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We are hopeful that this motion will result in increased attention being paid to the very serious issue of precarious work, both within the federal government and in federally regulated workplaces across the country.

However, the motion calls for study and definition, but not for action.

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.

Bargaining teams reaffirmed a range of proposals for improving working conditions while also discussing the government’s counterproposals around work-life balance—including compassionate care, bereavement and parental leave—as well as general economic increases.

What are FB members voting on?

FB members will have the opportunity to vote on whether the union should take the position in this round of bargaining to keep the definition of “years of service” as is, or to have previous time in the Canadian Forces also apply for the years of service definition for:

a. Line selection for shift workers.
b. Processes for determining who works on a DPH for shift workers.
c. Vacation selection for everyone in the bargaining unit.
d. Determining who can access voluntary programs under the Workforce Adjustment Appendix in the event there are excess volunteers.

* Previous time in the Canadian Forces is already included in the calculation of vacation leave credits

After many months of frustrating talks with the government, PSAC members are still waiting for a proper response to the union’s bargaining proposals. In December, the government insulted federal public service workers by coming to the table with a proposal for a two-year wage freeze.

Some progress, but not enough

The union’s mobilization since last year’s Day of Action has allowed us to win several Phoenix victories. Together, we forced the government to:

Despite these wins, at the start of 2019, the Public Service Pay Centre was still facing a backlog of over 280,000 cases. And after three years of Phoenix, about two-thirds of HR data is still being inputted late, causing pay problems across the board. Phoenix continues to also delay the implementation of our collective agreements and the retroactive pay our members are owed.