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Updated: 32 min 53 sec ago

Legalization of cannabis and the workplace

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 12:43

Following the legalization of cannabis on October 17, 2018, employers across the country have rolled out policies on drug use. Members should know that legalization of cannabis should not change anything in the workplace. 

Below you will find some helpful guidelines about how cannabis issues may arise in the workplace and how best to address them.  

Medical Cannabis 

The Duty to Accommodate criteria has not changed with the legalization of cannabis, nor have the protections with regards to disclosure of medical information. 

Employers must provide appropriate accommodations that respect the dignity and privacy interests of people with disabilities, and the focus should always be on the functional limitations associated with the disability, rather than a person’s diagnosis.

Employees who are prescribed medical cannabis must be accommodated in the same way as employees who are prescribed any other medication. While every case must be assessed individually, members are encouraged to contact the union before informing the employer of their prescription for medical cannabis. 

Generally, the employer does not have the right to know a person’s confidential medical information, such as the cause of the disability, diagnosis, symptoms or treatment, unless these clearly relate to the accommodation being sought. The employer’s right to information remains restricted. If members have concerns about the medical information that is being requested, they are encouraged to contact the union before they provide it.

Impairment and Drug Testing 

Regardless of substance (alcohol, opioid, cannabis, sleep deprivation, etc), an employee cannot be impaired at work.

Drug or alcohol testing is only permissible in very rare situations, and cannot be done randomly or without cause. The testing itself is unreliable and no test can presently measure cannabis impairment. Positive drug or alcohol testing does not automatically indicate that a person is impaired but just that the drug is in their system. 

Testing for drug or alcohol is a form of medical testing so raises all the privacy and human rights considerations because it is very invasive and requires the collection of bio-samples. If your employer is suggesting drug testing, please contact your union immediately. 

Off-Duty Use

Legalization of cannabis does not give employees the right to be impaired at work. Employers can develop workplace standards, including policies on substance use or impairment at work. Employees in certain positions that raise additional health and safety concerns in certain regulated industries may also have policies for off-duty consumption of drugs or alcohol. 

However, Employers should only be concerned with how the use of drugs is impacting an employee’s performance, their workplace behaviour, or the safety of the workplace. If an employee’s behaviour off work hours does not affect the workplace, employers are not entitled to ask about it and employee is not obligated to discuss it. You have a right to privacy, and the Employer cannot unjustifiably infringe on it. If you are being disciplined for off-duty conduct, please contact your union immediately. 



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Treasury Board bargaining: PSAC members ramp up pressure for a fair deal

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 12:36

Clockwise from top left: PSAC members in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and New Brunskwick.

For weeks, PSAC members across the country have been ramping up pressure on the Trudeau government to deliver a fair deal when bargaining resumes later this month. 

The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 30 to May 2. Given the fast approaching federal election in October, this will be the government’s last chance to take the major steps necessary to reach a tentative agreement that addresses the key concerns of PSAC members.

While PSAC has always been committed to working efficiently towards reaching a fair deal, relatively little has been achieved after ten months of bargaining with Treasury Board. The first eight months of bargaining were defined by delays and insulting offers—such as the government’s November proposal to freeze wages for two years—while the last two months have been characterized by very small steps towards progress.


PSAC member rallying in support of bargaining in Quebec; bargaining support rally in British Columbia.

In his 2015 Open Letter to Canada’s Public Servants, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he sees the public service as a “partner” that “must be valued by the government”. While those are nice words, reaching a fair contract before the federal election in October is the only way Trudeau can deliver on that promise to PSAC members.

PSAC members are still waiting to get paid properly under Phoenix, and they’re still waiting, after three years, to be compensated for all the hardships they’ve endured because of countless pay problems. They shouldn’t also have to wait for the fair working conditions they deserve.

Over the coming days and weeks, PSAC members across the country will ramp up pressure on the government even further as they continue to hold Trudeau to this word. Stay tuned for more on how you can take action by signing up for email updates.


(left to right) Actions/meetings at constituency offices of MPs Darren Fisher, Bill Morneau and Jagmeet Singh.

Topics: Employers:  Publication Date:  Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:30pm Image Placement:  Top Banner

Négo ACIA : Le syndicat propose des améliorations aux heures de travail et aux heures supplémentaires et une meilleure protection contre le harcèlement sexuel et la violence au travail

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:45

L’équipe de négociation représentant les membres qui travaillent à l’Agence canadienne d’inspection des aliments (ACIA) a tenu une deuxième séance de négociations d’un nouveau contrat de travail du 26 au 28 mars.

Le syndicat a présenté deux propositions supplémentaires reconnaissables dans la proposition initiale échangée lors des pourparlers de février grâce à des paramètres fictifs : l’amélioration des heures de travail et des heures supplémentaires (articles 24 et 27) et de meilleures protections contre le harcèlement sexuel et la violence au travail (article 19).

L’équipe a également tenu des discussions constructives sur deux importants projets entrepris par l’AFPC et l’ACIA :

  • Un projet pilote du Programme d’apprentissage mixte (PAM), qui a fait l’objet d’un accord lors de la dernière ronde de négociations, a été lancé en février à Ottawa. Des ateliers supplémentaires seront offerts cet été et à l’automne dans d’autres villes. Les deux parties collaborent pour assurer le succès du projet pilote.
  • Une stratégie en matière de santé mentale en milieu de travail pour 2019-2022, qui a également fait l’objet d’un accord lors de la dernière ronde de négociations. L’AFPC collaborera avec l’ACIA pour assurer le succès de la mise en œuvre de la stratégie dans toute l’Agence.

Bien que les points susmentionnés aient fait l’objet de discussions positives, l’équipe de négociation du syndicat est néanmoins déçue parce que l’ACIA n’a pas présenté de nouveau libellé dans les pages vierges de la proposition de février. Cette proposition contient 24 pages réservées, qui sont encore vides.

