The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) announced this week that it has reached a new three-year collective agreement with the federal government after months of negotiating.

The pact, retroactive 2018, will see members receive an average 2.11 per cent raise per year, with a 6.35 raise over the life of the agreement.

Other benefits will include 10 paid days of domestic violence leave, parental leave pay, additional extended leave options, expanded supplementary allowance, greater work flexibility and greater caregiving leave.

RELATED COVERAGE: PSAC strike votes could impact northern federal services 

The agreement also includes compensation for setbacks related to the Phoenix pay system. All Treasury Board members will receive a $2,500 lump-sum payment to compensate for more than four years of hardship from Phoenix. The agreement also addresses an improvement to the current claims process for out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses. there is also compensation for larger and more severe impacts.

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Jack Bourassa, regional executive vice-president for PSAC North, said negotiations for the next round of bargaining will begin in the coming months. In all, he was relatively satisfied coming out of the most recent talks.

Jack Bourassa is the regional executive vice-president of PSAC North.
photo courtesy of PSAC

“It was all in all pretty good; we didn’t get everything we wanted, which is usually how these things go,” Bourassa said. “I think the employer got a good deal and the bargaining team and members and negotiators were all happy, so it was really a win-win scenario.”

Last February PSAC’s national president threatened a strike vote, which “never came to fruition,” Bourassa said.

PSAC announced on its website on Sept. 29 that members voted to ratify the agreement  which will “provide fair wages, no concessions, and improved working conditions.”

Among the workers who will benefit from the new collective agreement are those in the Canada Revenue Agency and those who fall under the federal Treasury Board. In the NWT, the latter includes service-related office workers, such as Service Canada, Transport Canada or Passports Canada; field officers like food inspectors; long-census workers; Indigenous teachers; and Parks Canada workers, such as park wardens and office receptionists.

Bourassa represents 500 Treasury Board members in the North, and nearly 250 federal members in the NWT. Nationally, workers are among 150,000 federal employees across the country and 60 per cent of the entire federal public service represented by PSAC.

“I am proud of the elected members of our bargaining teams for their unwavering dedication during this round of talks,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC’s national president. “Thanks to their hard work and the solidarity shown by thousands of members across the country, we were able to negotiate a fair deal. We’re now in a strong position to build on these improvements in the next round of bargaining.”

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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