PSAC stands firm in demanding fair compensation for Phoenix

A message from PSAC President, Chris Aylward:

“Just months away from an election, the federal government is trying to sow divisions within the federal public service after refusing to provide fair compensation for Phoenix damages to almost 60% of their unionized workers – the PSAC membership.

The government has begun mass emailing public service workers about the meagre Phoenix compensation package that smaller government unions recently accepted. In the message, the government attempts to create division and put pressure on the PSAC to accept its offer, by singling-out our refusal to take less than what our members are owed.

Some unions saw fit to accept a few days of leave as universal compensation for 4 years of emotional and financial suffering – they have their own priorities and that was their decision to make. Their choice was made easier no doubt by the inclusion of a ‘me too’ clause in the agreement that will give those unions any additional compensation secured by PSAC in a future deal.

Let me be clear: the current offer on the table is far less than what our members deserve, and we will not be pressured into taking a bad deal. Our union is larger than all other federal government unions combined, and we will not allow ourselves to be set back by what other unions have accepted. Unlike them, we currently have 140,000 PSAC members negotiating new collective agreements at the bargaining table and we can and will use that leverage to get the comprehensive deal our members deserve.

After years of showing up to work without knowing if you would get paid correctly – or at all – you deserve a cash settlement, not a few days of leave that could be scheduled and delayed at the discretion of your employer, depending on the particular wording of your collective agreement or your employment circumstances.

You deserve a deal that recognizes that Phoenix problems will be with us for years to come; that there is still a backlog of 230,000 cases with new ones created every day, and that tens of thousands of workers have yet to have their last collective agreement fully implemented. But the government’s agreement with the other unions doesn’t do that.

You also deserve compensation that is equitable. The deal agreed to by the other unions rewards the highest earners because their days of leave are worth more, and punishes lower paid employees of the federal public service, many of whom are represented by the PSAC.

And just this month the government ended the incentives used to recruit and retain compensation advisors – jeopardizing progress on the Phoenix backlog and the stabilization of the system.

When all of this, and more, is taken into account, the government’s offer is nothing short of insulting. As we keep pushing for a fair and just agreement on Phoenix damages, members should be ready to see the government escalate their attempts to divide us – but we won’t let them. Instead, in the months ahead we’re going to escalate our own actions to secure the fair compensation that all PSAC members deserve.”


Iceland has made it illegal to pay women less than men

The World Economic Forum has released its annual study on gender equality, and Canada once again is ranked 20th.    Not surprisingly, the Scandinavian countries are once again at the top of the rankings, where the state and strong unions are very actively involved in regulating the economy and redistributed wealth. Perhaps it’s time to write to our ‘feminist’ Prime Minister.

Iceland fan flag

Clive Rose/Getty Images

  • A new law in Iceland making it illegal to pay women less than men came into effect on January 1, 2018.
  • Companies will now have to obtain certification for demonstrating equal pay.
  • Iceland has been ranked the best in the world for gender pay equality for 9 years in a row.

Iceland has made it illegal to pay men more than women.

A new law enforcing equal pay between genders came into effect on January 1, 2018, according to Al Jazeera.

Under the legislation, firms that employ more than 25 people are obliged to obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality, or they will face fines.

The law was announced on March 8 on International Women’s Day 2017 as part of a drive by the nation to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.

Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera: “The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally.” MORE


‘Equality won’t happen by itself’: how Iceland got tough on gender pay gap

Robot era shouldn’t mean end to workers’ rights, says UN agency

ILO calls for living wage and union bargaining as automation threatens jobs

A robot works on cars at Jaguar Land Rover, in Solihull, West Midlands.
A robot works on cars at Jaguar Land Rover, in Solihull, West Midlands. Photograph: John Robertson for the Guardian

World leaders have been urged by an influential United Nations agency to sign up to a universal labour guarantee to bolster fundamental workers’ rights, including adequate living wages and collective bargaining through trade unions.

Designed to address rapid changes in the workplace triggered by the rise of the robot economy and technological automation, the International Labour Organization said a package of measures was required to put the world economy on a sustainable footing for the future.

The ILO report calls for a universal labour guarantee that would enshrine the right to an adequate living wage, maximum limits on working hours, and health and safety protections. It would also enforce freedom of association in trade unions and the right to collective bargaining, freedom from forced labour, child labour and discrimination. MORE