November 21, 2012
TC bargaining team defends interests of members before the PIC
The TC bargaining team made its submissions on its outstanding bargaining proposals before a Public Interest Commission in Ottawa on November 13-15, 2012.
TC members underpaid
Your team told the Commission that TC members are already underpaid according to a joint pay study done by the Employer and the Union in 2007-2008, and shouldn't be put in a worse economic situation because of the significant concession the Employer is demanding on cessation of severance pay for voluntary departures.
Proposal for new increments
The Team made the case for a new increment to be added to all steps on the wage grid in the TC collective agreement, pointing out that EGs make up a significant proportion of the bargaining unit and that EGs at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency – the closest and best comparator for that classification – achieved an additional increment in the first round of bargaining after the Agency was created about 13 years ago.
Recruitment and retention issues within specific groups in Transport Canada, Health Canada, Measurement Canada and HRSDC were also discussed, as well as proposals for a number of allowances, and the Union's demand to roll the $2,000 allowance received by some Primary Products Inspectors into the wage rate for all PIs.
As well, the Union addressed its remaining outstanding proposals, including acting pay, standby pay, travelling time, hours of work at Marine Security Operations Centres, and proposed changes to Appendix R.
Your bargaining team was shocked to hear in the Employer's brief that since we reached impasse in bargaining last March, Treasury Board has rushed out and done two pay studies – unilaterally, not only without input from the Union, but without even telling us. These pay studies have a very small number of participants and compare wages at the 50th percentile rather than the 75th percentile.
Of course the result is that they show that the wage disparity for the TC Group isn't as significant as found by the joint pay study, where the terms of reference were agreed upon by both parties. Treasury Board also said that it wants to neither lead nor lag the market in terms of wages and is happy to have employees paid either 10 per cent greater or 10 per cent less than comparator groups at the 50th percentile.
In other words, it doesn't want to be the Employer of choice. This is alarming, considering that TC members are highly skilled employees who shoulder the responsibility of enforcing the regulations put into place by government in order to protect the safety and security of Canadians, and our resources, our seas, skies and environment.
Articles 20, 43 and 45
In order to reduce the size of our package and to encourage the PIC to focus on our economic demands, the Union withdrew its proposals on Article 20 – Harassment; our demand in Article 43 – Family Related Responsibility Leave to move Compassionate Care Leave to a separate article; Article 45 – Maternity-Related Responsibility Leave; and our proposal for a new article on Pre-Retirement Leave.
The Employer came to the table with fewer proposals overall and withdrew its demand in Article 28 – Overtime, in which it was trying to limit to 50 kilometres the maximum 100-kilometre round trip mileage paid to employees who are called back to work on days off.
The PIC has 30 days from November 15, 2012, to issue its recommendations. At that time, the bargaining teams will have to consider whether the recommendations bring them close enough to a potential tentative agreement that they can return to the bargaining table.
The TC bargaining team thanks you for your support and your patience during this difficult round of bargaining. Please continue to check this website for developments.
Date Modified : 2012/12/17