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ACFO met with Treasury Board May 17-19 and the negotiating team has much to report including the tabling of our wage proposal and significant improvement on the proposed short-term disability plan.
The negotiation teams were able to significantly narrow the number of proposals through both parties withdrawing demands and reaching agreement on others. More progress was made during this session than since the commencement of bargaining in 2014.
The most significant updates, however, relate to wages, short-term disability and the dispute resolution mechanism for collective bargaining.
ACFO is seeking a 3.5% per year increase over four to six years.
This wage adjustment is designed primarily to return the real value of FI wages to 2010 levels. Annual increases across the federal public service have consistently fallen behind CPI and the former government’s unilateral increases to the employee share of pension contributions has eroded the total compensation package to the point that this increase is required to restore fairness.
ACFO will be releasing a full and detailed rationale for this pay proposal to the employer and the membership in the coming weeks. This business case will detail the inflationary data, comparator groups in the public and private sector and the increased pension contributions.
The revised short-term disability plan tabled by the employer represented considerable movement from the plan tabled in previous bargaining sessions. With several additional improvements we are confident that a short-term disability framework could be implemented that is superior to the current sick leave regime in place for the FI Community.
ACFO provided the employer with a comprehensive counterproposal and will be providing full details of the employer’s offer and our response in a communique to the membership in the coming weeks.
In the event of impasse at the table the two dispute resolution mechanisms recognized under legislation are binding arbitration and strike. In 2013 the government passed unconstitutional legislation that, in part, denied unions the ability to select the dispute resolution mechanism. As a result, in the event of a bargaining impasse that legislation would force ACFO into a strike despite our stated preference for evidence based resolution before a neutral third party arbitrator.
ACFO has requested the employer formally agree that in the event of impasse this round that the matter should be referred to binding arbitration.
Your team remains steadfast in its position to restore equitable wages and improve the current level of income replacement in the event of illness or disability. We thank for your continued support.
If you have any questions, please contact Scott Chamberlain (firstname.lastname@example.org).