MFL Executive Council Report (February 2017)

Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairie Region
Report to the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council

February 2017

TREASURY BOARD BARGAINING

PSAC and Treasury Board have reached tentative agreements for the Program and Administrative Services (PA) Group, Education and Library Science (EB) Group, the Technical Services (TC) Group, and the Operational Services (SV) Group. Collectively, these agreements cover nearly 90,000 federal public service workers, including almost 3,000 in Manitoba.

The deals include significant breakthroughs on “common issues,” such as sick leave and workforce adjustment, the details of which were hammered out by the common issues committee last December. Each table was also able to make meaningful improvements specific to their agreements. Ratification vote meetings that include information sessions are being held for members across the country throughout March and April.

Meanwhile, our PSAC/CIU bargaining team for the Border Services (FB) Group spent three days in mediation with Treasury Board and CBSA earlier this month. We made no progress on our key priorities for this round of bargaining. Given the refusal of Treasury Board and CBSA to address our priorities, we have declared impasse and will be proceeding to the next steps in the process.

FIX PHOENIX

One year after its launch, the Phoenix pay system is still not working. Thousands of public service workers have been paid incorrectly or not at all. Many more worry every pay day if they will be the next victim of the Phoenix debacle. It is also putting excessive stress on the employees who process pay under the new system.

PSAC members have been underpaid, not paid at all, or had to wait months for their paycheques. In one of the worst cases, a member faced foreclosure on her house and additional legal fees. Now, with tax season upon us, there are major tax implications.

To mark the first anniversary of Phoenix, PSAC has asked members to take individual actions to draw attention to the Phoenix pay system and its continuing problems and let the Liberal government know that one year of pay problems is one year too many. This includes, calling their MP’s constituency office, tweeting or writing their MP, participating in PSAC’s online action to send a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and sharing their thoughts on social media.

On Feb. 23rd, PSAC, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) called on the government to include a $75 million Phoenix contingency fund in the upcoming federal budget. The $75 million contingency fund will give departments and agencies the resources they need for the staff and training to deal with Phoenix.

POLITICAL ACTION

Members of our Alberta Regional Women's Committees worked together to come up with a regional campaign to encourage MPs and MLAs in the Prairies to take action on the issue of child care and work together to create a national child care program.

The idea stemmed from conversations at the 2016 Prairies Regional Women's Conference. Through a series of conference calls and emails that followed, the Committees developed the No More Fairy Tales campaign with an online action.

Canadians can input their postal code and send a letter to their MP and MLA, with a Cc to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There is also an option to include personal comments.

Visit nomorefairytales.ca for more information and to take action today.

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS

As part of the Workers Compensation Act Legislative Review, PSAC Prairies submitted an analysis of the issues for consideration on behalf of the more than 8,000 PSAC members living and working in Manitoba. We would like to thank the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba, and the Workers Compensation Act Legislative Review Committee 2016 for the opportunity to share our thoughts on how to ensure The Workers Compensation Act is up to date, and ensure it meets the needs of all involved. We have posted the analysis on our website.

As the Pallister government has ramped up efforts to eliminate the deficit on the back of public sector workers and the unions that represent them, PSAC has been participating with the MFL, its affiliates and other unions on the fiscal and healthcare restructure working groups.

UNIVERSITIES

PSAC members working at the University of Winnipeg have reason to celebrate. After 18 months of bargaining, the Manitoba Labour Board issued a decision on a one-year collective agreement, which includes major wins for the union and its members.

This is the first ever collective agreement for student workers in the academic capacity on campus, including markers, teaching assistants, lab demonstrators, and tutors.

The ruling included wins on job security and fair wages. The new agreement includes seniority hiring provisions and wage increases of 10-23% for all members in the unit, and another 2% increase in August 2017.

REGIONAL BARGAINING

Protective Services Officers at the Royal Canadian Mint are preparing for a ratification vote on March 1st for their first collective agreement.

Bargaining continues at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.  Job security and precarious work continue to be a priority for this unit.  Bargaining also continues at CAHRD (Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development), University of Winnipeg English Language Program, University of Winnipeg Research Assistants and Brandon University.

ORGANIZING UPDATE

On December 9, the Manitoba Labour Board issued a bargaining certificate for approximately 30 members at the Winnipeg Airport in its WASCO Energy subsidiary and at a company called Bouygues Energies and Services Canada, all of which are operating as a joint venture called "ByWA" (which is not a legal entity.) This joint venture is now operating the Airport Operations Centre, the Baggage Operations Centre and the Pass Office in positions formerly held by PSAC/UCTE members.  We have also asked the Board for a decision on the true employer of these members and bargaining will commence following their decision.

REGIONAL CONVENTION

The 7th Triennial Convention of the PSAC Prairie Region will be held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, at the Fairmont Winnipeg beginning Friday, April 21, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. and concluding Sunday, April 23, at 12:30 p.m.

The Convention theme, “Celebrating Our History: Inspiring Our Future,” captures the spirit of the PSAC’s 50th anniversary and reminds us of what we have achieved and what we can accomplish when we stand together.

We’ll be holding a rally on Friday at lunch and our banquet is Saturday evening at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Brother Rebeck will be bringing greetings from the MFL on Saturday morning and Brother Yussuff from the CLC will speak prior to the rally on Friday morning.

Respectfully submitted,

Marianne Hladun
Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairies

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