6 Sep
posted by admin

AD, AS, OP and PG Groups

It is time to start our bargaining preparations.  Volunteers are still needed for the AD, OP and PG bargaining committees.  If you are interested in participating in the upcoming round of negotiations, please contact the RCEA at joan@rcea.ca.

All bargaining preparation meetings take place during the lunch hour, while actual bargaining sessions take place during normal working hours.  It is not necessary that leave be taken for those days.

Without enough volunteers it will be impossible to commence bargaining with NRC.

10 May
posted by admin

It has been quite some time since my last message. With summer fast approaching we have begun planning our regional Institute visits. At this time we have secure dates for the Montreal area institutes and center and also for the East coast. Our travel schedule is posted on the RCEA website and will be updated as more visits are scheduled.

During these past months I had the opportunity to meet with the President of the NRC, Mr. John McDougall. During our meeting I expressed the membership concerns about the rumours of more cuts coming. He replied that this was not the intent. I also raised concerns regarding the direction that NRC is going towards with the introduction of programs. Is the NRC going to be more of a service organization than a research and technology one? He replied that research and technology will remain a part of the NRC. We also had a brief discussion about the common services review; the response was that the review is still at an early stage and it is expected that more details will be available in the coming months.

The review of the Work Force Adjustment (WFA) Policy is underway; proposals from the unions and the NRC were exchanged. Both the RCEA and PIPSC and the NRC have had several meetings to date. More meetings have been scheduled in which we hope to make more progress. Representing the RCEA on the Review Committee are myself, Joan Van Den Bergh and Greg Scriver. More information is available on our website.

As I mentioned in the latest Pension Litigation Update, in October 2010 the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed our case. Further to this decision, the bargaining agents met to discuss the next steps. Applications for leave of appeal were filed by the bargaining agents and organizations. The Supreme Court of Canada has granted the public service bargaining agents and representative organizations the applications for leave to appeal the 2010 Ontario Court of Appeal decision. Updates on the Pension Litigation will be posted on our website as we receive them.

The NRC Classification Renewal Project is underway. The RCEA has hired a classification consultant to look after the interests of our members. As mentioned in the February newsletter, the RCEA will have a significant role in the process in providing input to the review of the AS/AD classifications. At this time NRC is still preparing how it will undertake the review and what, if any, new systems it will implement.

The re-write of the RCEA constitution is at the final stage. I am pleased with the progress and the hard work that the Committee has put in. Once the final draft is completed and approved by the committee, it will be submitted it to our legal counsel for review before going to the membership for a vote.

Serge Croteau
President

10 Jan
posted by admin

The RCEA is preparing for bargaining and we need your participation. We have served notice to bargain for the Technical Category (TO). It is time to start our preparations for the next round of bargaining. If any member is interested in participating on the various Group Committees, please send your name, email address and telephone number (by email) to joan@rcea.ca.

A meeting will be held with members of the group who have expressed a willingness to serve on the Group committee. From the meeting a group chairperson will be elected or acclaimed by the participating members. Once the group chairperson is identified, the bargaining team will be formed and a notice will be posted on our website. All group members are welcome to forward comments and/or suggestions regarding changes for the collective agreement to the RCEA office (office@rcea.ca) or the group chairperson. These comments and suggestions will form part of the demand setting process. Once the Committees are established, we will begin the process of preparing demands.

Serge Croteau
President

9 Dec
posted by admin

We are heading into what promises to be another difficult round of bargaining.  Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with what has been transpiring in the public service, with the PSAC recently ratifying a controversial collective agreement.  In that agreement, the PSAC agreed to substantial changes in severance pay in exchange for a small increase in pay.  This was agreed to after the Treasury Board approached the PSAC and invited them to participate in exploratory talks.

Despite statements from the President of the Treasury Board, not all unions have been invited to participate in these “exploratory” talks.  To date, the NRC has not approached the RCEA.  And we are happy about this.  We are not interested in proceeding in the manner that TB and the PSAC did.  All our collective agreements will expire over the next twelve months.  There are many areas that require improvement in those agreements and we are looking forward to a proper and productive round of bargaining. But this does not mean that we are prepared to make the same kind of concessions that the PSAC did.  We believe that severance pay is an important benefit that should remain intact. 

Collective agreement expires April 30, 2011.  Notice to Bargain to be served in January, 2011.

2 Dec
posted by admin


Judge rules 128 government documents admissible in evidence

The RCEA received good news on the pension surplus battle. The Ontario Superior Court Justice de Lobe Panet has ruled that 128 government documents will be allowed as key evidence in the court battle undertaken by the Association of Federal Unions, which includes the RCEA and pensioner groups on behalf of existing and retired public service employees across Canada.

This favourable decision is very important. The next court hearing will probably be scheduled for early spring. We will keep you informed on further developments..

posted by admin

In certain cases, the Income Tax Act allows lump-sum payments to be issued without tax withheld, or with a reduced amount of tax withheld.

For those members whose contracts have recently been ratified and who are about to receive a sum of money retroactively, we highly recommend that you contact your pay and benefits advisor as soon as possible for more information about your options. You may be eligible for a tax waiver to transfer your payment into an RRSP.

You can also contact your nearest Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) office to ask for an authorisation form letter http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1213/t1213-04e.pdf.

THIS MUST BE DONE WELL IN ADVANCE of the receipt of your retroactivity cheque. CCRA refers to four to six weeks minimum to process the request.

posted by admin

On Thursday, July 7, 2005, the President of the Treasury Board announced that the employee contribution rate to the Public Service Superannuation Plan would increase over the next few years. As a result, all 17 Public Service unions, including the RCEA, issued a Press Release and held a Press Conference objecting to this increase. The Press Release is contained below.

Together with its union colleagues, the RCEA objects to these increases. President Serge Croteau stated: “ With the Union court case about the pension surplus scheduled to begin on November 15, 2005 and with little or no coverage of this event during the summer months, the Treasury Board announcement at this time can only be seen as an attempt to introduce a change with the least amount of fanfare. On an issue as important as your pension plan, the government should have either waited until the court case was determined or until the summer months were over.”

The RCEA will keep you posted of any developments as they occur.

Increasing Pension Plan Contributions on Eve of Court Challenge – An Outrage say Federal Unions

Ottawa, July 7, 2005 – Federal unions are outraged at the government’s latest pension money grab. They have joined in solidarity to denounce the unilateral changes to the public service pension plans that will include an increase to pension contributions of 0.3% per year for the next 8 years.

“The government took the surplus from the pension plan to fund early departures and debt reduction, which under any other legislation in Canada would be unlawful. During the 1990s, the government also took a pension contribution holiday, while public service employees continued to pay their share. Now it is claiming that the employees’ share is insufficient and that they will have to pay more. There is something fundamentally wrong with this decision which strikes at the heart of the value system shared by all Canadians. It sets a very poor example for the federal government’s modernization efforts in which transparency and fairness are at the root of these initiatives,” said Michèle Demers, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

“The governement is acting prematurely,” says Jerome Turcq, Regional Executive Vice-President – Quebec, for the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The actuarial evaluation of the regime is not even current and is has not settled the question of the coordination between the benefits paid by the Public Service Pension Plan and those of the Canada Pension Plan or the Quebec Pension Plan. It is utterly unacceptable and nothing can explain the government’s will to act today but simple greed,” added Turcq.

The unions are deeply concerned that the timing of this announcement is not in the employees’ best interests. Federal unions have been in a legal dispute with the government since 1999 over their misappropriation of the pension account surplus. The Superior Court of Ontario is scheduled to hear the case beginning November 15, 2005.

“If the government had not taken the $30 billion surplus from the pension account, there would be no need to increase employee contributions now”, said Paul Morse, Co-Chair, Bargaining Agent side of the National Joint Council and Business Manager of IBEW, local 2228.

“The timing is extremely poor at a time when the plan demonstrates a $7 billion surplus. It also comes at a time when contributors and pensioners launched a court action to be heard in November. After six years that we spent preparing the court case of the century, Treasury Board announces that public service employees, contributors to the plan, will pay, irrespective of the outcome of the court challenge. This adds insult to injury”, added Paul Morse.

For the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers, the news comes at a time when it is seeking to improve the provisions of the pension plan which, as it stands today, penalizes 6,000 correctional officers who work at a job that carries great personal risks. “Proportionally, we are already the group of federal employees that pays the most into our pension and for whom the government pays the least,” notes UCCO-SACC-CSN National President Sylvain Martel. “The federal government has already stolen our surplus and now they’re coming back for more.”

Seventeen federal unions represent 190,000 public service employees. They are: Association of Canadian Financial Officers, Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, CAW Local 5454, Canadian Association of Professional Employees, Canadian Auto Workers, Local 2182, Canadian Federal Pilots Association, Canadian Merchant Service Guild, Canadian Military Colleges Faculty Association, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Federal Dockyard Chargehands Association, Federal Government Dockyard Trades and Labour Council (East), Federal Government Dockyard Trades and Labour Council (West), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 2228, Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Research Council Employees’ Association, Union of Canadian Correctional Officers – CSN.

posted by admin



 

Yes

No

Proposed Constitutional Amendments:

 

 

     Article VII (e) i – Executive Officers

957 (98%)

16 (2%)

     By-Law 7 – Retired Senior Officers

896 (93%)

68 (7%)

 

 

 

YES I do / NO I do not –
agree to a $2.00/month dues increase.

743 (77%)

221 (23%)

posted by admin

The kilometric rate by province was increased in October 2006, retroactive to September 1, 2006.

However, this increase is also retroactive to July 1, 2006 for anyone who submitted a claim between July 1 and August 31, 2006. But you will need to resubmit a claim for the additional amount per kilometre.

The RCEA has been attempting to confirm with NRC that these retroactive revisions apply to NRC employees. We have not yet received a response to our inquiry. We therefore suggest that any employee who submitted a claim between July 1 and August 31, 2006 should resubmit the claim in order to be properly reimbursed. The deadline for resubmission is December 31, 2006.

Please see the National Joint Council link for more information.

posted by admin

In a recent case, a member whose daughter had just given birth applied for several days of leave to help her daughter. The member sought to use her day of volunteer leave as one day of this leave. It was denied. The reason given by NRC management was that while they would not ask what the employee intended to do on the day of volunteer leave, if they happened to know (because the employee had previously spoken of her intentions) that the employee would not be volunteering for a charitable organization, the leave would be denied.

The practice of NRC, until now, has been to ask no questions or make no value judgments about what an employee would be doing while on volunteer leave. It has certainly been the understanding of the RCEA that this was the method of implementation. NRC now seems to be adopting a different approach to the granting of volunteer leave, one that seeks to apply the exact language of the collective agreement and which seems to require increased discretion on the part of employees.

The RCEA is therefore advising all members that they should not discuss or mention to anyone what they intend to do while on volunteer leave. Members must adopt a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach to volunteer leave. We are in the process of examining the legal implications of this new application, but until then, however, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

posted by admin

January 30, 2007

The Honourable Vic Toews
President of the Treasury Board
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
L’Esplanade Laurier, 9th Floor, East Tower
140 O’Connor Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R5

Dear Mr. Toews:

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your new appointment as President of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

I would also take this opportunity to introduce you to the Research Council Employees’ Association (RCEA). The RCEA is a small public service union representing over 2000 employees at the National Research Council of Canada. The NRC is a separate employer under the Financial Administration Act. While the RCEA bargains collectively directly with the NRC, the process is overseen by the Treasury Board who determines the mandate for the NRC.

The RCEA represents 6 bargaining groups at the National Research Council. Our members are located across Canada. We are also affiliated with the National Joint Council. I hope that I will have the opportunity to meet you in the near future.

Respectfully,

Serge Croteau
President

posted by admin



 

Yes

No

ProposedConstitutional Amendments for the group:

 

 

    Article VI – Group Committees

716 (95%)

39 (5%)

    ArticleVII (a) -Executive Committee

 

 

    Article XII – Committees

 

 

    Bylaw 4 – Attendance at ExecutiveCommittee meetings

 

 

Proposed two-year dues increase $1.50/month effective January 1st 2008and $2.00/month effective January 1st 2009.

650 (70%)

276 (30%)

posted by admin
  • With a forecast deficit of approximately $80,000 next year, we need to act now to address what will result in serious financial concerns for the RCEA.
  • The RCEA is committed to providing high quality service to its membership. Better service equals higher costs such as legal fees, arbitration costs, etc.
  • General business operating costs are increasing (e.g.: rent, telephone, internet, staff salaries, paper, travel, etc.)

Below is the comparison table for some of the other unions, part of the Federal Public Service. With the exception of the unions using a percentage for calculating the rate, the majority of the other unions have needed to do some review and have increased their dues or are in the process of doing so. The RCEA is continuously working for the members and in doing so must keep up with today’s reality of increasing costs. The dues are also “Tax deductible”.

Union

Dues

Remarks

RCEA

$20.50

 

PIPSC (Professional Institute of the Public Service ofCanada)

 

$55.56

Effective January 2008.

ACFO (Association of Canadian Financial Officers)

 

From $25.00 to0.65% of base salary

ACFO has approved the reviewed dues structure.

CAPE (CanadianAssociation of Professional Employees)

 

$47.00

CAPE had a $12.00 increase on December 2005.

Federal Government Dockyard Chargehands

 

$44.29

 

Federal Government Dockyard Trades &Labour Council West

 

$50.13

 

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)

 

$43.78 to $86.32(Represents National dues only)

Formula based on rate of pay and percentageadjustment.  This is in addition tonational dues to components and locals.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local2228

 

$56.25 to $112.00

Represents 1.4% of salary at top level plus $10.

posted by admin



The RCEA received the Court decision on our pension litigation. Unfortunately, all claims put forward by the 18 Federal Public Service bargaining agents were dismissed.

In Justice Panet’s judgment (pdf document), he found that Bill C-78 (the amending legislation), authorized the employer to remove any surplus generated from the pension plan and also dismissed the members’ discrimination claim under the Canadian Charter.

The Court decision will be reviewed in the next few days and, in consultation with the lawyers, a decision will be made on the next course of action. Any further details and updates on the pension litigation will be posted on our website.

posted by admin

On September 6, NRC announced the results of their realignment exercise. Over 100 NRC employees, including approximately 50 RCEA members, will see their jobs disappear. In advance of this announcement, the RCEA had extensive meetings with NRC (and PIPS) regarding these changes and the plans for their implementation. Our goal throughout the summer, and during these consultations, was to minimize the impact of the realignment on RCEA members. While we were able to have an impact on the process to be followed, NRC, for the most part, was quite determined to cut the jobs it had identified.

Where possible, our local Institute representatives participated in the process with us. Their assistance was invaluable due to their direct knowledge of the various programs and individuals. We had an opportunity to review all the business cases and, in two cases, both unions demanded that the Institutes go back to the drawing board and rethink their choices, as we did not believe that they had done a thorough and complete review. Unfortunately, NRC chose not to follow our suggestions in this regard.

Certainly, NRC management has the right to determine the size and scope of its workforce. But it must do this in a fair and reasonable manner and in line with stated objectives. Where this has not occurred we have made our views known to the responsible Vice President and we intend to further address these concerns through possible grievances.

Many of the affected Institutes have made it clear that they will give the affected employees every opportunity for continued employment. We suggest to those affected that they request they be allowed to work their notice period, as this will give them a longer time to secure alternate NRC employment. Affected employees are entitled to be appointed to other jobs in priority to all other employees. They are also, where necessary, entitled to reasonable retraining if this will facilitate their appointment.

We encourage all affected employees to complete and submit their Employee Profile as soon as possible, to consider all potential vacancies, to consider lower level positions, and where possible, to indicated their geographic mobility. We encourage all affected employees to read the Workforce Adjustment Policy and contact this office if they feel the policy is not been properly implemented. If there are jobs that people feel they should be considered for, but were not, they should contact the RCEA office.

While the RCEA understands the rationale for this realignment, we do have significant concerns about the manner in which it was undertaken, as well as the timing of the announcements. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and, where appropriate, take additional actions on behalf of the members.

posted by admin

Effective January 1, 2006, the following changes were made to the NJC Personal Protective Equipment Directive. This Directive applies to all NRC employees. NRC seems to still be in the process of determining exactly how this change will be implemented. They will, however, be establishing a price range appropriate to the type of footwear required. Until such time as the price range is established, members who are required to purchase protective footwear are entitled to be reimbursed for the full cost. Members should use common sense in determining the value of the footwear they purchase. If questions or disputes arise, contact the RCEA office.

Protective Footware Allowance

The approved change, which will be found at Part XII of the new directive, has been approved for implementation no later than January 1, 2006. The Personal Protective Equipment Directive currently provides a rate for reimbursement for protective footwear. This rate will no longer be provided.

The following wording will be found in the new directive:

12.10 Protective Footwear

12.10.1 Protective footwear shall be provided, free of charge.

12.11 Purchasing Protective Footwear

12.11.1 Should the Department decide not to issue protective footwear directly, it may provide protective footwear that meets the appropriate standard by having employees purchase the protective footwear and receive reimbursement for the full costs of the purchase, upon presentation of proof of purchase.

12.11.2 If the Department wishes to have employees purchase protective footwear and be reimbursed, the Department shall establish, in consultation with either the Workplace Committee, Safety and Health Representative or the Policy Committee (as defined in Canada Labour Code), a price range appropriate to the type of protective footwear required.

posted by admin

Members should be aware of several important points about a PPR:

1) Your signature only means that the contents of the PPR have been read and discussed, it does not mean that you agree with the contents. An employee can refuse to sign the PPR, however, it will still be completed, probably with a note from the supervisor about the refusal to sign and placed on the employee’s personal file.

2) Each employee is entitled to attach written comments to the PPR. These comments should be started under the Employee Certification section of the PPR and continued on a separate piece of paper if necessary. Neither your supervisor nor the Reviewing Officer has the right to change any comments made in the written attachments. This is the employee’s document and cannot be adjusted without the employee’s consent.

3) Each employee is entitled to complete the Career Aspirations sections. As with the employee comments, this section cannot be amended or changed by the supervisor or the Reviewing Officer.

4) Each employee is entitled to receive a copy of all versions of the PPR, including the last signed version with all attached comments.

5) The AS, AD and the new OP collective agreements all contain language regarding the PPR process. We are tabling similar proposals for the CS,PG and TO agreements.

6) The lack of language in the collective agreement does not alter the rights and entitlements outlined above.

posted by admin

On August 2, 2007, a memo was sent to all employees regarding Personal and Volunteer Leave for members of the AS, AD and CS Groups. It states that the change to these leaves whereby a day is equal to 7.5 hours was effective on May 14 and 16, 2007, the dates of the three Arbitral Awards. This is incorrect and NRC has been so advised. The issue of a day being equal to 7.5 hours was not contained in any of the Arbitral Awards. It was voluntarily agreed to between the parties and, as with every other voluntarily agreed to item, will only become effective on the date of signing of the new collective agreements. We have not yet signed the AS, AD or CS agreements. Until such time as they are signed, a day is a day. Until the new agreements are signed, if you are working a compressed work schedule and you take one of these leaves, you do not have to take other leave to make up the difference between your compressed day and 7.5 hours. You do not have to follow the instructions on the memo.

posted by admin

During the recent “realignment” exercise, many continuing RCEA members were declared surplus. As a result, and in order to remain employed, some accepted term positions at NRC. The Workforce Adjustment Policy states that a continuing employee affected by workforce adjustment who accepts a term position remains covered by the Policy. Notwithstanding this, NRC has recently issued an interpretation of the WFA Policy which states that if the employee chooses to leave NRC prior to the end of that term, that employee would not be entitled to any lay-off benefits, such as payout of balance of notice period, outplacement, or severance pay as though laid off. NRC’s position is that the employee will have resigned and not been laid off.

The RCEA does not agree with this interpretation. In our view, remaining covered by the WFA Policy means that the employee is entitled to all its benefits. To that end, we have filed a Policy Grievance against NRC.

Any member in the above situation, who decides to leave NRC prior to the end of their term or prior to a final determination of our grievance, is encouraged to contact the RCEA.

posted by admin

All members will have recently received a memo from Pay andBenefits dealing with the Distributionof the T215 form – "Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA) Exempt fromCertification".  This memo was veryconfusing and members were asking what it was all about.  Despite repeated attempts by RCEA’s two Vice-Presidents to get an explanation from NRC as to what this memo meant for RCEAmembers, no additional information was provided by NRC.  RCEA’s first Vice-President was finally ableto track down more information from outside of NRC.  We are posting here the information that shewas able to obtain.   Please read thiscarefully.  If you wish, you may accessthis document directly, following this link:  http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/hr-rh/bp-rasp/pensions/pensionfacts-infopensions/improvement-amelioration_e.asp#faq.

Canada Flag
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat - Government of Canada


Noticeto Pension Plan Members: Improvement to the three major public sector pensionplans

The amendment improving thecoordination formula of the Public Service (PS), the Canadian Forces (CF), andthe Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) pension plans with the Canada PensionPlan (CPP) or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) was approved in June 2006 and willcome into effect in 2008.

What is the coordination provision?

  • Contributions to the three public sector pension plans are taken at a reduced rate on the portion of your salary up to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)/Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) yearly maximum earnings ($43,700 in 2007);
  • Your pension is reduced by a standard formula at age 65 when you normally qualify for unreduced CPP or QPP (or earlier in case of disability).

What is the improvement?

  • Starting January 1, 2008, the reduction factor used to calculate your pension at age 65 will be lowered from the current 0.7% to 0.625% by 2012. For plan members reaching age 65 in 2008 or later, the pension reduction at age 65 (or earlier in case of disability) will be smaller commencing in 2008. The year you reach age 65 will determine the reduction factor applied to your pension. It is important to remember that there are other factors used in the calculation of the reduction at age 65.

Reductionfactor applied to your pension when you reach age 65

Age 65

2007or earlier

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012or later

Year of birth

1942or earlier

1943

1944

1945

1946

1947or later

Reduction factor
(in all 3 pension plans)

0.700%

0.685%

0.670%

0.655%

0.640%

0.625%

What is the impact?

  • If you are a member of one of the above-mentioned three federal public sector pension plans who will turn 65 in 2008 or later, the amendment to the coordination formula means that the reduction factor used at age 65 will be smaller. Even though your public sector pension will still be reduced at age 65 due to the coordination with the CPP or QPP, the reduction will not be as great.
  • A greater benefit will generate an increased pension adjustment (PA), which is an annual amount calculated by your plan administrator based on pension benefits earned. This PA determines the amount of contributions you can make to a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP).
  • Under the Income Tax Act rules for registered pension plans, your plan administrator has to calculate a Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA) when benefits relating to accrued pensionable service are improved. The PSPA represents the amount by which the PA amounts since 1990 have increased.
  • The PSPA will be reported on a T215 slip issued to you in 2008. This PSPA will reduce your RRSP deduction limit for 2009. The amount of the PSPA will vary depending on how many years you were a member of the pension plan between 1990 and 2007 and on your pensionable earnings during those years.
  • If you have made excess contributions in an RRSP, you may have to withdraw some of your RRSP contributions. This excess RRSP amount may be taxable.
  • Fore more information, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or visit Your Public Service Pension and Benefits Portal at : www.pensionandbenefits.gc.ca

If you have more questions on thischange to your pension plan, please contact the:

CallCentre – Superannuation Sector (PWGSC)
Monday to Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (your local time)
Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Atlantic Time)
1-888-670-5454
If you have more questions about tax implications, please visit the:
CanadaRevenue Agency (CRA) Web site at: www.cra.gc.ca/ps-pension
Or call the tax office at: 1-800-959-8281

Date Modified: 2007-11-21

Government of Canada

FrequentlyAsked Questions

Tax Implications due to the Improvement of Benefits underthe Three Major Public Sector Pension Plans

ISSUE
Since 1966, the Public Service(PS), the Canadian Forces (CF) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)pension plans have been coordinated with the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or theQuebec Pension Plan (QPP). 

