1. Committees are formed to represent the interests of each Bargaining Unit, AD, AS, CS, PG, OP, TO.
2. Bargaining proposals are formulated based on membership input and current trends.
3. Bargaining team members are selected from the committee membership.
4. A bargaining team consists of committee members, an Executive Officer of the RCEA and a Negotiator, normally RCEA staff.
5. The bargaining team will meet with representatives of NRC to negotiate mutual proposals.
6. Negotiations would conclude when the bargaining team is prepared to recommend acceptance or rejection of the proposed changes to the Collective Agreement.
7. Recent changes to the Public Service Labour Relations Act (Bill C-4) means that the dispute resolution method for RCEA bargaining units is the conciliation/strike route. This is a change for all bargaining units which had previously only been on the arbitration route.
What happens if we do not reach agreement? Either side can declare an impasse in bargaining and apply for a Public Interest Commission (PIC), which receives submissions from both sides and produces non-binding proposals for settlement. For groups with less than 80% of the unit declared essential (i.e. not allowed to strike), the group is automatically on the strike route. C-4 biases the process towards employers but it is important to note that the PIC process is non-binding, it remains to be seen how public interest commissions will react to the new biased criteria.
Essential Services: Bill C-4 and C-31 have changed the right to strike. All bargaining units must have an essential service agreement that outlines which positions are designated essential in the event of a strike. No legal strike can take place without one.
Who decides if there is going to be a strike? Being on the strike route does not automatically mean that the group will go on strike. The members of the bargaining unit decide whether or not there will be a strike. Mediation or further negotiations to reach a settlement are always possible at any stage.