May 10, 2012
Bargaining climate difficult in face of cuts
Bargaining continues to be difficult for the Technical Services (TC), Border Services (FB), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Parks Canada units of the federal government. The climate has worsened considerably since the federal budget, which slashes the size of the public service. Parks and CFIA in particular have been heavily targeted for job reductions.
At the TC, FB and CFIA tables, the union is ready to bargain but the employer is making little effort to achieve the compromises required to close new deals. In each case PSAC has decided to refer bargaining to conciliation, asking the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) to establish Public Interest Commissions.
Rather than the more familiar process of conciliation, the Public Service Labour Relations Act requires that a Public Interest Commission (PIC) be appointed. PSAC has requested that the PSLRB establish a three person (a chair and two side-persons) PIC for TC, FB and CFIA. As part of its deliberations, the PIC must take into account several factors including the state of the Canadian economy and the Canadian government's fiscal circumstances. The PIC issues recommendations for resolving the differences between the parties. PSAC's website (psac.com) will be updated with meeting dates once the PICs are established.
At Parks, both the union and the employer have agreed to hold bargaining in abeyance until at least the fall while the parties sort through the fallout of about 50 per cent of the membership hit with Workforce Adjustment notices.
Date Modified : 2012/05/11