FB Bargaining Update: Public Service Interest Commission Process
The FB bargaining team returned to the bargaining table in June 2012. No progress was made as CBSA/Treasury Board continued to insist on concessions and rejected our call for parity with other federal enforcement workers under the Ministry of Public Safety.
As per federal law, the FB bargaining team subsequently contacted the Public Service Labour Relations Board this spring when negotiations reached impasse.
Process: public interest commission (PIC)
Under the Public Service Labour Relations Act, a Public Interest Commission (PIC) is set up if the parties reach impasse and are unable to reach an agreement. A PIC consists of a chair named by the Labour Board and one representative from each side (union and employer). A PIC is not an arbitration board.
Once the Commission is created, representatives set dates for a hearing in which both parties submit arguments and documentation in support of their respective positions. The PIC then issues a recommendation for settlement. The recommendation is non-binding. In the event that we do not reach an agreement via the PIC process, we would then be in a position to conduct membership votes for potential job action.
We have submitted our list of matters of dispute to the Labour Board, as well as our chosen representative for the PIC. We are now awaiting confirmation from the Board as to the assigned chair.
Proposed mediated settlement by employer
In the meantime, the Employer has proposed that the parties see if a mediated settlement can be reached. We have taken the position that if there are to be mediated talks, they should be incorporated into the PIC process with the representatives on the Commission acting as mediators. We will await confirmation regarding mediation once the PIC is established.
We have communicated to CBSA/Treasury Board that we are prepared to return to the bargaining table should management receive a new mandate and be prepared to seriously resolve the issues that we have raised in negotiations.
In the meantime, we will continue to follow the dispute resolution process provided for under the law.
We will be sure to provide updates as things progress. Collective bargaining in the public service is a restrictive and often lengthy because of the process prescribed by legislation.
If you have questions contact your Shop Steward or branch president.
Date modified: 2012/07/18