CAPE has declared an impasse at the EC table. Here’s why.

December 21, 2016

Ec _col _barg

The unanimous decision by members of the EC negotiating team on Tuesday to declare an impasse and apply for binding conciliation was not an easy one. The team members were frustrated by the Employer’s unwillingness to offer similar pay increases offered to comparable groups in the federal public service; that is why they made that decision. Here are the detailed reasons.

An inferior market adjustment

Following the pattern set at the other tables, the Employer offered the ECs annual increases of 1.25% for each year of a four-year agreement. This is the trend that has emerged from this round and this has been accepted by the PSAC and PIPSC. A similar offer will be put to the vote to our TR members.

However, the Employer wanted to impose to ECs inferior market adjustments than those proposed to other groups, and this led the negotiating team to say no.

The Employer offered a 1% economic adjustment in 2016, but only to ECs 05 and ECs 06, while the other levels would not have received anything. This is all the more unacceptable because we know that, because of different standards of qualifications, the ECs 01, 02 and 03 do not enjoy as attractive prospects for career progression as the higher levels. For the record, the TR offer includes economic adjustments at all levels of 0.75% in 2016 and 0.50% in 2017, thus 1.25% overall.

Yet Treasury Board has offered to add an increment step to several groups represented by PIPSC, including two groups comparable to ECs, namely, mathematicians and commerce officers. Mathematicians working at Statistics Canada obtained an incremental step, an increase of about 3.45%. Another PIPSC group, the CO group, also received an additional increment; however it only applies to CO-02.

Professional integrity

After 10 years under the Conservative government, during which our members were silenced or coerced into providing analyzes that reinforced the government’s ideological positions, our members demanded protection in the collective agreement of their professional integrity.

We were simply asking that our members be protected and not be punished if they give evidence-based advice. The Employer refused, and proposed a vague clause that would be linked to the code of ethics of the public service. We know that the Employer has often used this code of ethics - which it alone can draft and can amend unilaterally - to punish employees in the public service, it is clear that our team did not want to incorporate this in the EC collective agreement.

Further details will be provided to you as we progress towards the binding conciliation stage. In the meantime, if you have any questions for the negotiating team, do not hesitate to write to: bargaining_negociations@acep-cape.ca

What is binding conciliation?

To know more about this method of settlement, please read this article. You can alson read Treasury Board President's letter on the subject.