FAQ: Tentative Collective Agreements

1. When do the new contract terms come into effect?

Apart from the wage increase provisions, which are retroactive, the new contract terms come into effect on the signing date. 

RCEA Members will be updated when the contracts are signed. We will also update this information via our website RCEA

2. Will retroactive pay be taxable?

Yes, retroactive pay is subject to taxes.

3. How would retroactive pay be paid out to members?

Within 180 (one hundred and eighty) days of signing the new collective agreement, the NRC is responsible for adjusting the wages of employees to align with the new rates and providing retroactive pay, where applicable, for the period that elapsed since the expiration of the previous contracts. If the NRC fails to deliver the retroactive pay within the specified 180-day timeframe, they will incur additional financial penalties.

In particular circumstances of an employee, if manual processing is required, the timeframe for the payment could be extended up to 460 (four hundred and sixty) days after the signature of the collective agreement. (see example below)

4. What is manual processing?

For instance, if an employee was on leave without pay, or working within an acting position, it will likely require manual calculation.

5. What happens if the Phoenix pay system cannot process these increases accurately?

Employees in the bargaining unit for whom this collective agreement is not fully implemented within 180 days after signature will be entitled to a lump sum of $200 (two hundred dollars) non-pensionable amount when the outstanding amount owed after 181 (one hundred and eighty-one) days is greater than $500. This amount will be included in their final retroactive payment.

6. Will everyone receive the $2,500 lump sum (One-time Allowance Related to the Performance of Regular Duties)? Is there any exception?

The language specifies that each employee who is an incumbent of positions with the (insert) group for the performance of regular duties and responsibilities associated with their position, on the date of signing the new collective agreement will receive a one-time allowance of $2,500. The NRC is required to issue the allowance within 180 days after the date of signing, or within 460 days if manual intervention is required.

The $2,500 payment will be considered as part of the employee’s pensionable income. This means that the amount will be factored into the calculation of your retirement benefits.

Part-time and full-time employees will receive the lump sum; there is no pro rating on the lump sum amount.

Employees on leave without pay and in acting positions are also entitled to the allowance, if, at the date of the signature of the collective agreement, they hold a substantive position in the group.

Retired members, or those who for whatever reason are no longer employees of the NRC as of the date of the signature of the collective agreement are not eligible to receive the allowance.

If, during the signing of the collective agreement, you are a member of another Union and/or bargaining unit, NRC will pay a lump sum payment only once and only where you hold your permanent/indeterminate position.

EXAMPLE:

I hold an indeterminant position as a AS but I am currently conducting work as a temporary Translator for the NRC (i.e. PIPSC IT group), where do I receive my lump sum payment?

Answer: You are entitled to receive a lump sum payment only once during the current round of bargaining. You will receive a lump sum payment, if it was successfully negotiated in the collective agreement where you hold your primary or indeterminant position. In this example, you would receive the lump sum payment as an AS/RCEA member, not as an IT/PIPSC member.

7. Does the leave for traditional Indigenous practices apply to me if a member of my immediate family, such as a common law partner, identifies as an Indigenous person?

The leave will be granted to an employee who self-declares as an Indigenous person. Employees will be required to submit a signed statement to the employer stating that they meet the conditions of this article.

8. Will the new article include a definition for “traditional Indigenous practices”?

The new article defined traditional Indigenous practices as land-based activities such as hunting, fishing, and harvesting.

9. I’m currently on leave without pay. Can I vote on the collective agreement ratification?

Yes, members on leave without pay are entitled to vote on the collective agreement. If you are in the OP, AS or PG bargaining unit group, you should have already received the package and a ballot. These will come in two separate emails to your non-NRC email account the RCEA has on file. If you have not received either of these emails, please use the contact us form at:  RCEA

10. If the group votes “no” on the tentative agreement, what are the next steps and what are the likely outcomes?

If the tentative agreement is rejected, the bargaining team will return to the bargaining table. However, based on what has been achieved in the Federal Public Sector Agreements to date, it is unlikely to yield any more favourable results. The RCEA bargaining team felt that this was the best-possible agreement they could reach.

11. Why have we decided to not pursue binding arbitration?

The bargaining team has recommended this tentative agreement for ratification. The decision is based on a number of factors such as (1) the replication principle, which means that the arbitrator would replicate what the parties would have negotiated at the bargaining table. This means that there is little chance of having a better deal than what is currently proposed, and (2) not delaying the signature of the collective agreement unnecessarily and hence its implementation (benefits, salary & allowances).