The new APS President, Stéphane Désautels, launched his very first message to members by announcing the settlement of two contentious litigations that have undermined labour relations between the employer and APS since the very beginning of the collective agreement signing in November 2016: On-call compensation and salary increases for employees reaching their eighth year of service.
As a result of grievances filed by the APS, the two parties reached an agreement during the mediation sessions over these two disputes.
In both cases, Stéphane was pleased with the outcome by emphasizing that it was under the leadership of his predecessor Mario Poudrier that these two thorns on the side of the union had been the target of fierce exchanges.
« On the eve of the Holiday Season, this is good news for many of our members. These agreements will affect ALL our members who work On-call while the agreement on calculating the years of service required to reach the midpoint of the pay bands will be beneficial for about thirty members, » said the new President who pursues discussions on the other contentious issues still active between the parties.
In the Appendix “G” case, which sets the calculation of the time required to reach the midpoint of the pay bands, this will mean more favourable dates for all those who have reached the midpoint since the entry into force of the agreement. They will keep their current position, but they will receive retroactively a lump sum to compensate for the incorrect calculation. For all others who will reach the midpoint in the future, the effective date of the increases will be the day following the end of their seventh year of service, « at the beginning of the eighth year, » as APS has always claimed. Previously, this date was set later according to the employers' interpretation.
The immediate supervisors of the employees impacted by these adjustments will make the announcement shortly to those who received these salary increases too late. Our members are encouraged to communicate with their immediate supervisors to learn more about their personal situation. The manager will be able to coordinate with Shared Services for relevant information in case of uncertainties.
The parties also settled their disagreement over the interpretation of the clause 18.2.1 of the collective agreement concerning On-call procedures. More specifically, it relates to the amounts involved on the second call outside regular working hours after the completion of a first call. This issue had been ongoing since the signing of the collective agreement on November 21, 2016.
From the Association’s point of view, the interpretation favoured a three-hour call-in payment at a regular rate whenever a second or third intervention was required during the same work shift outside standard working time. On the employers' side, there was a refusal to consider additional premium amounts once the first intervention was completed.
Both parties finally agreed on a new formula: the maintenance of the first three hours regular pay when required to work and a new payment for subsequent calls, being one and one quarter (1.25) hours at 1.5 times (1.5) the hourly rate for each call during the same work shift outside standard working hours. Moreover, the time worked in excess of the time allotted for the premium will be one-and-a-half (1.5) times guaranteed as for the time worked beyond the initial three-hour remuneration.
More specifically, the new premium text reads as follows: « If an employee receives a second or subsequent call (beyond the first 3 hours) requiring them to work, the CBC will guarantee that the employee shall receive a minimum of at least 1.25 hours pay for work within this time period paid at 1.5 times the hourly rate or banked equivalent. Any time required to complete the work in question beyond 1.25 hours shall be paid at 1.5 times the hourly rate or banked equivalent. Additional calls received within the first 1.25 hours will not attract an additional payment. »
Stéphane also took advantage of this first communication to welcome the arrival of new members who will now attend the APS National Joint Committee: Isabelle Benoit and Sébastien Fleurant. They will join the three other members already in place, Claude Beausoleil, the General Manager, Nathan Farr, the president of the Toronto Local, and of course, Stéphane Désautels. Isabelle joined the group as President of the Montreal Local Branch and Sébastien as APS National Secretary.
Wishing everyone a happy holiday break, Stéphane insisted on completing his first intervention via the APS website: « We have just celebrated the arrival of the holiday season with two great successes in recruiting new members to Montreal and Toronto for the Christmas parties organized by the officers from our two main branches of our Association (more than 30 new participating members). In addition to congratulating these organizers under the leadership of Nathan Farr and Isabelle Benoit, I hope in the coming year, a substantial increase of participating members in the union life of our Association. To do this, we will try to involve our local officers further in welcoming the newly hired CBC employees. »