Changes to the PS, the CF and theRCMP pension plans were announced on July 7, 2005. Questions and answers wereposted with that announcement. To obtain information concerning the changes tothe co-ordination of the three public sector pension plans with the CanadaPension Plan (CPP) or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), please refer to questions14 to 20 of these FrequentlyAsked Questions.  In June 2006, the amendments to the coordinationformula of the Plans were approved to improve the benefits payable by thepension plans, however these improvements may affect the amount plan memberscan contribute to a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP).

These Frequently Asked Questionswill be sent along with an Information Notice to Heads of Human Resources andParticipating Separate Employers and posted on the Treasury Board SecretariatWeb site and the Pensions and Benefits Web portal.

1. Will thisamendment to the coordination formula affect all plan members?

No.  This amendment willaffect only plan members who turn age 65 in 2008 or later.

2. What is thefinancial impact of this amendment on my pension at age 65?

At age 65, public service planmembers also qualify for CPP or QPP retirement benefits.  Because of thecoordination between the public service plan and the CPP and QPP, benefitsunder the public service plan are reduced at age 65.  In June 2006, amendmentsto the coordination formula of the plans were approved to improve the benefitspayable by the pension plans.
As a result of this new amendment,your pension will still be reduced at age 65 (due to the coordination withCPP/QPP) but by a smaller amount than it would have been underthe existing reduction factor (0.7%).  

The following will give youexamples of the pension reduction at age 65 with 30 years of pensionableservice and a retirement date of 2007.

Pension scenarios at age 65

"Best-five year"
 average salary

Immediate Annuity
(2% X 30yrs X salary)

Age 65 in 2007
or earlier
(0.7% reduction)

Age 65 in 2012
or later
(0.625% reduction)

Change in reduction

$35,000 (below the average maximum pensionableearnings under the CPP/QPPP)*

$21,000

$7,350

$6,562

(-) $788

$60,000

$36,000

$8,707

$7,774*

(-) $933

$90,000

$54,000

$8,707

$7,774*

(-) $933

3. Why is thefinancial impact different from one individual to another?

There are many factors to considerwhen calculating your pension reduction at age 65. Because this change will bephased in from 2008 to 2012, the year you will reach age 65 will determine thereduction factor applied to your pension. The average maximum pensionableearnings under the CPP/QPP (or your average salary if it is lower)and youryears of service at the retirement date are also factors used in thecalculation of the pension reduction at age 65.

4. What arethe tax implications due to the improvement?

A greater benefit will generate anincreased Pension Adjustment (PA) which is an amount calculated by your pensionadministrator based on pension benefits earned. This PA is used in determiningthe amount of contributions you can make to a registered retirement savingsplan (RRSP). As the PA value increases, the amount you can contribute to yourRRSP decreases. Furthermore, your plan administrator has to calculate a PastService Pension Adjustment (PSPA) when benefits relating to a previous periodof pensionable service are improved. The PSPA represents the amount by whichthe original PA values have increased.
For more information about taximplications, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Web site at: www.cra.gc.ca or call your tax office at:1-800-959-8281.

5. Where andwhen can I obtain information concerning my 2009 RRSP deduction limit?

Information about your RRSPdeduction limit will be indicated on your 2008 Notice of Assessment that theCanada Revenue Agency will issue to you in 2009. You can also get informationabout your RRSP deduction limit online at www.cra.gc.ca/myaccount orby calling the income tax office at 1-800-959-8281.  As well, you can usethe automated Tax Information Phone Service (TIPS) at 1-800-267-6999 availablefrom mid-September to April 30.

6. How is mypension adjustment (PA) amount determined?

The amount is based on pensionableearnings for the previous calendar year. Amounts such as overtime are notpensionable and therefore not included in the determination of a PA.

7. Where can Iget information about my Past Service Pension Adjustment (PSPA)?

Your pension plan administratorwill calculate a PSPA amount for all pension plan members who will reach age 65after 2007.  You will receive a T215 slip, Past Service Pension Adjustment(PSPA) Exempt from Certification, with your PSPA amount shown in Box 2.  If youwant to know how your PSPA is calculated, contact your plan administrator.

8. Will allplan members receive the T215 slip?

No. The following individuals willnot receive a T215 slip:

  • you are reaching age 65 prior to 2008;
  • you are a new employee with less than six months of employment and you are not contributing to the plan;
  • your PSPA is less than $50; or
  • you have already had PA’s reported at the maximum (high earnings) for all the applicable years (1990-2007).

9. Can yougive me examples of the PSPA amount I can expect?

The PSPA amount will vary dependingon your pensionable earnings and when you reach age 65. Because of theamendment to the coordination formula, the PAs reported since 1990 must be revised and the difference will be reported in 2008 as a Past ServicePension Adjustment (PSPA). The following examples will give you estimated PSPAamounts based on pensionable earnings from 1990 to 2007, the year in which youwill reach age 65 and on the assumption that you contributed to the pensionplan since 1990.

Estimated PSPAamounts (reduction to your RRSP contribution room)

Current
Pensionable
earnings

Age 65
in 2008

Age 65
in 2009

Age 65
in 2010

Age 65
in 2011

Age 65 in 2012 and after

$30,000

$729

$1458

$2187

$2916

$3645

$60,000

$894

$1788

$2682

$3575

$4469 (max.)

$90,000

$894

$1788

$2682

$3575

$4469 (max.)

NOTE:

  • The PSPA amount will be reported one time for the benefit improvement taking effect in 2008. This PSPA will reduce your RRSP deduction limit for 2009 and for subsequent years.
  • Your PSPA will not be greater than $4,469 and will be less if:
    • you haveyears where your pensionable earnings were less than the CPP/QPP yearlymaximum earnings; or
    • there areyears between 1990 and 2007 during which you were not accruingpensionable service at all or you were accruing pensionable service, butat a less than full-time rate; or
    • you havealready received PAs at the maximum rate (high earnings) for certain years.

For more information about tax implications,
please visit the Canada Revenue Agency  (CRA) Web site at: www.cra.gc.ca/ps-pension/
or call your tax office at: 1-800-959-8281

Date Modified: 2007-09-24

Government of Canada

posted by admin

 

Yes

No

Proposed Constitutional Amendments for the group:

 

 

   Article XIII – (a, d and e) – Meetings

 705 (97 %) 

 21 (3 %)

   Article XV – Amendments to the Constitution

 

 

   Article XVI – Resolutions

 

 

   Article XVII – Bylaws    
   Bylaw 1 – Executive and Management Committee
Meeting Dates
   
posted by admin



Updated: 31 January 2008

Unions and Associations of Employees and Retirees Determined To Win Their Pension Appeal Case

OTTAWA, January 29, 2008 – In conjunction with the Armed Forces Pensioners’/Annuitants’ Association of Canada, the Association des membres de la Police Montée du Québec,the B.C. Mounted Police Professional Associationand the Mounted Police Association of Ontario, eighteen bargaining agents representing all federal public service employees reached unanimous agreement at a meeting with legal counsel on January 23 to staunchly pursue their appeal of Mr. Justice de Lotbinière Panet’s decision in the pension surplus case.

They showed unequivocal determination in taking their pension surplus appropriation case to the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

The stakeholders are firmly resolved to win this case even if it means taking it to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary not only to rectify a flagrant injustice committed in 1999 by the government of the day, but also to prevent the Government of Canada and/or any other employer from abusing its authority so shamelessly ever again.

In a decision delivered on November 20, 2007, Ontario Superior Court Justice de Lotbinière Panet had dismissed the court challenge of the federal public service pension surplus dispute.

The eighteen bargaining agents, employees’ associations and retirees’ groups that together represent more than 300,000 members undertook this legal challenge in 1999, following passage of Bill C-78, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act that enabled the federal government to appropriate some 30.2 billion dollars from Public Service, RCMP and Canadian Forces pension funds.

The stakeholders are the following organizations:

Armed Forces Pensioners’ / Annuitants’ Association of Canada
Association des membres de la Police Montée du Québec
Association of Canadian Financial Officers (formerly known as the Association of Public Service Financial Administrators)
Association of Justice Counsel
B.C. Mounted Police Professional Association
Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, CAW Local 5454
Canadian Association of Professional Employees
Canadian Association of Professional Radio Operators CAW-TCA Local 2182
Canadian Federal Pilots Association
Canadian Merchant Service Guild
Canadian Military Colleges Faculty Association
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada Local 588-G
Federal Government Dockyard Chargehands Association
Federal Government Dockyard Trades and Labour Council (East)
Federal Government Dockyard Trades and Labour Council (West)
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 2228
Mounted Police Association of Ontario
Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers
Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
Public Service Alliance of Canada
Research Council Employees’ Association
Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN).

Information: Francine Pressault, PIPSC 613 228-6310, ext. 2228
Joselito Calugay, PSAC (613) 560-4235, cell. (613) 293-9324
Lyle Stewart, UCCO-SACC-CSN 514 598-2263

Update on the pension surplus litigation

As most of you know, the Association is part of a joint effort being undertaken by a number of public service unions to reclaim surplus funds from the public service pension plan that were grabbed by the federal government in the 1990s.

The surplus litigation proceedings are to resume before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, here is the tentative schedule:

Presentation of Evidence and Expert Testimony:

February 26th, 2007 to March 2nd, 2007
March 5th, 2007 to March 9th, 2007
March 12th, 2007 to March 16th, 2007 – March Break Recess
March 19th, 2007 to March 23rd, 2007
March 26th, 2007 to March 30th, 2007
April 2nd, 2007 to April 5th, 2007
April 10th, 2007 to April 13th, 2007
Recess:
April 16th, 2007 to April 20th, 2007
April 23rd, 2007 to April 27th, 2007

Final Arguments:

April 30th, 2007 to May 4th, 2007
May 7th, 2007 to May 11th, 2007
May 14th, 2007 to May 18th, 2007

As a show of solidarity, members can attend these hearing and/or wear buttons with the slogan: Pension Grab: Another Government Plunder.

posted by admin

Submit yours today!

The RCEA is in the process of establishing an electronic database of member job descriptions. It will be used to assist members in the updating and classification of existing job descriptions. We are requesting that members submit, electronically, their current job description to the RCEA at office@rcea.ca. Please ensure that the job description clearly indicates the group and level and title of the position. Please note also that we will not be reviewing or commenting on the job descriptions. They will be maintained for information purposes only.

26 Nov
posted by admin

Here is a list of some of the things that the RCEA does for you.

The RCEA is the certified bargaining agent for over 2000 employees at NRC. These employees are divided into six bargaining units, all of which have separate collective agreements. The RCEA is responsible for the bargaining, maintenance and application of these collective agreements. It conducts pay and contract language research to ensure that every effort is made to keep its members on par (or better) with other comparable organizations. The RCEA leads the bargaining process on behalf of its members, and proceeds to third party review as required.

The RCEA provides advice and individual representation to members on all employment related issues. It represents members in grievances and complaints, both at NRC and before independent third parties, such as the Public Service Labour Relations Board, Provincial Worker’s Compensation Boards, the National Joint Council, etc…

The RCEA represents the interests of its members on many committees on an ongoing basis.

Joint Consultation Committee (JCC)The JCC is a joint national consultation committee made up of representatives from the RCEA, PIPSC and NRC. It meets four times each year. At these meetings, issues and items of national concern are raised and discussed. Typically, the two bargaining agents, RCEA and PIPSC, bring forth issues of concern to members. Recent topics have included: term employees, the application of medical dental leave, workforce adjustment situations, time recording, grievance handling, and overall labour management relations. Minutes are taken of these meetings. These minutes will now be posted on the RCEA website.

National Committee Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH)
The NCOSH is another national level committee made up of representatives from the RCEA, PIPSC and NRC. It is devoted solely to safety and health issues at NRC. It also meets four times each year.

National Joint Council (NJC)The RCEA is a member of the National Joint Council, which is a bilateral body made up of most public service employers and all public service bargaining agents, of which there are 18. The NJC is responsible for the development, negotiation and management of the public service health care and dental plans. It is also responsible for the negotiation of public service wide directives or policies, such as government travel, relocation, occupational safety and health, official languages, Foreign Service directives, etc. The President of the RCEA sits on the National Joint Council itself, as well as on the Occupational Safety and Health Committee. The RCEA negotiator is a member of the Government Relocation Committee which is presently in the process of negotiating the Relocation Directive.

Other ConsultationsAs required, the RCEA consults with NRC (and often PIPSC) on other matters of concern. For example, extensive consultations will take place, likely next year, during the classification review as well as on revisions to the Workforce Adjustment Policy. We also anticipate consultations on the Composition of The Workforce Policy which deals with term employment. We are in the process of consulting on the Intellectual Property Policy and will be seeking consultation on the Probation Policy.

Sometimes it is necessary, for either a group or individual case, to obtain legal advice and to proceed to the Courts or Commissions. Over the years, the RCEA has had cases before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Ontario Superior Court, and the Public Service Labour Relations Board.

11 Nov
posted by admin

March 2009

When an employee expects to receive a lump sum payment of some kind, he or she may request that such payment be rolled over directly into an RRSP. In order to do so, the employee must complete the following form requesting a waiver from the Canada Revenue Agency and submit it to the Compensation and Benefits Unit prior to the issuance of such payment. The forms can be found at the following sites.

English request: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/t1213/t1213-04e.pdf

French request: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/F/pbg/tf/t1213/t1213-04f.pdf

posted by admin

The RCEA is looking for a recording secretary for its Executive meetings. These meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of every month except for July and August. Meetings start at 5:00 pm and normally last up to 2 hours. All meetings are held after normal work hours at the RCEA offices or on occasion in selected meeting rooms on the NRC Montreal road campus. Compensation in the amount of $65 per meeting will be provided. If interested please contact the RCEA office for more details.

posted by admin

27 July 2010:

NRC has now completed its parking review and has determined what rates will be charged at 23 sites across the country. Throughout this process, the RCEA has been consulted. We have consistently argued against the imposition of parking rates. It became clear, however, that parking charges were going to happen, so we switched our focus from simply opposing them, to trying to minimize the impact across the country.

NRC is bound, for the most part, by the Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) rules on parking. Parking can only be charged where it is determined that the site is in or has a “market”, as defined by PWGSC. The main criterion used by PWGSC to determine whether a site is a “market” is the presence of commercial parking lots in the area of the site. Other factors include free parking facilities in the immediate area, no metered street parking, no parking time limits, and whether other employers in the area are charging for parking. NRC commissioned PWGSC to survey all 23 sites. The results of this review were provided to the RCEA. We subsequently met with NRC to review the results. While we disagree, in principal, with all parking charges, we identified several sites where we thought the PWGSC results were incorrect. Of the four problem areas identified, one has now been deemed “non-market” (IMI in London), one has been adjusted (IBD in Winnipeg), one will be reassessed (IFCI in Vancouver) and one was confirmed as a “market” site (Sussex Drive).

We are still reviewing this last site and have made presentations to NRC regarding charges at that site. The main issue here is that the site itself is considered a commercial parking lot, since spaces are rented by NRC to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). As well, there is commercial parking across the street. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to matter that there are no spaces available across the street; rather it is just that it is there and that is close by. We find this to be a strange distinction and have already raised it with Council.

We are waiting to see the results of the reassessment of the IFCI site, and will determine our response once that has been completed.

If members continue to have concerns about parking, please direct your comments to your Institute representatives, or contact the RCEA office directly.

April 9, 2010:

Mr. Daniel Gosselin
Acting President
National Research Council
1200 Montreal Road
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6

Dear Mr. Gosselin:

The Research Council Employees’ Association strenuously objects to the proposed introduction of parking charges for employees of the National Research Council. At a time when wages are to be frozen, the introduction of parking charges amounts to a salary reduction for most NRC employees. Our members have made it very clear to us that they do not support such charges and view them as a money grab by both the government and NRC.

They also do not believe that NRC has no choice in this matter. We have spoken with many employees who know employees of other departments and agencies. For the most part, these other departments and agencies have not notified their employees that parking charges will commence on July 1, 2010. At the same time, we are hearing that the revenue generated may go back to each Institute.

Parking fees will disproportionately affect the lowest paid employees of NRC. Many employees live outside of urban areas in order to take advantage of lower real estate and rental costs. These locales do not provide public transportation. Many employees also work in an environment where hours of work are dictated, not by transportation schedules, but by the demands of the job. A TO will stay at work to ensure that an experiment is properly completed. This TO will not charge overtime, but will do the work simply out of a sense of commitment to their employer. This will not continue if employees become bound by the limited hours of the public transportation system.

It is our view that NRC needs to stand up for its employees. In the majority of locations, NRC owns the property on which its employees park. Revenue should not be generated on the backs of the workers. Your employees are looking to you to stand up to Treasury Board and tell them that now is not the time to begin charging for parking.

Sincerely yours,

Serge Croteau
President

March 23, 2010:

On March 11, 2010, the RCEA was advised that NRC will begin charging for parking on July 1, 2010. The RCEA strenuously objected to this and pointed out that the imposition of parking charges at NRC amounts to a virtual salary cut, particularly in light of the proposed wage freeze by the federal government. We urged NRC to fight this and to tell Treasury Board that as a separate employer, they feel it is right to continue to provide parking benefits to employees. But NRC is not prepared to do this. We also urged NRC to delay the implementation of the parking charges. July 1, 2010 is too soon. It is unlikely that all the necessary information will have been gathered by that date. What is the big rush????? Again, NRC did not appear willing to consider this. They just kept saying that they were acting on the instructions of Treasury Board and Public Works.

NRC has indicated that it will keep the RCEA informed as this process unfolds. We will be carefully examining the results of the analysis that is presently being done to determine where and how much the parking charges will be. We will review all the criteria and determine if there are any locations in which the charges can be challenged.

Can we stop this? It is highly unlikely. The employer can alter terms and conditions of employment, unless notice to bargain has been served. As notice to bargain has not been served for any of our bargaining units, there is little we can do to stop this. But we can monitor it carefully. Members should gather information about the availability of public transportation to their workplaces; is it sufficient to cover all the employees and all the times they are working? How far, in meters, are the bus stops from the front door of your building? Measure it and let us know. Are you required to have a car for work or do you work shifts? All this information is essential in determining who has to pay for parking.

Also, let NRC know how you feel about this. Send an email to the President. Tell him that this is a money grab by the government and that NRC should stand up for its employees. Tell him that employees need time to prepare for the financial implications of this and the date should be pushed back.

The RCEA will be sending the same message to NRC. Now is not the time to start charging for parking at NRC.

posted by admin

The RCEA has received a decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal on the pension litigation case. The case is a joint action of all 18 bargaining agents against the federal government over its expropriation of $28 billion from the federal superannuation fund.

Unfortunately, Justices Laskin, Gillese and Juriansz denied our appeal. They confirmed a 2007 Superior Court of Justice Decision which dismissed our claims that the government breached the trust of plan members, violating its fiduciary duty and not meeting its obligations.

At issue was the fact that the federal government raided a $28 billion surplus from the public service, RCMP and Canadian Forces pension plans after passing legislation that restructured the way the plans are managed.

The Court of Appeal found that the federal government did have the discretion to remove the surplus funds, even if it resulted in higher pension contributions for plan members.

All the bargaining agents will be meeting shortly to determine next steps. The RCEA will be carefully evaluating the situation and will communicate with the membership prior to the taking of any decision.

10 Apr
posted by admin

In the past month, we have heard a great deal about new charges for parking at NRC. The RCEA is well aware of the frustration of its members. A letter to NRC’s Acting President was sent to express our concerns and objections regarding the implementation of parking fees at NRC. Many members have sent us their comments and views on how they perceive this and the impact it will have. A meeting with the RCEA, PIPSC and NRC has been scheduled. We will be reviewing any new policy very carefully and making submissions regarding the implementation of these fees. Q and A’s have been posted on ZONE with an email address for employees to submit comments. We encourage you to make use of this opportunity to let NRC know how you feel.

After several months, the Governor–in–Council approved the Operational Category tentative agreement; the effective date of signing was April 7, 2010 and NRC will have 90 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

In the coming months we will begin our annual visits to the regional institutes and technology centers. As we confirm the dates of our visits we will post them on our website. All members that are not from the institutes visited but are in the vicinity and would like to attend the meetings are advised to contact the institute representatives for information concerning the meeting time and location. You are also welcome to contact the RCEA office if you require more information.

I would also like to welcome the appointment of Mr. John R. McDougall as President of the National Research Council of Canada. I look forward to meeting him in the near future.

Sincerely,

Serge Croteau
President

7 Apr
posted by admin

The Governor–in–Council has approved the tentative agreement; the effective date of signing is April 7, 2010, NRC will have 90 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

24 Dec
posted by admin

Following the President’s announcement of the Strategic Review Plan, many concerns and frustration have been communicated to the RCEA by members.

The RCEA is aware of the President’s announcement. I met with the NRC President on Wednesday, February 18th. At this time I do not have any additional information; however, we will be meeting with NRC HR staff this week to get further information on the announced cuts and the process to be followed. Of course, we would prefer that no cuts take place. But that is unrealistic in the present climate. With that in mind, the RCEA is committed to ensuring that all affected members are treated properly and fairly. We will keep you informed on any development regarding the announced restructuring at the NRC.

As always, I do appreciate receiving your thoughts and comments.

Serge Croteau
President

22 Dec
posted by admin

OP Group Ratifies Collective Agreement: On December 21, ballots were counted. The tentative agreement has been ratified and NRC has been advised. The NRC now has to get the approval of the Governor–in–Council. We do not know how long this will take and we have no control over the timing. Once the GIC has approved the tentative agreement, it will be signed by the RCEA and the NRC. From that date of signing, NRC will have 90 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

18 Nov
posted by admin

A tentative agreement has been reached between the RCEA and NRC. NRC has withdrawn its application for the establishment of an Arbitration Board and they have agreed with our proposal on the implementation date of the new vacation leave provisions. The tentative agreement provides for the following wage increases:

July 31, 2007 – 2.3%
July 31, 2008 – 1.5%
July 31, 2009 – 1.5%
July 31, 2010 – 1.5%

There are a number of other changes to the agreement including an extra 5 days of annual leave after two years of service and the removal of the 5 and 10 day (certified and uncertified) sick leave requirements. Details of all the changes will be provided in the ratification package, which will be sent out shortly.

5 Nov
posted by admin

We are headed to Arbitration. In October, NRC applied to the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) for the establishment of an Arbitration Board. They did this despite the fact that there was only one outstanding issue. The issue in dispute is the implementation date of the vacation leave draw down. They proposed March 31, 2010 while we proposed March 31, 2011, a delay which will give members time to take the required leave.

We are presently dealing with administrative issues with the PSLRB. Shortly they will establish an Arbitration Board. We will then put forward the name of our nominee on the Board. A Chairperson will be selected and hearing dates will be established. We are in the process of preparing the written brief that we will be presenting at this hearing. We will update the site once the hearing dates have been established.

24 Oct
posted by admin

The TO contract has received final approval from the Privy Council Office. We are in the process of scheduling a signing date. Once it is signed, NRC will have 150 days to implement the terms, although they have assured the RCEA that it is unlikely that they will need that much time.

1 Oct
posted by admin

The AD, AS, CS and PG Collective Agreements have now been signed, with an effective date of October 1, 2009.

posted by admin

The AD, AS, CS and PG Collective Agreements have now been signed, with an effective date of October 1, 2009.

posted by admin

The AD, AS, CS and PG Collective Agreements have now been signed, with an effective date of October 1, 2009.

posted by admin

The AD, AS, CS and PG Collective Agreements have now been signed, with an effective date of October 1, 2009.

