PIPSC NRC RO/RCO Bargaining Update, December 11, 2017

Dear RO/RCO colleagues,

Your RO/RCO bargaining team recently completed its second round of negotiations with NRC management for our new collective agreement, following the first round in October. In the December 5-7, 2017 bargaining round, we focused on several proposals that would require NRC management to make financial investments to create a more positive and effective working environment:

  • Better opportunities for career development and professional development
  • Guaranteed opportunities for all RO/RCOs for conference attendance
  • Professional registration fees paid by NRC
  • Improved flying and pilot responsibility allowance

We also pressed hard on a number of proposals to improve the working environment at NRC that would require no or minimal financial investment, including:

  • Ensuring that the performance review process is timely, consistent and fair and that appropriate supports are given for RO/RCO members to reach their CTE commitments
  • Ensuring that managers provide constructive written feedback on promotion cases at all levels
  • Adding a Scientific Integrity clause to our collective agreement
  • Reducing the 3-year probation period to two years for new staff
  • Strengthening  the language on the prohibition of harassment of RO/RCO members
  • Giving RO/RCO representatives more capacity to consult with NRC management on the development of new NRC policies

Unfortunately, NRC management has so far refused to sign off on these proposals. Even more troubling was that NRC management would not sign off on the new Scientific Integrity (SI) proposal. The SI proposal by PIPSC would recognize that scientific integrity constitutes an integral part of the work of NRC and employees and would ensure a right to speak on science and research. The SI clause has already been ratified by the PIPSC researchers and scientists in the core federal government departments and other separate federal agencies. We want to assure our members that the RO/RCO bargaining team will continue to press hard at the next bargaining round to ensure that NRC management will recognize the importance of including scientific integrity in our collective agreement, in line with all the science-based federal government departments.

We remain positive that in the next bargaining round NRC management will see the value of investing in the supports that RO/RCO members need to be leading research and innovation in Canada, in line with the goals and strategies in the Dialogue Action Plan.

Not all however, is doom and gloom. The parties committed to and signed off on the process for the new employee wellness and support program (EWSP) being negotiated across the federal public service. Until the EWSP is completed and ratified, the current sick leave regime will stay in place. PIPSC also formally accepted several proposals by NRC management that will enhance various leave provisions that were given to the core federal public service.

What is bargaining and our collective agreement?

Our collective agreement is a contract that regulates the terms and conditions of RO/RCO members in our NRC workplace, including the duties and responsibilities of both RO/RCO members and NRC management.  Collective bargaining includes negotiating pay increases however following established bargaining procedures, pay discussions come after other terms and conditions are agreed. Our RO/RCO bargaining team wants to ensure that the positive vision and strategies outlined in the NRC Dialogue Action Plan are supported by strong provisions in the collective agreement. A good contract will ensure that RO/RCO members in all the NRC divisions - Research, IRAP, BMS and Corporate - will have the support they need going forward to advance NRC’s core mandate of research and innovation excellence.

Going Forward

Our next bargaining round is scheduled for February 20-22, 2018. Until then, the bargaining team will be working to prepare and refine our proposals. We are optimistic that NRC management will recognize that our proposals will lead to improvements that will be good for everyone - members and management - and will help secure the future success of our organization.

We are grateful to members who showed their support for our team during bargaining in October and December by wearing a pin or RO/RCO t-shirt or bringing an RO/RCO mug or water bottle to a work meeting. If you would like a t-shirt, mug or water bottle to show at work during the February bargaining session, contact us: rorco@pipsc.ca.

Photos of the dozens of RO/RCO members who came to the M55 building in Ottawa to support our bargaining team in December are now on our website with the story, NRC RO/RCO Members Are Hungry for a Fair Deal!: http://pipsc.ca/groups/nrc-ro-rco

Thank you for your ongoing support!

PIPSC NRC RO/RCO group bargaining team