PSAC fighting government delay to pay parity for EG members in TC group

July 29, 2022

PSAC is pushing for a quick resolution as Treasury Board continues to delay implementation of a pay parity arbitration ruling that is meant to close a pay gap for many TC group members. 

PSAC won a successful arbitration ruling in January 2022, with the arbitrator ruling that the pay gap should be closed between Engineering and Scientific Support (EG) members in the Technical Services (TC) group and EGs at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The TC group covers nearly 10,700 members, with the EG classification making up more than 60 per cent of its members. 

Since then, Treasury Board has refused to make payments to any EG members in the TC group,  arguing they won’t implement the changes until PSAC and the government reach a new collective agreement. 

We believe this is a clear violation of the arbitration ruling. We are addressing this situation with the arbitrator to have it resolved favourably in the near future. Closing this pay gap is long overdue and the government should not deny workers amounts that they are rightly owed. 

These new rates will be subject to any further gains made in the current round of negotiations, which are underway now with Treasury Board. PSAC will be seeking regular annual economic increases for EGs and for all TC members, along with allowances for specific groups.  

This arbitration decision has no impact on what PSAC is seeking at the table in this round of bargaining. Check out our bargaining toolkit to learn more about this round of bargaining, the issues that matter most, and how to get involved.  

Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date to receive the latest updates for TC members. 

Source: PSAC fighting government delay to pay parity for EG members in TC group | Public Service Alliance of Canada (psacunion.ca)

EB Group: Bargaining hits wall as Treasury Board stalls

March 18, 2022

Treasury Board continues to stall on negotiations following the latest round of Education and Library Science (EB) bargaining on March 8-10, 2022.

The EB group includes over 1,090 members responsible for education, education support and library services.

Bargaining is moving at a crawl, thanks to the employer’s stalling tactics. While PSAC has tabled all of our demands along with a comprehensive wage proposal, the employer remains closed to negotiating on nearly all of our priorities. Treasury Board also continues to put forward concessions on scheduling and shifts under the guise of “improving flexibility.”

Market adjustments

In addition to PSAC’s demands on wage increases to meet rising inflation and skyrocketing costs of living, PSAC also previously tabled wage adjustments based on market comparators. The employer says their research does not support the wage adjustments that PSAC tabled in January. PSAC’s bargaining team has requested these findings in addition to a counter-wage offer. 

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Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date with the member portal to receive all the latest updates as we negotiate your next contract.

Source: EB Group: Bargaining hits wall as Treasury Board stalls | Public Service Alliance of Canada (psacunion.ca)

SV bargaining: the employer’s lack of engagement is beginning to show

March 9, 2022

Tensions rose a notch at the March 2 and 3 Operational Services (SV group) bargaining session. After more than six months of bargaining and a range of demands from our team, lack of progress at the bargaining table is being met with growing impatience.

We are still waiting for a response from the Treasury Board regarding our wage package. Our wage proposals were submitted in January and a response was expected by March, but the employer is dawdling. Meanwhile, many SV members are experiencing a widening wage gap compared to their private-sector counterparts. The employer can’t keep taking the situation lightly.

Concessions on flexible work schedules

During bargaining, the employer made unfair demands regarding flexible work schedules for SV members. Variable overtime is currently time and three quarters, but the employer wishes to reverse our gains by pushing for time and a half.

This is totally unacceptable and the SV team refuses to make any concessions on this front.

Latest demands

The SV team has finalized its demands, which now include increasing access to professional development by ensuring all members can request it and receive a timely response.

Bargaining toolkit

Stay informed and engaged during this round of negotiations using our Treasury Board bargaining toolkit. Read our conversation starters to help guide your discussions with colleagues on some of our most important bargaining issues and download the bargaining graphics to show your support for the bargaining teams.

Show your support

Show your support with our bargaining graphics:

Stay in touch

Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date to receive all the latest bargaining updates.

Source: SV bargaining: the employer’s lack of engagement is beginning to show | Public Service Alliance of Canada (psacunion.ca)

General Strike at the Office of the Auditor General for the Audit Services Group

March 2, 2022

It has been 3 months since the beginning of different job actions at the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). The PSAC-UNE members of Local 70153 (Audit Services Group, ASG) are facing tumultuous contract negotiations. Earlier this week, the members of that Local went a step further and decided to go on a general strike for the first time in the history of the OAG.

