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National Research Council - Research Officers and Research Council Officers (NRC RO/RCO)

WFA update

The WFA bargaining team is made up of members and stewards recently involved or affected by latest round of cuts. During the fall of 2010 the WFA bargaining team held three preparation sessions on the WFA policy and made changes in accordance with feedback from the current team and from feedback received during a post mortem session held following the lay-offs of 2007. The input of RCEA members is also included as we negotiate the WFA jointly with them.

We met with the employer before Christmas to exchange proposals and we will meet again in March as it was impossible to find common dates between NRC, RCEA and us prior to March. In addition to the difficulty in finding common dates, the employer informed us that they would not have their mandate approved if they met in February.

Just as a reminder, the WFA policy is part of the collective agreement but is negotiated separately. It has its own three year cycle. Until a new WFA policy is negotiated, the current policy is in force.

As with collective agreement negotiation, NRC needs their mandate approved by Treasury Board before entering into an agreement with the unions on the WFA policy. As for the employer’s proposal, NRC is trying to restrict the WFA benefits and wants to discuss specific applications of the WFA policy. Please note that PIPSC’ policy is to post bilingual documents only, we are not in a position to post the complete proposals on the website at this time.

Our major proposed changes, in no particular order are:

  1. Clarifying the situations that constitute a WFA to ensure that the policy is followed when the adjustment involves even one employee, not just during a major shakeup.
  2. Including term employees of 3 or more years.
  3. Having employees informed of a potential lay off as soon as management identifies this as a possibility. Employees in all potentially affected positions would be put on an advanced priority status list for consideration of alternate positions—at least 4 weeks before being declared surplus. Counseling on resumé preparation, priority list benefits, etc. would occur during this period.
  4. The marketing period between declaration of surplus status and the beginning of the notice period would be extended from 8 to 20 weeks.
  5. When considering ‘appropriate’ positions for surplus employees, it is suggested that the WFA committee think outside the box usually defined by salary.
  6. Employees that have been laid off under a WFA would be on a priority status for a period of 1 year after departing from the Council.
  7. There was considerable discussion around the topic of affected employees close to retirement; suggestions included leave without pay (for various causes) and having the Council request a waiving of penalties when the critical numbers (age and service) are not quite met.
  8. Removal of post employment restrictions.

Publish Date: 25-JAN-2011 12:03 PM
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