Public sector will see quieter year in 2009

Smaller number of agreements for fewer employees will be expiring
By Gordon Sova
||Last Updated: 05/01/2009

2009 is shaping up to be a slower year for labour relations in the public sector with fewer than 100 collective agreements of 500 employees and over coming up for renegotiation. That contrasts with well over 200 in 2008. These contracts will cover approximately 200,000 employees in total, down from roughly 600,000 last year. However, several large agreements in healthcare may provide fireworks.

Public Service. With most federal Treasury Board agreements signed and a new OPSEU settlement in the works, with the exception of corrections, it is a particularly quiet year for civil servants. In September, the contract for the 13,000-strong Saskatchewan public service will expire. The territories will be negotiating as well: the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in March and Yukon in December. A further 8,000 provincial and federal employees in a half dozen agreements will also be at negotiations.