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The ACFO Negotiating Team met with public service employer representatives for negotiations on October 25-26. We were able to reach agreement on some administrative items and we are pleased to report we’ve signed off on an expanded definition of discrimination that includes gender identity and expression.
We presented a strong case for the need for greater recognition of the role the FI Community plays in financial integrity and the need to ensure that members who raise concerns do not face reprisal for ethical acts of professionalism. Unfortunately, the response was underwhelming. It appears the employer is prepared to consult on matters of scientific but not financial integrity.
There was also no movement on key issues such as pay and sick leave. This was very disappointing and ACFO elected to suspend negotiations that were scheduled for October 27 in large part because ACFO is fully aware that the employer has revised its mandate on sick leave but this revised mandate was not presented to ACFO at the table.
At the same time, the employer continues to refuse to improve its economic offer of 0.5% per year. As clearly demonstrated in ACFO’s business case for a 3.5% increase per annum this would represent a continued erosion of the real value of our wages that dates back several years.
Over the course of the last two years ACFO has been professional, innovative and open. We have offered a range of options on pay and short-term disability for discussion. We have approached the table in good faith and tried to make our case earnestly. We have tried to remain optimistic and patient as a new government took office.
Our next bargaining dates are set for December 6-8. We expect the employer to arrive prepared to engage in meaningful discussions with a realistic and fair revised mandate in place but the Collective Bargaining Committee has also prepared a strong case for the binding conciliation process should an impasse be reached.
We appreciate your continued patience and professionalism and we look forward to reporting either substantial progress in negotiations at or before our next bargaining dates or a shift in focus from the bargaining table to a neutral third party decision maker.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Scott Chamberlain (firstname.lastname@example.org).