We are pleased to inform you that negotiations have begun for the renewal of the EC collective agreement due to expire on June 21, 2022.
On March 17 and 18 the CAPE EC Collective Bargaining team met with the Employer team made up of representatives from Treasury Board along with department stakeholders.
During the sessions, both parties exchanged their opening non-monetary proposals, and lead negotiators began a constructive dialogue on the wide range of workplace topics facing CAPE’s EC members.
Both teams have agreed to work towards achieving an agreement before the expiry of the current collective agreement and are therefore looking to arrange subsequent dates for intensive negotiations to take place in April, May, and June of 2022.
In terms of the format and environment in which our exchanges are taking place, CAPE generally opts for confidential and private negotiations to foster candid and open discussions around the table. This creates a protective space for everyone involved to speak freely.
However, we are committed to making sure our members have access to high level information every step of the way to offer an open window into this process and into how we are progressing.
THEMATIC BARGAINING STRANDS
CAPE’s EC members identified several priorities for the current round of bargaining when responding to our survey, sent on November 25, to list those priorities.
We have grouped them into six sub-groups, or thematic strands:
ADJUSTING WAGES AND COMPENSATION
CAPE’s top priority is our wage and compensation proposals. We plan on discussing with the Employer the financial impact felt by our members because of the ongoing inflationary pressures as well as the skyrocketing price of housing. Our wage proposals will reflect these pressures.
REFLECTING NEW WORKPLACE REALITIY
The second group of proposals focuses on the new work reality created by the pandemic and centres around ensuring that our members can enjoy a modern and flexible workplace. The pandemic has undeniably changed the way we work and employers and employees alike have discovered that it is possible to work remotely while maintaining the same level of productivity.
Our proposals will aim at ensuring flexibility for our members in the way that they work, which includes “where” they work.
ENSURING A HEALTHY WORKPLACE
The third group of proposals focuses on improvements required to ensure a healthy workplace is promoted and maintained. With the high incidence of mental health issues in the workplace, there is a need to ensure added measures are introduced to promote and protect wellbeing in the workplace.
The pursuit of a healthy workplace must also include measures aimed at increasing inclusion within the workplace. Based on the results of our member survey, most of the proposals are preventative in nature and aim to address real issues being faced in the workplace before they escalate.
Examples include the ‘right to disconnect’, the inclusion of protection against harassment in the collective agreement (complementary to Bill C-65), as well as proposals aimed at addressing the fear of reprisals that are preventing our members from coming forward with issues when they arise.
ENHANCING CAREER DEVELOPMENT
The fourth group of proposals focuses on professional and career development, which is important in the attraction and retention of a highly skilled workforce. In fact, a lack of career development was identified as one of the top reasons in our survey for why people would leave their position.
With respect to performance management, we want to make sure the process is followed. We also believe it should include of a two-way discussion where members are able to provide feedback on the performance of their managers.
IMPROVING LEAVE ENTITLEMENTS FOR GREATER WORK-LIFE BALANCE
The fifth group of proposals relates to leave improvements. Leave entitlements are a critical part of a healthy work-life balance and we are looking for improvements in the amount of time provided and asking for additional flexibility, such as the ability to carry over unused leave.
We are advocating to ensure that people have the leave entitlements necessary for various stages of their life. It is not ‘one size fits all’: different leave entitlements speak to different audiences.
RCMP MEMBERS AND OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST
Finally, the sixth and last group of proposals contains other improvements that do not fall under the previously mentioned groupings. These are principally RCMP-related. Additionally, we wish to have a conversation with the Employer to know whether there are any workforce adjustment plans on the horizon and will tailor our proposals accordingly.
CAPE will work actively to see positive movement in each of these areas of priorities at the negotiation table.
We will keep you posted regarding the progress of negotiations as it unfolds.
General Bargaining Updates: https://www.acep-cape.ca/en/bargaining-updates
EC Collective Bargaining: https://www.acep-cape.ca/en/collective-agreement/ec