WFA Policy – In January of 2012, the RCEA, PIPS and NRC reached an agreement on a new WFA Policy. Some improvements were negotiated following extensive bargaining. This bargaining was delayed while NRC sought and received its “mandate” from the Treasury Board. Once this agreement was reached, we anticipated that the new Policy would be quickly signed and implemented. This has not happened. Despite the fact that NRC received a mandate from Treasury Board, which means that TB had to sign off on all the elements of the negotiation, NRC continues to assert that they cannot sign and implement the new policy because Treasury Board has not given them the permission to do so. We have recently been told that the new Policy has been “sitting” on the desk of the President of the Treasury Board, but that he has more pressing priorities than to approve it. We are left to wonder how a jointly bargained policy can be left to sit around for almost nine months, while Treasury Board deals with other priorities. We are also left to wonder how hard NRC has been pressing this issue. It is unreasonable and insulting to all the employees of the NRC that this has occurred.
The RCEA has requested the establishment of an Arbitration Board. At the request of the NRC, we agreed to participate in mediation sessions, aided by a mediator from the PSLRB. Mediation was held on June 18 and 19, 2012. No agreement was reached. During mediation the RCEA requested additional information from NRC about several of the proposals that they had submitted to arbitration, but that had not been discussed or even proposed during negotiations. As a result, the RCEA has filed an objection with the PSLRB on these proposals. We are objecting to their inclusion as a proposal to be decided by the Arbitration Board. The main issue is that, post negotiations, NRC has put forward a proposal that would tie severance pay payments to the Workforce Adjustment Policy. This was not discussed at either the WFA negotiations or at the TO bargaining table. The PSLRB has scheduled a hearing on this objection for Oct. 4, 2012. A date for the Arbitration hearing has not yet been scheduled.