November 17, 1999

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide the Association’s members at the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency with an update on the issue of bargaining unit re-determination and the Association’s continued ability to represent FIs in the Agency.

In accordance with the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA), the Association will continue to represent FIs at the Agency until the Agency or the unions apply to the Public Service Staff Relations Board for the re-determination of existing bargaining units and a decision is reached by the Board. Under the PSSRA the application period is between 120 and 150 days after November 1, 1999 which means it could occur between February 29 and March 30, 2000.

In making its decision on bargaining units the Public Service Staff Relations Board (PSSRB) will consider factors such as communities of interest, the nature of the work performed, bargaining agent affiliation, the viability of bargaining units for representation and collective bargaining as well as the wishes of employees.

To date, I have met on several occasions with the Deputy Minister and other senior officials of the Agency and clearly stated our intention to fight with all means at our disposal to ensure that the Association continues to represent the Financial Management Group at the Agency. The Association is committed to intervening and responding legally to any proposal which would see our members’ interests subsumed under a larger unit with a divergent set of communities of interest. While the specifics of the Agency’s application for re-determination is unknown at this time, the process will not change. The PSSRB will, through a hearing at some point, determine whether the Employer’s application or proposals received from unions and/or employees best serve the conduct of collective bargaining and provide for proper employee representation. The PSSRB will identify the bargaining agent that will represent employees within each bargaining unit or may call a representation vote of employees where there is some question as to whether there is majority support within the unit for one bargaining agent or another.

At some point in March/April 2000, once the Employer has filed an application to re-determine the existing bargaining units, the PSSRB will post notices of the application in the workplace for employee review and comment to the Board. All members at the Agency are urged to watch for these notices, to review them once posted and to express any concerns to the Board in writing as indicated on the notices if the proposal indicates a merger of the FI bargaining unit with other larger units.

I would urge all members who are concerned about being represented by another bargaining unit in the future to support the Association in its efforts and to make your views known to the PSSRB in writing. Any written submissions may be sent to:

The Secretary
Public Service Staff Relations Board
P.O. Box 1525, Station”B”
Ottawa, Ontario  K1P 5V2

Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me or Greg Gauthier, Director, Labour Relations and Negotiations at (613) 728-0695.

Yours sincerely,

Merdon Hosking