27 Jul
posted by admin

AD Group Ratifies Collective Agreement: On July 27, ballots were counted. The tentative agreement has been ratified and NRC has been advised. The NRC now has to get the approval of the Governor–in–Council. We do not know how long this will take and we have no control over the timing. Once the GIC has approved the tentative agreement, it will be signed by the RCEA and the NRC. From that date of signing, NRC will have 90 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

posted by admin

AS Group Ratifies Collective Agreement: On July 27, ballots were counted. The tentative agreement has been ratified and NRC has been advised. The NRC now has to get the approval of the Governor–in–Council. We do not know how long this will take and we have no control over the timing. Once the GIC has approved the tentative agreement, it will be signed by the RCEA and the NRC. From that date of signing, NRC will have 90 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

posted by admin

PG Group Ratifies Collective Agreement: On July 27, ballots were counted. The tentative agreement has been ratified and NRC has been advised. The NRC now has to get the approval of the Governor–in–Council. We do not know how long this will take and we have no control over the timing. Once the GIC has approved the tentative agreement, it will be signed by the RCEA and the NRC. From that date of signing, NRC will have 90 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

posted by admin

CS Group Ratifies Collective Agreement: On July 27, ballots were counted. The tentative agreement has been ratified and NRC has been advised. The NRC now has to get the approval of the Governor–in–Council. We do not know how long this will take and we have no control over the timing. Once the GIC has approved the tentative agreement, it will be signed by the RCEA and the NRC. From that date of signing, NRC will have 90 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

30 Jun
posted by admin

The TO contract was signed today.

8 Jun
posted by admin

Tentative Agreements Reached for AD, AS, CS and PG Groups

On June 3, tentative agreements were reached for the four above mentioned groups. Wage increases for these groups are based on the legislated increases as per the Expenditure Restraint Act. They are as follows:

2007/2008 – 2.3%
2008/2009 – 1.5%
2009/2010 – 1.5%
2010/2011 – 1.5%

The AD an AS Groups will get the 2008-2011 increases as they have already received an increase for 2007/2008. The CS and PG Groups will get all four increases.

There are some other proposed changes to the collective agreements. These will be explained in more detail in the ratification packages that will be sent out within several weeks.

posted by admin

The tentative agreement is now at the Privy Council Office. We hope that it will be signed prior to the summer recess of Parliament. If it is not, the agreement may not be signed until the fall, thereby delaying the implementation of all new provisions.

posted by admin

The RCEA made a settlement proposal to NRC for the OP Group on June 2, 2009. A meeting will be held very shortly to discuss these proposals.

posted by admin

Tentative Agreements Reached for AD, AS, CS and PG Groups

On June 3, tentative agreements were reached for the four above mentioned groups. Wage increases for these groups are based on the legislated increases as per the Expenditure Restraint Act. They are as follows:

2007/2008 – 2.3%
2008/2009 – 1.5%
2009/2010 – 1.5%
2010/2011 – 1.5%

The AD an AS Groups will get the 2008-2011 increases as they have already received an increase for 2007/2008. The CS and PG Groups will get all four increases.

There are some other proposed changes to the collective agreements. These will be explained in more detail in the ratification packages that will be sent out within several weeks.

posted by admin

Tentative Agreements Reached for AD, AS, CS and PG Groups

On June 3, tentative agreements were reached for the four above mentioned groups.  Wage increases for these groups are based on the legislated increases as per the Expenditure Restraint Act.  They are as follows:

2007/2008 – 2.3%
2008/2009 – 1.5%
2009/2010 – 1.5%
2010/2011 – 1.5%

The AD an AS Groups will get the 2008-2011 increases as they have already received an increase for 2007/2008.  The CS and PG Groups will get all four increases.

There are some other proposed changes to the collective agreements. These will be explained in more detail in the ratification packages that will be sent out within several weeks.

posted by admin

Tentative Agreements Reached for AD, AS, CS and PG Groups

On June 3, tentative agreements were reached for the four above mentioned groups. Wage increases for these groups are based on the legislated increases as per the Expenditure Restraint Act. They are as follows:

2007/2008 – 2.3%
2008/2009 – 1.5%
2009/2010 – 1.5%
2010/2011 – 1.5%

The AD an AS Groups will get the 2008-2011 increases as they have already received an increase for 2007/2008. The CS and PG Groups will get all four increases.

There are some other proposed changes to the collective agreements. These will be explained in more detail in the ratification packages that will be sent out within several weeks.

20 Apr
posted by admin

The bargaining team met in early March. At that time, a decision was made to propose a settlement to NRC. The proposal was to renew the collective agreement as is, with the exception of rates of pay which would be increased as per the budget legislation. The proposal was submitted on March 16. We are awaiting the response of NRC.

posted by admin

TO Group Ratifies Tentative Agreement

On April 17, ballots were counted. The tentative agreement has been ratified. NRC has been advised. The NRC now has to get the approval of the Governor–in–Council. We do not know how long this will take and we have no control over the timing. Once the GIC has approved the tentative agreement, it will be signed by the RCEA and the NRC. From that date of signing, NRC will have 150 calendar days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

posted by admin

The bargaining team met in early March. At that time, a decision was made to propose a settlement to NRC. The proposal was to renew the collective agreement as is, with the exception of rates of pay which would be increased as per the budget legislation. The proposal was submitted on March 16. We are awaiting the response of NRC.

posted by admin

The bargaining team met in early March. At that time, a decision was made to propose a settlement to NRC. The proposal was to renew the collective agreement as is, with the exception of rates of pay which would be increased as per the budget legislation. The proposal was submitted on March 16. We are awaiting the response of NRC.

posted by admin

The bargaining team met in early March. At that time, a decision was made to propose a settlement to NRC. The proposal was to renew the collective agreement as is, with the exception of rates of pay which would be increased as per the budget legislation. The proposal was submitted on March 16. We are awaiting the response of NRC.

posted by admin

The bargaining team met in early March. At that time, a decision was made to propose a settlement to NRC. The proposal was to renew the collective agreement as is, with the exception of rates of pay which would be increased as per the budget legislation. The proposal was submitted on March 16. We are awaiting the response of NRC.

18 Mar
posted by admin

TO Group – Tentative Settlement Reached

On March 18, 2009, the RCEA reached a tentative settlement with NRC on behalf of the TO Group. This settlement provides for, among other changes, the following increases:

April 1, 2007 – 2.3%
April 1, 2008 – 1.5%
April 1, 2009 – 1.5%
April 1, 2010 – 1.5%

Details of all the proposed changes to the collective agreement will be described in a ratification package which will be sent out shortly.

16 Feb
posted by admin

I am taking this opportunity to summarize the status of collective bargaining for all RCEA groups.

Notice to bargain for all groups were submitted on the following dates:

Technical (TO) – January 25, 2007
Operational (OP) – July 5, 2007
Purchasing and Supply (PG) – January 30, 2007
Administrative Support (AD – March 4, 2008
Administrative Services (AS) – March 4, 2008
Computer Systems Administration (CS) – November 7, 2007

TO Category:

  1. Call for members interested in participating on the bargaining committee went out in January 2007.
  2. The first meeting was held in May 2007 to select the Group Chairperson.
  3. Bargaining demands for the TO’s were submitted in November 2007.
  4. Bargaining took place on October 1 and 2 and resumed on October 28 and 29, 2008, but broke-off due to impasses on a number of issues.
  5. On November 27, 2008, after attempting to engage in meaningful discussions with NRC on the final offers, the RCEA management committee and representatives of all bargaining committees, decided to decline these offers.

Details of the final offers can be found on the website under Category News. On November 27, 2008, the Government did announce the imposition of the very same wage controls as in the Final Offers. This was short-lived as the House of Commons was prorogued until January 2009. A meeting with the NRC was held on December 21st, 2008 to discuss next steps. The RCEA was advised that nothing had changed since the Final Offers. It was then decided that, in the best interests of the membership, we would wait to see what was contained in the upcoming budget.

The TO Bargaining Committee met on January 29th, 2009 to discuss the implications of the Federal Budget and next steps. On Friday, February 7, the Conservative government introduced an omnibus bill (Bill C-10) to implement the provisions of the budget. In the February bargaining update you will find the details of the implications of this Legislation. While Bill C-10 has yet to be passed, we have asked NRC to return to the bargaining table. We are presently waiting for a response.

OP Group – Several meetings of the bargaining committee were held to prepare bargaining demands, which were submitted in March, 2008.

PG Group – Demands were submitted May 2008.

AD, AS and CS Groups – Bargaining committees remain to be finalized. No demands have been prepared or submitted at this time.

We do not anticipate significant changes to the proposed legislation. Bill C-10 places significant restrictions on what can be achieved at the bargaining table or through arbitration. We will be attempting to move the process along for all the remaining groups as soon as possible.

As always, I do appreciate receiving your thoughts and comments.

Serge Croteau
President

13 Feb
posted by admin

On Friday, February 7, the Conservative government introduced an omnibus bill to implement the provisions of the federal budget. Bill C-10 includes two sections that directly impact NRC employees: one section that provides for legislated wage rates for federal public sector workers and another that proposes a wholesale overhaul of federal pay equity legislation.

The Expenditure Restraint Act provides for wage increases as follows:

2006-2007 fiscal year – 2.5%
2007-2008 fiscal year – 2.3%
2008-2009 fiscal year – 1.5%
2009-2010 fiscal year – 1.5%
2010-2011 fiscal year – 1.5%

The legislation also prohibits any increases to what it terms “additional remuneration” which means that there can be no positive change to any so called “monetary items”. Collective bargaining remains as do the rights to arbitration and strike. In reality, what this seems to suggest is that unions can go to the bargaining table, but they can only talk about issues and provisions that have no cost attached to them. For all intents and purposes, the government has frozen collective bargaining for the next two years.

None of the RCEA bargaining units have agreements that will be affected by the roll backs contained in the legislation. All our bargaining units will be covered by the 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.5% increases.

The legislation must now make its way through the Parliamentary process. We do not know how long that will take. In the meantime, we will be attempting to resume bargaining on the non-monetary issues for the TO group and to commence bargaining for our other groups.

With respect to pay equity, the proposed legislation changes the entire framework in which pay equity complaints can be made. It changes pay equity from a human rights issue to a compensation issue that must be addressed through collective bargaining. If it is not resolved during bargaining, there can be financial and other penalties. There is a complaint process, but only by individual members and without the support of the union. There are also fines of up to $50,000 if the union encourages or assists a member in making a complaint.

This pay equity proposal is unwieldy and impossible for a union the size of the RCEA. It remains to be seen whether there be will changes to the legislation and if not, how it will be implemented.

12 Feb
posted by admin

On Friday, February 7, the Conservative government introduced an omnibus bill to implement the provisions of the federal budget. Bill C-10 includes two sections that directly impact NRC employees: one section that provides for legislated wage rates for federal public sector workers and another that proposes a wholesale overhaul of federal pay equity legislation.

The Expenditure Restraint Act provides for wage increases as follows:

2006-2007 fiscal year – 2.5%
2007-2008 fiscal year – 2.3%
2008-2009 fiscal year – 1.5%
2009-2010 fiscal year – 1.5%
2010-2011 fiscal year – 1.5%

The legislation also prohibits any increases to what it terms “additional remuneration” which means that there can be no positive change to any so called “monetary items”. Collective bargaining remains as do the rights to arbitration and strike. In reality, what this seems to suggest is that unions can go to the bargaining table, but they can only talk about issues and provisions that have no cost attached to them. For all intents and purposes, the government has frozen collective bargaining for the next two years.

None of the RCEA bargaining units have agreements that will be affected by the roll backs contained in the legislation. All our bargaining units will be covered by the 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.5% increases.

The legislation must now make its way through the Parliamentary process. We do not know how long that will take. In the meantime, we will be attempting to resume bargaining on the non-monetary issues for the TO group and to commence bargaining for our other groups.

With respect to pay equity, the proposed legislation changes the entire framework in which pay equity complaints can be made. It changes pay equity from a human rights issue to a compensation issue that must be addressed through collective bargaining. If it is not resolved during bargaining, there can be financial and other penalties. There is a complaint process, but only by individual members and without the support of the union. There are also fines of up to $50,000 if the union encourages or assists a member in making a complaint.

This pay equity proposal is unwieldy and impossible for a union the size of the RCEA. It remains to be seen whether there be will changes to the legislation and if not, how it will be implemented.

posted by admin

On Friday, February 7, the Conservative government introduced an omnibus bill to implement the provisions of the federal budget. Bill C-10 includes two sections that directly impact NRC employees: one section that provides for legislated wage rates for federal public sector workers and another that proposes a wholesale overhaul of federal pay equity legislation.

The Expenditure Restraint Act provides for wage increases as follows:

2006-2007 fiscal year – 2.5%
2007-2008 fiscal year – 2.3%
2008-2009 fiscal year – 1.5%
2009-2010 fiscal year – 1.5%
2010-2011 fiscal year – 1.5%

The legislation also prohibits any increases to what it terms “additional remuneration” which means that there can be no positive change to any so called “monetary items”. Collective bargaining remains as do the rights to arbitration and strike. In reality, what this seems to suggest is that unions can go to the bargaining table, but they can only talk about issues and provisions that have no cost attached to them. For all intents and purposes, the government has frozen collective bargaining for the next two years.

None of the RCEA bargaining units have agreements that will be affected by the roll backs contained in the legislation. All our bargaining units will be covered by the 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.5% increases.

The legislation must now make its way through the Parliamentary process. We do not know how long that will take. In the meantime, we will be attempting to resume bargaining on the non-monetary issues for the TO group and to commence bargaining for our other groups.

With respect to pay equity, the proposed legislation changes the entire framework in which pay equity complaints can be made. It changes pay equity from a human rights issue to a compensation issue that must be addressed through collective bargaining. If it is not resolved during bargaining, there can be financial and other penalties. There is a complaint process, but only by individual members and without the support of the union. There are also fines of up to $50,000 if the union encourages or assists a member in making a complaint.

This pay equity proposal is unwieldy and impossible for a union the size of the RCEA. It remains to be seen whether there be will changes to the legislation and if not, how it will be implemented.

posted by admin

On Friday, February 7, the Conservative government introduced an omnibus bill to implement the provisions of the federal budget. Bill C-10 includes two sections that directly impact NRC employees: one section that provides for legislated wage rates for federal public sector workers and another that proposes a wholesale overhaul of federal pay equity legislation.

The Expenditure Restraint Act provides for wage increases as follows:

2006-2007 fiscal year – 2.5%
2007-2008 fiscal year – 2.3%
2008-2009 fiscal year – 1.5%
2009-2010 fiscal year – 1.5%
2010-2011 fiscal year – 1.5%

The legislation also prohibits any increases to what it terms “additional remuneration” which means that there can be no positive change to any so called “monetary items”. Collective bargaining remains as do the rights to arbitration and strike. In reality, what this seems to suggest is that unions can go to the bargaining table, but they can only talk about issues and provisions that have no cost attached to them. For all intents and purposes, the government has frozen collective bargaining for the next two years.

None of the RCEA bargaining units have agreements that will be affected by the roll backs contained in the legislation. All our bargaining units will be covered by the 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.5% increases.

The legislation must now make its way through the Parliamentary process. We do not know how long that will take. In the meantime, we will be attempting to resume bargaining on the non-monetary issues for the TO group and to commence bargaining for our other groups.

With respect to pay equity, the proposed legislation changes the entire framework in which pay equity complaints can be made. It changes pay equity from a human rights issue to a compensation issue that must be addressed through collective bargaining. If it is not resolved during bargaining, there can be financial and other penalties. There is a complaint process, but only by individual members and without the support of the union. There are also fines of up to $50,000 if the union encourages or assists a member in making a complaint.

This pay equity proposal is unwieldy and impossible for a union the size of the RCEA. It remains to be seen whether there be will changes to the legislation and if not, how it will be implemented.

11 Feb
posted by admin

On Friday, February 7, the Conservative government introduced an omnibus bill to implement the provisions of the federal budget. Bill C-10 includes two sections that directly impact NRC employees: one section that provides for legislated wage rates for federal public sector workers and another that proposes a wholesale overhaul of federal pay equity legislation.

The Expenditure Restraint Act provides for wage increases as follows:

2006-2007 fiscal year – 2.5%
2007-2008 fiscal year – 2.3%
2008-2009 fiscal year – 1.5%
2009-2010 fiscal year – 1.5%
2010-2011 fiscal year – 1.5%

The legislation also prohibits any increases to what it terms “additional remuneration” which means that there can be no positive change to any so called “monetary items”. Collective bargaining remains as do the rights to arbitration and strike. In reality, what this seems to suggest is that unions can go to the bargaining table, but they can only talk about issues and provisions that have no cost attached to them. For all intents and purposes, the government has frozen collective bargaining for the next two years.

None of the RCEA bargaining units have agreements that will be affected by the roll backs contained in the legislation. All our bargaining units will be covered by the 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.5% increases.

The legislation must now make its way through the Parliamentary process. We do not know how long that will take. In the meantime, we will be attempting to resume bargaining on the non-monetary issues for the TO group and to commence bargaining for our other groups.

With respect to pay equity, the proposed legislation changes the entire framework in which pay equity complaints can be made. It changes pay equity from a human rights issue to a compensation issue that must be addressed through collective bargaining. If it is not resolved during bargaining, there can be financial and other penalties. There is a complaint process, but only by individual members and without the support of the union. There are also fines of up to $50,000 if the union encourages or assists a member in making a complaint.

This pay equity proposal is unwieldy and impossible for a union the size of the RCEA. It remains to be seen whether there be will changes to the legislation and if not, how it will be implemented.

10 Feb
posted by admin

On Friday, February 7, the Conservative government introduced an omnibus bill to implement the provisions of the federal budget. Bill C-10 includes two sections that directly impact NRC employees: one section that provides for legislated wage rates for federal public sector workers and another that proposes a wholesale overhaul of federal pay equity legislation.

The Expenditure Restraint Act provides for wage increases as follows:

2006-2007 fiscal year – 2.5%
2007-2008 fiscal year – 2.3%
2008-2009 fiscal year – 1.5%
2009-2010 fiscal year – 1.5%
2010-2011 fiscal year – 1.5%

The legislation also prohibits any increases to what it terms “additional remuneration” which means that there can be no positive change to any so called “monetary items”. Collective bargaining remains as do the rights to arbitration and strike. In reality, what this seems to suggest is that unions can go to the bargaining table, but they can only talk about issues and provisions that have no cost attached to them. For all intents and purposes, the government has frozen collective bargaining for the next two years.

None of the RCEA bargaining units have agreements that will be affected by the roll backs contained in the legislation. All our bargaining units will be covered by the 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.5% increases.

The legislation must now make its way through the Parliamentary process. We do not know how long that will take. In the meantime, we will be attempting to resume bargaining on the non-monetary issues for the TO group and to commence bargaining for our other groups.

With respect to pay equity, the proposed legislation changes the entire framework in which pay equity complaints can be made. It changes pay equity from a human rights issue to a compensation issue that must be addressed through collective bargaining. If it is not resolved during bargaining, there can be financial and other penalties. There is a complaint process, but only by individual members and without the support of the union. There are also fines of up to $50,000 if the union encourages or assists a member in making a complaint.

This pay equity proposal is unwieldy and impossible for a union the size of the RCEA. It remains to be seen whether there be will changes to the legislation and if not, how it will be implemented.

posted by admin

Many of you have been wondering where things stand with respect to your various collective agreements and bargaining with NRC. We had been waiting for the federal budget in order to determine our next moves. I am afraid that we will have to wait a bit longer. Although the budget was tabled on January 27, it did not provide much information. The wage increases that were part of the Employer’s Final Offers in November and that were also in the November Economic Statement, are again found in the new budget. That is all we know at this time. The government will be introducing legislation; we are told it will be next week. It remains to be seen what else, besides the wage control increases of 2.3%, 1.5%, 1.5% and 1.5% are in this legislation. The nature and scope of the legislation will determine the bargaining course for the next several years. Once the legislation is tabled, we will analyze it and come up with several recommendations that will be presented to the RCEA bargaining committees.

I know that members are frustrated and some have been asking why we did not reach tentative agreements last November. Many point to the agreements reached by the PSAC which contain the same wage increases as mentioned above. The key difference however, is that while the PSAC was able to negotiate and received significant improvements to their agreements while making no concessions, the RCEA was asked, for its six bargaining units, to accept significant concessions. We did not feel and do not feel at this time, that NRC employees should be virtually the only ones in the public service to be asked to make concessions.

I will update this message as soon as more information is available. As always, I do appreciate receiving your thoughts and comments.

Serge Croteau
President

10 Dec
posted by admin

Another year has gone by and I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and recognition to the many individuals that have dedicated time and effort in helping and supporting our members. To all Shop Stewards, committee chairs and committee members, your commitment to ensuring the best outcome for the members is greatly appreciated.

This past year has definitely not been an easy one. In these challenging times, the RCEA will continue to work hard for the all our members.

My sincere appreciation to the RCEA staff: Joan Van Den Bergh, Laurette Ernst and Jackay Cardinal for all the work and support they demonstrate in dealing with a continuously increasing workload.

To all of you, I wish a safe and happy holiday season. We should all take this opportunity to enjoy time with family and friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Serge Croteau
President

3 Dec
posted by admin

Collective Bargaining Update

Last week, on November 27, after attempting to engage in meaningful discussions with NRC on the Final Offers, the RCEA Management Committee and representatives of all Bargaining Committees, decided to decline these offers. The offers included wage increases for the CS, OP, PG and TO Groups of 2.3% in 2007-2008 and 1.5% in each of the next three years. For the AD and AS Groups, the wage increases were 1.5% per year for three years starting in 2008-2009. Also in the offers was the demand that the OP, PG and TO Groups agree to a 35 day cap on vacation leave carry-over with a 10 day per year drawdown for any member with more than 35 days in their carry over bank. For the AD and CS Groups, who already have a 35 day cap, the demand was for the 10 day per year drawdown. The AS Group already has these provisions. For all groups except the AS Group, these demands represent significant reductions in benefits.

The RCEA was prepared to accept the wage offers for all groups. We were even prepared to consider the cap on vacation carry over. All attempts to negotiate the drawdown were met with refusals from NRC, until the very last minute, when it became apparent that the Government’s Economic Statement would not include such provisions.

Representatives of the RCEA deliberated long and hard about these offers. At the end of the day, it was felt that we could not, in good conscience accept these provisions. As it turned out, on November 27, the Government did announce the imposition of the very same wage controls but without any changes to current collective agreement language, as well as the removal of the right to strike. As none of the RCEA bargaining units are on the strike route, this part of the announcement does not directly affect the RCEA. We do stand, however, with our public service union colleagues, in denouncing this proposal. The right to collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental elements of Canadian democracy.

The situation remains extremely fluid. It was reported today that the Finance Minister has changed his mind about removing the right to strike. While this is good news for the Canadian labour movement, we have still to determine exactly how any legislative change will affect the RCEA. We are monitoring the situation and are seeking more information about any other proposed legislative changes. In the meantime, it is our interpretation that collective bargaining can continue on non-wage issues.

We have received many emails from members, some urging us to accept whatever was offered and others urging us to stay the course. As stated earlier, the RCEA on behalf of its members was always prepared to accept the lesser wage offers. However, we were reluctant to be intimidated into accepting other concessions under pressure through last-minute offers from NRC. Based on the state of current information, it now appears that we will have these wage increases, but hopefully will be able to return to the bargaining table to address other issues of concern to the RCEA and the NRC.

We appreciate the support we have received from all members and we will continue to work for the best deals possible for all members.

posted by admin

Collective Bargaining Update

Last week, on November 27, after attempting to engage in meaningful discussions with NRC on the Final Offers, the RCEA Management Committee and representatives of all Bargaining Committees, decided to decline these offers. The offers included wage increases for the CS, OP, PG and TO Groups of 2.3% in 2007-2008 and 1.5% in each of the next three years. For the AD and AS Groups, the wage increases were 1.5% per year for three years starting in 2008-2009. Also in the offers was the demand that the OP, PG and TO Groups agree to a 35 day cap on vacation leave carry-over with a 10 day per year drawdown for any member with more than 35 days in their carry over bank. For the AD and CS Groups, who already have a 35 day cap, the demand was for the 10 day per year drawdown. The AS Group already has these provisions. For all groups except the AS Group, these demands represent significant reductions in benefits.

