Canada: Federal Conservatives Interfere With Collective Bargaining Between Crown Corporations and Their Employees

Update:

Everytime Canada Post announces a closure of a Corporate Post Office or a Rural Route Post Office, the Harper Conservatives state that they cannot interfere because they must maintain an arms-length distance from Canada Post is a Crown Corporation, but now they are going to pass a Bill, Bill C-60, which has the Harper Conservatives sitting with the employer at the negotiations table of all large Crown Corporations, reducing wages and benefits of employees.
Everytime Canada Post announces a closure of a Corporate Post Office or a Rural Route Post Office, the Harper Conservatives state that they cannot interfere because they must maintain an arms-length distance from Canada Post, due to the fact that it is a Crown Corporation; now they are going to pass a Bill, Bill C-60, which has the Harper Conservatives sitting with the employer at the negotiations table of all large Crown Corporations, reducing wages and benefits of employees. Canada Post was provided a mandate, pursuant to the Canada Post Act, to become self-sufficient.  It managed to do so in 1995 and continued to make a profit for another 16 years.  During this time, dividends were paid to the sole shareholder, the Federal government.  In 2011, Canada Post locked out its urban operation employees for two weeks in June and as a result, Canada Post posted a loss for that year.  As a result of the lock-out, Harper’s conservatives got involved in negotiations, imposed wages and introduced back-to-work legislation.

see source

The Federal government has become addicted to its’ ability to control the levers of labour, while meeting its’ need to satisfy the ever increasing appetite of business.

With a majority, both in the House of Commons and the Harper appointed Senate, the Federal Conservatives want to permanently and irreparably shape Canada, while they can, within their remaining two (2) years in power. Every party comes to an end, and yes, even the Conservative party’s reign must come to an end and will.

Omnibus bills have become a speciality of the Harper government.  It allows them to introduce new laws and create photo opportunities and media sound bits about the feel good legislation, while burying and keeping more of the controversial laws under the radar of Canadians and media.

the CBC has six collective agreements, five of which are set to expire before the 2015 federal election
The Harper Conservatives have enjoyed two years in office as the majority party in the House of Commons.  They are attempting to pass Bill C-60 in order to manipulate collective bargaining with Federal Crown Corporations, many whose collective agreements are set to expire soon.  Harper’s conservatives have decided to pass a law that provides them with sweepting powers and the legal right to interfere in collective bargaining, regarding wages and benefits of workers. Five of the six collective agreements that CBC has with its’ unionized employees will expire just before the next scheduled Federal election in 2015.  The President of the Treasury Board, Tony Clement has made it clear that he will be involved in the negotiations between Canada Post/Via Rail & CBC and its’ employees.

One such bill is currently being introduced at Parliment Hill; its’ name ‘Bill C-60’ see below (Division 17 – Financial Administration Act). This Bill was introduced on March 21, 2013 and went through first reading on April 29, 2013.

Federal Crown corporations have always operated at an arm’s length from the Federal government, yet the introduction of Bill C-60 by the Harper government entirely changes that relationship.

Now Harper’s government has made it clear, by introducing Bill C-60, that the government’s arms will now be very present at all future collective bargaining negotiations with Crown Corporations, vigorously influencing the outcome.

Most of the Crown Corporations that this Bill is directed at are all unionized workplaces and the Harper government has always despised unions, both big and small. Harper wants the ability to hijack negotiations and to veto any union demand or collective agreement, which does not favour the employer.

A section of the budget bill gives the federal cabinet the explicit power to give Crown corporations orders as to how they should negotiate with employees, both unionized and non-unionized. Further, the bill gives the government the power to have a Treasury Board official sit in on collective bargaining negotiations at Crown corporations.

Most contracts with the unionized public service expire in 2015, Mr. Clement said, adding that the bulk of the bargaining will take place in 2014, “which means you have to get your strategy sorted out in 2013.”

The federal government lists 49 Crown Corporations on its website, but the Harper government is more interested in the larger ones, then the smaller ones.

Treasury Board President Tony Clement is more interested in the larger ones with “viability issues” and mentioned that he setting his sights on Canada Post Corporation, Via Rail and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The Harper conservatives plan on interfering with all aspects of negotiations related to employee’s wages and benefits.

 

Division 17

R.S., c. F-11
Financial Administration Act

Amendments to the Act
2009, c. 31, s. 59
228. (1) Subsection 85(1) of the Financial Administration Act is replaced by the following:
Exemption for Bank of Canada
85. (1) Divisions I to IV, except for sections 89.8 to 89.92, 131.1 and 154.01, do not apply to the Bank of Canada.
2006, c. 9, s. 262(2)
(2) Subsection 85(1.01) of the Act is replaced by the following:
Exemption for Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
(1.01) Divisions I to IV, except for sections 89.8 to 89.92 and 154.01, do not apply to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
2009, c. 2, s. 369
(3) Subsections 85(1.1) and (1.2) of the Act are replaced by the following:
Exempted Crown corporations
(1.1) Divisions I to IV, except for sections 89.8 to 89.92, subsection 105(2) and sections 113.1, 119, 131 to 148 and 154.01, do not apply to the Canada Council for the Arts, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the International Development Research Centre or the National Arts Centre Corporation.
Exemption for Telefilm Canada
(1.2) Divisions I to IV, except for sections 89.8 to 89.92, subsection 105(2) and sections 113.1, 119, 131 to 148 and 154.01 and subject to subsection 21(2) of the Telefilm Canada Act, do not apply to Telefilm Canada.
229. The Act is amended by adding the following after section 89.7:

