THE NATIONAL JOINT COUNCIL
Created in 1944, the National Joint Council today includes 19 public service bargaining agents, Treasury Board and a number of "separate employers" as official members. Through the NJC, participating employers and bargaining agents take joint ownership of broad labour relations issues and develop collaborative solutions to workplace problems. Employers and bargaining agents have agreed that the National Joint Council is the "Forum of Choice":
- to share information;
- to consult on workplace policies;
- to co-develop directives which provide public service-wide benefits.
Partnership and co-development are keys to the modernization of public service labour relations. At the NJC, government and union representatives demonstrate that partnership and co-development improve the workplace and provide important benefits to public service employees. The NJC complements collective bargaining between individual unions and employers by offering an alternate and innovative way to address issues on a public service-wide basis.
Jointly developed, NJC directives and plans are an important component of public service compensation and guide many aspects of work in the public service. They affect every employee, along with spouses and children in some cases, through a variety of Directives and Plans. These include:
- the Public Service Health Care Plan, administered by a joint Trust, which provides benefits to over one million Canadians;
- the dental insurance plan, which provides members and their dependents with coverage for expenses;
- the Disability Insurance Plan, which delivers support to affected employees;
- the Travel Directive, which covers all aspects of employee business travel;
- the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive, which helps employees in isolated locations through travel support, rent assistance and special allowances;
- the Foreign Service Directives, which target allowances to address the special needs of employees who serve Canada abroad;
- bilingual bonuses, relocation payments, and commuting allowances.
The National Joint Council also models innovative approaches to dispute resolution, including a unique grievance procedure where employer and union representatives jointly decide whether employees have been fairly treated within the intent of NJC directives.
The following Guide to National Joint Council Rates and Allowances provides further information regarding each rate and allowance.