Collective bargaining begins and ends with members.
It’s a process of union members negotiating a collective agreement with their employer. A collective agreement is a contract that sets the terms and conditions of employment, such as pay and vacation.
Bargaining teams negotiate member priorities on behalf of all the members in a group. Group members and a PIPSC negotiator make up bargaining teams. For example, members of the SP Group and a PIPSC negotiator make up the bargaining team for the SP Group. They negotiate collective agreements for all SP members, regardless of their classification, department, workplace, etc.
A collective agreement lasts for a set period of time. After it expires, a new round of collective bargaining begins.
The bargaining process in 4 steps:
- Phase 1 – Pre-Bargaining. PIPSC surveys members to identify priorities. Groups establish bargaining teams and draft proposals with negotiators.
- Phase 2 – Bargaining. Employers and bargaining teams exchange, discuss, accept or reject proposals. Members build momentum and take action to support their bargaining teams. Parties reach a deal (tentative agreement) or hit an impasse.
- If negotiations reach an impasse, there are dispute resolution options to help get a deal, including conciliation/mediation, and arbitration. If conciliation/mediation are unsuccessful, there are job action & strike options.
- Phase 3 – Voting. Bargaining teams and negotiators meet with members to discuss the terms of the tentative agreement. Members vote to ratify or reject it, which requires a simple majority of voting.
- Phase 4 – Post-Bargaining. Parties sign the new collective agreement. PIPSC monitors its application and educates members on its terms. Teams debrief the bargaining process and suggest improvements for the next bargaining round.
Upcoming rounds of bargaining
Most PIPSC groups have collective agreements that will expire within the next year. This means we are entering Phase 1 of a new round of collective bargaining!
The Central Bargaining Team made major gains for members in the last round of bargaining. These include:
- A base wage increase of 7% for all groups over 4 years
- Parental leave top-up expanded by 5 weeks if both parents work for the federal public service
- A historic win of 10 paid leave days for survivors of domestic violence.
New bargaining goals
Bargaining teams are now identifying member goals and priorities for the upcoming round of bargaining. If you haven’t already received a bargaining survey, please stay tuned.