Is Giving Ourselves the Means to Negotiate and Be Represented a Luxury or a Necessity?

by Robert Tellier, Bargaining Team Officer


201410 RTellierNo one believes that our collective agreement gets renewed magically or automatically. In an ideal world, our employer would provide us with working conditions free from discrimination and abuse of any kind. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Defending our employment rights is a day-to-day fight. The collective renewal process is so complex that it is virtually continuous. In the last few rounds, on average the collective agreement took 12 months to prepare, 18 months to negotiate and more than 6 months to share its contents. In other words, each renewal has taken close to three years.

Needless to say, member support is key to negotiating a collective agreement that properly represents us. Support from our members is the result of a daily collective effort that is coordinated through our Stewards in the workplace. In recent years, PIPSC and the CS Group have invested a lot of money to identify and represent our members’ concerns. This investment has allowed us to negotiate in the best interest of the CS community. The recent fights have by no means been easy. The government set itself some objectives that have turned back the clock on working conditions in Canada. As you know, we have lost our terminable allowance and can no longer accrue severance pay. These two examples clearly demonstrate the importance of being mobilized so that we can tackle these problems head on.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing about PIPSC’s new initiative to achieve value for money. The CS Group Executive believes that value for money should, under no circumstances, jeopardize our ability to fulfil our mission of representing the interests of the CS community with strength and solidarity. Nor should it jeopardize our promotion of common ethics and standards that are focused on members and fairly represent their knowledge and professional integrity.


We cannot fulfil our mission properly if PIPSC strips CS members of the control needed to perform their duties. We cannot fulfil our mission in a timely manner if decisions are watered down over three years.


PIPSC belongs to all of its members, and its members are represented by the delegates who attend the AGMs. The CS Group Executive thinks that holding annual general meetings once every three years would considerably weaken our relationship with members and, as a result, our ability to collectively represent them.


In the next few weeks, you will be hearing about the crucial need for reform and about PIPSC’s obligation to reduce its operating costs. Here’s something to think about. Do you want to give yourself the means to negotiate and be represented? Is investing in Stewards a luxury or a necessity? Join our discussion on Facebook at:!/groups/CS.Group.News/

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