Notice to Food Service Employees at Correctional Service Canada

February 13, 2015

On January 26, 2015, the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (PSLREB) ruled in favour of the union on our policy grievance against Correctional Service Canada (CSC) for its handling of food services employees whose jobs were being eliminated.

This release has been created to encourage our members (specifically the GW-FOS 5, 6, 7 and 9s) who believe this decision may have impacted them, to contact the National Office. In addition, our Quebec members will want to note their extended opting period. For more information, please see below.

In 2012, CSC moved to centralize its food services for 29 of its 57 institutions by establishing food production centres where meals would be prepared, chilled and distributed for subsequent re-heating. In so doing, food services workers who were not selected for comparable employment were told they would not be salary protected more than one level down. Those who wished to take lower level jobs were urged to resign from CSC with the option to re-apply for lower level positions that paid just two-thirds as much as their previous jobs.

In response, the USGE and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) filed a policy grievance under the Work Force Adjustment Appendix. CSC refused salary protection for members of the GW-FOS category as a result of a modernization of the food services in federal institutions. The grievance adjudication took place in the fall of 2014.

In its decision, the PSLREB concluded that CSC was wrong when they announced that salary protection would be limited to those attaining positions that were just one level lower. The decision also said that CSC was wrong when they encouraged employees who might want a GS-FOS-3 job to resign and apply as external candidates.

The decision doesn't mean that all food service workers are entitled to salary protection, regardless of their position. The employer and the union are now required to review food services jobs on a case-by-case basis to determine which job offers are reasonable and subject to full salary protection. This will likely significantly open up the range of reasonable job offers for surplus employees. USGE and PSAC also plan to review any cases where salary protection has been denied to food services workers.

USGE and PSAC are asking members impacted by this food modernization process, specifically the GW-FOS 5, 6, 7, and 9s to immediately contact the USGE National Office at fos-decision@psac-afpc.com. If you are unsure whether this decision has impacted you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

The union will evaluate situations on a case-by-case basis to see whether a remedy is possible. We particularly wish to hear from members who:

• Opted for option B or option C and resigned, who may have made a different choice had they been properly informed;

• Have chosen option A and were not offered salary protection; and

• Felt they were coerced or forced into taking other positions without salary protection, whether this was before or after they chose Option A.

In order to assist us in reviewing your case please attach any documentation that you have that will help us understand the decisions you made and the reasons why you made them. Please include documents, email exchanges and brief summaries of any conversations you may have had that relate to your decision with managers or human resource professionals.

For employees in Quebec only: the rollout of the food services modernization program was still underway when the decision was released. On an immediate basis, we have reached an agreement with CSC to extend the opting period for all affected Quebec-based employees, from January 29, 2015 until March 30, 2015. This includes anyone who chose Option B or C before the deadline – you will be entitled to change your decision.

For more information:
fos-decision@psac-afpc.com