Bargaining resumes with the tabling of a modified short-term disability plan proposal

March 10, 2016

Barg _ec

After a lengthy federal election, CAPE and the employer finally met at the bargaining table under a new government and a new mandate. This marks the first bargaining meeting since June 2015.

The new version of the employer’s short-term disability proposal tabled this week contains improvements over their last proposal of June 2015. However, there are still significant issues that need to be resolved. This same short-term disability and sick leave proposal has been tabled with the other unions currently at the bargaining table.

Following the employer’s presentation, the CAPE collective bargaining team reviewed the proposal thoroughly and has asked several questions, most of which the employer was able to answer. We also requested data to support some of the employer’s assertions; we received their commitment to provide us with answers at or before our next bargaining round in May.

This conversation about the short-term disability plan is by no means over. The employer has submitted their proposal; now, it’s our duty to study their proposal, question their rationale and facts, and come back with our own counter-proposals supported by sound evidence. Our members have told us loud and clear how they feel about the employer’s attempt to claw-back our sick leave. Our goal is the same as yours: we want to make sure that the collective agreement protects our members so that they have full income replacement when sick with no waiting period. 

While the short-term disability proposal is on the employer’s front burner, CAPE members have identified their own priorities in a recent survey. In light of members’ feedback, the EC bargaining team has reassessed its priorities at the table and has informed the employer of forthcoming proposals aimed at addressing these priorities. One of the priorities that stood out in our survey results is the notion of professional integrity. We have therefore tabled the following proposal:

The parties recognize that it is the role of professionals in the Federal Public Service to provide advice in the creation of public policy and the design and development of Federal Government services. No employee will be disciplined or face a reprisal of any type for providing objective, evidence-based advice in the performance of their job.

The team wishes to thank members for taking the time to provide us with their invaluable feedback; it was greatly appreciated.

CORRECTION. Bargaining will resume on June 28 and 29, 2016. In the meantime, the CAPE bargaining team will continue to work on its proposals, namely our response to the employer’s short-term disability proposal.