ENGINEERING, ARCHITECTURE AND LAND SURVEY (NR)
NR GROUP NEWSLETTER
NR GROUP EXECUTIVE
- If your address or telephone number has changed, please advise the Membership Section at the PIPSC National Office.
- If you have recently joined the Public Service of Canada in a position as Engineer (EN-ENG), or Architect (AR), or Land Surveyor (EN-SUR), or if you have just moved to one of those positions, the NR National Group Executives welcome you to the NR Group Newsletter.
NR Sub-Group Presidents Meeting - April 24, 2009
The 2009 NR Sub-Groups Presidents meeting was held Friday April 24, 2009. The following Sub-Groups were represented by: Mounah Zrein (Halifax), Stephen Lee (Vancouver, Keith Laverty (Vancouver Island), Jack Grabowski (Place de Ville), Edgardo Alvarez (NCR PWGSC), Angelo Guglielno (DND LSTL) Martin Cote (Val D’Or) Brigitte Ng (4900 Yonge St Toronto), Aaron Thompson (Hamilton / Burington), Brian Bell (Calgary) and Linda Olson-Lipinski (Edmonton). The following Sub-Groups could not send a delegate: Winnipeg, Suffield and Fredericton.
The theme of this year’s Sub-Group Presidents and NR Executive face-to-face meeting was the “Defence of Canada”.
This idea was spawned from the of Department of Natural Resources Canada, “CANMET Mining and Mineral Sciences Laboratories Annual Review for 2007” which covers the making of the Canadian Victoria Cross that involved a Professional Mining Engineer, a PIPSC Member. Furthermore, several NR Sub-Groups work directly with the Department of National Defence (DND) and to a great extent their work was not very well understood. Several presentations covering the work of DND members were made.
The feature presentation was “The Making of the Canadian Victoria Cross” by John Udd. The other presentations were “Evaluating Ship Signatures on Naval Test Ranges” by Keith Laverty, “Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF)’ Satellite Communication” by Angelo Gugliemo, “Medium Support Vehicle System (MSVS)’’ by George Achakji, “Remote Mine Hunting and Disposal” by Joseph Podrebarac, “The Canadian Weapons Effect Simulator” by Hector Ewing and “Marine Engineering Training” by Mounah Zrein.
Overall, the meeting was highly successful and demonstrated not only the professionalism of our members but also their commitment to the “Defence of Canada”.
For preparations for the next meeting, 2010, the work of the Architects (AR) and Land Surveyors’ members (SUR) of the NR Group will be highlighted. We encourage the AR’s and SUR’s members of NR to provide the NR Executive with both a theme and ideas for presentations for next year.
Don’t Forget: It is the goal of the NR Group to have all NR members in official Sub-Groups, if at all possible. If you have an interest in forming a Sub-Group, please contact the NR Sub-Group coordinator. Finally, the NR Executive intend to have representation in all provinces; Saskatchewan; Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland do not have representation so let’s go NR members, we want to hear from you!
See the following link for a list of the 15 NR Sub-Group Executives.
NR AGM - April 25, 2009
The NR AGM was held Saturday April 25th, 2009. The feature speaker was Ms. Marie Carter P. Eng, the Chief Operating Officer of Engineers Canada. Engineers Canada is the umbrella organization of the provincial and territorial engineering associations, and amongst other activities accredits university engineering courses, foreign credentials and represents Canadian Engineering internationally.
NR Group Arbitration Award
On the 22nd of April, 2009, PIPSC received by fax the Arbitration Decision for the NR Group. It's been just over two months since the hearing and here are the results:
Economic Increase (retroactive to October 1, 2007) - October 1, 2007: 2.3%, October 1, 2008: 1.5%, October 1, 2009: 1.5%, October 1, 2010: 1.5%.
Duration of the Contract - a four-year agreement ending on September 30, 2011.
Travel Time - article 13.01, paragraph b), sub-paragraph I) and paragraph c) have been amended to read "or fifteen (15) hour pay at the straight-time rate when travelling beyond North America."
