On February 9, 2009, the government tabled Bill C-10. This bill would, in part, legislate rates of pay increases of 2.3 per cent (2007-08), 1.5 per cent (2008-09), 1.5 per cent (2009-10) and 1.5 per cent (2010-11) for all public servants.

ACFO has now had an opportunity to review this draft legislation and to speak with officials at Treasury Board; we are pleased to report that the terms and conditions of the current FI Collective Agreement will not be affected. This includes the negotiated wage increases of 2.3 per cent for 2007-2008, 2.3 per cent for 2008-2009 and the additional 2 per cent increase at all levels effective November 2008 representing a partial roll in of the CFO Transition Allowance.

The legislation would, however, unilaterally cap economic increases for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 at 1.5 per cent each year. As such, ACFO will conduct a thorough review of the draft legislation in order to determine if these restraints violate our constitutional right to free collective bargaining under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As I wrote in an open letter to the Finance Minister, we are concerned that wage controls imposed unilaterally will make it harder to recruit and retain the best and brightest Canadians. The FI Community in particular will face serious competition for talent over the coming years; any measures that damage the reputation of the public service as an employer of choice will undermine the ability of the community to remain strong.

A one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work when dealing with a complex and dynamic institution like the public service. While we understand the constraints of the current economic climate, we will do everything in our power to ensure we are able to negotiate a workable and fair agreement for the FI Community during the next round of bargaining.

Milt Isaacs, CMA
President and Chair of the Board of Directors