CAPE opts for binding conciliation as the new dispute resolution mechanism at the EC and TR tables

August 25, 2016

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This week, the EC and TR bargaining teams notified Treasury Board of their choice of dispute settlement mechanism in the event of an impasse in the current round of collective bargaining. Both teams opted for binding conciliation.

The decision by CAPE’s bargaining teams means that this new regime will apply when bargaining resumes on September 27 for the EC group and October 4 for the TR group.

In a letter this past June, Treasury Board President Scott Brison notified all federal public service unions that the government intended to repeal the provisions of 2013’s Bill C-4 affecting the rules of collective bargaining. Until such time as new legislation is enacted, however, Treasury Board offered a number of transition measures that could be applied to the current round of collective bargaining.

One of these interim measures is the use of binding conciliation as a dispute resolution method. Both the EC and TR bargaining teams have opted for this method. Two other options were also available: the conciliation/strike route (as imposed by the previous government) and arbitration (but under the inequitable rules established in Bill C-4). Our choice of binding conciliation was confirmed following a meeting with Treasury Board senior officials.

According to CAPE’s spokesperson at the EC and TR tables, past President Claude Poirier, “binding conciliation restores more or less the same parameters that existed before the Conservatives imposed legislative changes in 2013. The criteria to be evaluated by the conciliator will be balanced for both parties. Of course, our goal is to reach a negotiated agreement,” Mr. Poirier added.