Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining: Progress made but more work to be done

ACFO’s negotiating team met with Treasury Board’s team this week in Ottawa for our first round of negotiations with a new government in place and a new chief negotiator and analyst representing the employer.

With the team across the table finally given a mandate to bargain, we were able to make progress on a number of fronts. The teams signed off on a number of non-monetary items and had encouraging discussions on issues such as improving the integrity of financial management; work-life balance; income security; professional allowances; and improvements to leave provisions.

ACFO once again stressed the importance of making the public service an employer of choice for the next generation of financial professionals. Issues like leave for care of family members, expectations for after-hours availability and flexibility in scheduling are of increasing importance for our group and we’ve been pleased to see the Treasury Board President referring to these issues as a priority for the government in recent days as well.

Regarding sick leave, there was a new proposal tabled by the employer that represented considerable movement from the plan tabled in previous bargaining sessions. The proposal still has significant gaps as compared to the current coverage afforded to members of the FI Community and we posed several questions for the employer to answer in advance of the next round of talks. These details are needed to fully assess the merits of moving towards an income replacement plan that combines both sick leave and disability insurance. Our team remains steadfast in its position to maintain or improve the current level of income replacement in the event of illness or disability.

We’re pleased with the level of respect and open mindedness on display this week and we look forward to the next bargaining session. There remains a good deal of work to be done but we’re confident that we can secure a fair contract for members in due course.

If you’ve got any questions, please contact Scott Chamberlain (schamberlain@acfo-acaf.com).

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