I am pleased to announce the conclusion of a new master contract between the Forestry Office and the National Association of Federal Employees. The master`s contract defines the rights of employees, union representatives and management and sets out the procedures to be followed for matters relating to working conditions. The new agreement (internal link) will come into force on 13 September 2019 and will replace the Masteragrement 2016-2019. Since 2017, collective agreement law and federal sector policy have changed dramatically, including four executive orders. Together, these changes represent the most significant changes in federal labour relations since the Public Service Reform Act of 1978. The NFFE Forest Service Council represents approximately 20,000 employees, or 57% of the staff, and is the largest bargaining unit of the Agency. This new agreement was developed in record time by the union and management bargaining teams, with considerable savings for the government compared to previous Master Agreement negotiations, which lasted for years. The new masteragrement preserves the obligation of management and the Union to cooperate to identify problems and solve problems affecting workers. NFFE President Melissa Baumann expressed optimism about the new agreement: “As my colleague Ken Dinsmore reminds me, we have achieved what many thought impossible.
But only time will tell how much the agency`s management appreciates the union`s role in representing workers under this new agreement. This new master contract significantly changes the process of cooperation between management and union representatives, by establishing formal partnership councils between trade unions and endesaténia and by requiring union participation before making decisions, with a view to informal cooperation between trade unions and the management and necessary participation of trade unions in the implementation of management decisions. The new MA is expected to relocate $560,000 per year in wage costs for union representatives to acting and to bring union offices in government institutions back to operational use. You may be wondering what these negotiations looked like. It has certainly not been easy and both management and the union have come off the negotiating table with some compromises. Our code and commitments have been at the forefront of our negotiating approach. For example, the Union was able to retain the possibility of representing workers to a greater extent than would have been possible in the case of a dedication order.