
Halifax Neville David
 
Alternate #1 Anna Goldfeld
Alternate #2 Imane Meddah
Alternate #3 Helen Anderson

Field Interviewers
At Large #1 Phyllis Allen
At Large #2 Elyse Jones
Western Linda Woods
Central (ON & NCR) Shelly Daudlin
Eastern (QC & ATL) Claude-André Leduc
 
Alternate #1 Kelly Marshall
Alternate #2 Joanne Bekker
Alternate #3 Nilesh Patel

 

 

 

 

SSO victory: Arbitration panel awards 4% market adjustment

On 15 February 2019, an Arbitration Board issued its final, binding decision on outstanding issues pertaining to negotiations for the Regional Offices (RO) and Field Interviewers (FI) bargaining units of Statistical Survey Operations (SSO).

Two important gains were awarded by the Board:

  1. New language in Article 2 (Definitions) requiring the employer to provide, in a letter to employees, an explanation for changes to an employee’s Average Work Week (AWW); and
  2. In addition to the 1.25% annual economic increase for the four year collective agreement, there is now a 4% market adjustment applicable to all rates of pay, effective December 1, 2016, and applied prior to the 1.25% economic increase for that year.

The Board granted the employer 120 days—i.e., until June 16—to implement the retroactive pay and 4% market adjustment for all members of both bargaining units.

The arbitration award lists all items settled by the parties prior to the hearing under Annex A. The award states that “all items, whether agreed to by the parties or awarded by the board, are effective the date of the award unless specified otherwise.” In other words, the terms of new collective agreement are in full effect as of February 15, 2019.

PSAC is now working with the employer to proofread all changes in the new agreement prior to signing and distributing it to members.

Download the arbitration decision ⬇

Background

After two years of negotiations with SSO, the union and employer reached impasse and filed for arbitration. On January 29-30, 2019, an arbitration hearing was held in Ottawa and on February 15, 2019, the Board issued its award.

As this new agreement is retroactive to a four year period that ended on November 30, 2018, PSAC is already in the process of initiating a new round of bargaining. More information on this will be provided soon; please sign up for SSO bargaining updates here.

Source: PSAC 

Response to Statistics Canada on Banking Information Data Collection

SSO Interviewers deserve better from Statistics Canada!

Following concerns expressed by the public over a pilot project run by Statistics Canada on banking information data collection, Chief Statistician of Canada Anil Arora made a statement yesterday responding to demands that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to “take a deeper dive” into data mining of financial information.

The UNE/PSAC represents Statistical Survey Interviewers (SSO) who are responsible largely for telephone and field interviews that collect the raw data that is subsequently used to provide statistics on everything from literacy to consumer expenditures.

No amount of electronic mining of personal algorithms with respect to data collection can replace compassionate and professional skill sets that our members possess.

SSO Interviewers have been battling for months at the bargaining table with the employer to get a collective agreement that addresses long standing concerns of our hard-working members, including the acknowledgement of both modernization of the interviewer workforce and the effects of technological change.

Chief Statistician of Canada Anil Arora is claiming that his agency is “going above and beyond” when it comes to addressing privacy concerns by Canadians.

Mr. Arora should also consider “going above and beyond” in recognition of its dedicated workforce, amongst the regional office and field interviewers.

Interviewers provide a critical service for Canadians and that service needs to be both modernized and respected, both at work and at the bargaining table.

Kevin King

UNE National President