AV Group National Newsletter
Volume Four, Winter 2017
Message from AV Group President
Outreach Program: At the 2017 AGM, the AV Executive proposed a budget that would allow the executive once again to reach out to our members in their work areas and in their sub groups. We asked the delegates to approve a rather substantial amount of money for an outreach program which would include regional representative attending with the president and vice president where and when possible. It turned out Bargaining and sub groups became the main topics. We took that money and approved our visits to sub groups in the NCR, Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, St Johns, Moncton, Fredericton and Whitehorse and to speak with our members in several areas of the National Capital region. We approved monies for several of our sub groups to hold information sessions on various topics. I personally did over 45 such lunch and learn sessions in the NCR and across Canada. I was invited to attend the BC/Yukon steward’s council in Vancouver BC to speak on Bargaining and Mobilization with our stewards. Our outreach program is working and because of this we now have tentative new Sub Groups in Fredericton New Brunswick and St. John’s Newfoundland, Moncton New Brunswick, Toronto Ontario. We are now planning for sub groups in other regions to ensure we meet the needs of all our members.
Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence: The AV group brought the idea to PIPSC in 2014 and we are happy to report that an MOA was signed to negotiate provisions for the next collective agreement and we will begin the negotiations with the employer in January of 2018. I will be leading the team of 8 members of PIPSC as we spend up to the next 18 months in bargaining sessions. The clauses negotiated will become part of Employee Wellness Support Program.You can review the MOA in our collective agreement.
EWSP: The Employee Wellness Support Program is now being negotiated by PIPSC and the employer.I will be representing the AV group as part of a team of representatives from various groups. The EWSP will replace (if ratified) the current sick leave provisions we now have.You can check the MOA in our collective agreement for details as to what we will be negotiating.
Where do we go from here? PIPSC is still looking at more cost saving measure, therefore we to must look to change the way we do business with our membership. We will be preparing in early 2018 for the next round of bargaining which will include selection of the new bargaining team and sending a survey to our members requesting suggestion for our proposal to Treasury Board.We will need to be more involved with our members in communications. The Bargaining team and the AV National Executive will continue to support our members wherever and whenever needed.
In Closing: I would like to thank all of our AV Stewards for the great work they do on behalf of our members. I would also like to thank PIPSC for awarding me the PIPSC Life Membership Award at this year’s AGM. It is a great honour and I am humbled by the compliments I’ve received from PIPSC members. I would especially like to thank our AV National Executive for their great work and for their commitment to our members.I look forward to working with all of them in the coming year.
Yours in Solidarity,
Ray J. Paquette, AV National Group President, AV Chair of Bargaining
Reminder to all AV subgroup presidents and treasurers
Annual allowances: The Institute issues the annual allowances automatically in March of every year to AV subgroups in good standing. In order to remain in good standing, a subgroup must provide the following documents after the end of the fiscal year on Dec 31 on an annual basis: its election report (if applicable), draft minutes of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and year-end financial statements presented at the AGM. The required documents should be sent to Ms. Lucie Séguin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Retention of financial records: All AV subgroups shall maintain all financial records (invoices, vouchers, bank statements, cancelled cheques, etc) for two years. All records over two years shall be submitted to Ms. Lucie Séguin within six (6) months of the fiscal year end where they will be held for an additional four (4) years.
Congratulations to our 2017 recipient
AV Group Executive Member of the Year Award - Vania Tsang
Vania made huge contributions to the AV Ottawa Sub-Group over the past year. First, she stepped up and filled the spot of Secretary, which is an important, but sometimes thankless position, and did an excellent job. For example, she not only recorded the minutes at meetings, but she took the initiative to help collect the minutes from previous meetings and save them all in one place, so we could easily find records of decisions. Secondly, she actively participated several major events. She helped with a collective bargaining update held at the RCAF mess which had 100 attendees. She also helped with the annual Networking Event in October. She also volunteered to help with the BBQ/Bargaining Update held in downtown Ottawa in September, which attracted 200 members. At these events, Vania volunteered to serve burgers, staff the registration table, and help out in any way possible. Her participation in these events led directly to their success. Finally, she has made a major leadership contribution to the AV Ottawa Sub-Group by asking questions, making suggestions, and having a positive “we can do it” attitude.
