We began the process of renewing our collective agreement with a consultation tour of all 49 institutions from September 17 to October 25, 2018. We then did a tour from November 26 to February 15, 2019 to ratify our demands.
On March 25, 2019 we submitted our list of demands to our counterparts at Treasury Board. In all, we had 30 meetings with Treasury Board and 8 with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). We reached agreements in principle with Treasury Board on the night of October 17, 2020 and with CSC on October 30, 2020.
A week later, we presented the agreements in principle to the presidents of the 49 locals. 79% of the membership voted to ratify the agreements and they were signed on January 5, 2021.
As you know, we came up against many stumbling blocks during the 19 months of talks: the government’s spokespersons changed seven times, the talks were interrupted by the federal election, there were many unjustified demands by CSC at both bargaining tables and finally the pandemic, which put bargaining on hold for nearly four months. Despite these hitches, we made gains on many of our demands. After many attempts, we finally won improvements to annual vacations, our salary hikes are above the increase in the cost of living, there are improvements to work-lifestudy balance, and we ended the employer’s practice of imposing financial penalties in disciplinary matters.
In the coming weeks, we will conduct a post-mortem of the negotiations, together with the 49 institutions across Canada. This important exercise will improve our bargaining process and help us learn from our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them.
Looking back after five months, we believe that, given the pandemic, we made the right decision in making an all-out effort during the summer to reach a settlement between the first and second waves of COVID-19. In the current situation, it would be very difficult to mobilize effectively. Your bargaining committee