Collective Bargaining

Collective Bargaining Update: Arbitration Proposals Presented

ACFO and TBS presented their arbitration briefs to the Arbitration Board on Friday April 5th, 2013.

The case is now in the hands of the Arbitration Board to resolve our outstanding issues in contention. Once the Board makes its ruling, we will be able to finalize an FI Collective Agreement retroactive from November 2011 to November 2014.

ACFO’s Supporting Documents 

Arbitration Brief Submission (full document)

Rationale for ACFO’s proposals (summary)

Internal comparator study 

External comparator study conducted by the Hay Group

TBS Supporting Documents 

TBS Arbitration Brief Submission (English only, TBS did not translate)

ACFO’s litigator did an excellent job presenting our evidence for fairer wages, benefits, and working conditions for FI Community. The Association dedicated significant resources and attention toward ensuring that our arguments were solid. While we cannot predict what the outcome may be, it is our opinion that the arguments detailed in the Association’s brief stood up to scrutiny better than those of the Employer.

As was the case throughout much of the collective bargaining process, we remain worlds apart in terms of what is considered fair compensation for the value FIs bring to the Government of Canada, and ultimately, Canadian taxpayers.  The supporting documents provided on this page present compelling evidence that FIs are due for substantial improvements to the terms and conditions of employment; where the Employer’s proposed deal will result in less than fair compensation and employment conditions for the work you perform.

Summary of Issues

As the Arbitration Brief outlines, ACFO is primarily seeking improvements to the FI pay scale, augmentation of certain leave benefits, and strengthened protection from all forms of harassment.  Our  proposals would, if accepted, result in fair compensation that would be in-line with the broader public and private sector and address the issues of recruitment, retention, and harassm
ent which plague the FI group.

The Employer is seeking pattern pay raises that are below annual increases in the cost of living and the elimination of voluntary severance benefits.

 

Issues in Dispute

ACFO’s Proposal

Employer’s Proposal

Compensation 

Rates of Pay

 

Salary increase:

3.5% effective 2011

3.5% effective 2012

3.5% effective 2013

Restructure of Pay Grid: 4% to be added at the top increment to reduce to 7 increments at each FI level (vs. 9 increments).

Salary increase:

1.5% effective 2011

1.5% effective 2012

1.5% effective 2013

 Opposed to restructuring Pay Grid.

CFO Allowance

Roll-in the CFO allowance to Rates of Pay.

Opposed to ACFO’s proposal.

Severance

Opposed to Employer’s proposal.

Should the arbitration board make a ruling in favour of the elimination of voluntary severance, we are seeking 2% salary increase in exchange, which is fair-market value.

Eliminate severance pay provisions for voluntary resignation and retirement in exchange for :

0.25% pay increase effective 2011

0.5% pay increase effective 2013

Call-Back Pay

Opposed to the Employer’s proposal.

Amend the minimum payment in the case where the work is performed from a remote location.

Reduce minimum compensation for multiple call-backs.

Leave 

Leave with Pay for Family-Related Responsibilities

Broaden the scope of the provision to allow more flexibility in the way the leave can be used (ex. attend school functions or appointment with professional such as lawyer or accountant). 

Opposed to ACFO’s proposal. 

Vacation Leave With Pay

Increase vacation leave entitlements to 4 weeks of vacation for all FIs under 8 years of service (vs. 3 weeks).

Opposed to ACFO’s proposal. 

Leave Without Pay for the Care of Family

Opposed to the Employer’s proposal. This will limit FIs ability to use the leave.

Allow managers greater flexibility to respond to the operational requirements of their organization by limiting the application.

Bereavement Leave

Increase bereavement leave from 5 to 7 days.

Opposed to ACFO’s proposal. 

Working Conditions 

Sexual Harassment

Broaden the scope of this provision to include all types of harassment. 

Opposed to ACFO’s proposal. 


The Strength of our Case

Unfortunately, the Financial Management group has for some time resembled a revolving door of employees. The FI group has been characterized by high vacancy rates and constant internal turnover. According to their own H.R. plans, the federal Public Service has been unable to attract or retain the competent financial officers it needs to effectively meet its financial reporting or operational requirements.

In the Association’s submission, this state of affairs has arisen because FIs are underpaid. According to analysis of data from multiple sources, substantial wage gaps exist between the FI Community and their financial professional counterparts both in the private sector, and in comparable occupational groups in the Public Service.

FIs are highly specialized financial management professionals, responsible for strengthening accountability and increasing the transparency and oversight of our government’s operations. Significant economic increases are necessary to maintain fair wage relativities with respect to other occupational groups within the Public Service; and enhance competitiveness to attract and retain qualified financial officers to the federal Public Service.

The Employer’s Proposal is a Step Backward

The proposal of the Employer, in contrast, fails to recognize the qualifications required, the work performed, the responsibility assumed and the nature of the services rendered by these financial professionals.

Using dated information, faulty premises, and mismatched comparators, the Employer’s arguments skew the figures in an attempt to show that FIs are paid market value relative to public and private sector comparators, deny recruitment and retention challenges, and cite weak
economic conditions as a rationale to impose a pattern settlement on the FI group.

Instead of addressing the substantial wage gaps that have created a significant recruitment and retention problem for this Employer, the Employer’s wage proposal fails even to keep pace with inflation. To eliminate voluntary severance benefits for less than the value of their worth would only further widen the wage gap.

Next Steps in the Process

As both parties were able to present their full arguments on April 5th, a follow-up hearing date scheduled for May 6th 2013 will not be necessary. The Arbitration Board will now deliberate and come back with a final ruling. This process is expected to take anywhere from several weeks to a few months.

ACFO will provide the terms of the new collective agreement once a decision has been rendered. Because the Arbitration Board’s decision is final and binding, a ratification vote from the membership is not required.

The Bargaining Team thanks you for your patience, cooperation, and support throughout the collective bargaining process.

Clarification: The Arbitration Board in fact used the May 6th hearing date to deliberate and sought written clarification from the parties on several points.  Although there is no set timeline, the Association anticipates that a decision will be made within 2 months of that meeting, and we hope to have results by the end of June.
2013-04-08T00:00:00

 

Related posts
Back to top