Arbitration set to begin for PSAC members at the House of Commons

    OTTAWA, Jan. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - On January 22 and 23, the PSAC's contract
dispute with the House of Commons is to be heard before the Public Service
Labour Relations Board. Following unsuccessful negotiations between February
and June 2007 and mediation in August, the Public Service Alliance of Canada
submitted the dispute to the Board for arbitration.
    According to Ed Cashman, the PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President for
the National Capital Region, "the employer's refusal to negotiate working
conditions equivalent to those extended to other workers in the federal public
sector is inexplicable. How can the management of the House of Commons,
including Speaker Peter Milliken, refuse to establish clear, objective and
transparent processes covering such basic conditions such as work scheduling
and income security? We are hopeful that the arbitrator will agree with our
arguments and take steps to ensure that the same basic conditions that are the
norm in the both public and private sectors in Canada are stablished at the
    "What we are asking for is only fair", added Gilles Lavigne, president of
PSAC Local 70390. "These issues will not go away until they are resolved, " he
concluded. "This arbitration represents the next step in our members' struggle
to obtain fair working conditions at the House of Commons", according to
    During negotiations, several MPs and at least one senator have publicly
supported the Union's efforts at the House of Commons and denounced working
conditions currently in place for these workers.

    PSAC has about 440 members at the House of Commons in four bargaining
units, two of which are now completing the process leading to a new collective
agreement. In addition to the Operational Group, the Reporting and Text
Processing Group has 60 members that will also be going to arbitration.

For further information:

For further information: Pierre Lebel, Regional Representative, PSAC,
(819) 777-4647, (613) 293-4663

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