By Jim Stanford, Ottawa Citizen November 26, 2013It might seem like ancient history, but it wasn’t long ago that Canadian governments knew how to balance their books — and then some. The collective operating surplus of Canadian governments in 2007 equalled almost $40 billion. Teachers, nurses, and other public servants did their jobs. Tax revenues were more than sufficient to pay for their valuable work (in fact, average tax rates were falling, not rising).
Earlier this year, Treasury Board announced it would be implementing a “pay in arrears” system for federal government employees as part of their Pay Modernization Initiative.Public service employees are paid on a “current” basis. They receive their pay on a Wednesday for the 10 day pay period that ends on that same day. As the pay needs to be processed several days in advance, any changes to an individual’s pay in those last few days (such as leaves or acting pay) is not accounted for immediately, but requires pay adjustments in subsequent paycheques.
(Ottawa) October 29, 2013 – Leaders of the federal public sector unions (the National Joint Council bargaining agents) met yesterday and released the following statement on the government’s proposed changes to federal labour relations legislation:The federal public sector bargaining agents call on the government to withdraw its sweeping and unfair changes to federal labour relations legislation from its omnibus budget implementation act. Instead, the government should engage in real consultation on legislation to improve labour relations.
Pressure from bargaining agents and our members has paid off. Treasury Board President Tony Clement has confirmed in an Oct. 15 meeting with PSAC National President Robyn Benson that “pay modernization” in the federal public service and the implementation of “pay in arrears” will take place with no impact on PSAC members' pay – no member will experience a claw back.The employer had proposed a transition that would have resulted in a loss of 4% off member’s biweekly paycheques in 2014.
PSAC has asked Treasury Board to provide a definitive answer about their plans to implement pay in arrears and what they intend to do to protect PSAC members from the impact of any changes.The union has continued to discuss the matter with Treasury Board over the summer and we remain positive that the issue can be resolved so that our members do not suffer financial hardship.
PSAC is calling on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to return to the bargaining table, after the Public Interest Commission (PIC) tabled its recommendations last week.“The PIC report amply demonstrates that many of the demands of our bargaining team are justified,” said Chris Aylward, National Executive Vice-President of PSAC.
Last year, the PSAC along with other unions at the National Joint Council negotiated some improvements to the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP). An agreement was reached between the NJC unions, Treasury Board and other employer representatives to help bring the PSHCP in line with other similar health care plans. The employer has now come back to the table and is asking for two major concessions in return for implementing the deal that they had already agreed to.
On Tuesday, May 28th, Treasury Board President Tony Clement, announced with great fanfare what he called a new directive on performance management that includes a mandatory performance assessment for all public sector workers.PSAC members are proud of the work they do on behalf of Canadians, and have no problem receiving feedback and having their work properly and fairly evaluated.
Robyn Benson, PSAC National President & Tony Clement were on CKNW's Bill Good show recently to discuss the recent government announcement regarding performance reviews in the federal public service. Here's the audio ...