Notice to bargain has been served. It is now time to form a Bargaining Committee. The role of the Committee is to select a Group Chairperson, formulate demands, determine bargaining strategy and select a bargaining team. The Committee meets during lunch hours and normally up to 5 meetings are required. If anyone is interested in being on the Bargaining Committee, please contact joan@rcea.ca.

Recently, Treasury Board released a document called “Policy Framework for the Management of Compensation”. In it, Treasury Board sets out specific principles and an approach to managing compensation in the public service. The document has this to say about separate employers such as NRC:

Separate agencies may exercise their own human resources authority granted by their enabling statute or by Order in Council. This authority may be unconditional or subject to conditions such as prior consultation with or approval by Treasury Board. Separate agencies are employers in their own right. Most separate agencies require the approval of the Governor in Council to enter into collective agreements with the bargaining agents representing their employees. By Cabinet directive, 1967, the Governor in Council requires separate agencies, in advance of bargaining, to obtain from the President of the Treasury Board their collective bargaining mandates, including the objectives to be pursued and the limits to be observed.

This clarifies the difficulties that both the RCEA and NRC have with respect to collective bargaining. On the one hand, Treasury Board says that separate employers are employers in their own right. In the same breath, they identify the limitations to that right. It is these limitations that impact and delay our bargaining with NRC. These limitations are beyond the control of the RCEA. We are forced to wait for Treasury Board to identify and issue bargaining mandates prior to the commencement of any real or meaningful bargaining.