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Federal Government Arbitration Award Released

Jul 26, 2012

The arbitration award for the final and binding resolution of our collective agreement has been released.  As is often the case, the outcome is mixed news.

On the major issues of severance and wages, the majority of the Panel sided with the employer. On one hand this was not entirely surprising given the bargaining trends in the public service. But it remains a disappointment because the majority essentially ignored the principle that binding arbitration should not result in any major breakthroughs for either party.

The employer also gained ground in two other areas in the collective agreement: Article 28 – Call Back and Article 32 – Sea Trials. The Panel’s changes to Article 28 prevent the payment of multiple call bank premiums when the second call is within 4 hours of the first.  The Board also introduced special language to deal with so-call “dataline” calls when the employee responds to the outage without physically reporting to work.

The Panel also sided with the employer by introducing language preventing employees on Sea Trials from accessing the benefits of the Travel Directive.

On a positive side, the Panel did order several (but moderate) improvements to the collective agreement:

  • The two-day cap for birth or adoption of a child has been removed;
  • Employees working the second day of rest are eligible for double-time whether or not they worked the first day of rest;
  • Overtime meal allowances (Article 25.05) increased from $10.50 to $12.00;
  • Easier access to Travel Status leave in Article 27.10;
  • Sea Duty allowances (Article 31.01 and 31.02) are increased by $10.00 to $29.00 and $35.00 respectively;
  • New premium for the packing of dangerous goods; and
  • New clause dealing with discrimination and sexual harassment.

The remaining changes are either editorial in nature or would have been agreed to in the normal course of collective bargaining.  They are of little consequence.

A complete copy of the award is available here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Business Office.

In solidarity,

Daniel J Boulet
Business Manager / Financial Secretary