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Bargaining Newsletter #16: Tentative agreements for AV, RE, SH and SP groups

December 11, 2016

I’m pleased to announce that we have tentative agreements for over 18,000 of our members in the AV, RE, SH and SP groups! Thanks to the incredible work of your bargaining teams, we have secured agreements that not only meet our members’ professional and economic needs, they resolve long- standing demands and make major progress on our public interest bargaining issues.

Negotiations are ongoing for over 32,000 members from other groups. Our CS and AFS groups have made some progress in this week of talks, but are not at the point of a tentative agreement yet. They will have the continued support and solidarity of all Institute members as talks continue.

The government’s proposals to the NR group were not sufficient enough to continue talks, therefore the group has applied for binding conciliation.

In this newsletter, I will briefly present a broad review of what we’ve secured in these tentative agreements. Further details will be presented in group-specific bargaining updates in the coming weeks.


The deals secure a 5% general economic increase over four years, starting in 2014 when the last contract expired. Additional monetary agreements were made based on many professional and occupation-specific deficiencies. We also made huge gains in fixing the regional rate of pay issue facing our SH group, reducing the regions from nine to two. Your group-specific gains will be detailed in upcoming bargaining updates that your negotiations teams will send in the coming days.

Sick Leave

The parties have established a process to improve the current sick leave system so that members will never have to choose between going to work sick or staying at home without pay. A new system would be negotiated as part of a collective agreement and would ensure that all members have access to a full‎ 26 weeks of leave at 100% of salary. Until this new system has been agreed to by both sides, the existing sick leave system remains firmly intact.

Scientific Integrity

We have gained a historic victory on scientific integrity. Scientists will now have the right to express themselves on science and their research without being designated as official spokespersons. PIPSC‎ is being hailed as a world leader in achieving its strategy to protect science by enshrining scientific integrity in a collective agreement. These gains are particularly timely as we receive news that the Trump administration plans to attack the scientific integrity of our counterparts in the United States. We will not only fight for other research-based groups in our union to secure these rights in their collective agreements, we will stand in solidarity with American scientists who supported us during our battle with the Harper government.


Even though CS negotiations are ongoing, we have reached an agreement on new language that requests the Employer to give first consideration to CS members before contracting out the work of the Group and that provides greater protections to our members’ careers during times of Workforce Adjustment, as well as opening a method of communication between CS representatives and departments around the current and future use of contractors. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) presented by Treasury Board at the last session will remain a part of the comprehensive offer.

Domestic Violence

We have established a Joint Committee to study potential workplace practices to support members affected by domestic violence. I’d like to thank the AV group for their leadership on this important initiative. We will work hard to ensure this Joint Committee results in real and meaningful provisions that can be adopted in workplaces across the country.

Security for Northern Nurses

We have reached a Memorandum of Understanding to address the safety and security concerns of members who provide health care services in northern and indigenous communities. Healthcare in these communities is desperately understaffed and under-resourced. Our nurses in these communities are working in some of the most difficult conditions of any public service professional. We believe the first steps we have secured in this regard will produce measures that will not only improve safety for our members but also improve health delivery for those living in northern regions.

Next Steps

Members of Groups who have achieved tentative agreements will be provided with all the details in the coming weeks and will be asked to vote on acceptance of the Employer’s offer. A majority yes vote will result in new agreements. A majority no vote would establish an impasse, resulting in binding conciliation or conciliation/strike.

I want to thank each and every one of you for your solidarity and support through the course of these tough negotiations. When we first started this round of negotiations, the outlook was grim. Today, we have a lot to celebrate – especially for the four groups who have reached a tentative agreement.

I also want to emphasize that we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us. The majority of our members are continuing their talks. All other federal bargaining agents have yet to conclude any deals for their groups. I will continue to fight day in and day out to ensure that each and every single PIPSC member can achieve the same quality of deals as we’ve achieved for four groups this week. I ask you all to stand side-by-side with your colleagues as we achieve this goal.

Better Together!

Debi Daviau,


Publish Date: 11-DEC-2016 01:50 PM