The RCEA was prepared to accept the wage offers for all groups. We were even prepared to consider the cap on vacation carry over. All attempts to negotiate the drawdown were met with refusals from NRC, until the very last minute, when it became apparent that the Government’s Economic Statement would not include such provisions.

Representatives of the RCEA deliberated long and hard about these offers. At the end of the day, it was felt that we could not, in good conscience accept these provisions. As it turned out, on November 27, the Government did announce the imposition of the very same wage controls but without any changes to current collective agreement language, as well as the removal of the right to strike. As none of the RCEA bargaining units are on the strike route, this part of the announcement does not directly affect the RCEA. We do stand, however, with our public service union colleagues, in denouncing this proposal. The right to collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental elements of Canadian democracy.

The situation remains extremely fluid. It was reported today that the Finance Minister has changed his mind about removing the right to strike. While this is good news for the Canadian labour movement, we have still to determine exactly how any legislative change will affect the RCEA. We are monitoring the situation and are seeking more information about any other proposed legislative changes. In the meantime, it is our interpretation that collective bargaining can continue on non-wage issues.

We have received many emails from members, some urging us to accept whatever was offered and others urging us to stay the course. As stated earlier, the RCEA on behalf of its members was always prepared to accept the lesser wage offers. However, we were reluctant to be intimidated into accepting other concessions under pressure through last-minute offers from NRC. Based on the state of current information, it now appears that we will have these wage increases, but hopefully will be able to return to the bargaining table to address other issues of concern to the RCEA and the NRC.

We appreciate the support we have received from all members and we will continue to work for the best deals possible for all members.

posted by admin

Collective Bargaining Update

Last week, on November 27, after attempting to engage in meaningful discussions with NRC on the Final Offers, the RCEA Management Committee and representatives of all Bargaining Committees, decided to decline these offers. The offers included wage increases for the CS, OP, PG and TO Groups of 2.3% in 2007-2008 and 1.5% in each of the next three years. For the AD and AS Groups, the wage increases were 1.5% per year for three years starting in 2008-2009. Also in the offers was the demand that the OP, PG and TO Groups agree to a 35 day cap on vacation leave carry-over with a 10 day per year drawdown for any member with more than 35 days in their carry over bank. For the AD and CS Groups, who already have a 35 day cap, the demand was for the 10 day per year drawdown. The AS Group already has these provisions. For all groups except the AS Group, these demands represent significant reductions in benefits.

The RCEA was prepared to accept the wage offers for all groups. We were even prepared to consider the cap on vacation carry over. All attempts to negotiate the drawdown were met with refusals from NRC, until the very last minute, when it became apparent that the Government’s Economic Statement would not include such provisions.

Representatives of the RCEA deliberated long and hard about these offers. At the end of the day, it was felt that we could not, in good conscience accept these provisions. As it turned out, on November 27, the Government did announce the imposition of the very same wage controls but without any changes to current collective agreement language, as well as the removal of the right to strike. As none of the RCEA bargaining units are on the strike route, this part of the announcement does not directly affect the RCEA. We do stand, however, with our public service union colleagues, in denouncing this proposal. The right to collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental elements of Canadian democracy.

The situation remains extremely fluid. It was reported today that the Finance Minister has changed his mind about removing the right to strike. While this is good news for the Canadian labour movement, we have still to determine exactly how any legislative change will affect the RCEA. We are monitoring the situation and are seeking more information about any other proposed legislative changes. In the meantime, it is our interpretation that collective bargaining can continue on non-wage issues.

We have received many emails from members, some urging us to accept whatever was offered and others urging us to stay the course. As stated earlier, the RCEA on behalf of its members was always prepared to accept the lesser wage offers. However, we were reluctant to be intimidated into accepting other concessions under pressure through last-minute offers from NRC. Based on the state of current information, it now appears that we will have these wage increases, but hopefully will be able to return to the bargaining table to address other issues of concern to the RCEA and the NRC.

We appreciate the support we have received from all members and we will continue to work for the best deals possible for all members.

posted by admin

Collective Bargaining Update

Last week, on November 27, after attempting to engage in meaningful discussions with NRC on the Final Offers, the RCEA Management Committee and representatives of all Bargaining Committees, decided to decline these offers. The offers included wage increases for the CS, OP, PG and TO Groups of 2.3% in 2007-2008 and 1.5% in each of the next three years. For the AD and AS Groups, the wage increases were 1.5% per year for three years starting in 2008-2009. Also in the offers was the demand that the OP, PG and TO Groups agree to a 35 day cap on vacation leave carry-over with a 10 day per year drawdown for any member with more than 35 days in their carry over bank. For the AD and CS Groups, who already have a 35 day cap, the demand was for the 10 day per year drawdown. The AS Group already has these provisions. For all groups except the AS Group, these demands represent significant reductions in benefits.

The RCEA was prepared to accept the wage offers for all groups. We were even prepared to consider the cap on vacation carry over. All attempts to negotiate the drawdown were met with refusals from NRC, until the very last minute, when it became apparent that the Government’s Economic Statement would not include such provisions.

Representatives of the RCEA deliberated long and hard about these offers. At the end of the day, it was felt that we could not, in good conscience accept these provisions. As it turned out, on November 27, the Government did announce the imposition of the very same wage controls but without any changes to current collective agreement language, as well as the removal of the right to strike. As none of the RCEA bargaining units are on the strike route, this part of the announcement does not directly affect the RCEA. We do stand, however, with our public service union colleagues, in denouncing this proposal. The right to collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental elements of Canadian democracy.

The situation remains extremely fluid. It was reported today that the Finance Minister has changed his mind about removing the right to strike. While this is good news for the Canadian labour movement, we have still to determine exactly how any legislative change will affect the RCEA. We are monitoring the situation and are seeking more information about any other proposed legislative changes. In the meantime, it is our interpretation that collective bargaining can continue on non-wage issues.

We have received many emails from members, some urging us to accept whatever was offered and others urging us to stay the course. As stated earlier, the RCEA on behalf of its members was always prepared to accept the lesser wage offers. However, we were reluctant to be intimidated into accepting other concessions under pressure through last-minute offers from NRC. Based on the state of current information, it now appears that we will have these wage increases, but hopefully will be able to return to the bargaining table to address other issues of concern to the RCEA and the NRC.

We appreciate the support we have received from all members and we will continue to work for the best deals possible for all members.

posted by admin

Collective Bargaining Update

Last week, on November 27, after attempting to engage in meaningful discussions with NRC on the Final Offers, the RCEA Management Committee and representatives of all Bargaining Committees, decided to decline these offers. The offers included wage increases for the CS, OP, PG and TO Groups of 2.3% in 2007-2008 and 1.5% in each of the next three years. For the AD and AS Groups, the wage increases were 1.5% per year for three years starting in 2008-2009. Also in the offers was the demand that the OP, PG and TO Groups agree to a 35 day cap on vacation leave carry-over with a 10 day per year drawdown for any member with more than 35 days in their carry over bank. For the AD and CS Groups, who already have a 35 day cap, the demand was for the 10 day per year drawdown. The AS Group already has these provisions. For all groups except the AS Group, these demands represent significant reductions in benefits.

The RCEA was prepared to accept the wage offers for all groups. We were even prepared to consider the cap on vacation carry over. All attempts to negotiate the drawdown were met with refusals from NRC, until the very last minute, when it became apparent that the Government’s Economic Statement would not include such provisions.

Representatives of the RCEA deliberated long and hard about these offers. At the end of the day, it was felt that we could not, in good conscience accept these provisions. As it turned out, on November 27, the Government did announce the imposition of the very same wage controls but without any changes to current collective agreement language, as well as the removal of the right to strike. As none of the RCEA bargaining units are on the strike route, this part of the announcement does not directly affect the RCEA. We do stand, however, with our public service union colleagues, in denouncing this proposal. The right to collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental elements of Canadian democracy.

The situation remains extremely fluid. It was reported today that the Finance Minister has changed his mind about removing the right to strike. While this is good news for the Canadian labour movement, we have still to determine exactly how any legislative change will affect the RCEA. We are monitoring the situation and are seeking more information about any other proposed legislative changes. In the meantime, it is our interpretation that collective bargaining can continue on non-wage issues.

We have received many emails from members, some urging us to accept whatever was offered and others urging us to stay the course. As stated earlier, the RCEA on behalf of its members was always prepared to accept the lesser wage offers. However, we were reluctant to be intimidated into accepting other concessions under pressure through last-minute offers from NRC. Based on the state of current information, it now appears that we will have these wage increases, but hopefully will be able to return to the bargaining table to address other issues of concern to the RCEA and the NRC.

We appreciate the support we have received from all members and we will continue to work for the best deals possible for all members.

posted by admin

Collective Bargaining Update

Last week, on November 27, after attempting to engage in meaningful discussions with NRC on the Final Offers, the RCEA Management Committee and representatives of all Bargaining Committees, decided to decline these offers. The offers included wage increases for the CS, OP, PG and TO Groups of 2.3% in 2007-2008 and 1.5% in each of the next three years. For the AD and AS Groups, the wage increases were 1.5% per year for three years starting in 2008-2009. Also in the offers was the demand that the OP, PG and TO Groups agree to a 35 day cap on vacation leave carry-over with a 10 day per year drawdown for any member with more than 35 days in their carry over bank. For the AD and CS Groups, who already have a 35 day cap, the demand was for the 10 day per year drawdown. The AS Group already has these provisions. For all groups except the AS Group, these demands represent significant reductions in benefits.

The RCEA was prepared to accept the wage offers for all groups. We were even prepared to consider the cap on vacation carry over. All attempts to negotiate the drawdown were met with refusals from NRC, until the very last minute, when it became apparent that the Government’s Economic Statement would not include such provisions.
Representatives of the RCEA deliberated long and hard about these offers. At the end of the day, it was felt that we could not, in good conscience accept these provisions. As it turned out, on November 27, the Government did announce the imposition of the very same wage controls but without any changes to current collective agreement language, as well as the removal of the right to strike. As none of the RCEA bargaining units are on the strike route, this part of the announcement does not directly affect the RCEA. We do stand, however, with our public service union colleagues, in denouncing this proposal. The right to collective bargaining and the right to strike are fundamental elements of Canadian democracy.

The situation remains extremely fluid. It was reported today that the Finance Minister has changed his mind about removing the right to strike. While this is good news for the Canadian labour movement, we have still to determine exactly how any legislative change will affect the RCEA. We are monitoring the situation and are seeking more information about any other proposed legislative changes. In the meantime, it is our interpretation that collective bargaining can continue on non-wage issues.

We have received many emails from members, some urging us to accept whatever was offered and others urging us to stay the course. As stated earlier, the RCEA on behalf of its members was always prepared to accept the lesser wage offers. However, we were reluctant to be intimidated into accepting other concessions under pressure through last-minute offers from NRC. Based on the state of current information, it now appears that we will have these wage increases, but hopefully will be able to return to the bargaining table to address other issues of concern to the RCEA and the NRC.

We appreciate the support we have received from all members and we will continue to work for the best deals possible for all members.

12 Nov
posted by admin

TO Bargaining Update:

After four days of meetings, the RCEA has broken off “negotiations” for the TO Group. While we have shown considerable movement and flexibility with respect both to our proposals as well as to those of the NRC, Council has consistently refused to address issues of concern to the Group. Instead, it has demanded that the TO Group agree to significant concessions before it will even consider some of our proposals.

In particular, NRC wants the TO Group to agree to cap vacation leave carry-over at 35 days with unreasonable grandfathering provisions. This, they said, was needed due to the financial obligation on NRC that unused vacation leave generates. However, by their own statistics, the total value of unused vacation leave over 35 days for the whole of the TO Group accounts for only 6% of this total financial obligation. In fact, over 82% of the Group has less than 35 days in their carry-over banks and close to 79% has less than 25 days in the bank. What they are talking about is an unfunded liability that may look bad on paper, but in reality, only has an impact if every NRC employee seeks to use all their unused leave at the same time.

They are also seeking the right to schedule the annual leave of group members. Even though we explained to them that the problem in the TO Group was not one of employees not taking or scheduling their leave, rather it is one of employees not being allowed to take leave in the amount and at the time they want due to “operational requirements.” As well, they expect the TO Group to give up all carry-over of compensatory leave earned as a result of doing overtime work.

To this they added a wage offer of 1.5%, 1.5%, 1.2% and 1.2% over four years.

The TO Bargaining Team believes that it has gone as far as it can go at this time. We have agreed with a great many of NRC’s proposals and we have shown a real interest in arriving at a new agreement. The same cannot be said of NRC. The Team will now wait for a short time to see if NRC is interested in resuming negotiations, provided they are prepared to deal with some of our concerns. The RCEA and the TO Bargaining Team are determined to continue working in the best interest of our members and we appreciate the continued support of all TO Group members.

10 Nov
posted by admin

During the past 2 weeks you have probably heard about the direction the Government has decided to take vis-à-vis public service collective bargaining. On November 18, Treasury Board presented “final wage offers” to all of the core public service. These “offers” provide for a four year agreement with increases of 2.3 % for 2007-2008, 1.5 % 2008-2009, 1.5 % 2009-1010 and 1.5% 2010-2011.

Late on Monday, November 24, NRC presented the RCEA with its “final offers” for all our bargaining units, even those that have yet to commence bargaining. We were given 2 days to respond. This was not a surprise as we fully expected that NRC employees would be asked to sacrifice in the same manner as the core public service. Although the wage proposals are the same, we are being asked to agree to significant concessions. In our view, these requests are unreasonable and unacceptable. We know that while many members may be prepared to accept lower wage increases in order to do their part, the requested concessions ask too much of RCEA members. We do not believe that employees in the core public service are being asked to make the same or similar concessions. In fact, you will have all heard of the PSAC settlement which appears to provide significant non-monetary improvements.

We have initiated communications with the President of NRC as well as the President of the Treasury Board. We have requested that NRC return to the bargaining table to further discuss these final offers and to seek agreements that we can all live with. We have not yet had any responses. If either NRC refuses to meet with us or we are unable to reach an acceptable agreement, it is more than likely that we will be impacted by the legislation the government intends to table in Parliament on Thursday November 27.

12 Oct
posted by admin

Bargaining took place on Oct. 1 and 2 and is scheduled to resume on Oct. 28 and 29. Progress was made on some issues but a great many remain outstanding. NRC is attempting to restrict or remove several current benefits and entitlements while the RCEA is attempting to preserve or enhance those same provisions. At this time, no pay offer has been made. It is not our practice to release specific details of bargaining while it is going on. We will wait and see what happens during the next two bargaining dates and may, at that time, put out a more detailed summary and explanation.

10 Sep
posted by admin

All RCEA members are invited to attend the 42nd Annual General Meeting on October 8th, 2008 in the M-50 auditorium at 4:15 p.m.
The Research Council Employees’ Association is one of two official bargaining agents at the National Research Council. With six bargaining units and over 2000 members, we now represent more than half of all NRC employees. With the addition of new Institutes and Centres, we will continue to grow.

At this year’s AGM, agenda items include information about the classification review, the Pension litigation case, collective bargaining and other issues of concern to RCEA members. The President’s Report will address issues that have arisen over the past year. Resolutions to amend the Constitution and the Treasurer’s Report will be debated and voted on. There will be plenty of time for questions.

The Annual General Meeting is the time when members can make their views known to their union about the direction it should take in the next year.

The members are the union. We encourage as many members as possible to attend the Annual General Meeting of the RCEA.

Sincerely,

Serge Croteau
President

12 Aug
posted by admin

Tentative bargaining dates have been scheduled for October 1 and 2 and October 28 and 29. NRC hopes to have a mandate by that time.

10 Jul
posted by admin

Many of you have expressed concerns and frustration with respect to the length of time it takes to get to the table and begin bargaining. The bargaining process, as always, remains a slow and frustrating process. All 6 bargaining units have served notice to bargain. Demands have been submitted for several groups and we have also received NRC’s demands for the TO group. As always, the mandate process is taking a great deal of time. There have been very few awards or settlements in the greater public service and this is having an impact on our ability to get to the bargaining table. Preliminary bargaining for the TO group is scheduled for October and we certainly hope that NRC will have a mandate by this time. It is important to remember that even though your collective agreements have expired, the terms and conditions have been frozen and are still in effect.

The announcement of the classification review at NRC is good news; it is indeed time that all RCEA classifications be examined and brought up to date. Our complete role in this process has yet to be determined, however this review will definitely put a strain on existing RCEA resources. Staffing action may be required.

The Constitution Committee has met several times and its members continue to work hard on the full review of the RCEA constitution. The proposed amendments to the constitution, which will be brought to the full membership for a vote after the AGM, should reflect more of today’s realities.

During the summer months we are preparing for the upcoming AGM in October. As always, I hope that more members will attend this year’s AGM. It is a good opportunity for members to raise issues and ask questions about the Association’s current business and future plans. Your Institute representative(s) are always your source of information. Suggestions and/or comments from the members are always welcome; you can direct them to your Institute representative(s) or directly to the RCEA office.

I appreciate hearing from any member at any time and I encourage everyone to visit our website on a regular basis. I would like to wish you a warm and safe summer.

Sincerely,

Serge Croteau
President

13 Jun
posted by admin

Nothing to report at this time.

12 Jun
posted by admin

Nothing to report at this time.

posted by admin

Some volunteers have come forward to serve on the bargaining committee. Meetings will be scheduled over the summer to review issues and prepare demands.

11 Jun
posted by admin

Some volunteers have come forward to serve on the bargaining committee. Meetings will be scheduled over the summer to review issues and prepare demands.

10 Jun
posted by admin

Some volunteers have come forward to serve on the bargaining committee. Meetings will be scheduled over the summer to review issues and prepare demands.

20 Mar
posted by admin

The following letter was sent to NRC on February 22, 2008.

13 Mar
posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been submitted. We once again must now wait until NRC receives a mandate from Treasury Board to commence bargaining. While Treasury Board has commenced bargaining with its own bargaining units, 27 of 28 agreements are up for negotiation, they have yet to determine or release any pay mandates.

Recently, Treasury Board released a document called “Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation”. In it, Treasury Board sets out specific principles and an approach to managing compensation in the public service. The document has this to say about separate employers such as NRC:

Separate agencies may exercise their own human resources authority granted by their enabling statute or by Order in Council. This authority may be unconditional or subject to conditions such as prior consultation with or approval by Treasury Board. Separate agencies are employers in their own right. Most separate agencies require the approval of the Governor in Council to enter into collective agreements with the bargaining agents representing their employees. By Cabinet directive, 1967, the Governor in Council requires separate agencies, in advance of bargaining, to obtain from the President of the Treasury Board their collective bargaining mandates, including the objectives to be pursued and the limits to be observed.

This clarifies the difficulties that both the RCEA and NRC have with respect to collective bargaining. On the one hand, Treasury Board says that separate employers are employers in their own right. In the same breath, they identify the limitations to that right. It is these limitations that impact and delay our bargaining with NRC. These limitations are beyond the control of the RCEA. We are forced to wait for Treasury Board to identify and issue bargaining mandates prior to the commencement of any real or meaningful bargaining.

12 Mar
posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been submitted. We once again must now wait until NRC receives a mandate from Treasury Board to commence bargaining. While Treasury Board has commenced bargaining with its own bargaining units, 27 of 28 agreements are up for negotiation, they have yet to determine or release any pay mandates.

Recently, Treasury Board released a document called “Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation”. In it, Treasury Board sets out specific principles and an approach to managing compensation in the public service. The document has this to say about separate employers such as NRC:

Separate agencies may exercise their own human resources authority granted by their enabling statute or by Order in Council. This authority may be unconditional or subject to conditions such as prior consultation with or approval by Treasury Board. Separate agencies are employers in their own right. Most separate agencies require the approval of the Governor in Council to enter into collective agreements with the bargaining agents representing their employees. By Cabinet directive, 1967, the Governor in Council requires separate agencies, in advance of bargaining, to obtain from the President of the Treasury Board their collective bargaining mandates, including the objectives to be pursued and the limits to be observed.

This clarifies the difficulties that both the RCEA and NRC have with respect to collective bargaining. On the one hand, Treasury Board says that separate employers are employers in their own right. In the same breath, they identify the limitations to that right. It is these limitations that impact and delay our bargaining with NRC. These limitations are beyond the control of the RCEA. We are forced to wait for Treasury Board to identify and issue bargaining mandates prior to the commencement of any real or meaningful bargaining.

posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been submitted. We once again must now wait until NRC receives a mandate from Treasury Board to commence bargaining. While Treasury Board has commenced bargaining with its own bargaining units, 27 of 28 agreements are up for negotiation, they have yet to determine or release any pay mandates.

Recently, Treasury Board released a document called “Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation”. In it, Treasury Board sets out specific principles and an approach to managing compensation in the public service. The document has this to say about separate employers such as NRC:

Separate agencies may exercise their own human resources authority granted by their enabling statute or by Order in Council. This authority may be unconditional or subject to conditions such as prior consultation with or approval by Treasury Board. Separate agencies are employers in their own right. Most separate agencies require the approval of the Governor in Council to enter into collective agreements with the bargaining agents representing their employees. By Cabinet directive, 1967, the Governor in Council requires separate agencies, in advance of bargaining, to obtain from the President of the Treasury Board their collective bargaining mandates, including the objectives to be pursued and the limits to be observed.

This clarifies the difficulties that both the RCEA and NRC have with respect to collective bargaining. On the one hand, Treasury Board says that separate employers are employers in their own right. In the same breath, they identify the limitations to that right. It is these limitations that impact and delay our bargaining with NRC. These limitations are beyond the control of the RCEA. We are forced to wait for Treasury Board to identify and issue bargaining mandates prior to the commencement of any real or meaningful bargaining.

posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served. It is now time to form a Bargaining Committee. The role of the Committee is to select a Group Chairperson, formulate demands, determine bargaining strategy and select a bargaining team. The Committee meets during lunch hours and normally up to 5 meetings are required. If anyone is interested in being on the Bargaining Committee, please contact joan@rcea.ca.

Recently, Treasury Board released a document called “Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation”. In it, Treasury Board sets out specific principles and an approach to managing compensation in the public service. The document has this to say about separate employers such as NRC:

Separate agencies may exercise their own human resources authority granted by their enabling statute or by Order in Council. This authority may be unconditional or subject to conditions such as prior consultation with or approval by Treasury Board. Separate agencies are employers in their own right. Most separate agencies require the approval of the Governor in Council to enter into collective agreements with the bargaining agents representing their employees. By Cabinet directive, 1967, the Governor in Council requires separate agencies, in advance of bargaining, to obtain from the President of the Treasury Board their collective bargaining mandates, including the objectives to be pursued and the limits to be observed.

This clarifies the difficulties that both the RCEA and NRC have with respect to collective bargaining. On the one hand, Treasury Board says that separate employers are employers in their own right. In the same breath, they identify the limitations to that right. It is these limitations that impact and delay our bargaining with NRC. These limitations are beyond the control of the RCEA. We are forced to wait for Treasury Board to identify and issue bargaining mandates prior to the commencement of any real or meaningful bargaining.

11 Mar
posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served. It is now time to form a Bargaining Committee. The role of the Committee is to select a Group Chairperson, formulate demands, determine bargaining strategy and select a bargaining team. The Committee meets during lunch hours and normally up to 5 meetings are required. If anyone is interested in being on the Bargaining Committee, please contact joan@rcea.ca.

