Bargaining Q&As

Q&As on provincial election

Q: I'm wondering if you could shine some light on potential impacts of the upcoming election. 

For the overall impacts on Albertan voters, AUPE has set up a very informative site at: https://www.aupe.org/news/make-voting-easy/. The site also provides a link to Elections Alberta, which provides further detail on your candidates, parties, voting locations, times, etc.

At least one of the party leaders running for election has already noted that they would be looking at contracting out and reducing public services (our jobs), so please don't forget to vote!

Q: I'm wondering if you can tell me whether a new government can revoke the current bargaining agreement, or if people in the Alberta Public Service should be concerned about job losses after the elected government is sworn in. 

The Public Service Employee Relations Act prevents any employer/government from undermining an existing Collective Agreement between the Government of Alberta and AUPE bargaining unit members (that's us), so while we are provided the protections we have negotiated until the end of this Collective Agreement on March 31, 2020, keep in mind that any article or LOU (besides LOU #3) will carry over until a new Collective Agreement is negotiated.


Q&As on collective Agreement

Q: Can you provide details of all the changes to the Master Collective Agreement?

If you go to Local 002's website at the following page, you will find an Excel spreadsheet, where the entire Master Agreement is summarized by every Article and LOU/LOI, so that it is a bit easier to understand the implications of changes and amendments:

https://aupelocal002.publishpath.com/Websites/aupelocal002/images/CA_Summary_after_mediation_Local%20002.pdf

Q: I am a member of Local 002 and I am trying to do a better job of educating myself about the agreement I work under. I am looking to receive the change summary for the agreement most recently ratified.

There was a news item September, 2018 advising that the summary would be sent to all members. I do not appear to have received it. I have checked the AUPE website, and have spoken with an AUPE staff member who suggested I contact you for the summary, as it does not appear to be available online anymore.

Here are the links to two documents on Local 002's website. The first is a summary sent out by AUPE, noting some of the most outstanding changes to our Collective Agreement. It can be accessed at: https://aupelocal002.publishpath.com/Websites/aupelocal002/images/tentative_agreement_summary_Aug30_18.pdf

The second document is a detailed Excel spreadsheet that notes the changes to all the items (Articles, LOU's, LOI's, etc) in the Collective Agreement found at: at: https://aupelocal002.publishpath.com/Websites/aupelocal002/images/CA_Summary_after_mediation_Local%20002.pdf

 

Q&A on job security

Q: I have read through my bargaining agreement, but I'm still unsure about some things related to job security if a new government were to make cuts to the Alberta Public Service.

When the GSBC (Government Services Bargaining Committee) negotiated the current Collective Agreement, it was with exactly this potential scenario in mind. i.e. The possibility of a change in government. If there are cutbacks down the road, the new and amended Articles and LOU's make it very difficult and onerous for the employer/government to abolish full-time positions. If that does happen in the foreseeable future, the government has to first go through several other options such as examining pending and existing outside contracts, going through a process of finding other jobs for employees affected and offering the option of severance packages for employees who request it. You can find additional details in the following Articles that protect you:



Keep in mind that even when the protections provided under LOU #17 - EMPLOYMENT SECURITY run out after March 30, 2020, the amended ARTICLE 15 - POSITION ABOLISHMENT kicks in with numerous steps to retain employees in full time jobs or provide them with more choices, including voluntary severance.

Unlike previously, all Articles and most LOU's in the Collective Agreement are grievable under the Grievance Article 29, but AUPE would be involved at the first hint of layoffs or position abolishments.

Q&A on pensions

Q: Can you tell me what the AUPE is planning to do to oppose bill C-27?  (Response provided by AUPE President)

http://m.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/trudeau-liberals-table-bill-that-would-reduce-pension-benefits/article/479931?fbclid=IwAR3yUY42XFi9F3vg7pnBDWd9GC04hzzJwoIlyGnuUoQIsUce4Y0d1cqTWOU

Changes to this piece of legislation will have no effect on provincial pensions legislation or regulation. We do have a couple of very small bargaining units under Federal Labour legislation that a Federal bill may impact and we have been monitoring the movement of this bill on behalf of those members.

However, this is actually quite an old Bill- it was first introduced in fall of 2016 and is still sitting on the order paper at first reading. Given that we know Parliament will be prorogued for the federal general election sometime in the next six months or so, and given and the considerably slower pace of bills through the federal legislative process as opposed to provincial, there is virtually no way that this bill will be passed and it will almost certainly die on the order paper. A new government might attempt to re-introduce this or something similar, of course, but it is highly unlikely that this particular bill will be passed.

Around the time it was introduced, CLC, PSAC and CUPE put out a few press releases etc. but a full campaign from any federal union or labour org never really materialized as the feds seemed to back away quietly from this one. (Some of Bill Morneau's "scandals" around not having placed all of his investments in blind trusts etc. surfaced right around the same time along with a potential conflict of interest due to Morneau Sheppell's potential profit off of a DB-target benefit conversion. I'm not sure if it was merely the result of that bad timing or if the Liberals thought this would be a sleeper and had not realized they would get push back from labour - but they seem to have largely abandoned this at least for now.)

In any case - I think if an attack on federal DB plans re-surfaced, I imagine national labour orgs would organize campaigns and AUPE could consider support in some form or another then depending on whatever the priorities were at the time, but for now, the bill seems to be dormant. And, aside from the wider issue of the erosion of DB plans, there is no threat to the majority of the AUPE membership with provincially regulated defined benefit pension plans from this bill.

Q&A on Strike Pay

Q: What is strike pay? 

A: Strike pay is paid to AUPE members taking job action and attending the picket line during a strike or lockout, based on AUPE strike policy. These funds come from the dues collected from you and your fellow AUPE members across the union. Strike pay is not paid if you are on strike for less than 5 days, but will be retroactive to day 1 if the strike lasts 5 days or more. 

Strike pay will be paid at the rate of $400.00 per week to those members attending the picket line during a strike or lockout, based on AUPE strike policy.