Bargaining ”Update” and Labour Legislation Status Report :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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January 22nd, 2016
January 22nd, 2016
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Bargaining ”Update” and Labour Legislation Status Report

Bargaining

It has been a long time, perhaps too long, since we last met with the Treasury Board negotiators.  Treasury Board was without a bargaining mandate during the longer than necessary election campaign, and the new government is still settling in, with the Speech from the Throne taking place just a few weeks ago.   After these many months, we look forward to this government's renewed commitment to negotiate in good faith.

The AJC Negotiations Committee and Treasury Board negotiators have agreed to meet during the week of February 29, 2016.  It is expected that Treasury Board will have confirmed its mandate with the new leadership by then. We will remain patient and continue to work hard to negotiate the best collective agreement.

Legislation

As we have reported, the new government has pledged to repeal or review all the labour legislation enacted by the Harper government, including:

  • Bill C-4 (Economic Action Plan 2013 Act, No. 2.) - As we reported, this legislation drastically impacted the collective bargaining rights of federal public service workers.  After the recent SCC decisions, we remain hopeful the government will re-visit these changes to the PSLRA.  The Government of Canada has recently announced its intention to engage in consultations with public sector partners to revisit legislative provisions introduced through Bill C-4.
  • Bill C-59 (Economic Action Plan 2015 Act, No. 1) - Also previously reported, Division 20 gives Treasury Board the power to unilaterally impose sick leave and STDP.  Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board has confirmed that the Government of Canada would not exercise the powers contained in Bill C-59 (Division 20) to unilaterally implement a disability and sick leave management system, and plans to repeal this legislation.   It is becoming clear, though, that the new government may still be interested in pursuing this item in order to keep the $900m "savings" on the books.
  • Bill C-377 (An Act to amend the Income Tax Act) - Again, as reported, this bill created labourious and invasive financial reporting requirements for unions.  The new government sees this as one of several Harper bills that rolled back fundamental labour rights, and has pledged to repeal the legislation.  In the meantime, the government has waived the requirement for unions to track their spending, which would have been necessary beginning 1 January 2016.
  • Bill C-525 (An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act) - This legislation drastically changed the PSLRA making decertification easier and certification more difficult.  It, too, was recognized by the new government as one more in a line of anti-union Harper bills, and they have pledged to repeal it.  
 
Stay tuned as we will continue to provide regular updates during the negotiations.

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