The group, 75% of whom are women, plays a critical role in ensuring Canada’s federal and territorial governments are accountable to the public. These PSAC-UNE members perform a wide range of tasks within the OAG, from professional development, finance, contracting and procurement to translation and editing of the different audit reports.

Yet, it is also the lowest paid group at the OAG. The workers are asking for fair compensation, but Auditor General Karen Hogan and the Treasury Board, which oversees bargaining at the OAG, keeps rejecting their proposal.

The ongoing key bargaining issues are:

  • An economic increase of a patterned settlement with the core public administration
  • The establishment of a designed pay grid similar to what federal public servants get in other departments
  • The fact that the employer keeps on saying they have no mandate to bargain

A Public Interest Commission (PIC) report was received last year which was favourable to this workforce. A request was made to move their dispute settlement route to binding arbitration. That was denied by their employer, knowing the PIC’s report would be a catalyst for the ASG to achieve a fair and just collective agreement. Our request to meet with Karen Hogan and Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board Secretariat, for the benefit of our members, was also unanswered.

Pay During a Strike

You should receive your regular salary during this strike. However, if the employer stops paying you, PSAC has a strike fund, and you are entitled to $75 a day, or to a maximum of $375 per week.

We are calling on Union solidarity and asking for donations to Local 70153 by contacting the UNE Finance department and let them know how much your Local would like to donate. You can contact UNE Finance & Administration Director Georges St-Jean at georges.stjean@une-sen.org.

For individual donations, please contact Marie-Ève Tremblay at UNElocal70153@gmail.com.


Individual donations can be sent to:
Local 70153
C/o Marie-Ève Tremblay
2071 Landry Street
Clarence Creek (ON)
K0A 1N0

OAG, get a mandate, and return to the table! UNE proudly represents our 170 members at the OAG and will support them in their fight to get a fair contract.

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)

Parks Canada team discusses key issues ahead of new bargaining round

February 8, 2022

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. 

Stay tuned for updates  

To ensure that you receive all the latest updates about Parks Canada bargaining as we negotiate your next contract, verify that your contact information is up to date via the member portal. 

Source: Parks Canada team discusses key issues ahead of new bargaining round | Public Service Alliance of Canada (psacunion.ca)

Common Issues bargaining: Time to make work-life balance a priority

February 4, 2022

As Canada continues to navigate the pandemic, the federal government should be a leader when it comes to offering better work-life balance to workers with remote work and the right to disconnect. But Treasury Board made it clear that they don’t recognize the need when the Common Issues bargaining table January 31 to February 3.

The pandemic has radically changed the way our members work. We continued to serve Canadians, whether we were working from home or in the workplace and proved that it’s time to rethink the future of work. The results of PSAC’s bargaining survey of federal public service employees showed three out of four respondents have been mostly working remotely since the pandemic started. Another 90 per cent of respondents want to continue working remotely after the pandemic.

PSAC’s proposal for remote work would give employees the opportunity to voluntarily participate in remote work – or not — based on their unique and individual circumstances. It also outlines the process for requesting a remote work agreement, makes sure workers are properly equipped for remote work, and ensures their requests are not unreasonably denied.

Treasury Board refused PSAC’s proposal, arguing it’s unnecessary given their Directive on Telework. But the government’s policy, which came into effect in April 2020, is already out of date two years into the pandemic and leaves far too much up to the discretion of individual managers which could lead to discrimination against some workers.

Remote work has become a part of everyday life for most workers and is widely supported by the majority of Canadians. It’s time for the government to look to the future by enshrining it into our collective agreements.

The right to disconnect

That’s why PSAC is also fighting for the right to disconnect. The increase in remote work has blurred the lines between work life and private life. We need to ensure employees aren’t subject to unreasonable expectations outside of work hours with clear language in our contracts.

Smartphones and other technology shouldn’t be used by employers to force employees to work longer hours, but that’s exactly what’s happening. One out of five respondents in PSAC’s survey said they felt they were expected to look at emails or work outside of their scheduled working hours at least a few times a week.

Our proposal is clear — employees should be under no obligation to answer calls or emails outside of normal working hours, or be disciplined for exercising their rights, unless they are on standby.