Phoenix Pay System
We encourage members to follow the steps below in relation to all pay-related issues, including retroactive pay issues stemming from the implementation of new collective agreements:
- Continue to raise all pay-related issues with your managers and to follow the steps outlined on the Employer’s website.
- If you have an issue with your pay, including back pay, notify your manager and complete the required Phoenix Feedback Form. Be sure to identify under Step 1 that you are missing pay, and to select the most applicable drop-down menus in Step If the form is missing information, it will be automatically rejected!
- If you require emergency or priority pay, ask your manager for help in completing a request for emergency salary advance / priority pay through your Department.
- To request an update on a Phoenix case that was previously submitted, use Track myCASE (available on the Government of Canada network only, and formerly the Phoenix Case Status Request form).
- If your pay stub does not provide clear or complete pay information, use your Intranet-based Compensation Web Applications, which have additional pay information not included on pay stubs. Members are also encouraged to review the Public Service Pay Centre’s guidance site.
- In the event that you are not receiving any pay, or if you experience difficulties getting the employer to process your emergency/priority pay request, we encourage you to communicate with our Labour Relations Resource for Phoenix at email@example.com (PIPSC also offers loans to members especially hard hit by Phoenix. To find out more click here.)
Bill C-27 and the Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA)
Bill C-27 proposes sweeping changes to the Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA). The PBSA applies to federally-regulated employers such as Crown Corporations, banks, telecoms and transportation companies. The PBSA was originally put into effect fifty years ago to protect workers and workplace pensions by forcing employers to keep their promises. The legislation guarantees employees the benefits they have already earned and forces employers to set aside appropriate resources to fund these commitments. Bill C-27 weakens the PBSA and provides employers with an opportunity to avoid their obligations to pensioners.
Bill C-27 formally and legally introduces a new pension framework into the federal jurisdiction - Target Benefit Plans.
On top of introducing this new pension structure, the legislation also provides a process for employers to convert Defined Benefit Plans into Target Benefit Plans.
Most PIPSC members enjoy a Defined Benefit (DB) plan which provides secure and stable income during retirement and predictability during one’s working life. In a DB plan, the employer assumes responsibility for funding shortfalls. To address these, they may raise contribution rates but the benefit almost never changes. While terms can change, when an individual makes a contribution for a period of time, the benefits received for that period are secure (except in case of employer bankruptcy).
Target Benefit (TB) plans are similar to DB plans except that risk is passed on to plan members, who assume responsibility for deficits or unfunded liabilities. Safeguards and protections that currently protect employees are transferred over to the employer. While the latter’s contributions do not change, employee benefits and contributions may rise and fall.
Visit the PIPSC website to download a “Stop C-27” postcard that you can send to your MP. If you’re not already an active PIPSC member, join the Better Together team and help us fight for good pensions for everyone.
CO and EC Comparability Survey 2017
In recent years, CO members have reported a growing number of issues related to relativity between CO and EC groups. Members have identified significant similarities between CO and EC communities with regard to work activities and staffing education requirements. However, despite these similarities, both groups have had a growing pay differential over the past few years. In fact, EC positions are currently paid higher than equivalent CO positions.
In the next bargaining round, PIPSC will be advocating to narrow the pay gap between CO and EC groups. To prepare strong bargaining arguments in support of the proposal, PIPSC conducted a short survey targeting the CO community in October. This survey will provide the AV bargaining team with relevant information about work similarities and qualification profile of both groups in order to build a solid pay parity bargaining proposal.
Canada 150 Summer Contest Winners
We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in our contest and helped make it a success.
It has been a great pleasure receiving your essays and photos of a unique place you traveled to or something interesting you did on your summer vacation taken in Canada, they were all amazing!
And special congratulations to the 15 winners of the Mark’s Work Wearhouse gift cards.
