The Bargaining Team last sent out an update from the bargaining session of February 2017. Some of you have asked why there haven’t been many other updates on our website. The answer is quite simple – during this time there was little to update the membership on. We had hoped to come to you with a positive message; instead we have a report on CFIA’s broken promises.
We had bargaining dates set for March, and were CFIA promised we would be in a position to talk about pay issues. They weren’t ready and the session was cancelled.
We applied to the FPSLREB for the establishment of a Public Interest Commission (PIC), a special panel of the board that makes non-binding recommendations in order to assist the parties enter into a collective agreement. The CFIA formally objected and made submissions to the Board that they thought we hadn’t bargained enough, and asked for more delays! The Board agreed with us and has ordered the PIC, with hearing dates in January.
Over the summer, we tried to set up more bargaining dates with the employer to get both the VM table and the S&A table restarted by holding concurrent negotiations. This was a proven tactic worked with the treasury board groups in December 2016, and resulted in 4 groups getting to an agreement at that time. PIPSC reached out to Colleen Barnes, the VP of Human Resources who committed to this course of action. After that commitment, the CFIA then unilaterally suggested different bargaining dates for each group some three weeks later. More delays and more broken promises!
We’re going to reach out again to the CFIA to get back to the table. We will continue to resist the employer’s demands to unprecedentedly and radically alter your hours of work, and look to negotiate a fair collective agreement that emphasizes your status as professionals.
CFIA’s broken promises need to end here, and the time for action starts now! Rest assured that while the hearings dates for the PIC are a requirement to be in a legal strike position our goal is to negotiate a deal at the table.