It has been some time since the completion of our Convention held on September 25-28, 2017. I want to thank all the delegates for their participation. The National Convention is the governing body of this union. I want to congratulate the Sisters and Brothers that were elected to National Council. I also want to thank Brother Bruce Roy and Brother Marc Robidoux for putting their names forward to ensure that our democratic processes continue and I look forward to working with both over the next three years. We have an immense amount of work in front of us. We need to be aware of the issues our members are facing and represent our members to the best of our capabilities. Over the next three years we need to continue to hold the Employers accountable, train our National Council Officers and support our members across Canada.
Our National Council of twenty (20) includes eight (8) new sisters and brothers with one (1) returning sister to National Council. We should also be proud that National Council now has thirteen (13) Sisters sitting in these elected positions. Another first we should be proud of is the election of a Regional Vice-President, Royal Canadian Mint. This position was created by a resolution brought to convention and voted on by you, the delegates. At our first National Council meeting held immediately after convention, I looked around the table and was proud that our delegates elected a council that respects equity and equality.
GSU National Council ratified our internal and departmental committees at our National Council meeting November 17, 2017. Our Collective Bargaining Committee has already met to review the bargaining demands for our members under the Treasury Board agreements. We are in the process of translating the demands and they will be transmitted to Public Service Alliance of Canada. Soon, the Collective Bargaining Committee will be reviewing the bargaining demands for the Protective Services Officers, Royal Canadian Mint, Local 50058 and Royal Canadian Mint Locals, 50057, Winnipeg and 70024, Ottawa.
We have met with the Deputy Minister for Public Service and Procurement Canada on the National Union/Management Consultation Committee and the Real Property Branch Union/Management Consultation Committee. We have a few more departmental meetings before year end. We have also met with Treasury Board on the continued issues with Pay and Compensation. By now, you have already read and/or have heard about the Auditor General’s Report on the Phoenix pay system. Everything in the report solidified what Government Services Union/Public Service Alliance of Canada was telling the Employer from the very beginning. Government Services Union and Public Service Alliance of Canada will ensure that Public Service and Procurement Canada and Treasury Board follow through on the commitments they both made to the Auditor General and to the Public Service members working in pay and compensation. We want all public service members to receive their correct pay and will continue to remind this government of their responsibility to see that this is completed.
Our members at the Pay Centre in Miramichi have been working hard to get public service employees paid. There was a Memorandum of Agreement signed between Public Service Alliance of Canada and Treasury Board of Canada in August 2017 with an implementation date of October 1, 2017. We had to remind the Treasury Board none of the agreement had been implemented as of November 2017. Treasury Board has now begun to implement the Agreement and the Compensation Advisors received their first payment of the incentive on November 29, 2017.
In the coming future, we will be meeting with Shared Services Canada because we are aware of the many issues such as job classification, scheduling and staffing. We want the Employer to understand by consulting with the union, it would allow for a collaborative approach within their business, enhancing management and employee relationships. Our members at Shared Services Canada are entitled to be remunerated for the work they are performing as well as maintaining a healthy work and life balance.
We are excited to have a dedicated Regional Vice President for our Locals and members working at the Royal Canadian Mint. In the past, as a separate employer, they would not meet and made it difficult for GSU representatives to meet with the members of the Mint if they were not RCM members. With the election of a Royal Canadian Mint member to Regional Vice President, the three locals within the Royal Canadian Mint will now have the support required to represent our members at the Mint.
It takes all of us working together to ensure our members receive the support, training and representation they deserve. I want to thank all elected officers for the work that you continue to do for our members and I look forward to working with each one of you.
No one ever said doing something worthwhile would be easy.
Government Services Union, PSAC
Report of the GSU National Office
Report of the National President, Donna Lackie
Government Services Union
As I now approach the end of my three- year mandate, I am amazed at how fast the time has passed. I can only attribute the passing of time to the immense amount of work we have completed, the large numbers of members we have represented through the GSU representation section, the support of the Miramichi Pay Center and our great members there, the successful federal court proceedings for the former CRA SP members, the technological policy grievance against TBS, support of our Locals across the country, national, regional and local representation with the employer….and the list simply goes on.