Member : City / Province
Vince Tieu : Gatineau, QC
Nancy Baessler : Saskatoon, SK
Jeff Moore : Gatineau, QC
Carl MacDonald : Victoria, BC
Daniel Bustillo : Vancouver, BC
Gi Sung Nam : Ottawa, ON
Olivier Aubert : Gatineau, QC
Robert Hunter : Ottawa, ON
Jason Killoran : Gatineau, QC
Adrian Larose : Gatineau, QC
Bernie Taekema : Nanaimo, BC
Stephen Braaten : Regina, SK
Kevin Pei : Gatineau, QC
Huseina Tai : Richmond Hill, ON
Patricia Leyenaar : Halifax, NS
We hope that you have enjoyed the participation in our contest and will continue participating in the future as well.
PIPSC AV Subgroup Regional Roundup
AV St. John’s Sub Group
L-R: Susan Evans, Chris Hendry, Shane Curnew, Bonnie O’Rourke, Lori Kennedy and Tim Power
A group of sixteen AV members from the St. John’s region recently picked a sunny Thursday evening (July 6th to be exact) at Quintana’s Restaurant to launch their own Sub-Group and conduct their inaugural AGM. David Chu, Atlantic Representative on the National AV Group Executive, also came to town to update members on recent PIPSC activities and to conduct an election of the new executive.
The new St. John’s AV Sub-Group is headed by President Tim Power, with Bonnie O’Rourke serving as Vice-President and Lori Kennedy as Treasurer. Also joining these ACOA employees on the newly elected Board are Susan Evans of ACOA in the Secretary role, and Shane Curnew (ACOA) and Chris Hendry of DFO in Member at Large positions. A third Member at Large position remains vacant at present in hopes that a suitable candidate will be recruited from PSPC in the near future.
The new Sub-Group is gradually establishing a presence in PIPSC circles in the region and remains eager to participate and partner on local union activities and advocacy efforts. The Executive, on behalf of its 76 members, has set its main priorities as 1) Phoenix Pay System, 2) Bill C-27 & Impact on Pensions, 3) Sick Leave & Disability, and 4) Contract Time not Deemed Pensionable.
AV Fredericton Sub Group
L-R Back: Laurie Murphy, Jamey Guerrero, Katie Baird
Front: Josée Green, Barb Kalinowski, Nancy Paquette
The Fredericton subgroup held their 1st inaugural AGM on October 5. The event was very successful with 13 members in attendance.
The following slate was elected:
President - Nancy Paquette (DFO)
Vice-President - Laurie Murphy (ACOA)
Treasurer - Barb Kalinowski (ACOA)
Secretary - Jamey Guerrero (DFO)
Members at Large - Katie Baird (ACOA)
Members at Large - Josée Green (ACOA)
We want to give thanks to David Chu who was present and provided guidance and support to our first AGM.
As the delegates to this AGM represented only two departments (ACOA and DFO), we will work to engage more members from other Departments to participate in future events.
Submitted by AV Fredericton Sub Group President Nancy Paquette
AV Montréal Sub Group
Hello to you,
Two-part text, as discussed at the AV AGM.
An error has crept into the newsletter of the month of March 2017 about the Montreal subgroup. The currently online version is the right one. R. Paquette
Like every year, the subgroup's AGM will be in Montreal in the spring. In the meantime, all volunteers to get involved and organize activities are welcome.
For the executive of the subgroup,
AV Gatineau Sub Group
Subgroup Executive in action this year, BBQ event in September 2017
L to R: Hong Xu, Alex Lamoureux, Gordon Sanford, Angela Cowie, Andrée Doucet, Debi Daviau, Peter Gabriel, Mark Walton, Olivia Leung (Steward) , Terry Sing, Greg Scriver.
Current membership as of January 1, 2017 – 1,940 members.
The Gatineau Subgroup has been extremely busy this past year as many members needed information sessions on our new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that we signed back on April 28, 2017. Also, our members needed help in understanding their pay and also retro-pay and these areas are still ongoing as the Phoenix Pay system is still not delivering the service our members need.