L’AFPC est toujours déterminée à négocier des améliorations aux conditions de travail et à conclure rapidement une entente de principe. Toutefois, il sera difficile d’avoir des discussions productives tant que l’ACIA ne présentera pas de propositions concrètes à la table de négociation.

La prochaine séance de négociation aura lieu du 14 au 16 mai.

Inscrivez-vous afin de recevoir des mises à jour par courriel.

Veuillez continuer d’appuyer les membres de votre équipe de négociation en leur envoyant des messages de soutien, des photos, etc. (voir leurs coordonnées ci-dessous). Et gardez l’œil ouvert pour plus d’informations sur les visites des lieux de travail qu’effectueront le négociateur et le représentant des équipes de négociation régionales respectives.

L’AFPC à l’ACIA : L’union fait la force!

Atlantique : Jan Pennington
Québec : Audrey St-Germain
Région de la capitale nationale : Marlene O’Neil
Ontario : Robert MacDonald
Manitoba : Andrew Neufeld
Saskatchewan : Karen Zoller
Alberta : Dorothy McRae
Colombie-Britannique : Terri Lee

Négociateur : Hassan Husseini
Agente de recherche : Silja Freitag

Topics: Employers:  Publication Date:  Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 10:15am Embedded Image:  Image Placement:  Top Banner

CFIA bargaining: Union proposes improvements to hours of work and overtime, better protections against sexual harassment and workplace violence

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:33

PSAC’s bargaining team representing members at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) held a second bargaining session for a new collective agreement between March 26 and 28.

The union presented two additional proposals that were identified with placeholders in the original proposal package exchanged at the February talks: improvements to hours of work and overtime (Articles 24 and 27) and better protections against sexual harassment and workplace violence (Article 19).

The team also held constructive discussions on two important initiatives undertaken jointly by PSAC and CFIA:

  • A Joint Learning Program (JLP) pilot project, agreed to during the last bargaining round, that was rolled out in February in Ottawa, with more workshops set for this summer and fall in other cities. Both parties are working together to ensure a successful pilot.
  • A workplace mental health strategy for the 2019-2022 period, also agreed to during the last bargaining round. PSAC will work with CFIA to help ensure the strategy’s successful implementation across the Agency.

While the above items benefited from positive discussions, the union bargaining team is disappointed that CFIA has not tabled new language to fill in placeholders in the employer proposal package presented in February. That proposal package contains 24 placeholders, and they all remain devoid of content.

PSAC remains committed to negotiating improvements to working conditions and reaching a tentative agreement quickly. However, productive discussions will be hard to achieve unless CFIA brings concrete proposals to the bargaining table.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for May 14 to 16.

Please continue to support your bargaining team by sending messages of support, pictures, etc., to team members (see contact details below). And stay tuned for more information on site visits by the negotiator and the respective regional bargaining team member.

PSAC at CFIA: Together we are stronger!

Atlantic: Jan Pennington
Québec: Audrey St-Germain
National Capital Region: Marlene O’Neil
Ontario: Robert MacDonald
Manitoba: Andrew Neufeld
Saskatchewan: Karen Zoller
Alberta: Dorothy McRae
British Columbia: Terri Lee

Negotiator: Hassan Husseini
Research Officer: Silja Freitag

Topics: Employers:  Publication Date:  Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 10:15am Embedded Image:  Image Placement:  Top Banner

De nouvelles aubaines pour les membres de l’AFPC

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 12:25

Depuis longtemps, les membres de l’AFPC bénéficient de rabais sur un certain nombre de produits et services. À partir du 2 avril, ils pourront profiter de nombreuses aubaines grâce à notre nouveau partenariat avec Pouvoir syndical.

En collaboration avec les syndicats de tout le pays, Pouvoir syndical vous offre, à vous et à votre famille, une vaste gamme de rabais mise à jour régulièrement.

Il est très facile d’y accéder :

  1. Allez à la page des avantages pour les membres de l’AFPC et cliquez sur l’option « Pouvoir syndical ».
  2. Créez un compte.
  3. Vous voilà prêts à économiser! (aucun délai pendant la vérification de votre statut de membre)

Si vous avez des questions concernant une offre, cliquez sur le lien au bas de la page du site de Pouvoir syndical pour obtenir de l’aide.

Un programme de cette envergure comprend nécessairement des entreprises non syndiquées. Nous tenons à vous assurer que nous veillerons à ce qu’aucune d’entre elles ne se livre à des pratiques de travail répréhensibles ou à des violations des droits de la personne.

Nous sommes ravis d’ajouter ce programme aux nombreux avantages dont profitent les membres de l’AFPC.

Inscrivez-vous dès maintenant!   Topics: Embedded Image:  Image Placement:  Top Banner

New benefits program for PSAC members

Tue, 04/02/2019 - 12:20

PSAC members have long benefited from discounts on a number of products and services, but as of April 2nd, members will have many additional options to save as part of our new partnership with Union Savings

Together, with unions across the country, Union Savings offers a wide variety of regularly updated discounts for you and your family members.

It’s very easy to access:

  1. Go to PSAC’s member benefits page and click on the Union Savings option.
  2. Register for an account
  3. Start saving! (there is no delay while we verify your membership)

If you have specific questions about a particular discount or accessing that discount, you will find a contact link at the bottom of the Union Savings website. There are staff ready to assist you if you have any questions or problems.

While it is only possible to have a benefits program of this size if we include non-unionized companies, please rest assured that we will be monitoring the various providers associated with this program to ensure that they are not engaging in disreputable labour practices or any human rights violations.

We are excited to add this program to the many benefits of PSAC membership.

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