Registration Fees - a new article 21.02 as follows: "When the payment of such fees is not a requirement for the continuation of the performance of the duties of an employee's position, but eligibility for membership in an organization or governing body is a qualification specified in the Standards for Selection and Assessment for the NR Group, the Employer shall reimburse the employee, upon receipt of proof of payment, for the employee's annual membership fees paid to one organization or governing body. Reimbursement covered by the Article does not include arrears of previous years' dues."
Administrative Change - Article 31.01 (Public Service Labour Relations Board Hearings) has been amended in to read, ".in cases of Complaints made to the Public Service Labour Relations Board pursuant to Section 190(1) of the PSLRA alleging a breach of Sections 157, 186(1)(a), 186(1)(b), 186(2)(a)(I), 186(2)(b), 187, 188(a) or 189(1) of the PSLRA, the."
Implementation - "The provisions of this Collective Agreement shall be implemented by the parties within a period of one hundred and twenty (120) days from the date of the award." That's it.
This information was verbally provided to the NR Group Executive on the 23rd of April, NR Sub-Group Presidents on the 24th of April and to delegates of the NR Group AGM on the 25th of April 2009. The idea is for the community to have knowledge of this and spread the word to our fellow professional engineers, architects and land surveyors.
It's been a long journey which started in December 2006 and relied on members’ input along the way - the meetings with Treasury Board were not 'negotiations', rather stalling tactics leading to forced settlement. We tried our best and I would like to thank the negotiation team for their ongoing efforts, the NR Group Executive for their confidence in the negotiation team, PIPSC staff support in terms of research and negotiation and members for their input and questions.
As the collective agreement is imposed via the arbitration process, no ratification vote occurs, and the parties are bound by the arbitral award.
Joe Podrebarac, PEng, PMP
NR Group Negotiations Lead
NOTE: Terminable allowances are not mentioned in the award; these continue as they currently exist and are not indexed by economic increases; Bill C-10, the Expenditure Restraint Act, prohibits adjustments to “any additional remuneration” i.e. terminable or retention allowances.
The NR Group Bargaining Team will meeting to produce a post-arbitration document of what happened in the last round of bargaining and create a ‘’Lessons Learned’’ document.
The Bargaining team will also be producing a “Know Your Contract” presentation in order to educate our members on what is in the contract and what our rights are, and will present this to each NR Sub-Group. We have heard stories of Departments preparing policies that totally ignore the contract or seem to imply that departmental or even section policies overrule the contract. The order of importance is the laws, the regulations under the laws, the contract and then Treasury Board Policy and then departmental policy. Remember, even though we work for departments, Treasury Board is our employer.
It will then be time to commence preparation for the 2011 round of bargaining. There will be a bargaining survey to determine what your priorities are for the next round of bargaining, and later the NR Group will hold a bargaining conference.
We were thwarted by Bill C-10 but this does not stop our resolve to have the Allowance made into ‘salary’ as it should be.
The NR Group Executive plans to visit each Sub-Group at least once a year and in particular, this year, wants to hold “Know Your Contract” sessions at Sub-Group locations. One member of the NR Negotiation Team will visit and provide the sessions as well as provide examples of the consequences (from the bargaining round) of why knowing the contract is important.
Follow-Up Activities with Licensing Associations
The latest arbitration award was a milestone in the NR Group efforts in having our professional Licensure recognized through payment of our association dues. The majority of our members are licensed and your Executive has been working with the associations on concepts of getting the balance of the membership to the same status. The NR Executive plans to work with the associations this year to develop a ‘fast track’ licensure program for our members with the objective of having all members licensed. Having said that, members’ choice will be respected and their interests protected.
NR Meetings and Plans for 2010
Given that the PIPSC AGM will be held in Montréal in late 2010, the NR Executive is looking into holding an Executive meeting in Montréal as well as our annual AGM. The Québec region is the home of approximately 25% of our membership without Sub-Groups and the NR Executive is interested in fostering member participation and input. The concept of holding events in the Québec region is to promote outreach to our members leading to the PIPSC AGM. We are very open to the creation of NR Sub-Groups in Montréal. Downtown Montréal, the Trudeau Airport and at the Aerospace workplace in south Montréal are ideal locations to establish NR Sub-Groups. Please call if you are interested in organizing an annually-funded Sub-Group.