See recent press release dated November 14th 2017 from PIPSC President Debi Daviau:
Since the signing of the CBA, we have held several information sessions and discussed issues with members directly, we also held a large BBQ in September, with 350 members turning out on a beautiful warm sunny day. Keynote speaker was President Daviau and NCR Director Greg Scriver, who informed us on the status of Bill C-27 Pension reform. Our members are dead set against this bill, changing us from a defined benefit pension (guaranteed) to a much more risky defined contribution (not guaranteed).
Our Subgroup President Peter Gabriel invited the Better Together coordinators to distribute Stop Bill C-27 postcards and instructed members to send to members of Parliament and put the pressure on. Looks like the Government will be pulling back on this bill. Stay tuned.
Currently we are planning a Christmas Social Networking get-together in mid-December for our Members in Gatineau, as we have been doing since our Subgroup was created. Our members enjoy the event and we also discuss the next round of collective bargaining and get members to share their thoughts. Look for the invite via email in December.
2018 is a busy year for the Group as we will be having our National Elections for the AV Group Executive. Results of the previous AGM in June 2017 indicated a passing motion for our Group to change our bargaining certificate acronym to ACP Group from AV Group. Audit, Commerce and Purchasing Group (ACP). Only the acronym is changing.
Several other motions were passed that were sponsored by the Gatineau Executive and we were happy they passed as we are trying to listen to you our members on how to proceed going forward.
I am proud to present to you the Gatineau Subgroup Executive for 2017-2018:
Andrée Doucet – Vice-President, Mark Walton – Secretary, Terry Sing – Treasurer,
Members at Large: Gordon Sanford, James Bright, Alex Lamoureux, William Bradley, Angela Cowie, Hong Xu and Shaila Singh.
If you are a facebook social media communicator, please visit our “Sous-Groupe AV Gatineau Subgroup” facebook site. This is a safe closed group where only members can participate. We have 4 admins that belong to our Subgroup Executive to keep this site safe for all our subgroup members. Plenty of information for you and plenty of photos and opinion. Please keep opinion safe and respectful at all times. And if you ever need information and want to be private and confidential, then send to a Gatineau Steward or to firstname.lastname@example.org (underscore, not a period )
Looking forward to serving you in 2018,
On behalf of the entire Gatineau Subgroup Executive,
Peter Gabriel - Subgroup President
AV Ottawa Sub Group
The AV Ottawa Sub-Group organized a lunch & learn on July 25th to educate members on how to understand and calculate their retroactive pay.Ryan Campbell, an economist from PIPSC, delivered the presentation and explained that each members’ situation is unique (due to acting assignments, overtime, etc.), but provided examples of how members could calculate their retro pay.In addition, Greg Scriver, NCR Director, delivered a presentation regarding Bill C-27 and its potential impacts on pensions.For more information on Bill C-27, please see the following link: www.pipsc.ca/news-issues/c-27
The AV Ottawa Sub-Group organized its annual Stewards Networking Event on September 13, 2017. Approximately 20 stewards and sub-group executives from the National Capital Region attended the event to receive updates regarding issues facing our members and to discuss the challenges and opportunities for stewards. Shannon Bittman, Vice-President of PIPSC, provided updates regarding the Employee Wellness Support Program and other issues.One of the most important takeaways from the event was the need to recruit new stewards.The NCR needs more members to volunteer as stewards to bring in fresh ideas and perspectives and to help their fellow members.The following link has more details about becoming a steward: www.pipsc.ca/labour-relations/stewards
AV Vancouver Sub Group
The Vancouver AV Sub-Group held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday, November 30th, 2017 @ 5:00 PM in Vancouver.
All AV members from the Greater Vancouver were invited.
AV North Central Vancouver Island Sub Group
On February 9 the North Central Vancouver Island (NCVI) subgroup held our AGM with nine members in attendance.An update on the national AV group was given by Jennifer Mollins, our sub-group budget was presented and approved and the election of the sub-group executive was completed.Bernie Taekema was elected president and Monica Walker vice president.There were no nominees for treasurer so Jennifer Mollins agreed to act as treasurer in the interim.
