CS Bytes 21
To all Proud CS
Your CS Bargaining Team met with Treasury Board from October 12th to 14th. The opening speech on the first day reflected a positive return to the table. On the second day, the Employer tabled a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with respect to Government Procurement Contracting. The proposed MOA planed for only 3 departments (DND, SSC and ESDC) in collaboration with their labour-management consultation committees (LMCCs) would develop guidelines on contracting out of duties that are performed by employees in the CS Bargaining Unit. The three Departments would have from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st 2017 to develop the guidelines. It is important to note that ‘guidelines’ do not have the same importance as a Department Policy and are weaker than collective agreement language. Further, guidelines are not implementable.
The Bargaining Team recognizes the effort made by Treasury Board in developing the MOA, but it cannot be accepted because of the much needed changes to Article 30 on Contracting Out. As a show of good faith, the CS Group has amended its proposal for Article 30 to include some of the language from the MOA. The essence of the change is to accommodate the Employer’s request to not include language that would not be overly restrictive on the Deputy Ministers.
The amended version of the proposal on Article 30 was submitted on Oct 14th. Then, the tone of the discussion changed, and the words used by the TBS Negotiator became defensive. He reproached the CS Bargaining Team for missing an opportunity to engage with 3 major departments around the question of outsourcing. For its part, the CS Group has made it clear that it is at the table to represent all of its members, not just those working in the three departments. The CS Bargaining team also highlighted its disappointment and reiterated its position held since the beginning of this round of bargaining; to achieve a tentative agreement, the Employer must agree to amend Article 30 - not merely present an MOA to discuss guidelines for a year, with no implementation date, and providing no recourse.
The session ended on that note and left us in a state of frustration.
On October 19, the Institute held a Bargaining Conference attended by the six Bargaining Teams under TBS (AV, SH, SP, NR, RE and CS) and the AFS Bargaining team. Institute President Debi Daviau, led the conference and offered the teams an occasion to strengthen their solidarity pact. At the end of the day, we all came to the same conclusion; your support is a key factor to our success. This is something the CS Bargaining Team has long appreciated.
It is clear that we have entered the final stage of this bargaining round. Despite promises made during the election, and a new government, there has been no change in the attitude at the bargaining table. Even with the headway made by Debi Daviau with some Ministers and senior managers - the message of improving the contracting out language and offering a fair economic increase has not made it to the bargaining table.
Again, the CS Bargaining Team wants to thank everyone for their messages of solidarity. Now more than ever, the CS Group needs your steadfast support. We encourage everyone to participate in their workplace at all events that our stewards organize. The next bargaining dates are confirmed for November 14th to 16th 2016. Also be on the lookout for information on the PIPSC ‘READY DAY OF ACTION’ on November 15th.