Recently, Treasury Board released a document called “Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation”. In it, Treasury Board sets out specific principles and an approach to managing compensation in the public service. The document has this to say about separate employers such as NRC:

Separate agencies may exercise their own human resources authority granted by their enabling statute or by Order in Council. This authority may be unconditional or subject to conditions such as prior consultation with or approval by Treasury Board. Separate agencies are employers in their own right. Most separate agencies require the approval of the Governor in Council to enter into collective agreements with the bargaining agents representing their employees. By Cabinet directive, 1967, the Governor in Council requires separate agencies, in advance of bargaining, to obtain from the President of the Treasury Board their collective bargaining mandates, including the objectives to be pursued and the limits to be observed.

This clarifies the difficulties that both the RCEA and NRC have with respect to collective bargaining. On the one hand, Treasury Board says that separate employers are employers in their own right. In the same breath, they identify the limitations to that right. It is these limitations that impact and delay our bargaining with NRC. These limitations are beyond the control of the RCEA. We are forced to wait for Treasury Board to identify and issue bargaining mandates prior to the commencement of any real or meaningful bargaining.

10 Mar
posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served. It is now time to form a Bargaining Committee. The role of the Committee is to select a Group Chairperson, formulate demands, determine bargaining strategy and select a bargaining team. The Committee meets during lunch hours and normally up to 5 meetings are required. If anyone is interested in being on the Bargaining Committee, please contact joan@rcea.ca.

Recently, Treasury Board released a document called “Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation”. In it, Treasury Board sets out specific principles and an approach to managing compensation in the public service. The document has this to say about separate employers such as NRC:

Separate agencies may exercise their own human resources authority granted by their enabling statute or by Order in Council. This authority may be unconditional or subject to conditions such as prior consultation with or approval by Treasury Board. Separate agencies are employers in their own right. Most separate agencies require the approval of the Governor in Council to enter into collective agreements with the bargaining agents representing their employees. By Cabinet directive, 1967, the Governor in Council requires separate agencies, in advance of bargaining, to obtain from the President of the Treasury Board their collective bargaining mandates, including the objectives to be pursued and the limits to be observed.

This clarifies the difficulties that both the RCEA and NRC have with respect to collective bargaining. On the one hand, Treasury Board says that separate employers are employers in their own right. In the same breath, they identify the limitations to that right. It is these limitations that impact and delay our bargaining with NRC. These limitations are beyond the control of the RCEA. We are forced to wait for Treasury Board to identify and issue bargaining mandates prior to the commencement of any real or meaningful bargaining.

22 Feb
posted by admin

Ms. Mary McLaren
Director General
Human Resources Branch
National Research Council
Montreal Road, Bldg. M-58
Ottawa, ON K1A 0R6

Dear Ms. McLaren:

RE: AS Group Vacation Leave Carry-Over and Grandfathering Provisions

I am writing to you to discuss a problem that we are experiencing with respect to the implementation of the above provisions of the new AS Collective Agreement. The new agreement was signed only on January 10, 2008, almost a full 8 months after the issuance of the Arbitral Award. While the cap on carry-over came into effect at the time of the Arbitral Award in May 2007, the grandfathering provisions did not come into effect until the January 2008 date. Information on the implementation has only recently been communicated to AS Group members.

Up to 50 AS Group members have current carry-over banks of more than 35 days. For the most part, these are long service employees, many of whom now earn 6 weeks of annual leave each year. These are also conscientious employees who have often put the work of the Council ahead of their own leave entitlements. In other cases, the workload simply does not allow the taking of large blocks of leave. Given the late date of the implementation of the grandfathering provisions, these employees have not had the opportunity to make the necessary plans to use the annual leave they earn each year, let alone use any of the banked days. Many now find themselves in a situation where not only will they be paid out the balance of their current allotment; they will also be paid an additional 10 days. Of course, this will have serious tax implications for those employees.

Under normal circumstances, these employees would have had the time to plan their leave accordingly, so as to minimize the number of days that would be paid in cash.

They have not had that opportunity in this fiscal year and they see their current situation as a loss. As you also know, it is extremely difficult for most employees, and particularly those in the AS Group given the nature of their work, to take large amounts of leave just prior to the end of the fiscal year.

As such, I am requesting, on a one time only basis, that the new grandfathering provisions be only implemented for FY 2008/2009. This will prevent these employees from suffering a huge tax hit this year and will allow them to plan future periods of leave in such a way so as to minimize the tax implications of the pay out of annual leave.

Such an agreement on the part of NRC would serve to send the message that the Council understands the concerns of these employees and is prepared to be flexible in this regard.

I am prepared, at any time, to meet and discuss this request further.

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely yours,

Serge Croteau
President

The RCEA had become aware, from members, of problems or potential problems regarding the cap on the carry over of annual leave credits. It was our view that a postponement of the new provisions until the next fiscal year would give members an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments to minimize the implications. The RCEA believes that this was a sensible and reasonable request.

NRC did not agree. On March 17, 2008, a response was received. In it, the Director General of HR stated “I believe your members of the AS group had ample opportunities to become aware of the new conditions for the administration of vacation leave to and ensure they made efforts to use their current vacation leave entitlements….Less than a handful of these employees actually used their current vacation leave entitlements as of the end of January 08. I am convinced that delaying the application of the CAP provisions for an additional year would not be in the best interests of the NRC.”

We are very disappointed in NRC and their response. Surely the best interests of NRC should also include the best interests of its employees.

AS group members with more than 35 days of annual leave in their bank should make every effort to take as much of their annual allotment as possible. If requests for annual leave are denied, please notify the RCEA office as we will be tracking whether members are even able to take all their leave.

10 Feb
posted by admin

It as been quite some time since my last report and a great deal has happened at NRC. During the fall, NRC underwent another “realignment” exercise that saw 50 continuing RCEA members declared surplus. There were also around 10 early ends of terms, some of which were long terms. Despite the lengthy consultation process that the RCEA engaged in with NRC, we were not pleased with the manner in which these cuts were conducted. While most Institutes put forward sound business cases that made sense in the context of the “realignment”, several Institutes did not do so. This has certainly affected morale around Council. As well, less than half of those impacted were able to secure alternate employment with NRC and quite a few members were laid off. Several issues have arisen during the course of the cuts which, in our view, go counter to the Workforce Adjustment Policy. At least one of these concerns that, is the impact on continuing employees who accepted term positions, has been the subject of a Policy Grievance. We certainly expected that we would be participating in a “postmortem” review of this exercise, but NRC has yet to either propose or schedule such a review.

We will be quite busy during the rest of the year. All of our 6 collective agreements have already or will expire during this time. By April we will be in a legal bargaining position for all groups. Once again, however, we are at the mercy of both Treasury Board and NRC as to when any bargaining can commence. Two groups have already submitted demands, the OP group is in the process of finalizing their demands and preparations will commence shortly to prepare demands for the remaining three groups. Chairpersons for three of the categories have been identified and group committees have been established.

The AD, AS and CS agreements were signed on January 10, 2008, a full 8 months after the Arbitral Awards were issued for those groups. This delay is causing serious problems with the implementation of one of the new provisions, the cap on carry over of vacation leave for the AS group. I am in the process of approaching NRC to discuss ways of lessening the impact at the end of the current fiscal year.

I recently met with all other bargaining agents, as well as the Federal Superannuates and, who are involved in the pension surplus litigation, to discuss the next steps. A decision was reached to appeal the Ontario Superior Court’s decision. I encourage you to check our website for updates. You will also find an update on the pay-direct drug card.

I am in the process of planning the regional travel schedule, which will be posted on our website. I would like to encourage regional members who work in close proximity to a regional Institute to attend these meetings and to contact the Institute representative for the day, time and location of the meeting. With respect to National Capital Region Institutes, your Institute representative(s) will be arranging informal lunch time meetings to give you the opportunity to meet Joan Van Den Bergh and myself and to ask whatever questions you may have.

As always, I appreciate hearing from any member at any time and I encourage everyone to visit our website on a regular basis. We certainly make every effort to post new information as soon as it becomes available.

Sincerely,

Serge Croteau
President

28 Jan
posted by admin

AS Collective Agreement and Carry-Over of Annual Leave

The AS collective agreement was signed on January 10, 2008. As a result of the May 2007 arbitral award that saw the inclusion of 5 extra days of annual leave and the deletion of the Marriage Leave provisions, NRC sought and obtained the following language dealing with the carry-over of annual leave for members of the AS Group. There is now a 35 day cap on the carry-over of annual leave. While we sought to include grandfathering language that would have allowed members to maintain all current levels of annual leave, NRC would not agree with this. Below is the language that now applies to members of this group.

It states that anyone with more than 35 days in their annual leave bank will have that bank reduced by 10 days each March 31. This reduction can be either taken in leave or in cash. The bank will be reduced in this manner on an annual basis until the amount of leave in the bank reaches 35 days. There is no such reduction if the employee has 35 days or less in the bank.

Don’t forget that in any calculation of the amount in the bank, the current year’s entitlement must be taken into consideration. So if an employee has 25 days in the bank and gets 4 weeks leave for the current year and only uses one week of leave, of the remaining 15 days, 5 will be paid out and only 10 will be carried over. If an employee currently has 50 days in the bank and gets 4 weeks leave, any unused leave will be paid out in addition to 10 days from the bank being paid out. Any questions on this should be directed to the RCEA office.

31.4 Carry-Over Provisions

31.4.1 Employees shall be entitled to carry earned but unused vacation credits over into the following fiscal year to a maximum of two hundred sixty-two decimal five (262.5) hours leave. The 262.5 hours limit may only be exceeded where the Council cancels a previously scheduled period of vacation leave and reschedules the excess for use at a later date of where the employee was unable to schedule vacation leave based on management’s request. Earned and unused vacation leave credits in excess of the 262.5 hours shall be paid by cheque at the end of the fiscal year at the employee’s daily rate of pay in his substantive position unless the employee has been in an acting position for more than six (6) months at the end of the fiscal year.

31.4.2 Notwithstanding paragraph 31.4.1, if on May 14, 2007 or on the date an employee becomes subject to this Agreement after May 14, 2007, an employee has more than two hundred sixty-two decimal five (262.5) hours of unused vacation leave credits, a minimum of seventy five (75) hours per year shall be granted or paid in cash by March 31st of each year, commencing on March 31, 2008 until all vacation leave credits in excess of two hundred sixty-two decimal five (262.5) hours have been liquidated. Payment shall be in one instalment per year and shall be at the employee’s daily rate of pay in his substantive position unless the employee has been in an acting position for more than six (6) months on March 31.

12 Jan
posted by admin

The collective agreement was signed on January 11, 2008, after the expiry date of the agreement. Changes in the new agreement are effective this date.

11 Jan
posted by admin

The collective agreement was signed on January 11, 2008. Changes in the new agreement are effective this date.

10 Jan
posted by admin

The collective agreement was signed on January 11, 2008. Changes in the new agreement are effective this date.

13 Nov
posted by admin

Demands still remain to be formulated.

12 Nov
posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been submitted.

posted by admin

Several meetings of the Bargaining Committee have been held and the final set of demands is very close to being finalized and submitted.

posted by admin

We are still waiting to sign the collective agreements. The last communication from NRC on this stated:

“We have still not been able to get GIC approval for the AD, AS and CS CAs. Confusion seems to exist between the minister’s office and PCO as to who can support the submission for GIC approval. We’re still working diligently to try and resolve the situation ASAP and I’ll keep you informed as things progress.”

And

“We only just yesterday (Nov. 5, 2007) received confirmation from the PCO that the Minister was the only person who could recommend to the Parliamentary Committee that a collective agreement be entered into.

All the concerns regarding delays, impact of the arbitral awards and negative impact on your members and the employer/bargaining agent relationship have been made. We will be treating these files as a top priority.”

All members should note that only the items covered by the Arbitral Awards have already been implemented. Any other changes, such as a day being equal to 7.5 hours and the change in sick leave (certified and uncertified), will only take effect on the date of signing of the agreements.

Notice to Bargain will be served within several days. Although we will be serving this notice, we will not be able to commence the bargaining process until several other groups have been settled. Please note that the TA will remain in effect until a new “new” agreement is negotiated with an effective date of December 22, 2007.

11 Nov
posted by admin

We are still waiting to sign the collective agreements. The last communication from NRC on this stated:

“We have still not been able to get GIC approval for the AD, AS and CS CAs. Confusion seems to exist between the minister’s office and PCO as to who can support the submission for GIC approval. We’re still working diligently to try and resolve the situation ASAP and I’ll keep you informed as things progress.”

And

“We only just yesterday (Nov. 5, 2007) received confirmation from the PCO that the Minister was the only person who could recommend to the Parliamentary Committee that a collective agreement be entered into.

All the concerns regarding delays, impact of the arbitral awards and negative impact on your members and the employer/bargaining agent relationship have been made. We will be treating these files as a top priority.”

All members should note that only the items covered by the Arbitral Awards have already been implemented. Any other changes, such as a day being equal to 7.5 hours and the change in sick leave (certified and uncertified), will only take effect on the date of signing of the agreements.

10 Nov
posted by admin

We are still waiting to sign the collective agreements. The last communication from NRC on this stated:

“We have still not been able to get GIC approval for the AD, AS and CS CAs. Confusion seems to exist between the minister’s office and PCO as to who can support the submission for GIC approval. We’re still working diligently to try and resolve the situation ASAP and I’ll keep you informed as things progress.”

And

“We only just yesterday (Nov. 5, 2007) received confirmation from the PCO that the Minister was the only person who could recommend to the Parliamentary Committee that a collective agreement be entered into.

All the concerns regarding delays, impact of the arbitral awards and negative impact on your members and the employer/bargaining agent relationship have been made. We will be treating these files as a top priority.”

All members should note that only the items covered by the Arbitral Awards have already been implemented. Any other changes, such as a day being equal to 7.5 hours and the change in sick leave (certified and uncertified), will only take effect on the date of signing of the agreements.

10 Oct
posted by admin

This past summer has been extremely busy for the RCEA. On October 3rd, the RCEA held its Annual General Meeting; it was a great disappointment to see so little interest from the membership. This forum is a great opportunity for the members to find out what is happening and what’s upcoming for the RCEA. It’s also an excellent opportunity for you to have direct input to the discussions that take place at the meeting. We continue to look at ways to increase the interest of the members in attending the AGM. If you have suggestions, please direct them to your RCEA representative or send them to the RCEA office.

You will soon receive a two-part voting package which is of great importance to the RCEA. The first part deals with the proposed changes to the RCEA constitution. These changes, sent out to all the members prior to the AGM, were presented and discussed at length at the AGM. The second part was brought forward and discussed at the AGM and deals with a dues increase. The proposed increase will enable the RCEA to reduce the operating deficit forecast for the next year. It is important to understand that the rising cost of doing business must be taken into consideration. We are still the lowest paying dues organization in the Public Service. Your support and acceptance of this increase is important to maintain the high level of support to our members. More information can be obtained from your RCEA representative.

As always, I appreciate hearing from any member at any time and I encourage everyone to visit our website on a regular basis. We certainly make every effort to post new information as soon as it becomes available.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful summer.

Sincerely,

Serge Croteau
President

13 Jul
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

12 Jul
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

Notice to Bargain was served on July 5, 2007.

posted by admin

While NRC has 90 days from May 16, 2007 to implement signing bonus and terminable allowance provisions of the Arbitral Award, the remaining changes to the collective agreement ( with the exception of pay) will not become effective until those items are signed off. As with prior collective agreements, these items require the approval of the Treasury Board and the Governor in Council. We do not know when these will be signed off.

We have confirmed with NRC that they will be implementing the wage changes within the 90 day period, even though the salary adjustments were not part of the Arbitral Award.

11 Jul
posted by admin

While NRC has 90 days from May 14, 2007 to implement the pay and new annual leave provisions of the Arbitral Award, the remaining changes to the collective agreement will not become effective until those items are signed off. As with prior collective agreements, these items require the approval of the Treasury Board and the Governor in Council. We do not know when these will be signed off.

With respect to the new cap on carry over of annual leave, we are still waiting to commence discussions with NRC about grandfathering provisions. The RCEA has also requested a hearing before the Arbitration Board, to examine this issue. Until such time as final decisions are made, it is the view of the RCEA that AS group members should not allow themselves to be pressured to liquidate any annual leave. If anyone is being told that they must now liquidate banked annual leave in excess of 35 days, please let us know at office@rcea.ca.

10 Jul
posted by admin

While NRC has 90 days from May 14, 2007 to implement the pay and new annual leave provisions of the Arbitral Award, the remaining changes to the collective agreement will not become effective until those items are signed off. As with prior collective agreements, these items require the approval of the Treasury Board and the Governor in Council. We do not know when these will be signed off.

12 Jun
posted by admin

The current collective agreement for the PG group has expired. The RCEA has already given NRC our Notice of Intent to Bargain. Our Bargaining Team has been assembled. The team consists of the following members: Joan Van Den Bergh (RCEA Negotiator), Rob Lauzon (RCEA 2nd Vice President), Diane Gaudette, Laura Franchi, and Gerry Kennedy (PG representatives).

At this time, we are looking for your ideas, suggestions, and/or comments regarding additions and/or changes to the collective agreement and about the state of the PG community at NRC, and what you think we should attempt to strive for in our new collective agreement. All submissions received by the team will be considered and confidential.Your input would be much appreciated to properly reflect our PG membership’s needs.

Note: If you have not reviewed the arbitration settlements for the AD, AS, and CS categories, they can be viewed at http://rcea.ca/public/index_e.html. I would recommend that you do so, to see what other categories at NRC have been awarded. Any help you can provide to us for use on your behalf would be much welcomed.

29 May
posted by admin

Details of changes to AD collective agreement and rates of pay.

posted by admin

Details of changes to AS collective agreement and rates of pay.

posted by admin

Details of changes to CS collective agreement and rates of pay.

22 May
posted by admin

CS Group Arbitral Award Issued (full text)

The Arbitration Board, that was formed to hear the case for the CS group, has rendered its final and binding decision. The entire decision will be posted on the website. As well, we will also post a review of all changes to the collective agreement.

At the outset of the hearing, with the assistance of the Arbitration Board, we were able to reach agreement on all outstanding issues with the exception of the following. As such, below find the issues before the Arbitration Board and their decision:

1) Four weeks annual leave after 6 years of service – the Board did not award this change.

2) The deletion of marriage leave and the provision of five extra days of annual leave – the Board did not award this change.

3) The continuation of the Terminable Allowance – the Board has awarded this continuation of the TA.

4) The deletion of the bottom three steps of the CS-1 range – the Board has awarded this change.

5) Signing Bonus – the Board has awarded a signing bonus of $700 to each employee in the bargaining unit.

Economic Increases: (agreed to by the parties)
a) December 22, 2004 – increase all rates of pay by 2.25%
b) December 22, 2005 – increase all rates of pay by 2.4%
c) December 22, 2006 – increase all rates of pay by 2.5%

The collective agreement will expire on December 21, 2007.

Further details of all changes will be posted as soon as possible. Since this is an Arbitral Award, no ratification process is required. NRC has 90 days from the date of this Award to implement the changes and the economic increases.

17 May
posted by admin

AD Group Arbitral Award Issued (full text)

The Arbitration Board, that was formed to hear the case for the AD group, has rendered its final and binding decision. The entire decision will be posted on the website. As well, we will also post a review of all changes to the collective agreement.

At the outset of the hearing, with the assistance of the Arbitration Board, we were able to reach agreement on all outstanding issues with the exception of the following. As such, below find the issues before the Arbitration Board and their decision:

  1. The deletion of marriage leave and the provision of five extra days of annual leave – the Board has awarded this change.
  2. Signing bonus of $1500.00 – the Board has not awarded this change
  3. Economic Increases:
  4. a) May 1, 2005 – increase all rates of pay by 0.25%
    b) May 1, 2005 (following the 0.25% adjustment) – increase all rates of pay by 2.4%
    c) May 1, 2006 – increase all rates of pay by 2.5%
    d) May 1, 2007 – increase all rates of pay by 2.4%

  5. The collective agreement will expire on April 30, 2008.

Further details of all changes will be posted as soon as possible. Since this is an Arbitral Award, no ratification process is required. NRC has 90 days from the date of this Award to implement it.

posted by admin

AS Group Arbitral Award Issued (full text)

The Arbitration Board, that was formed to hear the case for the AS group, has rendered its final and binding decision. The entire decision will be posted on the website. As well, we will also post a review of all changes to the collective agreement.

At the outset of the hearing, with the assistance of the Arbitration Board, we were able to reach agreement on all outstanding issues with the exception of the following. As such, below find the issues before the Arbitration Board and their decision:

  1. The deletion of marriage leave and the provision of five extra days of annual leave – the Board has awarded this change.
  2. The introduction of a 35 day cap on the carry-over of annual leave (NRC Proposal) – the Board has awarded this change.
  3. Signing bonus of $1500.00 – the Board has not awarded this change.
  4. Economic Increases:
  5. a) May 1, 2005 – increase all rates of pay by 0.25%
    b) May 1, 2005 (following the 0.25% adjustment) – increase all rates of pay by 2.4%
    c) May 1, 2006 – increase all rates of pay by 2.5%
    d) May 1, 2007 – increase all rates of pay by 2.4%

  6. The collective agreement will expire on April 30, 2008.

Further details of all changes will be posted as soon as possible. Since this is an Arbitral Award, no ratification process is required. NRC has 90 days from the date of this Award to implement the changes and the economic increases.

13 May
posted by admin

We have served notice to bargain for the Purchasing and Supply (PG) Group. We have held one meeting with those members of the groups that had expressed a willingness to serve on the bargaining committee. Since only two members came forward, they will serve as joint chairpersons.  The joint chairpersons are Gerry Kennedy (gerry.kennedy@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca) and Diane Gaudette (diane.gaudette@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca).  All  group members are welcome to forward comments and/or suggestions regarding changes to the collective agreements to the RCEA office (office@rcea.ca) or the group chairpersons. These comments and suggestions will form part of the demand setting process.

12 May
posted by admin

We have served notice to bargain for the Technical Category (TO). We have held one meeting with members of the group who have expressed a willingness to serve on the bargaining committee. Another meeting is scheduled, from the meeting a group chairperson will be elected or acclaimed by the participating members. Once the group chairperson is identified, a notice will be posted on our website. All group members are welcome to forward comments and/or suggestions regarding changes for the collective agreement to the RCEA office (ofiice@rcea.ca) or the group chairperson. These comments and suggestions will form part of the demand setting process.

posted by admin

We will be serving notice to bargain for the Operational Category (OP). We have held two meetings with those members of the groups that had expressed a willingness to serve on the bargaining committee. From these meetings, a group chairperson was acclaimed by the participating members. The group chairperson is Peter Sullivan (pete.sullivan@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca). All group members are welcome to forward comments and/or suggestions regarding changes to the collective agreements to the RCEA office (office@rcea.ca) or the group chairperson. These comments and suggestions will form part of the demand setting process.

10 May
posted by admin

We have had a very busy time since my last message. Much has been accomplished. Most members have received their pay equity payments. We certainly appreciate all the hard work by Pay and Benefits at NRC in getting these payments out. There are a few former members, however, who have been denied payment and we are examining ways in which to resolve these.

Bargaining for the AS, AD and CS groups has now been completed, following the Arbitration Board hearings for each of these groups. All that remains is to receive the Board award. Each hearing went very well and I am optimistic about the outcome. I would like to thank Bob Luce who took the lead role in the preparation of the briefs, Bob McIntosh who was our nominee on the Boards and Joan Van Den Bergh for all her hard work on these files. An Arbitral Award will be issued for each group. These awards are final and binding on the parties. Once the awards are handed down, NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the award and the new agreement. The collective agreements will be printed and will include any changes agreed to by the parties and any decisions made by the Arbitration Board. The briefs presented by the RCEA are now available on our website.