It’s not complicated, but the employer doesn’t want to acknowledge that our members have the right to disconnect. We will keep on fighting because workers shouldn’t feel tethered to their work by having to check their emails and work phones after hours.

Wages and new submissions

Despite having received our wage position last December, Treasury Board once again came to the table empty handed. They weren’t even prepared to discuss our general economic increase proposal. We expect the employer to provide a full response to our proposal for fair wages that reflects the rising cost of living when we meet in March.

PSAC also submitted new memorandums of understanding. These MOUs aim to ensure continued financial support for the Joint Learning Program, establish an ongoing Child Care Joint Union-Management Committee, and recognize Treasury Board’s commitment to address issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace in collaboration with PSAC.

Next steps

The next bargaining dates for the Common Issues team, March 29–31, 2022, will be a critical moment in our negotiations.

We know firsthand the impact rising inflation is having on our families, and we should expect to mobilize and take action if the employer doesn’t come to the table with an offer that keeps up with skyrocketing prices.

With over 165,000 members in bargaining with the government this year, we have a lot of power at the table. We can leverage our strength in numbers to improve our working lives and push the government to lead by example, making life better for all workers.

Get involved

Register now for our upcoming national panel discussion on remote work and work-life balance to learn more about this important issue. At the end of the panel, you will have the chance to take part in a digital action with members across the country to support the fight for remote work and improved work-life balance.

You can also continue to show your support by using our virtual bargaining materials: 

Please be sure to keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to receive all the latest updates as we negotiate your next contract. 

Source: Common Issues bargaining: Time to make work-life balance a priority  | Public Service Alliance of Canada (psacunion.ca)

SV bargaining: Team aims to close critical wage gaps at the table

January 25, 2022

The Operational Services (SV) bargaining team put forward fair and reasonable wage proposals in talks with the employer January 18-20, and PSAC expects Treasury Board to provide their response to our wage package in March.  

Many SV members are experiencing a widening wage gap compared to their private-sector counterparts that is affecting the morale of members and risks impacting the services they deliver to Canadians. And with the cost of living and inflation increasing, it is critical that wages are addressed this round of bargaining.  

Proud tradesworkers and public safety workers, SV members are the backbone of our public service, and they are proud to serve Canadians. Throughout the pandemic, SV members didn’t have the option of working from home. They showed up every day to work, and without them, core services we rely on would have been impacted.  

Fair wages are crucial to hire and keep highly trained public service workers. Otherwise, we risk losing the talent Canada needs to deliver the programs and services Canadians depend on.  

The SV group presented key improvements, including: 

  • Close wage gaps: More than ever, SV members need fair wages. To eliminate persisting wage gaps, PSAC has proposed a range of reasonable market adjustments based on a new labour market compensation comparability survey commissioned by PSAC in 2021. The survey’s results confirm a significant gap between compensation for SV positions and comparable jobs outside the federal public service.  
  • Existing allowancesSome allowances are currently not available to all members who should be receiving it. PSAC proposes to expand the eligibility of allowances such as the dirty work and HVAC technician allowances to make them available to all members who perform these duties. 
  • New allowances:PSAC proposes new allowances to help address the difficult working conditions in which SV members work, including extensive periods spent at sea, as well as during helicopter operations. 

Read the full SV group pay proposal 

The SV bargaining team returns to the table March 1-3, 2022. 

Show your support  

Meet your SV bargaining team and learn why they got involved in this round of negotiations. Show support by downloading and using the virtual background for all your work meetings and swap out your social media profile picture:  

Get involved 

As a part of our month of action on equity in the workplace, we will be holding a national panel on equity in the workplace January 25, 2022.  

Panelists will be discussing PSAC’s fight for equity in the workplace during this round of bargaining with Treasury Board, the impacts winning these demands would have, and why it is important that we all mobilize to support our bargaining teams to win big.   

Register today

Stay tuned for updates  

To ensure that you receive all the latest updates as we negotiate your next contract, verify that your contact information is up to date via the member portal.   

Source: SV bargaining: Team aims to close critical wage gaps at the table | 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)

Parks Canada team sets priorities for new round of bargaining

December 17, 2021

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.  

Source: Parks Canada team sets priorities for new round of bargaining | Public Service Alliance of Canada (psacunion.ca)