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November 8, 1999
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide members of the Association with an update on the bargaining unit re-determination process underway at the Parks Canada Agency, the steps the Association has taken to date as well as how members may participate in the process.
On August 27, 1999 the Parks Canada Agency filed an application with the Public Service Staff Relations Board (PSSRB) proposing a realignment of the existing bargaining units reducing the number of bargaining units to two i.e. the Program Delivery Bargaining Unit (primarily operations and service delivery) and the Program Development Bargaining Unit (program/policy development and corporate service support). As proposed in the Employer’s application, APSFA members would fall into this second unit along with members from the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and members from the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The PSSRB will, through a hearing scheduled for early January, 2000, determine whether the Employer’s proposal or those from other parties such as the Association are the best to serve the conduct of labour relations and provide for proper employee representation. The PSSRB will identify the bargaining agent that will represent employees within each unit or may call a vote of employees to be held to resolve the issue of representation.
On October 13, 1999, the Association through its legal counsel replied to the Employer’s proposal for two units noting that the interests of specialized groups of professionals such as the Financial Management Group are not protected through the proposed Program Development Bargaining Unit configuration. The Association’s position is clearly that the absence of a specific community of interests would not afford proper representation for bargaining purposes.
While the ultimate PSSRB decision on this issue is difficult to predict with any degree of certainty, the Association is firmly committed to the fight to continue to represent APSFA members in the new Agency. By now, notices should have been placed in the workplace in conspicuous places advising all employees of the Application for Bargaining Unit Re-Determination by the Employer inviting employees/parties who wish to make representations to do so in writing by no later than November 12, 1999 to the PSSRB.
I would urge all members who are concerned about being represented by another bargaining unit in the future to support the Association in its efforts and to make your views known to the PSSRB in writing. Any written submissions may be sent to:
Public Service Staff Relations Board
P.O. Box 1525, Station “B”
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5V2
Should you have any questions on any of these issues please contact me or Greg Gauthier, Director, Labour Relations and Negotiations at (613) 728-0695.