We have served notice to bargain for the Technical Category (TO) and Purchasing and Supply (PG) Group. Notice to Bargain will shortly be served for the Operational Category (OP). We have held meetings with those members from each of these groups that had expressed a willingness to serve on the various bargaining committees. From these meetings, a group chairperson will be elected or acclaimed by the participating members. Once the group chairperson is identified, a notice will be posted on our website. All group or category members are welcome to forward comments and/or suggestions regarding changes to the collective agreements to the RCEA office or the group chairperson. These comments and suggestions will form part of the demand setting process.

The pension litigation court case is also ongoing, with the presentation of final arguments being the next step. The court schedule is as follows: April 30 to May 4, May 7 to May 11, and May 14 to May 18.

I have started my annual visits to the regional institutes. I have visited the Industrial Materials Institute (IMI) and the Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI). I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the members who attended the meetings at BRI and IMI for their ongoing participation in the RCEA and for their comments and suggestions. The next visits are scheduled from May 7 to May 11 when I will be visiting the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) in Edmonton, followed by the Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI) in Saskatoon and ending with the Institute for Biodiagnostics (IBD) in Winnipeg. Meetings will also be held during May and June in British Columbia, the Maritimes and Newfoundland. I encourage members that are in close vicinity of the various institutes to attend when possible. A list of institute visits can be found on our website. Please contact the Institute representative(s) for the time and location of the meetings near you.

I am becoming more concerned by our somewhat troubled relationship with NRC. It has not been an easy time and we are increasingly finding ourselves in conflict with the Council. I hope to meet with President Coulombe soon and will certainly take that opportunity to raise some of these issues.

As always, I appreciate hearing from any member at any time and I encourage everyone to visit our website on a regular basis. We certainly make every effort to post new information as soon as it becomes available.

I hope that everyone has a great spring and wonderful summer.

Sincerely

Serge Croteau
President

12 Apr
posted by admin

The RCEA presented its brief at the Arbitration Board hearing scheduled on April 24 and 25, 2007. The RCEA will update the website as soon as we receive a decision from the Board.
CS Brief

11 Apr
posted by admin

The RCEA presented its brief at the Arbitration Board hearing scheduled on April 19 and 20, 2007. The RCEA will update the website as soon as we receive a decision from the Board.
AS Brief

10 Apr
posted by admin

The RCEA presented its brief at the Arbitration Board hearing scheduled on April 17 and 18, 2007. The RCEA will update the website as soon as we receive a decision from the Board.

Arbitration Brief

13 Mar
posted by admin

No news at this time.

12 Mar
posted by admin

No news at this time.

posted by admin

No news at this time.

posted by admin

Arbitration Board hearing scheduled for April 23-26, 2007. This is a public hearing. It will be held at 235 Queen Street, C.D. Howe Building, 7th Floor, West Tower, Room 712, 9:00 a.m. All visitors to this building must obtain a visitor’s pass from the Commissionaire’s desk at the ground floor entrance off Queen Street.

11 Mar
posted by admin

Arbitration Board hearing scheduled for April 19 and 20, 2007, 9:00 a.m.

10 Mar
posted by admin

Arbitration Board hearing scheduled for April 17 and 18, 2007, 9:00 a.m.

23 Jan
posted by admin

The Arbitration Tribunal Hearing will take place on April 19 and 20, 2007. This is a public hearing. It will be held at 235 Queen Street, C.D. Howe Building, 7th Floor, West Tower, Room 712, 9:00 a.m. All visitors to this building must obtain a visitor’s pass from the Commissionaire’s desk at the ground floor entrance off Queen St.

posted by admin

The Arbitration Tribunal Hearing will take place on April 17 and 18, 2007. This is a public hearing. It will be held at 235 Queen Street, C.D. Howe Building, 7th Floor, West Tower, Room 712, 9:00 a.m. All visitors to this building must obtain a visitor’s pass from the Commissionaire’s desk at the ground floor entrance off Queen Street.

Pay Equity – The RCEA has been advised by NRC that:

Regarding the question of “taxability”, the response we received from a Senior Programs Officer at CRA is that “the amount payable under 53(2)(e) of the Canadian Human Rights Act is exempt from tax and is not reported on any information slip” and that “the amount in question is not taxable, it will be paid without deduction for tax and will not be reported on any information slip (i.e., T-4 or any other such slip).

13 Jan
posted by admin

NRC has told us that the agreement should be printed and distributed next week.

It is time to start our preparations for the next round of bargaining. If members are interested in participating on the various Bargaining Committees, please send your name, email address and telephone number (by email) to joan@rcea.ca. Once the Committees are established, we will begin the process of preparing demands.

12 Jan
posted by admin

It is time to start our preparations for the next round of bargaining. If members are interested in participating on the various Bargaining Committees, please send your name, email address and telephone number (by email) to joan@rcea.ca. Once the Committees are established, we will begin the process of preparing demands.

posted by admin

It is time to start our preparations for the next round of bargaining. If members are interested in participating on the various Bargaining Committees, please send your name, email address and telephone number (by email) to joan@rcea.ca. Once the Committees are established, we will begin the process of preparing demands.

posted by admin

We have requested that the PSLRB establish an Arbitration Board. Our demands have been referred to the Board. We are waiting for the PSLRB to establish the Terms of Reference.

11 Jan
posted by admin

The Public Service Labour Relations Board has established the Terms of Reference for the Arbitration Board. We are in the process of preparing our Brief. We anticipate hearing dates in April (due to the availability of the Board members).

posted by admin

The Public Service Labour Relations Board has established the Terms of Reference for the Arbitration Board. We are in the process of preparing our Brief. We anticipate hearing dates in April (due to the availability of the Board members).

Pay Equity Update

NRC has provided the RCEA with the following information:

As stated in the settlement, NRC’s obligation is to pay all active employees by March 31, 2007. As for the terminated employees, we must receive the acknowledgement cards and NRC must pay by the later of March 31 2007 or 90 days following receipt of the cards. We are anticipating being able to start making the payments by the middle of February 2007 with the reception, verification and release of cheques by end of February, beginning of March 2007. Please note that this includes the active employees and the terminated ones for which we have received cards.

Number of terminated (SOS) accounts: 948 employees
Number of employees with no mailing address: 47
Number of packages sent to terminated employees: 901 (948 – 47)
Number of returned and completed acknowledgement cards to date: 402
Number of returned packages with wrong address: 204
Number of packages sent but not yet returned (floating): 295

If you know of anyone who has not yet sent their acknowledgement cards in, please encourage them to do so.

The RCEA is attempting to get more information about the “taxability” issue. We are aware of the rumours going around and will update the members on the facts as soon as possible.

10 Jan
posted by admin

2007 promises to be another very busy year. We have three bargaining units proceeding to arbitration. Some dates have already been confirmed and information on the location and times of the hearings can be found on this website under Categories. Pay equity payments should also be starting soon.

We have just served notice to bargain for both the Technical (TO) and Purchasing and Supply (PG) groups. Members interested in participating on the Bargaining Committee should send their name; email address and telephone number to the RCEA office as soon as possible. A meeting will be called with all members that have expressed their intent to participate. At the meeting, a group chairperson will be elected or acclaimed by the participating members.

We regret that we cannot accommodate members that are not in the National Capital Region. The present dues structure of the RCEA does not enable us to cover the increased travel costs that would be associated with such participation, particularly given the nature of the scheduling of meetings and negotiation sessions. To those of you outside the NCR that have already expressed willingness to participate, I sincerely thank you for showing such interest.

The Operational category will also soon be preparing for the next round of bargaining. As above, if you are interested in participating and would like to be part of the Bargaining Committee, please send your name, email address and telephone number to the RCEA office as soon as possible. A meeting will be called with all members that have expressed their intent to participate. At the meeting, a category chairperson will be elected or acclaimed by the participating members.

All group members are welcome to forward comments and/or suggestions to us, as to what you would like to see addressed or included in the new collective agreements.

Sincerely,

Serge Croteau
President

13 Dec
posted by admin

We are still waiting for the collective agreement to be printed. We are told it should go to the printer this week. NRC has explained that the delay is due to the fact that PIPSC raised a number of concerns with respect to the French translation of the grievance process language. Presumably, NRC delayed the printing of our agreement because they wanted to have the same French translation in all agreements.

12 Dec
posted by admin

No news at this time.

posted by admin

No news at this time.

posted by admin

The RCEA has requested that an Arbitration Board be established. We are waiting to hear from the PSLRB.

11 Dec
posted by admin

An arbitration brief is being prepared. We are waiting for the establishment of the Arbitration Board and the scheduling of hearing dates.

posted by admin

An arbitration brief is being prepared. We are waiting for the establishment of the Arbitration Board and the scheduling of hearing dates.

10 Dec
posted by admin

With 2006 coming to an end, I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to all RCEA members for their support during this past year. Over the past 40 years, the RCEA as come a long way and changes and improvements are noticeable. The pay equity settlement has definitely been one of the highlights of the year. We will continue to improve communications via our website. The participation of Institute representatives has also increased and this is something we are very happy to see. Bargaining is ongoing, with the AS, AD and the CS groups heading to arbitration. Coming up next year are the TO, PG and Operational groups. One can only hope that bargaining will begin quickly and go smoothly.

I often mention the excellent work of the RCEA staff and once again I have been very impressed with all their efforts; thanks to Laurette Ernst, Jackay Cardinal and Joan Van Den Bergh. Many thanks also to my management team: Cathie Fraser, 1st Vice-President; Rob Lauzon, 2nd Vice-President re-elect and Greg Kresko, Treasurer. I also would like to say thank you to all the Institute representatives for the time and effort that they have dedicated to the organization and also a warm welcome to all the newly-elected representatives who will be coming on board in January 2007.

I wish you all Happy Holidays, a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year.

Serge Croteau
President

13 Nov
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

12 Nov
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

Bargaining took place on October 16 and was scheduled to resume on November 1, 2006. This date was postponed until November 20, 2006 due to the fact that NRC does not yet have a mandate from Treasury Board.

11 Nov
posted by admin

Request for establishment of an Arbitration Board has been made. The RCEA is preparing an Arbitration Brief.

posted by admin

Request for establishment of an Arbitration Board has been made. The RCEA is preparing an Arbitration Brief.

10 Nov
posted by admin

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to all the members that attended this year’s AGM. This was the first year that all of the regional laboratory and institute representatives got together for a formal meeting. It was a great opportunity for the representatives from across Canada to exchange views and concerns. Prior to the AGM, representatives and Executive members attended a training session with the topic chosen by the institute representatives. The topic was the grievance process. Training was provided by Joan Van Den Bergh, RCEA negotiator, and was very well received by all. At the AGM, reports from the regional and local Institute representatives on the years’ activities was presented. The main issues this year were a presentation and discussion on a dues increase and a presentation and amendments to the Constitution and By-laws. There were excellent comments and many good suggestions were made. I would like to thank the participants for their comments.

The AGM approved the proposed dues and Constitutional and By-law changes. These were then sent to all members for their vote. Ballots were counted on November 9, 2006. There was a 55% response rate. All the changes were approved: the Constitutional changes were approved by 98% of the voters, while the By-Laws were approved by 93%. 77% of those voting approved the $2.00/month dues increase. More information can be found on the RCEA website.

Many of you have expressed your frustration with the length of time it takes to begin and complete the bargaining process. It was mentioned in my last report that the RCEA would do everything in our power to move the process along. I have sent a letter to John Baird, President of Treasury Board, expressing our frustration with the delays in the mandate granting process. This was a follow-up to the conversation I had with him at the NJC seminar in September. I will keep you informed of any response to the letter.

The elections of Institute representatives has been completed. Four new Institute Representatives will start on January 1st 2007. Congratulations to all newly-appointed and re-elected Institutes Representatives.

In earlier messages, I mentioned the ongoing Pension Surplus court case. Hearings will begin in the New Year, with evidence being heard the weeks of February 26, March 5, March 19, March 26, April 2 and April 9, 2007. Arguments will take place during the weeks of April 30, May 7 and May 14. We will keep you updated on future development.

Serge Croteau
President

21 Oct
posted by admin

CS bargaining sessions took place on November 1 and 20, 2006. By the end of the second day it became apparent that a settlement was not possible. The CS Group Bargaining Team felt very strongly that, with an agreement that expired in December 2004 and with the many delays that the group has experienced, at the very least, any settlement should mirror the public service CS group. After all, our bargaining has been delayed pending settlement of that group. The main sticking points were the deletion of the current Marriage Leave provision, the addition of 5 additional days of annual leave, and the deletion of Appendix A (Terminable Allowance) and Appendix B (Hours of Work). The public service CS Group (the main point of comparison used by NRC) has the additional 5 days of annual leave as do many other groups in the public service.

Your bargaining team felt that adding 5 extra days of annual leave would clearly benefit the majority of members, while the deletion of marriage leave would only impact a very small minority. The teams felt that it was very important to keep pace with the public service. NRC, for its part, did not invoke the usual refrain that Treasury Board had not given them a mandate (permission) to provide this benefit. Rather, they claimed they were not interested in extending this benefit and also could not afford to do so. We have estimated the cost of extending this benefit to the CS group, for example, to be approximately $350,000. Surely keeping NRC employees in line with their public service counterparts is worth this amount.

The next step is to request the establishment of an Arbitration Board. Arbitration Boards are three person tribunals under the Public Service Labour Relations Act. After the submission of oral and written arguments, these Boards render final and binding decisions on outstanding items to be contained in collective agreements.

We will be seeking decisions on several outstanding items, including the terminable allowance, pay and duration.

Your bargaining team has decided that, despite the length of time since the expiry of the current agreement, they will not be hurried into a poor agreement. They feel it is more important to get the best agreement possible. We trust that all CS group members will support the RCEA in this.

Please note that the CS Terminable Allowance will remain in effect until a new agreement is signed or an Arbitral Award is issued. Please let us know if you do not receive your January 2007 allowance.

13 Oct
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

12 Oct
posted by admin

We will be establishing a bargaining committee shortly. Members interested in serving on this committee should send an email to office@rcea.ca.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for October 16, 2006.

11 Oct
posted by admin

Bargaining sessions took place recently for the AD and AS groups. The AS group met on September 25th while the AD group met on October 3rd. After only one day of bargaining for each group, it became apparent that settlements were not possible. Both groups felt very strongly that, with agreements that expired in April 2005 and with delays since at least November 2005 when our demands were submitted, at the very least, any settlement should mirror comparable public service agreements. The main sticking points were the deletion of the current Marriage Leave provision and the addition of 5 additional days of annual leave, and in the case of the AS group, the addition of new steps to address the compression problem at levels 1 to 4. Table 1 in the public service (the main point of comparison used by NRC) has this additional 5 days of annual leave as do many other groups in the public service.

Your bargaining teams felt that adding 5 extra days of annual leave would clearly benefit the majority of members, while the deletion of marriage leave would only impact a very small minority. The teams felt that it was very important to keep pace with the public service. NRC, for its part, did not invoke the usual refrain that Treasury Board had not given them a mandate (permission) to provide this benefit. Rather, they claimed they were not interested in extending this benefit and also could not afford to do so. We have estimated the cost of extending this benefit to the AS group, for example, to be approximately $210,000. Surely keeping NRC employees in line with their public service counterparts is worth this amount.

The next step, for both groups, is to request the establishment of Arbitration Boards to hear each case. Arbitration Boards are three person tribunals under the Public Service Labour Relations Act. After the submission of oral and written arguments, these Boards render final and binding decisions on outstanding items to be contained in collective agreements.

In the case of both groups, we will be seeking decisions on several outstanding items, including pay and duration.

The respective bargaining teams have decided that, despite the length of time since the expiry of the current agreements, they will not be hurried into poor agreements. They feel it is more important to get the best agreements possible. We trust that all AD and AS group members will support the RCEA in this.

posted by admin

Bargaining sessions took place recently for the AD and AS groups. The AS group met on September 25th while the AD group met on October 3rd. After only one day of bargaining for each group, it became apparent that settlements were not possible. Both groups felt very strongly that, with agreements that expired in April 2005 and with delays since at least November 2005 when our demands were submitted, at the very least, any settlement should mirror comparable public service agreements. The main sticking points were the deletion of the current Marriage Leave provision and the addition of 5 additional days of annual leave, and in the case of the AS group, the addition of new steps to address the compression problem at levels 1 to 4. Table 1 in the public service (the main point of comparison used by NRC) has this additional 5 days of annual leave as do many other groups in the public service.

Your bargaining teams felt that adding 5 extra days of annual leave would clearly benefit the majority of members, while the deletion of marriage leave would only impact a very small minority. The teams felt that it was very important to keep pace with the public service. NRC, for its part, did not invoke the usual refrain that Treasury Board had not given them a mandate (permission) to provide this benefit. Rather, they claimed they were not interested in extending this benefit and also could not afford to do so. We have estimated the cost of extending this benefit to the AS group, for example, to be approximately $210,000. Surely keeping NRC employees in line with their public service counterparts is worth this amount.

The next step, for both groups, is to request the establishment of Arbitration Boards to hear each case. Arbitration Boards are three person tribunals under the Public Service Labour Relations Act. After the submission of oral and written arguments, these Boards render final and binding decisions on outstanding items to be contained in collective agreements.

In the case of both groups, we will be seeking decisions on several outstanding items, including pay and duration.

The respective bargaining teams have decided that, despite the length of time since the expiry of the current agreements, they will not be hurried into poor agreements. They feel it is more important to get the best agreements possible. We trust that all AD and AS group members will support the RCEA in this.

10 Oct
posted by admin

The 2006 Annual General Meeting is scheduled for October 4th, in the M-50 auditorium at 4:15 p.m.

This year the RCEA is celebrating its’ 40th anniversary as the official bargaining agent for the majority of NRC employees. Since the introduction of collective bargaining in the public service in 1966, the RCEA has gone through some very important changes. Our membership has increased to the point that we now represent more than half of all National Research Council employees. With the addition of new Institutes and Centres, we will continue to grow.

Certainly one of the major accomplishments of the past year is the recent Pay Equity settlement. After seven long years, we were very pleased to advise members that a settlement had been secured. We know that many members, both past and present, had given up on ever seeing this day! Not only did we achieve a settlement, but we achieved a settlement that is not dependent on old group and level but rather treats all eligible employees the same. On top of that, the value of this settlement will likely exceed $10 million. This is one of several accomplishments of which the RCEA is very proud. We are also proud of our ongoing participation, with all other public service unions, in the legal challenge to the government’s raiding of the pension surplus account.

Since I came into office, I have constantly looked for ways to improve the services and communication that we offer to the membership. To that end, I have brought a variety of technological changes to the RCEA office. More are needed. As well, we will continue to make improvements to our website. This “New Look” has allowed the RCEA to better distribute information to the members in an efficient and timely manner.

The bargaining process, as always, remains a slow and frustrating process. I share with all members the frustration of waiting for a new agreement to be negotiated. I can assure all members that we are doing everything in our power to move the process along. I would also remind all members that although it tends to take some time, our settlements have, at the very least, kept pace with the public service and in several cases, have exceeded the public service.

I continue to enjoy all visits to the Regional Institutes. These visits are always a great opportunity to communicate, listen and exchange ideas. It is always rewarding to hear the views and comments from the members. I had intended, during the past year, to visit all Ottawa Institutes and Centres. Unfortunately, due to other demands, there was not enough time to fully accomplish this goal.

I hope that many of you will choose to attend the AGM this year. In an effort to encourage more of you to attend, the AGM will be held at 4:15 p.m. I invite you to attend this year’s meeting. I hope to see you there in great numbers!

Serge Croteau
President

13 Sep
posted by admin

The printing of the new agreement has been delayed due to the ongoing negotiation of some common items, such as maternity provisions and the grievance procedure. There is now agreement on these issues and the agreement should be printed soon.

12 Sep
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for October 16.

11 Sep
posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for September 25 and 26.

posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for September 28 and 29.

13 Jun
posted by admin

The new collective agreement was signed on May 23, 2006. NRC has 90 days in which to implement the terms of the new agreement, including all retroactive pay adjustments.

12 Jun
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

The Public Service CS Group has reached a tentative agreement. We have approached NRC to see how soon we can begin our bargaining now that PIPS has settled. They are examining the PS settlement and will get back to us shortly.

11 Jun
posted by admin

The RCEA has made several requests to NRC to schedule bargaining dates. So far, NRC has not come back with any dates, although they have advised us that their mandate proposal was at the level of the President of the Treasury Board. They tell us that this will be one of the first mandate proposals that the new government will be dealing with and that they are unable to commence bargaining until all final approvals have been given.

posted by admin

The RCEA has made several requests to NRC to schedule bargaining dates. So far, NRC has not come back with any dates, although they have advised us that their mandate proposal was at the level of the President of the Treasury Board. They tell us that this will be one of the first mandate proposals that the new government will be dealing with and that they are unable to commence bargaining until all final approvals have been given.

25 May
posted by admin

The PG contract was signed on May 23rd. NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

8 May
posted by admin

The Governor in Council has approved the PG Collective Agreement. Due to
upcoming travel dates, it will be signed on May 23, 2006. NRC has 90 days
from that date to implement the changes in the agreement.

13 Mar
posted by admin

The collective agreement has been ratified. We are still waiting to sign the new agreement. In early March we were told that the approval documents had been sent to the Minister of Industry. Once approved they would then be sent to the Governor-in-Council for final approval. NRC has not replied to requests for further information on the approval process.

12 Mar
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

We are still waiting to see what happens with the PIPS CS Group. NRC is not prepared to bargain until the issues with the public service group are resolved. We appreciate the patience of all our members during this time. We know that this is taking an abnormally long time. PIPS requested the establishment of a Conciliation Board in February 2006. Once a Board is established, a hearing will be held. The Board will then issue a report and seven days after the release of the report, PIPS will be in a legal strike position.

11 Mar
posted by admin

The RCEA has made several requests to NRC to schedule bargaining dates. So far, NRC has not come back with any dates, although they initially indicated that bargaining would likely begin in April. With April right around the corner, it remains to be seen whether they can meet this commitment.

posted by admin

The RCEA has made several requests to NRC to schedule bargaining dates. So far, NRC has not come back with any dates, although they initially indicated that bargaining would likely begin in April. With April right around the corner, it remains to be seen whether they can meet this commitment.

Pay Equity: A case conference was held on March 10, 2006. Dates for the hearing process were established. The hearing before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is now scheduled for January to April 2007. The RCEA, with our legal counsel, is in the process of identifying witnesses and preparing all necessary documentation. We are determined to make our case before the Tribunal.

16 Feb
posted by admin

The collective agreement was ratified. NRC has been notified and will sign the new agreement once the required approvals, from Treasury Board and the Governor-in-Council, have been received.

10 Feb
posted by admin

The year 2006 is starting with quite a few changes. A new government has been elected, and the PG’s collective agreement has been ratified. I will very soon start visiting the regional institutes. I am, as always, looking forward to meeting the members and having an opportunity to discuss and listen to what they have to say. The first visits will be to IMI on May 3rd and BRI on May 4th. During the week of May 15th we will visit HIA in Penticton, IFCI in Vancouver, and HIA in Victoria.

The Constitution Committee has been formed. It will be chaired by Jeff Fraser, with Bill Neil from SIMS, Rob Lauzon from CISTI, Dave O’Neil from IMB and Jim Jennings from HIA in Victoria serving as committee members. I would like to thank all of them for agreeing to participate. The Constitution Committee is a standing committee of the RCEA as per Article XII (a) ii of the RCEA Constitution.

On the Health and Safety front, there have been changes to the Personal Protective Equipment Directive, which in turn have brought about changes to the protective footwear allowance. The approved change is found in Part XII of the New Directive. This New Directive applies to all of NRC. You will find the information in the latest news section of the RCEA website.

