TB deems 10 % of AJC members as essential service positions and removes automatic interest arbitration possibility :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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September 3rd, 2014
September 3rd, 2014
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TB deems 10 % of AJC members as essential service positions and removes automatic interest arbitration possibility

The rules of the game, when it comes to negotiations, have changed drastically

Earlier in the year, with the introduction of Bill C-4, the budget omnibus bill, the government significantly altered the bargaining process in the public service. One of the major changes was the process leading to the designation of 'essential service' positions.

Under the new scheme, these positions are no longer designated through a collaborative process where both the union and Treasury Board (also known as 'TB' or the 'employer') would come to a mutual agreement.  Rather, they are now imposed by the employer whose only obligation towards the union is a 60-day 'consultation period'.    

On June 6th, the AJC was served a notice of designated positions for the LP group.  The consultation period ended on August 7th, 2014. In its initial list, the employer had identified 243 positions to be designated as essential.  

* Following the consultation period, the employer's list remained relatively unchanged with 241 positions designated as essential. These positions represent 10.3% of our membership, a number well below the required 80% threshold that would automatically trigger the interest arbitration route should the parties reach an impasse at the negotiations table.

* Approximately 70 designated positions are at Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC), 3 from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), with the remaining at DOJ. AJC members who occupy a designated position will be informed by TB or their employing departments in the coming weeks.

Please note that such notice does not constitute an exclusion from the bargaining unit under the Public Service Labour Relations Act.  Employees in designated positions remain full members of the AJC and retain all rights and benefits associated with membership.

As it stands now, the only route available is conciliation/strike/job action unless the parties mutually agree to participate in interest arbitration. The rules of the game, when it comes to negotiations, have changed drastically.

Although the AJC's objections to TB's list of designations were limited, TB holds the sole right to designate such positions and can modify the list at any time.  

TB will no doubt confirm with incumbents of such designated positions that they are now legally prevented from ever taking any strike/job action even though they are dues-paying members of the Association.

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