Orders — Terms and Conditions of Employment
Order — unionized employees
89.8 (1) The Governor in Council may, by order, direct a Crown corporation to have its negotiating mandate approved by the Treasury Board for the purpose of the Crown corporation entering into a collective agreement with a bargaining agent for a bargaining unit.
Power of Treasury Board
(2) If the Governor in Council directs a Crown corporation to have its negotiating mandate approved, the Treasury Board may impose any requirement on the Crown corporation with respect to that negotiating mandate.
Attendance and observation
(3) If the Governor in Council directs a Crown corporation to have its negotiating mandate approved, the Treasury Board may require that an employee under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury Board attend and observe the collective bargaining between the Crown corporation and the bargaining agent, in which case that employee is entitled to do so.
Collective agreement
(4) A Crown corporation that is subject to an order made under subsection (1) may enter into a collective agreement referred to in the order only with the Treasury Board’s approval.
Order — non-unionized employees
89.9 (1) The Governor in Council may, by order, direct a Crown corporation to obtain the Treasury Board’s approval before the Crown corporation fixes the terms and conditions of employment of its non-unionized employees who are not appointed by the Governor in Council.
Power of Treasury Board
(2) If the Governor in Council directs a Crown corporation to obtain the Treasury Board’s approval, the Treasury Board may impose any requirement on the Crown corporation with respect to the terms and conditions of employment of those employees.
Directors’ duty to comply
89.91 (1) The directors of a Crown corporation that is subject to an order made under subsection 89.8(1) or 89.9(1) shall ensure that subsection 89.8(4), the order and any requirement imposed under subsection 89.8(2) or 89.9(2) are complied with and, if in so doing they act in accordance with section 115, they are not accountable for any consequences arising from that compliance.
Best interests
(2) Compliance by a Crown corporation with subsection 89.8(4), the order or the requirement is deemed to be in the best interests of the corporation.
Treasury Board not employer
89.92 For greater certainty, including for the purposes of the Canada Labour Code, the Treasury Board is neither the employer of the employees of the Crown corporation that is subject to an order made under subsection 89.8(1) or 89.9(1) nor an employer representative of the Crown corporation or a person acting on the Crown corporation’s behalf.

Consequential Amendments

1991, c. 8
Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act
2009, c. 2, s. 380
230. Subsection 17(3) of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Act is replaced by the following:
Financial Administration Act
(3) Part X of the Financial Administration Act, except for sections 89.8 to 89.92, subsection 105(2) and sections 113.1, 131 to 148 and 154.01, does not apply to the Foundation.

1999, c. 34
Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act
2009, c. 2, s. 381
231. Subsection 3(6) of the Public Sector Pension Investment Board Act is replaced by the following:
Financial Administration Act
(6) Part X of the Financial Administration Act, except for sections 89.8 to 89.92, 113.1, 132 to 147 and 154.01, does not apply to the Board. For the purposes of those sections, any reference to section 131 of that Act shall be read as a reference to section 35 of this Act.

Coming into Force
Order in council
232. Subsection 228(2) comes into force, in accordance with subsection 114(4) of the Canada Pension Plan, on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.
Division 18

Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act
2011, c. 24
233. Section 161 of the Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act is replaced by the following:
Maximum payment
161. (1) There may be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for each fiscal year beginning on or after April 1, 2014, on the requisition of the Minister set out in Schedule I.1 to the Financial Administration Act with respect to the Office of Infrastructure of Canada or of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, in accordance with terms and conditions approved by the Treasury Board, a sum of not more than the amount determined in accord-ance with subsection (2) to provinces, territories, municipalities, municipal associations, provincial, territorial and municipal entities and First Nations for the purpose of municipal, regional and First Nations infrastructure.
Calculation of sum
(2) For the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2014, the sum that may be paid under subsection (1) is $2,000,000,000. For each subsequent fiscal year, the sum may be $100,000,000 more than the sum that may be paid for the previous fiscal year, if the amount determined in accordance with the formula set out in subsection (3) exceeds by $100,000,000 or more the sum that may be paid for the previous fiscal year.
Formula
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the formula is as follows:
A x 1.02B
where
A      is $2,000,000,000; and
B      is the number obtained by subtracting 2013 from the number of the year in which the fiscal year in question begins.
SCHEDULE
(Section 102)

Tariff
Item
Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff
Preferential Tariff
4203.21.10
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        CRT: Free
4203.21.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        CRT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        PT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6111.20.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6111.30.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6111.90.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6209.20.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
6209.30.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6209.90.10
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
6209.90.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6401.92.92
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6402.12.20
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6402.12.30
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6403.12.20
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
6403.12.30
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
9506.11.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.12.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.19.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.21.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.29.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.31.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.32.10
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
9506.32.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.39.20
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
9506.39.30
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.39.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.40.00
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.62.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.69.10
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
9506.69.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.70.11
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
9506.70.12
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        AUT: Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        NZT: Free
9506.91.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free
9506.99.20
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
9506.99.31
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
9506.99.40
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
9506.99.50
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
9506.99.90
Effective on April 1, 2013        Free
Effective on April 1, 2013        GPT: Free

Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons


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2 comments

  1. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone
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  2. Highly biased article, but informative when I’m not informed.

    If the government is the sole shareholder, then it has some input. These corporations have independent management. If the sole shareholder wants to change management, it can. It seems like the government wants control, while trying to avoid kicking the boards out. That’s fine too. It will raise the issue of Canada backing and controlling and thus enforcing corporate monopolies.

    The Canadian Government has a history in ending unions. At least now they’re not shooting.

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