On the issue of Pay Equity, while the RCEA was agreeable to mediation, NRC declined. As a result, the file has now officially been referred to a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. A case conference will be held March 10th. The RCEA is in the process of confirming legal representation and preparing the case to be presented before the Tribunal. Our legal counsel advises us that the Tribunal will likely be convened within the next 6 months.

In the coming months we will be looking at ways of improving the AGM for 2006. We will continue to take a pro-active approach to dealing with the Council, as this is the best way to assure the best service for the membership. Your feedback and comments are important.

I continue to be very impressed with the performance and output of the RCEA office staff; it is never said enough and in the busy times we tend to forget to acknowledge the people that make the organization run efficiently. I trust that you will agree with me.

Serge Croteau
President

25 Jan
posted by admin

A tentative agreement was reached for the PG group. It provides for the following pay increases:

1. May 1, 2004 Add an increment to the top of each level.
2. May 1, 2004 Drop the bottom step at levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
3. May 1, 2004 Increase rates of pay by 2.25%.
4. May 1, 2005 Increase rates of pay by 2.4%.
5. May 1, 2006 Increase rates of pay by 2.5%.

Details of the other proposed changes to the agreement will be explained in the ratification package which will be sent out shortly.

12 Jan
posted by admin

New agreement signed. Members should start receiving retroactive pay shortly.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

11 Jan
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

20 Dec
posted by admin

The TO contract was signed on December 19th. NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

12 Dec
posted by admin

The TO collective agreement will be signed on December 19. NRC then has 90 days in which to implement the terms of the new agreement.

10 Dec
posted by admin

These past months have been a very busy time for the RCEA. The Annual General Meeting was held in October. It was a great opportunity for members to provide input and to meet Institute representatives from the regional laboratories. With it now behind us, we need to look ahead and plan for the coming months.

It has been almost one year since I took office. I would now like to take the time and look at this year’s highlights. Two new collective agreements were negotiated and preparation began for the negotiation of four others. Several Institutes underwent reorganizations. In several cases this resulted in a reduction of staff. Needless to say, it was an uneasy time for some of our members. For the most part, the Workforce Adjustment Policy was able to minimize the negative impact on our members. Early in the past year also saw the conversion of a large number of term employees to continuing status at one of the technology centres. It represented one of the few times that the NRC’s Policy on the Composition of the Workforce worked in a positive manner. The arrival of Dr. Pierre Coulombe as NRC President in February also brought changes to the organization. NRC continues to proceed with its Renewal Project.

The RCEA has also gone through changes. The updated website is probably the most visible of the changes that I have tried to introduce. I believe that access to information is a key objective of the RCEA. The new website does and will contain as much information as we can possibly post. Many of you have already provided me with positive feedback on the new website and I thank you very much for your comments. I will also be looking at providing some training for RCEA representatives. One training session was already given in October on the very important subject of classification.

The regional Institute visits are always very important; unfortunately this past year I was unable to visit two of them. I will be making the visiting of as many regional and headquarters Institutes a priority for the upcoming year. A schedule of these visits will be posted on our website. This will give members the opportunity to plan ahead for these meetings.

The day-to-day business of the RCEA will always be a priority. We must maintain a good working relationship with the employer while at the same time ensuring that all members are properly and fully represented. The purpose of the union is to serve and represent its members. This is the philosophy that guides us on a daily basis.

RCEA representation in the regional Institutes is also changing. More members are showing an interest in the organization and more elections were held this year than in many previous years. I would like to welcome all the newly elected and acclaimed representatives. Many thanks also goes to the outgoing Institute representatives who have, over many years, shown great dedication and support to this organization.

I would also take this opportunity to give my thanks and appreciation for the great work that the RCEA office staff have done during this past year. They definitely made my first year a pleasant one. Many thanks also to the Management Committee who have supported me during my first year and a special thank you to Jeff Fraser for his 15 years of service to the RCEA, as First Vice-President, Institute representative and Technical Category Chair.

With the holidays just ahead it gives me great pleasure to extend to you my best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season. See you in the New Year.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Serge Croteau
President

23 Nov
posted by admin

Members of the TO Group have ratified the tentative collective agreement. NRC has been notified. They will now begin their approval process; approval of the Governor-in-Council is required. Once this is approved, the agreement will be signed and NRC will have 90 days in which to implement the agreement.

13 Nov
posted by admin

We are still waiting for NRC to get its mandate and schedule bargaining dates.

12 Nov
posted by admin

The collective agreement has been ratified. NRC has been notified. We hope to sign the new agreement before Xmas.

posted by admin

No news to report.

posted by admin

No news to report.

3 Nov
posted by admin

Under the proposed TO agreement, the apprentice Rates of Pay will be as follows: Apprentice Rates of Pay.

posted by admin

Any suggestions or input on changes to the collective agreement should be sent to joan@rcea.ca.

posted by admin

Any suggestions or input on changes to the collective agreement should be sent to joan@rcea.ca.

1 Nov
posted by admin

Demands have been submitted. Bargaining will likely not take place until the new year.

posted by admin

AD Group: Demands have been submitted. Bargaining will likely not take place until the new year.

27 Oct
posted by admin

For complete details of the agreement: TO Ratification Package.

18 Oct
posted by admin

The finalization and distribution of the TO ratification package will be delayed while the rates of pay are being confirmed.

13 Oct
posted by admin

Bargaining was scheduled for the week of October 24. It has been postponed for several weeks, until such time as NRC has a formal mandate to discuss all demands.

12 Oct
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

11 Oct
posted by admin

The bargaining committee will meet on October 31 to begin the process of formulating demands.

posted by admin

The bargaining committee met on October 19 to begin the process of formulating demands. It will meet again on November 16.

7 Oct
posted by admin

After several days of bargaining with the NRC, the TO Bargaining Team reached agreement on a wide variety of issues. With respect to pay, duration, hours, and the Research Deployment Allowance, the NRC put a final offer on the table. Your Bargaining Team felt that it had an obligation to bring this offer forward to all TO members. As such, all TO members will shortly be receiving a ratification package that will outline the proposed changes to the collective agreement.

These changes include:

Effective Feb. 14, 2005 – increase all rates of pay by 0.306%
Effective April 1, 2005 – increase all rates of pay by 2.4%
Effective April 1, 2006 – increase all rates of pay by 2.5%
The new agreement would expire March 31, 2007.

All leave entitlements that are now expressed in days would be changed to hours, with the exception of bereavement leave. This conversion would be done on the basis that one day equals 7.5 hours. This change will primarily affect those members who are working a compressed work week in relation to volunteer, personal, family related responsibility, and medical appointments for pregnant employees leave.

The IAR Research Deployment Allowance will now be applied to all TOs that meet the qualifying periods. Despite all our best efforts, we were unable to achieve reductions in these periods.

There are many other changes, some of which are improvements and others that can be viewed as concessions sought by NRC. These will be explained in detail in the ratification package. The Bargaining Team does not recommend either that the agreement be accepted or rejected. All members are encouraged to review the package carefully and to vote according to their own wishes.

1 Oct
posted by admin

There has been a delay in getting the ratification package out. We are waiting to confirm the rates of pay with NRC prior to sending out the package. We hope to have it out by the end of next week.

13 Sep
posted by admin

We are still waiting for NRC to respond to our requests to establish bargaining dates. We do not understand the delays.

12 Sep
posted by admin

Bargaining in July had to be postponed. It is scheduled to resume October 3, 6 and 7.

posted by admin

Back pay should have been received by now. We understand that the new collective agreements have been printed. It is NRC’s responsibility to provide each member with a copy of the new agreement. If you have not yet received the new copy, you should contact your HRG. Do not contact the RCEA office about this as we have not yet received any copies.

posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been submitted. We are waiting for bargaining dates.

11 Sep
posted by admin

Due to several unforeseen delays, preparations for bargaining will not take place until late September or early October.

posted by admin

Due to several unforeseen delays, preparations for bargaining will not take place until late September or early October.

Pay Equity: The Canadian Human Rights Commission investigator has recommended that the complaint be referred to a Human Rights Tribunal. We have raised the issue of who will represent the RCEA and whether the CHRC will conduct an investigation prior to a Tribunal hearing. We are waiting for a response. We are hopeful that the CHRC will provide more assistance, but we are aware of their resource limitations and the RCEA is prepared to take some actions should the matter be referred to Tribunal without an investigation.

19 Jul
posted by admin

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the bargaining scheduled for July 20-22 has been postponed. We hope to resume bargaining at the end of August.

13 Jun
posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been finalized and submitted to NRC. We have notified NRC that we wish to begin bargaining as soon as possible.

12 Jun
posted by admin

Bargaining took place on June 13 and 14. Many non-pay issues were resolved. The next bargaining dates are scheduled for July 20-22. At this time we expect that NRC will be in a position to discuss all outstanding issues including rates of pay.

posted by admin

The new collective agreement was signed on May 25. NRC has 90 days in which to implement the terms of this agreement. On another front, we are working with a classification consultant in reviewing both Controller and PLA jobs with a view to having more appropriate comparisons for the next round of bargaining.

posted by admin

We are waiting to see what happens with the Canada Revenue Agency group as they are awaiting the results of their Conciliation Board hearing. They may be in a strike position shortly. The Treasury Board CS group is scheduled to go back to the table at the end of June. We are keeping a close eye on all these developments.

11 Jun
posted by admin

No news.

posted by admin

No news.

26 May
posted by admin

The OP contract was signed on May 25, 2005. NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

13 May
posted by admin

An arbitral award has been issued for the PIPS group. We will be studying this award. The bargaining team will meet shortly to finalize our demands.

12 May
posted by admin

Bargaining will commence on May 6 with the exchanging of proposals. Future bargaining dates will scheduled in June and July.

posted by admin

The Minister of Industry has signed off on the collective agreement. It is now scheduled to go before and be signed by the Governor-In-Council on May 10. If it is signed by the GIC on that date, we will try and arrange a signing date for the week of May 16. Once it is signed by the RCEA and NRC, the employer has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

posted by admin

We are still waiting to see what happens with the PIPSC CS Group. They were recently successful in getting their terminable allowance restored. This will remain in effect while bargaining continues. It remains to be seen if they can maintain the allowance into their next collective agreement.

11 May
posted by admin

Notice to bargain was served on April 27. The next step will be for the bargaining team to meet and begin formulating demands. This will likely occur in the fall.

posted by admin

Notice to Bargain was served on April 27. The next step will be for the bargaining team to meet and begin formulating demands. This will likely occur in the fall.

14 Mar
posted by admin

Members of the Operational Category have ratified the tentative collective agreement. NRC has been notified. They will now begin their approval process. We do not know how long this will take, as the approval of the Governor-in-Council is required. Once this is approved, the agreement will be signed and NRC will have 90 days in which to implement the agreement.

13 Mar
posted by admin

The Bargaining Committee is meeting on March 16, 2005 to review and finalize demands.

12 Mar
posted by admin

The Bargaining Committee met on February 23, 2005. It will meet again on March 9 to review and finalize demands.

posted by admin

A tentative collective agreement was reached on February 8, 2005. The ratification process is underway and the ballots will be counted on March 14. If the agreement is ratified, NRC will then proceed with its own approval process, through Treasury Board and the Governor-in-Council. Once this is completed, a new agreement will be signed. NRC will have 90 days from that signing date to implement the terms of the agreement.

posted by admin

The Bargaining Committee met on January 28, 2005. Demands are being prepared.

11 Mar
posted by admin

Received responses to requests for participation on the next Bargaining Team. A meeting will be scheduled to pick a chairperson.

posted by admin

No news at this time.

11 Feb
posted by admin

For complete details of the agreement: OP Ratification

1 Feb
posted by admin

TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED

Following several days of negotiations, a tentative collective agreement has been reached on behalf of the Operational Category.

Economic Increases

July 31, 2003 – 2.5%
July 31, 2004 – 2.25%
July 31, 2005 – 2.4%
July 31, 2006 – 2.5%

This results in a compounded increase of 10% over four years.

In our bargaining with NRC, they were able to offer additional increases based on a comparison of RCEA pay rates to the public service pay rates. These pay rates were reduced to an hourly rate for comparison purposes (taking into account the fact that NRC works a 37.5 hour work week, while the Public Service works a 40 hour work week). The hourly rates of our subgroups were then compared to the equivalent group and level in the Public Service. In those cases where our hourly rates were behind the Public Service, a wage adjustment of up to 9.6% in the case of Schedules 1,2, 4 and 5 were made. In those cases where the NRC rate was above the PS rate by more than 9.6%, no additional adjustment was made. The breakdown of these adjustments will be detailed in the ratification package which will be sent out shortly.

For Schedule 3 employees, adjustments of between 9.7% and 18% were made. This was based on the 19.4% adjustment made to Public Service HP rates, adjusted to reflect the fact that NRC rates were already ahead of Public Service rates.

NRC’s mandate was to, at the end of contract, match Public Service and NRC hourly rates on a dollar for dollar basis, bearing in mind that there are difference in the hours of work.

There will also be a classification change for some members of the Mechanical Subgroup. Two new subgroups will be established, Plumber/Steamfitter and Heating, Ventilation, Airconditioning and Ventilation. Conversion to these subgroups will be based on Group Classification Descriptions. Employees will be converted to the new subgroups and will then receive both economic and additional adjustments.

Other Changes

Day = 7.5 or 8 hours as the case may be.

Compensatory Leave Carry-over, year to year – 5 days.

Cap on Comp Leave during year – increased from 3 to 7 days at any one time.

Introduction of Variable Hours of Work (Compressed Work Week) for all members except HP.

Rewriting of Hours of Work Article.

Increase in Overtime meal rates.

Meal rates now payable on days of rest.

All the details will be sent out in a ratification package.

OP Bargaining Team Members

John Black
Andre Cousineau
Don Gulliver
Ed Renaud
Jeff Fraser (RCEA Vice-President)
Joan Van Den Bergh ( Negotiator)

13 Jan
posted by admin

In response to our request for input, a small number of members sent in their concerns. These will be used in the formulation of demands. The public service PG Group is scheduled to go to arbitration at the end of March. We will be waiting to see the results of the arbitration process.

12 Jan
posted by admin

A new TO Bargaining Committee has been established with Jeff Fraser as Chairperson. The committee met on January 25 to begin the process of formulating demands. It will meet again on February 23.

posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for February 7 and 8.

posted by admin

The CS Bargaining Committee is meeting on January 28 to begin the process of formulating bargaining demands. Any members who have issues they would like to see addressed in the next round of bargaining should send an email to joan@rcea.ca. With respect to the terminable allowance, the RCEA has approached NRC about extending the allowance. We have been advised that NRC will extend the terminable allowance for six months. As everyone now knows, the public service CS Group has seen its terminable allowance terminated. PIPSC has filed a complaint with the Public Service Staff Relations Board and it will likely be heard in February or March.

11 Jan
posted by admin

A Bargaining Committee needs to be established. We will be sending out a memo to all members in the NCR asking whether they wish to participate. A meeting will then be held for all those who have replied and a committee and a chairperson will be selected.

posted by admin

No news at this time.

13 Dec
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

12 Dec
posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served. A bargaining committee with a new chairperson is being established and a meeting will be held in the new year.

posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for January 11 and 12.

posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served. The CS Bargaining Team will be meeting on January 14 to start planning for the next round.

11 Dec
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

8 Nov
posted by admin

There is an error in the new version of the AD Collective Agreement. Inadvertently, the provisions for Variable Hours of Work under Article 36 were left out of the printed version. They still apply. NRC will be distributing an insert for the Collective Agreement. Until such time, please refer to your old agreement.

1 Oct
posted by admin

The AD contract was signed on October 1st, 2004. NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

13 Sep
posted by admin

A request for input for PG group members was sent out via email on August 17. To date, we have received responses from only 3 members of the group. If group members have any concerns or if there are any items in the collective agreement that have posed problems or that they would like to see changed, please send your comments to joan@rcea.ca.

Workforce Adjustment Policy: The Workforce Adjustment Policy is a joint document that deals with what happens in the event of job cuts. It covers the identification of surplus employees, the marketing of surplus employees, the rights and obligations of surplus employees and the benefits available. The last policy was negotiated almost 10 years ago. Two years ago, the RCEA and PIPS jointly prepared demands and recommendations for a review of the Policy. That review, with NRC, was completed on July 5, 2004. Significant changes have been agreed upon and the new policy will now form part of all collective agreements. The new policy should be signed and implemented shortly. If you have any questions, please call the RCEA office.

12 Sep
posted by admin

The agreement will expire in February 2005. A request for input will shortly be sent out to all members. While the last survey provided us with good basic data, it was decided that this time, members would be invited to identify issues and concerns directly.

Workforce Adjustment Policy: The Workforce Adjustment Policy is a joint document that deals with what happens in the event of job cuts. It covers the identification of surplus employees, the marketing of surplus employees, the rights and obligations of surplus employees and the benefits available. The last policy was negotiated almost 10 years ago. Two years ago, the RCEA and PIPS jointly prepared demands and recommendations for a review of the Policy. That review, with NRC, was completed on July 5, 2004. Significant changes have been agreed upon and the new policy will now form part of all collective agreements. The new policy should be signed and implemented shortly. If you have any questions, please call the RCEA office.

posted by admin

WE anticipated that bargaining would resume in September, however the uncertainty surrounding the situation in the Public Service has delayed matters. The conciliation board report for PSAC Table 2 was released on September 10, 2004. It failed to address most of the important outstanding issues and certainly did not provide a foundation for further bargaining. Table 2 members are now on strike. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE RCEA??? Table 2 members will be striking primarily over pay and the wage gap identified in the Table 2 Joint Pay Study. These issues also directly affect the OP Group. While we could likely go back to the bargaining table with NRC, it is unlikely that they will be able to deal with these wage gap issues. It is recommended, therefore, that we wait until at least October to resume bargaining. We should have a better idea by then of how some of these issues are being resolved.

Workforce Adjustment Policy: The Workforce Adjustment Policy is a joint document that deals with what happens in the event of job cuts. It covers the identification of surplus employees, the marketing of surplus employees, the rights and obligations of surplus employees and the benefits available. The last policy was negotiated almost 10 years ago. Two years ago, the RCEA and PIPS jointly prepared demands and recommendations for a review of the Policy. That review, with NRC, was completed on July 5, 2004. Significant changes have been agreed upon and the new policy will now form part of all collective agreements. The new policy should be signed and implemented shortly. If you have any questions, please call the RCEA office.

posted by admin

The collective agreement expires on December 21, 2004. We will shortly be serving notice to bargain and will be inviting members to send input.

Workforce Adjustment Policy: The Workforce Adjustment Policy is a joint document that deals with what happens in the event of job cuts. It covers the identification of surplus employees, the marketing of surplus employees, the rights and obligations of surplus employees and the benefits available. The last policy was negotiated almost 10 years ago. Two years ago, the RCEA and PIPS jointly prepared demands and recommendations for a review of the Policy. That review, with NRC, was completed on July 5, 2004. Significant changes have been agreed upon and the new policy will now form part of all collective agreements. The new policy should be signed and implemented shortly. If you have any questions, please call the RCEA office.

11 Sep
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

Workforce Adjustment Policy: The Workforce Adjustment Policy is a joint document that deals with what happens in the event of job cuts. It covers the identification of surplus employees, the marketing of surplus employees, the rights and obligations of surplus employees and the benefits available. The last policy was negotiated almost 10 years ago. Two years ago, the RCEA and PIPS jointly prepared demands and recommendations for a review of the Policy. That review, with NRC, was completed on July 5, 2004. Significant changes have been agreed upon and the new policy will now form part of all collective agreements. The new policy should be signed and implemented shortly. If you have any questions, please call the RCEA office.

1 Sep
posted by admin

The Minister of Industry has approved the tentative agreement and it has been sent on to the Treasury Board and the Governor-in-Council. WE do not know when it will be signed.

Workforce Adjustment Policy: The Workforce Adjustment Policy is a joint document that deals with what happens in the event of job cuts. It covers the identification of surplus employees, the marketing of surplus employees, the rights and obligations of surplus employees and the benefits available. The last policy was negotiated almost 10 years ago. Two years ago, the RCEA and PIPS jointly prepared demands and recommendations for a review of the Policy. That review, with NRC, was completed on July 5, 2004. Significant changes have been agreed upon and the new policy will now form part of all collective agreements. The new policy should be signed and implemented shortly. If you have any questions, please call the RCEA office.

Pay Equity: As reported in January 2004, the Canadian Human Rights Commission recommended that the file be referred to a Human Rights Tribunal. Both the RCEA and NRC objected to this, as this would have allowed the CHRC to wipe its hands of the matter and required both the union and the employer to argue a full case before the Tribunal. The issue with our pay equity complaint is that there is no study that deals with the situation going back to 1985. This is what we were relying on the CHRC to complete. To go before a CHRC tribunal without such a study would certainly mean that our complaint would fail. We have written to the CHRC and demanded that they fulfill their mandate and conduct a study. To date, the only response that we have received is a letter advising us that their Pay Equity Section is now comprised of one person, whose responsibility it is to deal with all the outstanding files. We have not heard from the CHRC since that letter.

The situation does not look good. We cannot argue for pay equity back to 1985 or at least 1990 without a study. We do not have the staff or financial resources to conduct such a study. (The consultants that NRC almost hired estimated the cost of such a study as close to $1 million.) We have to rely on the CHRC and they do not seem able or willing to carry out such a study.

We are in the process of consulting with legal counsel to determine if there is another approach that can be taken in this long running dispute. Further information will be posted as it becomes available.

13 Aug
posted by admin

Email request for input went out to all members. To date, only 2 members have provided input. In order to formulate demands, more responses are required. Email your views to joan@rcea.ca.

12 Aug
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

Bargaining took place on July 20 and 21. Progress was made on non-pay issues. Bargaining should resume in September.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

11 Aug
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

3 Aug
posted by admin

Members of the AD Group have ratified the tentative collective agreement. NRC has been notified. They will now begin their approval process. We do not know how long this will take, as the approval of the Governor-in-Council is required. Once this is approved, the agreement will be signed and NRC will have 90 days in which to implement the agreement.

1 Aug
posted by admin

The collective agreement was ratified. NRC has been notified and will sign the new agreement once the required approvals, from Treasury Board and the Governor-in-Council, have been received.

15 Jul
posted by admin

The AS contract was signed on July 15, 2004. NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay.

6 Jul
posted by admin

For complete details of the tentative agreement: AD Ratification

26 Jun
posted by admin

Tentative Agreement Reached

On June 29, 2004, the AD Bargaining Team reached a tentative collective agreement with NRC. The Bargaining Team feels that this is the best agreement at this time, given all the uncertainties in the Public Service. The main details of the agreement are listed below. The full details will be provided in a ratification package that will be mailed out shortly. As well as the improvements listed below, the Bargaining Team was able to maintain certain provisions that NRC was seeking to change, such as the definition of a day (which impacts members working a compressed work week for the purposes of Volunteer, Personal and Family Related Responsibility Leave) and Parental Leave.

Pay
Effective May 1, 2003 – 2.5%
Effective May 1, 2004 – 2.0%
Effective date of signing of the agreement – drop the bottom step from each level.

Overtime Meal Allowance – $10.50. Meal allowance now available for work on a day of rest.

Improvements to the Standards of Discipline

Annual pay increment for part-time workers

Severance Pay for rejection on probation.

Letter of Understanding on Compassionate Care Leave – to be available as Other Leave With or Without Pay

Two extra days of sick leave per year for shift workers. Such leave will not be carried over to the next fiscal year.

Sick leave without pay now counts as continuous service

Addition of mother-in-law and father-in-law to definition of family for Leave without Pay for Care of Elderly Parent

Rewriting of the Hours of Work article.

Your Bargaining Team is recommending acceptance of this agreement. You will have a chance to vote on this tentative agreement.

22 Jun
posted by admin

The collective agreement was ratified. NRC has been notified. They have sent the package to the Privy Council Office. We are waiting for a signing date.

