I would like to welcome two new representatives in Halifax:  Cathy McDonald and Jeff Gallant.

Our lawyers, Nelligan O’Brien and Payne, have sent us the draft OP and AD, AS, CS and PG legal arbitration briefs that will be presented at the hearings in March. Joan Van Den Bergh, the RCEA negotiator and I have gone through the briefs with changes and suggestions. Joan had consultation meetings with Chris Rootham, the lawyer who will present the briefs at the hearings.

On Wednesday, February 19, the AD/AS conversion consultation meetings continued. The RCEA has two new members to our team: Gail Richardson, AS representative and Joan Van Den Bergh. Continuing members on the RCEA side are Steve Lussier, AD representative, Percy Fisher, classification consultant, and myself. At this meeting NRC proposed various grade structures. The RCEA committee is awaiting additional information from NRC, and then the RCEA committee will meet again and make recommendations to the NRC committee. We are hopeful that our input will be sent along with the NRC’s to SEC (Senior Executive Council) on March 24, 2014.

I met with NRC President, John McDougall, on January 29, 2014. We met in his office for about 45 minutes. Since one-on-one meetings of the Presidents are not often, I went with several questions and comments ready. I felt this was the RCEA’s opportunity to be heard and I wanted to bring forth issues I thought to be of importance to our members. I mentioned the NRC Strategy Document 2013 till 2018 that is available on Zone. I disagreed with the life cycle of a program (page 10) and its use of the word closures. I tried to get a sense of where and how we could make bargaining work in this new age of Bill C-4 and Treasury Board restrictions, but it was left unanswered. I talked about priority lists for affected employees, WFA issues, JCC inadequacy, AD/AS conversion exercise and common services transformation. I also had health and safety questions regarding the closing of Ottawa stores and of how and when delivery of consumables will be done effectively but also how dangerous goods will be handled. These questions were not answered here, but Mr. McDougall agreed that health and safety issues are important. Since this meeting the RCEA has sent these health and safety concerns and questions to the Vice President of Human Resources, Isabelle Gingras, and to Frank Jefferies.