The political change to government in 2015 saw us move from the heavy hand of the conservative government and its attempts to impose aggressive restrictions onto the Canadian union/labour workforce, to this new Liberal government that made promises that have been slow to materialize, if at all. We are all too aware of the struggles of the PSAC Bargaining teams to complete collective bargaining which have all exceeded 3+ years of owed retroactivity payments, and the slow and disrespectful “signing” of those agreements, and now we are preparing to “re-enter” collective bargaining yet again next year. I want to encourage all of you to speak publicly about your jobs as Public Service Workers, talk about the quality public services that each and every-one of you provide with pride to Canadians each and every day. And most importantly, never hesitate to speak to your MPs and remind them that you expect early and engaged consultation with the employer in 2018, nothing less is acceptable.
The entire Pay Modernization/Pay Transformation project started more than 5 years ago and for all intents, was reasonably consultative and was the employer’s efforts to provide optics of good labour/management relations. But for the most part, it was simply optics and ensuring they could report back to Treasury Board they were “consulting”, when in fact, this was an aggressive project with unreasonable timelines and a huge political mandate to demonstrate costs savings in excess of 70 million dollars a year.
These costs savings would be the undoing of the Pay Transformation project, and result in the collapse of timely and appropriate delivery of pay. Our members in Miramichi, the majority of whom were all hired in Waves 1, 2 and 3, over the last 6 years, are all highly intelligent, skilled people who were provided training that defies reasonable. Training programs that were intended to be 18 months were reduced to 12 months and today we are seeing “Boot Camp” training being delivered that is only 6 weeks.
The actual processing of Government of Canada pay, is the most complicated pay in Canada, with more than 17 collective agreements, shifts, extra duty pays, cost of living allowances, and all of this payroll processing is being performed by GSU Compensation Advisors with less than a supportive tool – Phoenix.
I want to personally thank all of our members in Miramichi for their unwavering dedication to their clients, to the support of each other as Miramichi continues to evolve into the center of expertise for Government of Canada pay administration, and I am proud that I had an opportunity to support them over these last 6 years.
GSU National Office
At the center of every organization are the Brothers and Sisters who do the work of supporting the membership, the Locals and National Council. I am so proud of the dedication shown each and every-day by the entire GSU national office staff. Not only do they provide the necessary administrative support, but they “care” about the elected officers and volunteers within GSU. On many occasions over these last 6 years, I have witnessed GSU national office staff, going over and beyond what would be required to simply “help out” a member.
Danielle Laprade, Tiffanie Francoeur, both provide administrative support to the GSU National office, Diane Turcotte administratively supports the Representation Section, Jennifer York is responsible for GSU technology issues along with membership.
Stephanie Ehler and Paulette Michon-Hamelin support GSU members and Locals in matters relating to grievances and medical disability.
The GSU management team is comprised of Monique Desrosiers – Finances,
Erik Gagné – Senior Representation, and Bob Haywood – National Advisor. This group has been instrumental in support of their sections, delivering day to day operations and most importantly, always being available to help out the locals, answer member’s questions, or providing each of us with much needed technical advice and guidance.
And certainly not last, Sister Maria Thomas who is the Executive Assistant to the National President, and who has ensured that I am organized, kept current, prioritized issues, and kept us all accommodated when we travel, without her I would never have been able to do my job, I am truly thankful for her dedication.
Maria is now the longest serving GSU staff member in the office and her corporate knowledge and experiences have kept us on track and focused on daily priorities.
Under the supervision of Sister Monique Desrosiers, GSU finances have been provided with daily oversight and the required administration to ensure accurate reporting and accountability. Payables, receivables, payroll, investments form a part of the daily activities and responsibilities by the GSU Finance section.
Complying to acceptable Canadian accounting practices, Sister Desrosiers has ensured the appropriate reporting on all GSU financial matters.
