Can the employer unilaterally impose new terms and conditions of employment onto its employees?

Generally, terms and conditions of employment are collectively bargained as between the exclusive bargaining agent and Treasury Board, the employer.  However, there exist some statutory limitations to what can and cannot be negotiated.  Below is a table setting out general guidelines on what is generally negotiated and what is generally not negotiated.

Subject Matter

Generally negotiated? (Yes or No)

Governing Statute

Recruiting and Staffing policies and practices

No

Public Service Employment Act

Workers´ compensation insurance

No

Government Employees Compensation Act

Departmental Policies and Procedures

No

Financial Administration Act

Insurance Benefits

Yes

Financial Administration Act

Treasury Board Policies, Directives and Procedures

No

Financial Administration Act and the collective agreement management rights clause protect management´s right to establish terms and conditions of employment that are not the subject of a collective agreement or statute.

Public Service Code of Values and Ethics

No

Financial Administration Act and the Federal Public Service Disclosure Protection Act require that a Code be developed

Remuneration, including performance pay, salary, paid holidays

Yes

Federal Public Service Labour Relations Act, subject to wage restraint legislation

Leaves of absence

Yes

Federal Public Service Labour Relations Act

Any term or condition that does not require the enactment or amendment of legislation except for the purposes of appropriating money to implement the negotiated term or condition

Yes

Federal Public Service Labour Relations Act

Classification of positions

No

Financial Administration Act

Article 5 of the LPs Collective Agreement (Management Rights) and section 11 of the Financial Administration Act provide the employer with the right to modify and introduce new terms and conditions of employment which may not already be covered in a collective agreement.  This could include such things as a harassment prevention policy or a code of conduct, such as the new Public Servants´ Code of Values and Ethics.

The only restriction on introducing new terms and conditions of employment not already covered in a collective agreement is the timing.  Section 107 of the Federal Public Service Labour Relation Act (FPSLRA) prevents the employer from modifying terms and conditions from the time that notice to bargain has been provided until a new collective agreement comes into force.  Modifications to organizational codes such as a Code of Values and Ethics can therefore only become applicable to employees once the occupational group emerges from collective bargaining.