Après quelques commentaires sur le rôle de la recherche en négociation collective, l'auteur examine le contexte des négociations collectives au sein duquel fonctionne le Bureau de recherches sur les traitements
INTRODUCTION : GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
The Function of Research
This article might be started by offering some thoughts of a general nature, since its topic rests on a fundamental premise which is that independent research is a useful function in collective bargaining.
First, while recognizing that the fact that a collective bargaining system is centralized or decentralized, can have definite implications for specific research objectives, it could be questioned that the very function of research in collective bargaining has to change fundamentally because of the changing context In which it is performed. Research is not only a servicing function, it is also a creative function. For instance, if the structure of collective bargaining can have an impact on the kinds of research that are to be conducted, it is also possible that a change in the structure of collective bargaining towards a higher degree of centralization or vice-versa, can be the result of careful research assessment.
Centralization and Decentralization in Collective Bargaining
Secondly, it is submitted here that the concepts of "centralization" and of "decentralization" in collective bargaining must be approached in a realistic and flexible manner.
For example, there may be cases within a centralized structure, where the bargaining process does not appear to be geared to the provision of sufficient attention to local factors ; including local market pressures and forces. An illustration of this is where the centralization of the bargaining system is such that the collective agreement may cease to be the document from which reliable wage and salary information can be extracted for the simple reason that the rates actually paid are often above the centrally negotiated rates, which because of the very structure of the collective bargaining process cannot reflect regional or local market forces. As it is known, such situations have developed in certain contexts outside North-America. On the other hand, and returning to our own setting, more centralized bargaining, may produce master agreements that apply to the total of the bargaining unit and are supplemented by additional documents applying to local establishments, thereby providing attention to local factors. These observations are made for the simple purpose of urging somewhat of a balanced approach to the very concepts of "centralization" and "decentralization".
As a final comment on the desirability of a balanced approach to the concepts of "centralization" or "decentralization" in collective bargaining, the following quotation from a paper delivered by Mr. Robert Sauvé to the 1970 McGill Industrial Relations Conference may be of relevance here :
"In my opinion, the most important phenomenon is the ageing or obsolescence of the collective agreement. The necessity of negotiating working conditions in a context that extends beyond the enterprise is already being felt. We know that certain employer-employee agreements are bound to involve entire sectors of activity and that they have a part to plan in the pursuit on the economic and social aims of the collectivity. However, this does not mean that the collective agreement involving one or more enterprises in particular is about to disappear completely. On the contrary, indeed. Experience in foreign countries is increasingly proving to us that certain problems of the workers must be discussed within a context limited exclusively to the enterprise concerned. The recent agitation in Sweden is an outstanding reminder of the obligation to remain close to the worker and to dispell the many delusions that employers and certain specialists might have... On the other hand, many working conditions must be in harmony with the economic policies and the circumstances of a given sector of activity. Therefore, the happy medium would consist in having negotiations carried out on various levels and according to methods of proceeding corresponding to the very nature of the problems discussed. More and more, we shall have, at our disposal, legal structures adapted to the various types of negociations as well as to the particular conditions prevailing in each of the large fields of professional activity". (Translation) i
The Reputation of the Role of Research in Collective Bargaining
A third general thought would be on the reputation of the role of research in collective bargaining. We have on several occasions, heard industrial relations practitioners, including negociators from both sides, who commend wide respect in view of their proven record of success and skill, question the use of statistical data and other information at the bargaining table, or at conciliation hearings. The accuracy of such statements cannot be questioned in view of the fact that in some specific situations, research information cannot always provide or strengthen the basis for agreement.
What might be feared is the possible emergence, as a result of these statements related to specific events, of a widely-held negative approach to the role of research in collective bargaining and labour relations. Our own experience (for what is worth), and we are sure the experience of many colleagues engaged in independent labour relations research simply do not support such a negative view.
Our approach to the role of research should be balanced and realistic.
To perhaps put it in modest or minimal terms, we feel that even if statistics and other information that are placed on the bargaining table are not to be used as material to be eventually incorporated in the terms of settlement, they might very well help the parties in certain situations and contexts to have a clearer notion of what they do not wish to obtain or to settle for, and thereby help the parties, through a needed process of elimination, to gain a better notion of what they in fact would be prepared to accept.
We clearly recall a case of potentially major and even serious proportions where researched information provided was not specifically incorporated in the settlement that was arrived at, but in addition to providing useful information helped one of the parties in gaining a clearer notion of what they would not wish to settle for, and at the same time helped the two parties to find a common ground for agreement. Not to mention cases where researched information submitted to the parties can just contain the elements of accomodations or solutions the parties were looking for, without having perhaps been able, and for possible very good reasons, to initially have a very explicit notion of what they actually wanted.
