The ACFO and Treasury Board teams met for another round of bargaining last week in Ottawa.
ACFO once again brought up alternatives to the employer’s proposed short term disability plan and presented dozens of examples of sick leave and short term disability plans from across the private and public sectors for discussion. Additionally, ACFO made a presentation on professional development.
The two parties were able to sign off on four non-substantive articles and agreed to meet again in November to continue negotiating. The long delay between sessions is a reflection of the uncertainty of the Treasury Board’s negotiating mandate pending the outcome of the federal election and the limitations of the so-called caretaker conventions imposed on the public service during an election campaign.
It’s worth noting that, to this point, the government has not used the powers it gave itself with Bill C-59 to impose their flawed short-term disability plan unilaterally. At ACFO, we believe that doing so now would be a violation of those caretaker conventions.
Given that we continue to bring forward items for discussion on this issue, we also believe it would be a violation of our Charter-protected freedom of association and we continue to support the injunction and constitutional challenge brought forward on behalf of the public service unions. A motion on the injunction is being scheduled and, should that motion be successful, no changes could be imposed until the constitutional challenge is heard.
We will keep the FI Community informed on any developments as they arise. If you have any questions, please contact Grant Boland (firstname.lastname@example.org).