The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear our appeal regarding our constitutional right to negotiate our own pension plan. The government is again blocking the path to making improvements to our pension plan. However, they are sadly mistaken if they think we are throwing in the towel: we are now asking for more significant wage increases of 3%, 3%, 3%, 3%.
Bargaining committee members just wrapped up a tour of each regional executive: each executive committee was consulted and are all on board with this new wage demand. Over the next few weeks, we will be exerting substantial pressure so the employer and government understand we are more determined than ever to achieve these new wage targets. Stay tuned.
Remember that besides a decent wage increase, we are asking for a better rate to earn our annual leave. We want to receive a full additional week of vacation after 6 years, 12 years and 18 years of service, instead of the current regime that does not allow for the full allowance until 28 years of service.
A long battle
UCCO-SACC-CSN and the CSN have a long history of fighting to allow correctional officers to negotiate improvements to their pension plan. Remarkable political pressure has been exerted over the years by UCCO-SACC-CSN representatives and these efforts culminated in a major Superior Court victory in June 2018. However, the government decided to appeal and that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal. UCCO-SACC-CSN then decided to ask the Supreme Court of Canada to weigh in. It refused to hear our case, thus confirming the decision by the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court of Canada did not provide any reasons for its refusal and its decision marked the end of the judicial process.
International Labour Organization
We may have lost the initial battle, but we are not giving up on the war. UCCO-SACC-CSN and the CSN are reviewing the option of submitting a complaint to the International Labour Office, the most important organization on work related issues. Our complaint would focus on the Government of Canada’s refusal to negotiate with one of its bargaining agents. This is a file to watch.