The Annual General Meeting was held in Royalmount on Tuesday October 8, 2019. I would like to share with you the message I presented at the meeting.
Bonjour, Welcome to the 2019 RCEA AGM.
Thank you to members who have joined us here and to those on-line.
I would like to thank union stewards Marijana Kalinic, Michelle Lévesque and Roseanne Tom for hosting this years’ AGM In Royalmount.
We are so happy to be here. I would like to thank many of your national executive/stewards also joining us here today.
It has been a very busy year for me and your union office. A year full of accomplishments and benefits for the membership. I am very pleased to bring members plenty of good news this year.
The Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) has expanded benefits including non-oral birth control, and introduced Digital Services, this means you are now able to do your submissions on-line.
Your Federal Dental Care Plan also had positive changes this year: Annual maximum coverage for routine and major services increased 47%. The increase will be phased in from $1,700 to $2,500 per year starting now up to January 1, 2021. New inclusions are dental implants, more scaling units if requested and approved, and additional coverage for your children and young adults.
These health care plans and other directives that you have, such as Health and Safety, Travel Directive and Bilingual Bonus, are negotiated by bargaining agent and employer representatives at the National Joint Council (NJC). They form part of your collective agreement but are negotiated outside of it. The Association is an active member of the NJC; I serve on 2 committees, the Service Wide Occupational Health and Safety (SWOHS) and am Chairperson for the Union Management Relations (UMR) Committee, and Joan Van Den Bergh represents the RCEA on the NJC Relocation Committee.
Joan, like me, works tirelessly behind the scenes on your behalf. I would like to take a moment to thank her for all she does on behalf of the membership. Both Joan and I have consulted on many issues this year at NRC including;
Commitment to Excellence, CTE’s
Ethics and Integrity
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
New Impairment Policy (pertaining to the legislation on cannabis)
Inventors and Innovation
IRAP transfer to ISED (Innovation, Science and Economic Development)
Performance Improvement Plans, PIPS
Scientific Integrity and
Security Awareness and Policy on Acceptable Network and Device Use (PANDU).
I also serve on many other NRC, Treasury Board, National Joint Council, and Labour Relations Council committees.
New to NRC this year is Director Corporate Secretariat, Erin Skrapek, and a new position of Ombudsperson of Ethics, Integrity and Respectful Workplace is Manager, Karine Gauvreau. Joan and I met both to discuss NRC’s Values and Ethics program. This includes harassment prevention and resolution, NRC Code of Conduct, as well as informal conflict management. I would like to thank François Beaudry, NRC Informal Conflict Resolution Practitioner, for joining us today to discuss this new program to NRC. The RCEA is encouraged that a support program for NRC employees will provide a trusted, neutral space for employees to discuss issues they are facing.
The RCEA is a national organization with members from coast to coast and travel is an essential part of representing, advising, and updating the membership. This is an important mandate of our Association. This past year, Joan and I traveled to meet members in Victoria, Vancouver, Saskatoon, St. John’s and Halifax. And today in Royalmount. We updated members on collective agreements, on Phoenix, PANDU, but most importantly to find out if members were having issues or needed advice or help. Every location had large turnouts, and all of the members questions were answered. We also traveled to deal with specific and urgent member issues on at least 2 other occasions. We will always travel to see members where and when we are needed.
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Phoenix Damages was signed by the RCEA on June 19, 2019. This provided, as damages, extra days of annual leave for each employee based on your public service. Those extra days should be in all your leave banks by now. Service in other parts of the Public Service is counted in the calculation of this leave, except for those employees who were members of the PSAC. The fifth day of annual leave will be credited in the new fiscal year of 2020. It was a hard fight to get these days included for NRC employees but I fought for these days and I am happy to say…. we won.
A great deal of my time this year has been spent on Phoenix related issues. We have solved many of them, but sadly some are still ongoing. I would like to thank Monique Melbourne, NRC Compensation Manager and the NRC Pay team for all their help regarding Phoenix problems. I have been working closely with Monique and compensation advisors to help affected members. If you require assistance, please do not hesitate in contacting me.
I serve on a Treasury Board Phoenix sub-committee on Union Dues representing the RCEA and other unions. This committee is looking to improve how dues are verified, reconciled and transferred with this difficult pay system. Through this committee the RCEA received past missing dues from 2016 and 2017. I would like to thank your Dues Coordinator Shelagh Till for her tremendous help in reconciling and tracking dues.
As you all know, your six collective agreements have been signed, and all on the same day, August 20, 2019. All were ratified by an overwhelming majority. All Agreements included 8% economic increases and wage adjustments, and a lump sum payment of $400. All were signed before their expiry date. Pay adjustments are retroactive, and other changes to the agreements are effective on date of signing. I would like to thank all the members who participated in the bargaining committees and teams and our two negotiators, Joan and Chris Rootham.
The RCEA annual audit, conducted by McCay Duff, was completed in August 2019. The RCEA has appointed McCay Duff for the audit for 2020. We are fortunate to have our Chartered Accountant, Mario Navas, join us today to report on the audit and answer any questions. I would like to thank RCEA office Manager Laurette Ernst. Laurette is essential to your union office as she is responsible for reconciling RCEA expenses daily, weekly and monthly.
The December shutdown MOA was signed in January 2019 and covers the afternoon of 24 December and full working days on 27, 30 and 31 December 2019. If members have any problems with shutdown please contact the union office.
The RCEA is pleased to provide additional benefits to our members, including; discounts with Budget Rent-a-Car, Choice Hotels, Francis Fuels, Johnson Insurance, Mark’s Work Warehouse, Park n’ Fly, and Group life insurance is offered through RBC Insurance. Our newest provider is Union Savings. Unions Savings offer a wide variety of discounts to RCEA members, retirees and their families. Everything from major amusement parks throughout North America, electronics, fashion and more. All of this information can be found on the rcea.ca website. These benefits are at no cost to the members and no cost to the RCEA.
Your union office is a healthy and happy workplace and works as a cohesive group, which benefits all the members and Association. Once again, I would like to thank Laurette Ernst, Shelagh Till, and Joan Van Den Bergh for their tremendous work and dedication to the membership this and every year.
Thank you to all the members.
It is my honour and privilege to serve as your President.