Along with the GSU Finance Committee-Sister Martine Babcook, Sister Nicole Rousseau and Brother Bill Pleming to review all financial transactions, review of the GSU budget and to support the convention Finance Committee and recommendations and resolutions to GSU Convention.
GSU Pre-Convention Committees
Every three years, prior to the opening of the convention, GSU holds pre-convention committees for the purpose of prioritizing GSU resolutions to convention.
These committees meet to discuss resolutions submitted to convention, and to identify those resolutions with either “concurrence” or “non-concurrence”. These committees discuss, and agree on the priorities to appear before the convention floor.
I am pleased to say, that we ensured that every member of GSU National Council and Local Presidents were appointed to these committees in an effort to ensure our discussions are of a national perspective. Although we do not have a large amount of resolutions submitted to convention, I am confident the discussions and the work of the committees will support the activities on the convention floor.
Government Services Union – Employers
Shared Services Canada
With a stabilization in the churn of delivery, SSC has now had an opportunity to reflect on its current organization, perform job classification reviews, organization changes, etc. and our members are starting to feel the department is approaching a normal level.
Regardless, we still have many issues relating to National Consultation vs Regional and now Branch Consultation is proceeding within SSC Nationally.
Recent classification review will also be positive and happy news for some of our members who have been immensely patient. We share a cooperative and supportive role with our Brothers and Sisters at PIPSC, and I want to encourage the new National Council to continue to build on that relationship as it supports both organizations and our memberships.
Royal Canadian Mint
The Royal Canadian Mint and its very stoic management have been the most challenging employer group to work with over these last 6 years. And while we had many gains at the bargaining table with the RCM, we also had challenges with bargaining certificates which resulted in us challenging the RCM to recover members who were performing in bargained positions not allocated.
The Royal Canadian Mint has a two-step grievance process and this has proven challenging for the GSU Representation staff, but the work and support provided by the Local Presidents and the Mint RVPs has gone a long way to support RCM members over the years.
I would encourage that all RCM elected offices continue to push the RCM to engage in a proactive consultative process with them and to support labour/management consultation.
Public Services Procurement Canada
All matters relating to Phoenix fall within PSPC and this has been the most stressful time for our members as a result of the Government of Canada’s Pay Transformation. Not only are there pay issues for many public service workers but the community of Compensation Advisors, our GSU Brothers and Sisters, are working under immense pressure to ensure timely payroll every two weeks. The dedication of this incredible group of Compensation Advisors, working in less than ideal conditions with less than ideal “tools”, surpasses any commitment that I have seen in my career.
But there are great successes within the ABCB branch and in particular the Pension Center in Shediac and the transfer last year of the Canadian Forces pension program to PSPC.
Real Property continues in its long term approach of divesting itself of its long held mandate of property management as it leverages the private sector to manage federal assets. With the recent hiring of a new A/ADM experienced in P3s projects, Real Property has set its course for the future both in its management of current assets and to the future of project management relationships.
Changes like; Workplace Renewal Initiatives, Novus, GCDocs, and Sigma, should all be powered down in an effort to not duplicate the results experienced by the aggressive release of Phoenix.
Branches such as Departmental Oversight, Human Resources Branch, CIOB, Finance all continue to work towards their mandates and represent hundreds of GSU members.
Preparations for GSU convention at the end of September are fast approaching and the entire GSU component is working hard to make sure all of the details necessary are well under way. Travel plans, accommodations, committee work, preparing reports, it all takes a great deal of planning and doing. There is work to be done by all of us to ensure we have all of our work mapped out for us over the coming three years.
We have arranged for guest speakers, debates, and a few other surprises that we know you will enjoy.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you for your support over these last six years, for the leadership you have demonstrated in your regions, the commitment you have provided to your membership. This has been work that I have provided to the membership and am proud of where we are, given the challenges the employers threw in front of us at every turn.
To the incoming elected officers, prepare to work hard and always be available to the membership, GSU members deserve no less.
Government Services Union