CFIA Scientific and Analytic Group Newsletter January 2017
Happy New Year to everyone. All of us on the S & A Executive hope you had a good holiday and are ready to take on the challenges and opportunities coming up in 2017. Here’s some of the latest news.
The bargaining team last met with the CFIA negotiators in November, 2016. There has been almost no progress in the negotiations since we started in December of 2015. Both sides withdrew some minor articles of their proposals, and agreed on some very minor changes, but no substantial issues have been addressed. The next round will be in early February.
If there is no progress at that time, the bargaining team will have to consider what the next step should be including going to binding arbitration. Our bargaining team chose the arbitration route last fall, instead of the strike route.
The main issues remain the hours of work proposal in all the CFIA’s proposals (PSAC, IN, VM and S&A) that gives the CFIA the sole discretion to potentially demand split shifts and to schedule hours or work any time between 6 am to 10 pm, 7 days a week without prior notice to the employee, and without the agreement of the employee.
Our team presented their pay proposal at the November round. The CFIA has not responded to our pay proposal yet.
On sick leave, the government has agreed to withdraw their unpopular sick leave proposal from all negotiating tables in favour of PIPSC’s proposal to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding that requires them to work with the public sector unions over the next two years to develop a new sick leave plan that meets the needs of all parties. The new plan would be tabled at the next round of negotiations.
Stay tuned for more info after the February round. We’ll keep Stewards as up to date as possible, so you can contact your local Steward for more detailed information as we go forward.
There were a total of 912 AG/BI/CH positions converted to SR and we submitted 271 classification grievances (the work I do does not match my role descriptor) and 275 Job Content Grievances (the role descriptor does not match the requirements of the position for all people in that position). Thanks, go out to the great work done by our Stewards and activist members and individuals who submitted comments and grievances, organized with their co-workers and generally worked together to voice our concerns.
Jocelyne Popp, our PIPSC classification specialist and her team have reviewed and prepared all the grievances for all Role Descriptors in PPB and prepared a presentation with proposed amendments to the RDs for the grievance hearings. Science and Operations Branch will be done in January 2017. Jocelyne and her team will be in touch with each person who submitted a grievance and members will have a chance to review and comment on the presentations to be made to the grievance hearing for their positions.
It is expected that job content grievance hearings will start in the 1st quarter of 2017 and be completed by summer of 2017. The decision from the grievance hearing must be issued within 20 days of the hearing. At that point we can decide whether to go to arbitration if we don't agree with the decision.
Classification grievances have no timeline as they are outside of the collective agreement, so these may take longer (possibly years) to resolve.
New Executive for 2016
At our AGM on December 9, 2016 the new S & A Executive team members were introduced and at the executive meeting on the following day, the positions on the executive were decided. Five new Members at Large were elected for two year terms and the remaining six members, elected in 2016, carry on for the second year of their two-year terms. The new team and their positions are as follows:
President - Hussien Bashah (1 year)
Vice President - Stephanie Frechette (2 years)
Treasurer - Terry Petrow (1 year)
Secretary - Fred Jamieson (2 years)
Chief Steward - Andre Youssef (1 year)
Binana Madikame (2 years)
Kristy Jackson (2 years)
Sylvie D’Alcantara (1 year)
Umadatt Singh (1 year)
Katie Oppen (2 years)
Zeljko Ruzcic (1 year)
Feel free to contact any member of the executive with your questions, concerns or comments. You can also contact your local Steward at any time. Contact info for executive members and Stewards is on the CFIA S & A Group page on the PIPSC website.
We created a new position of Chief Steward for the S & A. Andre Youssef is our first Chief Steward and is working hard to network with local stewards; share updates and provide support where it’s needed.
We are also actively recruiting new Stewards and have developed an easy entry path, so new Stewards can get started without taking on too much responsibility at once. If you are already sitting on an OSH, Diversity, Consultation or other committee as a representative of your co-workers or the union, then you are already doing some of the work of a Steward. We would like to bring you into the family so we can coordinate strategy, share best practices and learn from each other. We will provide experienced Stewards as mentors for each new Steward so that you won’t have to take on any difficult cases on your own. PIPSC provides Basic and Advanced Steward training twice per year. All your travel expenses and salary replacement are paid by PIPSC while you are at the training.
The most frequent question is about how much time is required to be a Steward. The answer is that you can put in as much time as you wish. There are always other Stewards available to share the load.
And - the experience you gain from being a Steward, and the on-going training opportunities are great career and personal development opportunities. There is significant satisfaction in being able to help fellow members, to contribute to CFIA policy and decisions, and to further the greater goals of PIPSC. Stewards are often seen as leaders and have opportunities to connect directly with senior management and work on special projects that give them additional experience that can be useful in career advancement.
All this to say - if you are at all interested in getting more involved in union activities and helping out your co-workers or contributing to the larger objectives, please contact your local Steward, any member of the executive or the Chief Steward. We’ll make it easy for you and help you to get the best out of the experience.
Did you know that members of the S & A group represent members at multiple local, regional and national Union Management Consultation Committees (UMCCs)? Issues raised at Consultation are those that fall outside of bargaining or current grievances.
If you would like to find out more about consultation or would like to be on a Consultation Committee please contact any member of the executive.
Regular members, who are not Stewards, are also eligible to be observers or to sit on committees, to attend Regional Councils and the National Annual General Meeting among other events. Please contact any member of the executive if you would like to be on our activist contact list.
Home Email Addresses
If you’re still getting these notices from PIPSC on your work email you might want to consider changing your contact info on the PIPSC website. If we get more mobilized around bargaining we may want to send info to you outside of the work network. Just go onto the PIPSC website and click on ‘Update Your Personal Information.’