We are heading into what promises to be another difficult round of bargaining. Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with what has been transpiring in the public service, with the PSAC recently ratifying a controversial collective agreement. In that agreement, the PSAC agreed to substantial changes in severance pay in exchange for a small increase in pay. This was agreed to after the Treasury Board approached the PSAC and invited them to participate in exploratory talks.
Despite statements from the President of the Treasury Board, not all unions have been invited to participate in these “exploratory” talks. To date, the NRC has not approached the RCEA. And we are happy about this. We are not interested in proceeding in the manner that TB and the PSAC did. All our collective agreements will expire over the next twelve months. There are many areas that require improvement in those agreements and we are looking forward to a proper and productive round of bargaining. But this does not mean that we are prepared to make the same kind of concessions that the PSAC did. We believe that severance pay is an important benefit that should remain intact.
Collective agreement expires July 30, 2011.