13 Jun
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

12 Jun
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for July 6, 7 and 8.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

11 Jun
posted by admin

Bargaining is scheduled for June 23 and 29.

4 Jun
posted by admin

Members of the AS Group have ratified the tentative collective agreement. NRC has been notified. They will now begin their approval process. We do not know how long this will take, as the approval of the Governor-in-Council is required. Once this is approved, the agreement will be signed and NRC will have 90 days in which to implement the agreement.

12 May
posted by admin

For complete details of the tentative agreement: AS ratification.

11 May
posted by admin

Tentative agreement reached!

On April 29, 2004, the AS Bargaining Team reached a tentative collective agreement with NRC. The Bargaining Team feels that this is the best agreement at this time, given all the uncertainties in the Public Service. The main details of the agreement are listed below. The full details will be provided in a ratification package which will be mailed out shortly. As well as the improvements listed below, the Bargaining Team was able to maintain certain provisions that NRC was seeking to change, such as the definition of a day (which impacts members working a compressed work week for the purposes of Volunteer, Personal and Family Related Responsibility Leave) as well as Parental Leave.

Pay
Effective May 1, 2003 – 2.5%
Effective May 1, 2004 – 2.0%

Overtime Meal Allowance – $10.50. Meal allowance now available for work on a day of rest.

Improvements to the Standards of Discipline.

Annual pay increment for part-time workers.

Severance Pay for rejection on probation.

Letter of Understanding on Compassionate Care Leave – to be available as Other Leave With or Without Pay.

Sick leave without pay now counts as continuous service.

Addition of mother-in-law and father-in-law to definition of family for Leave without Pay for Care of Elderly Parent.

Improvements to Acting Pay language.

Your Bargaining Team is recommending acceptance of this agreement. You will have a chance to vote on this tentative agreement.

25 Mar
posted by admin

The PG contract was signed on March 24, 2004. NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement, including retroactive pay. The SIGMA codes to accommodate the new Volunteer and Personal Leaves should be updated shortly. The improvements to annual leave are retroactively effective to August 1, 2003, so make sure that your leave account is properly credited.

13 Mar
posted by admin

The President of the Treasury Board recently announced that the freeze on reclassifications has been lifted.

The Minister of Industry has signed off on the tentative agreement. It still requires the approval of the Governor-In-Council. The RCEA has made repeated calls to NRC about the length of time that this is taking. We will have an expired agreement at almost the same time that we sign a new one. That is unacceptable. This tentative agreement was reached on November 28, 2003. It is now March 2004 and we do not have a signed agreement. NRC needs to speed this process up.

12 Mar
posted by admin

The President of the Treasury Board recently announced that the freeze on reclassifications has been lifted.

posted by admin

The President of the Treasury Board recently announced that the freeze on reclassifications has been lifted.

NRC is still waiting to receive its mandate. No dates have yet been scheduled.

posted by admin

The President of the Treasury Board recently announced that the freeze on reclassifications has been lifted.

11 Mar
posted by admin

The President of the Treasury Board recently announced that the freeze on reclassifications has been lifted.

NRC has indicated that they will be ready to proceed with bargaining very shortly.

posted by admin

The President of the Treasury Board recently announced that the freeze on reclassifications has been lifted.

NRC has indicated that they will be ready to proceed with bargaining very shortly.

22 Dec
posted by admin

Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.

Vacation Leave:

4 weeks and 2 days after 16 years of service.
5 weeks and 2 days after 27 years of service.
6 weeks after 28 years of service (replaces 5 weeks and 3 days after 28 years).

The other vacation leave provisions remain unchanged.

Overtime Meal Rates: Increase to $10.50. New overtime meal allowance when working overtime on days of rest.

Volunteer Leave and Personal Leave: One day each.

Call Back Pay: If an employee is called back and can do the work from home, to be compensated in the same manner as if they returned to work – i.e. minimum of 3 hours at the applicable overtime rate.

Appendix B: Reference to CISTI deleted, only applicable to IMSB.

Terminable Allowance: Will remain in effect.

12 Dec
posted by admin

Members should now have received their retroactive pay. Please note the following: the new increment in the last (expired) collective agreement only became effective on April 1, 2001. Members who received that increment on that date would have had to wait 12 months to receive the new increment under the new agreement. So although the agreement says that the new increment is effective February 14, 2002, it will only be applied on April 1, 2002. This may have an impact on retroactive pay adjustments. Those members who received the last new increment after April 1, 2001 will have to wait 12 months from the date of their last increment to receive the new one.

posted by admin

The bargaining committee met to review demands. Another meeting will be held in the new year and the demands will be finalized.

11 Dec
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

10 Dec
posted by admin

The ratification package has been sent out. Once all the ballots are received, even if it is prior to the January cut-off dates, the votes will be counted.

8 Dec
posted by admin

The new collective agreement was signed today. NRC then has 90 days in which to implement the terms of the new agreement.

posted by admin

For complete details of the agreement: PG ratification.

1 Dec
posted by admin

Tentative Agreement Reached for PG Group

On November 28, 2003, after two days of mediation, a tentative agreement was reached for the PG Group. The highlights of the agreement include the following:

Pay

1. Effective May 1, 2002 – increase all rates of pay by 1.6%.
2. Effective May 1, 2002 – increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.
3. Effective May 1, 2003 – increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.

This means that on May 1, 2002, members will receive a 4.1% increase, followed by a 2.5% increase on May 1, 2003. These increases will create parity between NRC and the Public Service PG rates.

Vacation

The improvements to vacation leave will be retroactive to January 1, 2003.

In addition to the existing provisions, the following changes will be made:

1. 4 weeks and 2 days of leave after 16 years of service.
2. 5 weeks and 2 days of leave after 27 years of service.
3. 6 weeks of leave after 28 years of service.

Meal Rates

Increase value to $10.50.

NEW

One new day of Volunteer Leave;
One new day of Personal Leave.

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Allowance – $75.00/month.

In addition to the above, and as a signing incentive, members of the group will each receive two (2) additional days of leave with pay. This leave must be used by December 31, 2004. It cannot be carried over and it cannot be cashed out. It is a one time only addition of leave.

The collective agreement will expire on April 30, 2004.

Full details of the tentative agreement will included in the ratification package which will be sent out shortly.

24 Nov
posted by admin

The CS collective agreement will be signed on December 8. NRC then has 90 days in which to implement the terms of the new agreement.

13 Nov
posted by admin

Conciliation is scheduled for November 19, 2003.

12 Nov
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

The Bargaining Committee is scheduled to meet on November 20 to begin preparations for the upcoming round of bargaining.

posted by admin

NRC has provided us with the following chronology of events as they relate to the process of getting the new collective agreement signed:

Friday, 5 September – Reached tentative agreement.
Tuesday, 9 September – Sent request for approval to Treasury Board.
Thursday, 2 October – Received Treasury Board approval.
Wednesday, 8 October – Sent request for Minister Allan Rock’s approval.
Week of 27 October – Pat Mortimer followed-up with Minister’s office; they said it is coming.
Tuesday, 4 November – Received a call from Minister’s office. Officer asked a few questions and said it will be sent shortly.
Wednesday, 12 November – Still not received approval.
November 13 – NRC was advised that the package had gone to the Governor in Council.
November 14 – NRC was advised that due to the upcoming government changes, the agreement would not be approved until December.

As such, it appears that we will not be able to sign the new CS collective agreement until some time in December.

11 Nov
posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been sent to NRC.

posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been sent to NRC.

22 Oct
posted by admin

No news to report at this time

Performance Bonus: While the Performance Bonus Program was in effect, the RCEA challenged NRC’s refusal to publish the names of bonus recipients. That challenge was heard in the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division. The Court recently ruled that NRC was not within the law to refuse to provide the RCEA with the names of recipients. The RCEA will now receive that list of names from NRC. Here is the web site that cites the Performance bonus court decision: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fct/2003/2003fc1116.html.

posted by admin

The tentative agreement has been ratified and NRC has been notified. NRC is now going through their approval process. We expect that the new agreement will be signed within several weeks.

Performance Bonus: While the Performance Bonus Program was in effect, the RCEA challenged NRC’s refusal to publish the names of bonus recipients. That challenge was heard in the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division. The Court recently ruled that NRC was not within the law to refuse to provide the RCEA with the names of recipients. The RCEA will now receive that list of names from NRC. Here is the web site that cites the Performance bonus court decision: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fct/2003/2003fc1116.html.

posted by admin

Bargaining broke off on September 22. The RCEA applied to the PSSRB for the appointment of a conciliator. One has now been appointed. We anticipate that conciliation will take place in November.

Performance Bonus: While the Performance Bonus Program was in effect, the RCEA challenged NRC’s refusal to publish the names of bonus recipients. That challenge was heard in the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division. The Court recently ruled that NRC was not within the law to refuse to provide the RCEA with the names of recipients. The RCEA will now receive that list of names from NRC. Here is the web site that cites the Performance bonus court decision: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fct/2003/2003fc1116.html.

12 Oct
posted by admin

A meeting of the bargaining committee will be scheduled shortly.

Performance Bonus: While the Performance Bonus Program was in effect, the RCEA challenged NRC’s refusal to publish the names of bonus recipients. That challenge was heard in the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division. The Court recently ruled that NRC was not within the law to refuse to provide the RCEA with the names of recipients. The RCEA will now receive that list of names from NRC. Here is the web site that cites the Performance bonus court decision: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fct/2003/2003fc1116.html.

11 Oct
posted by admin

The bargaining committee is meeting on October 29 to review demands and pay data. Once demands are finalized, they will be submitted to NRC and bargaining dates will be scheduled.

Performance Bonus: While the Performance Bonus Program was in effect, the RCEA challenged NRC’s refusal to publish the names of bonus recipients. That challenge was heard in the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division. The Court recently ruled that NRC was not within the law to refuse to provide the RCEA with the names of recipients. The RCEA will now receive that list of names from NRC. Here is the web site that cites the Performance bonus court decision: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fct/2003/2003fc1116.html.

posted by admin

The bargaining committee is meeting on October 22 to review the results of the bargaining questionnaire. Demands and pay data will also be reviewed. Once demands are finalized, they will be submitted to NRC and bargaining dates will be scheduled.

Pay Equity: No news to report at this time

Performance Bonus: While the Performance Bonus Program was in effect, the RCEA challenged NRC’s refusal to publish the names of bonus recipients. That challenge was heard in the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division. The Court recently ruled that NRC was not within the law to refuse to provide the RCEA with the names of recipients. The RCEA will now receive that list of names from NRC. Here is the web site that cites the Performance bonus court decision: http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fct/2003/2003fc1116.html.

7 Oct
posted by admin

TO COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT: VOLUNTEER AND PERSONAL LEAVE:

The new Volunteer and Personal Leave provisions of the TO collective agreement became effective September 19, 2003. Apparently, the SIGMA system has not yet been adjusted to accommodate these changes. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE LEAVE AS OF SEPTEMBER 19. If you want to take the leave prior to SIGMA being up and running, you should notify your supervisor of your intent, give the 5-day notice period and then take the leave. Your supervisor must take note of the leave request and when it was taken. Once the SIGMA system has been adjusted, the leave should be retroactively entered.

2 Oct
posted by admin

The CS collective agreement has been ratified by a majority of the membership. NRC will be notified shortly. They must then go through the Governor-in-Council approval process. This should take about six weeks. Once this is completed, the new agreement will be signed. As such, we anticipate signing the agreement by mid-November. Once the agreement is signed, NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement.

22 Sep
posted by admin

Bargaining for a new PG collective agreement has broken off. Your bargaining team was not satisfied with the last pay offer put forward by NRC. This offer included the following provisions:

1. May 1, 2002 – Increase all rates of pay by 1.6%.
2. May 1, 2002 – Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.
3. May 1, 2003 – Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.
4. May 1, 2004 – Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.

NRC has made this offer to “achieve parity with the Public Service PG Group”. They contend that this is what your bargaining team asked for during bargaining. It is not. While we have raised the issue of parity with the Public Service, we have also raised the issue of CCRA PG rates, of compression with the AD Group and of the need to provide an increment, at the very least, to the top of all PG levels. We have also made it clear that the PG–1 level also deserved particular consideration given that a so-called promotion from the AD-3 level to the PG-1 level is, in fact, no promotion at all. This is just not a good enough offer.

In the interests of reaching an agreement, your bargaining team reduced its demands and proposed the following:

1. May 1, 2002 – Increase all rates of pay by 2.6%.
2. May 1, 2002 – Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.
3. May 1, 2003 – Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.
4. May 1, 2004 – Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.

This means that we were asking for 1% more than NRC put on the table. This amounts to $13,677 more than NRC was prepared to pay. AND THEY SAID NO. They also accused the RCEA of treating bargaining for pay as though it were a “moving target”. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Your bargaining team has been very consistent in what kind of deal they were attempting to achieve for the group. Our move away from an increment at the top of each range and special treatment at the PG-1 level is a considerable jump. We were prepared to make a deal. APPARENTLY THEY ARE NOT!!!

Your bargaining team believes that now is the time to send the message that the PG Group will not settle for just anything, that the Group has issues to address and will fight to address them.

The next step is for the RCEA to ask the Public Service Staff Relations Board to appoint a conciliator to help the parties reach an agreement. This request will be made today. This will mean more delays in getting a settlement, but your team feels that the delay is worth it. If we cannot reach a deal, we would then ask for the establishment of an Arbitration Board. We hope that this step will not be necessary and that NRC will decide that it wants to send a positive message to the PG Group. But if we have to go to arbitration, we will. We are satisfied that we can make the case before an Arbitration Board that the Group deserves more than NRC is offering.

It is time for the PG Group to stand up and be counted. Your support is needed at this time. Your comments, as always, are welcome. It is now more important than ever that we speak with one voice.

Members of the PG Bargaining Committee:

Marc Bédard
John Lockwood
Gerry Kennedy
Joan Van Den Bergh – RCEA Negotiator

19 Sep
posted by admin

The new collective agreement was signed today.

17 Sep
posted by admin

A tentative agreement was reached on September 4. The ratification package has been sent out; the deadline for return is October 1.

16 Sep
posted by admin

For complete details of the agreement: CS Agreement.

13 Sep
posted by admin

Bargaining will resume on September 22, 2003.

12 Sep
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

11 Sep
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

A bargaining questionnaire has been sent out. The deadline for return is October 3. Members who are interested in serving on the bargaining committee should send an email to Joan Van Den Bergh at: joan@rcea.ca.

5 Sep
posted by admin

CS TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED September 3, 2003.

Highlights of the Agreement (details to follow on website and in ratification package).

Rates of Pay:

Effective:

1 Sep
posted by admin

Members voted to accept the new collective agreement. It will be signed on September 19. NRC then has 90 days in which to implement the terms of the new agreement.

25 Aug
posted by admin

The TO collective agreement has been ratified by a majority of the membership. NRC will be notified shortly. They must then go through the Governor-in-Council approval process. This should take about six weeks. Once this is completed, the new agreement will be signed. As such, we anticipate signing the agreement by mid-October. Once the agreement is signed, NRC has 90 days to implement the terms of the new agreement.

13 Aug
posted by admin

Bargaining will resume on September 22, 2003.

12 Aug
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

Bargaining will commence on August 25 and continue during the first week of September.

11 Aug
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

A bargaining questionnaire has been developed and will be sent out shortly.

1 Aug
posted by admin

The ratification ballots will be counted on August 15, 2003. If the agreement is ratified, NRC will be notified immediately. We anticipate that it will be signed by the end of September.

23 Jul
posted by admin

For complete details of the agreement: TO ratification

13 Jul
posted by admin

Bargaining took place on June 9 and July 8. Progress was made on non-monetary items. Another bargaining date has been scheduled for July 24.

12 Jul
posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served. Demands still need to be prepared and submitted.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

11 Jul
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

10 Jul
posted by admin

TO TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REACHED July 10, 2003.

Highlights of the Agreement (details to follow on website and in ratification package).

Rates of Pay:

1. 14 February 2002 Add a new increment to the top of each range.
Value of Increments: TO-1 — 4.9%

TO-2 — 4.36%

TO-3 — 4.01%

TO-4 — 3.66%

TO-5 — 3.66%

TO-6 — 3.66%

2. 14 February 2002 Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.
3. 14 February 2003 Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.
4. 14 February 2004 Increase all rates of pay by 2.5%.

Vacation Leave:

4 weeks after 6 years of service.
5 weeks and 2 days after 23 years of service.

These changes will come into effect on July 1, 2003. The other vacation leave provisions remain unchanged.

Overtime Meal Rates: Increase to $10.50. New overtime meal allowance when working overtime on days of rest.

Sick Leave: For shift workers, 2 extra days of sick leave per year.

Volunteer Leave and Personal Leave: One day each.

Deployment Allowance for IAR.

7 Jul
posted by admin

Bargaining has been scheduled for July 10, 2003.

2 Jul
posted by admin

Pay Equity: NO GOOD NEWS.

NRC and the RCEA are no longer going to conduct a joint pay equity study. NRC HAS DECIDED that it will not put out the money to do this, given their view that there would be NO GUARANTEE that the results would be accepted by either the Canadian Human Rights Commission or Treasury Board. Our response – when is there ever a guarantee that results will be accepted?

Where does this leave us now? We have had two recent meetings with the CHRC. They, all of a sudden, are under pressure to do something about their outstanding complaints. The Canadian Human Rights Commission has several roles. Like NRC, it is a government agency. It is also a Commission, which is made up of government appointees, who are charged with upholding the Canadian Human Rights Act. This “Commission” can be viewed as similar to the actual council of the NRC.

In pay equity cases, the CHRC investigates complaints. It then writes a report of its findings and makes a recommendation to the Commission of the CHRC as to whether the complaint could be upheld or should be denied. It can also recommend that there is enough in the complaint to warrant its referral to a Tribunal. If the Commission accepts this recommendation, it will order that a Tribunal be convened to hear the complaint. Conversely, the Commission can determine that there is nothing to a complaint and simply deny it. If a Tribunal is convened, the parties then have to make their case to the Tribunal. In the past, when this happened, when the CHRC had recommended that a file go to Tribunal, particularly in large pay equity files, the CHRC provided the legal representation. This is no longer the case, as the CHRC (as well as most Human Rights agencies across the country) has seen their funding and mandates drastically reduced.

The CHRC has indicated that they will now conduct an investigation of the complaint, as written. Our complaint, as written, states that there has been a pay inequity for the AD group (and its predecessor CR and ST groups) since 1985. The CHRC will now do an investigation, but not necessarily a full pay study, to determine if there is enough to recommend that the complaint be sent to a full CHRC Tribunal for a hearing. If they do recommend that it go to Tribunal, there is no guarantee that the CHRC will represent the RCEA at the hearings. In the past, where the CHRC has sent a matter to Tribunal, they have often acted as the representative of the complainant. Presently, in Canada, this is changing. The CHRC is redefining its role and will not necessarily represent all complainants.

If our case is referred to a Tribunal, we will have to try and convince the CHRC to represent us. If we are left to represent ourselves, we will have some problems. We will have to generate sufficient data to prove to the Tribunal that the pay inequity exists and how large it is. This may cost more than all the total reserves of the RCEA. We are hopeful, however, that this fact and the whole issue of systemic discrimination will convince the CHRC to, in fact, represent us.

We are in the process of reviewing all our files and forwarding relevant information to the CHRC. In our view, there might already be enough information and data in the files to support the contention of a pay inequity back to 1985-88.

We may be bloodied but we have not given up hope. We will be doing everything that we can to both prove our case and convince the CHRC to represent our interests. We have lost faith, however, in the NRC. We have been patient. We will now only be dealing with the CHRC and our own legal counsel. In our view, NRC has succumbed to Treasury Board pressure. They don’t want us to get good results. They don’t want to pay back to 1985. And Treasury Board certainly does not want to see that kind of result, given the fact that they are currently being challenged in the courts by the PSAC for some of the other separate employers. Once again Treasury Board and NRC are stonewalling the pay equity situation.

This is a matter that goes back to 1985. For whatever reason, the RCEA at that time did not file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. There is no point in second guessing that decision. What we have been trying to do, since 1999, is to rectify that situation. Clearly the time gap between 1985 and 1999 is proving to be a very large issue. We have explored, and will continue to explore, every possible avenue to remedy this situation.

1 Jul
posted by admin

Bargaining took place on June 19. Progress was made on many items. Bargaining will resume on July 10.

13 Jun
posted by admin

Bargaining has been scheduled for June 9, 2003. While NRC does not yet have a mandate to bargain pay, we are hopeful that they will be in a position to deal with other bargaining issues.

12 Jun
posted by admin

Bargaining has been scheduled for June 19, 2003. While NRC does not yet have a mandate to bargain pay, we are hopeful that they will be in a position to deal with other issues and that they will shortly have a pay mandate.

We are aware that most members are very frustrated with the pace of negotiations. So are the RCEA and your bargaining team. Below you will find a letter to Dr. Carty. It is an example of the type of letter that you could send to Dr. Carty to let him know how members feel.

Dear Dr. Carty:

As a member of the TO Group, I would like to express my unhappiness with the pace of collective bargaining between the RCEA and the NRC. Our contract expired on February 13, 2002, almost 18 months ago. The RO collective agreement expired on July 19, 2002 and they already have a new agreement. This is not acceptable. The TO Group is always left behind. I urge you to return to the bargaining table and to conclude a new agreement for the TO Group. Please show us that all NRC employees are equally important.

Sincerely yours,

posted by admin

We are waiting for NRC to get a mandate to bargain. No bargaining dates have been scheduled.

11 Jun
posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served.

posted by admin

Notice to bargain has been served.

22 May
posted by admin

Drop the first four steps of the CS 1 range, add an increment to the maximum of all levels.

13 Mar
posted by admin

NRC has completed its analysis of our demands and is in the process of securing a bargaining mandate.

12 Mar
posted by admin

The bargaining sessions that were scheduled for March 24 and 25 have been postponed. We expected that NRC would have a mandate by now and that they would be able to address many of the outstanding bargaining demands. In fact, NRC has not yet even approached Treasury Board for its mandate. They tell us that they are still reviewing our proposals. We have made it very clear to NRC that this is unacceptable and that we expect them to make every effort to secure the mandate and to bargain with us in a timely manner.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

The Bargaining Team has been established and is in the process of preparing initial bargaining demands.

11 Mar
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

Pay Equity: Several meetings have been held with the consultant. It became apparent at these meetings that the issue of retroactivity of any pay inequity needed to be dealt with now rather than somewhere down the road. We have therefore been working on the development of a new methodology that will allow us to review jobs going back to 1985 in order to determine whether there was a pay inequity and, if so, how large it was. The need to structure the study around a 14 year period will undoubtedly add some time to the process, but will, we believe, save time in the long run and more importantly, provide us with more reliable and accurate data.

13 Jan
posted by admin

Bargaining demands have been submitted to NRC. They are in the process of preparing their mandate request to Treasury Board. Once they have received a mandate, bargaining sessions will be scheduled.

12 Jan
posted by admin

The bargaining sessions that were scheduled for January 27 and 28 were postponed until March 2003. NRC anticipates that it will have a mandate to bargain by then and your Bargaining Team felt that it was best to wait until such time as NRC could engage in meaningful discussions at the bargaining table.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time. PIPS is still in bargaining for its CS Group and is running into some difficulties with Treasury Board. It is in the best interests of our group to wait and see what happens with the Public Service bargaining.

11 Jan
posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

posted by admin

No news to report at this time.

Pay Equity: A contract to conduct the pay equity study has been signed with the Hay Consulting Group. The process will begin in February with a two-day training session for all participants. The RCEA has also engaged the services of a classification specialist to assist us during the pay equity study.

22 Jun
posted by admin

Increase all rates of pay by 3.6%.

1 May
posted by admin

Increase all rates of pay by 0.4%.