On July 7 the executive sent an update to the NCVI sub-group members summarizing the national AV group meetings that occurred in Ottawa in June.The update also included information related to the newly signed contract, bargaining update for next contract negotiations and the steward training session that was planned for later in 2017. Our sub-group is planning a breakfast meeting on December 5 to update members on the proceedings at the PIPSC AGM in Ottawa in November, the fix Phoenix campaign and new provisions on our collective agreement.
The executive continues to encourage our membership to participate in NCVI meetings that take place throughout the year as well as to bring forward questions, concerns and ideas at any time that we will strive to answer or pass on to the AV executive for a response.
Bernie Taekema, NCVI sub-group president
Sub Group Committee Coordinator Report
Moncton Sub Group AGM (September 2017)
2017 -2018 Subgroup Committee is comprised of Andrew Wigmore, Jacques Laperriere, Ray Paquette, Raymond Poon and Peter Gabriel (Chair).
As the Chair, I am pleased to report to our Group Executive and all our members that Subgroup development continues, as our members want their voice to be heard through a subgroup in their work area or local region.
Since the beginning of 2017, the Subgroup Committee has created a total of 5 new subgroups throughout Canada.
- North Central Vancouver Island (Nanaimo) in February
- St. Johns NFLD in June,
- Moncton NB in September,
- Fredericton NB in October,
- Toronto ON coming onboard December 6th
The Subgroup Committee is now looking for new subgroup work locations and regional areas to discuss with those members and encourage them to start a subgroup. If you wish to start a subgroup, please contact Peter Gabriel at email@example.com (peter underscore _ firstname.lastname@example.org)
BY-LAW 2 SUB-GROUP AIM - The aim of the Sub-Group shall be to act within the jurisdiction of the Sub-Group to further the professional interests of its members, to protect the status and standards of their profession and to formulate and express the views of the members on matters affecting them. The Sub-Group Executive shall inform the national AV Group Executive of the concerns of the Sub-Group relative to collective bargaining.
Any member who wishes to contact their local Subgroup, go to this link and look for your subgroup, click on Subgroup, then click on Executive, and contact your executive directly: http://www.pipsc.ca/groups/av/subgroups
With a total of 14 Subgroups now in Canada, the AV Group is committed to strong and effective communications to our members, and we want to hear all wants and needs of our members, as we head into the new round of collective bargaining in 2018.
In closing, the AV Group Executive wants to thank you, the volunteers that serve on the 14 Subgroup Executive Committees.
We are only better when we are Better Together!
Subgroup Committee Coordinator
Quebec Regional Representative
Following my meetings and e-mail exchanges with the AV members of Quebec here are the various elements that I wish to share with you all.
- Our members in Quebec are also still having problems with cashing their pay with the horrible Phoenix system.
- The number of union members who are members of the AV group in Quebec is worrying but not at the moment alarming, but efforts are needed to bring fresh blood to our union with retirement.
- The formation of subgroups in Quebec would be a great way to be close to our members, their concerns and to get them to the National.
Several members from Quebec made many comments about the pay gap between CO-3s and ECs. A very comprehensive survey was sent this fall to our CO members by the Institute and a classification specialist is assigned to this file. The analysis of the results should allow us to expand our file for future discussions with our employer.
Sincerely and much better together
Quebec Representative to the AV Group Executive
Atlantic Regional Representative
We have 508 members in our Region (second to the National Capital Region).
Activities for this past year were trying to get more AV representation in this region. AV interest was shown at the Atlantic Regional Council and the Steward Council. We now have AV representation in all Atlantic Provinces. Recruiting more stewards will be a priority going forward.
With the assistance from our Group President and Vice-President, we have formed new sub groups in Fredericton, Moncton and St. John’s (NL).
I will be attending the Halifax Branch AGM in December and would be available to attend other Sub Group and Regional Branch AGMs upon member’s request.
To contact anyone on your AV Group National Executive click on the links below: