On September 6, the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) met with Treasury Board President Anita Anand for the first time since her appointment in July. The productive discussion highlighted some of the key concerns facing CAPE members, including interpreters’ health and safety and the Phoenix pay system.
The health and safety of parliamentary interpreters was jeopardized when Parliament moved its committee meetings and House debates online to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite risks to interpreters, the Parliament even voted to make hybrid sittings permanent in June 2023. With these highly-skilled employees continuing to experience serious workplace injuries, President Anand committed to working to address the issue and find both short- and long-term solutions.
CAPE President Camille Awada raised ongoing issues with the Phoenix pay system, pleading for solutions for thousands of employees who continue to deal with Phoenix-related pay problems, and calling for faster resolution for those facing repayments particularly. President Anand confirmed that priority had been given to solving this problem, noting that other Cabinet members were currently exploring the way forward.
President Awada pressed for meaningful consultations with bargaining agents and clear messages from the government on policies that impact them, citing the implementation of the telework policy, which caused confusion and frustration amongst public sector employees. He also touched upon RCMP ongoing negotiations and deeming of civilian members.
With mutuality over the need to establish a good working relationship to ensure that members are well-equipped to best serve Canadians, CAPE and the Treasury Board committed to keeping the channels open for ongoing dialogue.
Honourable Anita Anand President of the Treasury Board
Keiran Gibbs Director of Labour Relations
Participants from CAPE
Camille Awada President
Elisabeth Woods Senior Advisor to the President
Katia Theriault Director of Communications and Public Affairs
Dina Epale Senior Advocacy and Public Affairs Advisor