EC Arbitral Award

July 12, 2012

On July 12, 2012, the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) received the report of the arbitral award for its 13,000 EC members. An Arbitration Board headed by Yvon Tarte has made a partial award of CAPE’s pay proposal and has confirmed a trend of settlements at the bargaining table with an award of the employer’s proposal to cease the accumulation of years of service for the purpose of severance pay on resignation and retirement. EC pay scales will see the following changes;

• 1.75% pay adjustment, retroactive to June 22, 2011;
• 1.5% pay adjustment, retroactive to June 22, 2012;
• 3.45% increment added to the top of each of the eight EC pay lines, effective June 22, 2013, and,
• 2.0% pay adjustment, also effective June 22, 2013.

“Expectations are low all over the public service, in fact all over Canada”explained CAPE’s negotiator Claude Danik,“as the current government and its officials have demonstrated a fundamental inability to deal with facts, and address matters in a professional manner. CAPE’s breakthrough regarding pay inequities should be considered a significant victory for our EC members because it is a just outcome. It is also a just outcome for the Canadian public as it provides a fair and balanced settlement.”

The arbitral award also includes two gains:
• double time for work performed on a second day of rest even if no work was performed on the first day of rest and;
• extension of the duration of variable work schedules from 28 days to 52 weeks (appendix C).

“EC members have been patient and have shown their confidence in CAPE,” added CAPE’s President, Claude Poirier.“The EC bargaining committee was not intimidated by the employer’s lack of response to the concerns it expressed at the bargaining table. And CAPE staff and legal counsel from Sack Goldblatt Mitchel did their usual remarkable job” he added.“I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for pulling together to produce a result that is not perfect but that will address to some extent pay inequities that we intend to address again in the next round of bargaining.”

The award is final and binding. These changes to the EC collective agreement are in addition to matters settled during mediation, and proposals to which CAPE and Treasury Board agreed at the negotiating table.

Changes to the EC collective agreement that were the object of agreement at the table were mostly editorial in nature. The employer agreed to CAPE’s proposal to delete from paragraph EC-28.08 reference to operations and operating employees as this distinction was confusing managers and employees because it no longer exists in the work place for EC employees. Secondly, for purposes of clarity the employer agreed to language regarding the arbitration process authority of thePublic Service Labour Relations Act andRegulations. In mediation, the employer agreed to increase the stopover period from 3 to 5 hours in paragraph EC-30.02 (travelling time); the definition of family for paragraph 21.09 (leave without pay for care of family) was expanded; EC members are entitled to use vacation leave in order to meet the requirements of severance pay for retirement and resignation according to the wording of the new sub-paragraph 24.09(b). CAPE agreed to language that allows the employer to simply provide access to an electronic copy of the EC agreement rather than print booklets for all members. The employer has committed before the mediator to providing CAPE with a sufficient number of agreements for its officers including stewards and other elected officials.

You can read the arbitral decision by clicking on this link. The highlights of the new agreement will be posted on the CAPE website next week.