In relation to this comment, we are tempted to add, incidentally, that a labour relations research officer should never feel discouraged if a settlement or a collective agreement in relation to which he has worked, does not show any sign that some of his analyses or interpretations have been incorporated, for his findings may have been highly useful as an indispensable stepping stone to the final compromise.
THE PUBLIC SERVICE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING ENVIRONMENT
Against the background of these general thoughts, the collective bargaining environment within the Pay Research Bureau functions, might be discussed.
Collective Agreement Coverage
As it was reported by the Chairman of the Public Service Staff Relations Board, Mr. Finkelman, at the Convention of the Public Service Alliance in Toronto, in January, 1970 :
"In a period of a little less than three years since the Public Service Staff Relations Act came into force, bargaining agents have been certified for all but at most a few thousand employees in a Public Service that numbers, I believe, some 215,000 ... that is, pretty close to the full 100%. On the other hand, the Department of Labour reports that, as of January 1, 1967, trade unions represented about 32% of non-agricultural paid workers in Canada and about 26% of the overall labour force. The percentage has not changed more than fractionally in the last two years".
"It is obvious that, in so far as the growth of employee organization is affected by management opposition, such opposition in the Public Service, if it did exist, was effectively curbed by public policy. Indeed, if additional proof were required of this conclusion, it can be provided by reference to the extent of organization among what are commonly referred to as white-collar workers and professionals, an area where, even apart from the reluctance of some of such employees to join unions, a great degree of employer opposition to unionization is likely to be encountered today. In the Federal Public Service, such employees are now almost 100% organized. In employment that does not come under the Public Service Staff Relations Act, only about 15% of office employees in Canada as a whole are covered by collective agreements. To make another comparison if one excludes the Federal Public Service only about 25% of employees in public administration in Canada enjoy the fruits of collective bargaining. (Preliminary figures released by Surveys Division, Economies and Research Branch, Canada Department of Labour)"2.
In addition to this significant comment, it might be observed that we have at the federal level an almost totally organized and predominantly white collar segment including a number of professional employees who in the private sector are only rarely organized. We also have at the federal level a great variety of occupations functioning almost side by side under collective agreement.
Perhaps this last comment could be expressed in more specific terms and a quotation from a presentation by T.J. Wilkins might here be helpful :
"In all, close a quarter million employees come under the umbrella of the Public Service Staff Relations Act. They include professional employees, supervisory employees, office workers in a wide variety of occupations — Furthermore, a great variety of specialized occupations are represented in the total body of federal employees who are now entitled to the full rights of the collective bargaining legislation for the first time in history. They include occupations like scientists, engineers, teachers, foreign service officers, air traffic controllers, as well as the more conventional clerical and administrative occupations. Coverage of these many varied occupations provides a fertile ground for precedent-setting collective bargaining decisions, the impact of which may well extend beyond the context of the Public Service" 3.
Commenting on this last quotation one can, it is felt, accurately state that in the case of the Federal Public Service, collective bargaining for the most part is not only centralized but that it is diversified as well in terms of the number of occupations and functions that it covers. This diversity can be considered as adding to the significance of our collective bargaining environment. Indeed, in the context of the dynamics of collective bargaining, one can safely speculate that collective agreements are bound to influence each other. Discussing in hypothetical but not unrealistic terms, it can be stated that it is not unlikely that if in the private sector, what has for instance been negotiated on the problem of safety in construction might be found to be useful with regard to a problem of technological change in textile or vice-versa, it is not necessarily impossible that within the Public Service what has been negotiated for engineers for example can be found to be useful for teachers, clerks or computer specialists, or vice-versa. What might usefully be explored here is the impact that the closeness of Public Service collective agreements can have on the transferability of provisions and even experience, from one occupational stream to another 4.
Potential Impact of Public Service Bargaining in Other Sectors
If one can recognized these internal dynamics (in need of research of course) of the collective bargaining process in the Public Service, one has also to recognize the potential impact of that collective bargaining process on the non-public service sector. In this respect, the most recent Annual Report released by the Public Service Staff Relations Board, contained the following comment :
"It is beyond doubt that the establishment of a collective bargaining system in a public service context is a development of major significance since some of the key environmental factors and institutional goals that have an impact on collective bargaining and on the nature of the collective agreements reached in the public service are clearly distinct from those that condition collective bargaining and collective agreements in the private sector. In addition to the distinctive characteristics of the public service environment, the very newness of collective bargaining in the federal public service is also a factor that can lead to the well-founded expectation that some of the agreements that are and will be arrived at by the parties may have preceding setting value and may therefore have a marked impact on the nature of some of the agreements subsequently reached. That this precedent setting value might, in some cases, extend to collective bargaining in the private sector could well turn out to be over a period of time and increasingly verifiable hypothesis" 5.
Regarding specifically the role of research and information in collective bargaining, there is another distinctive characteristic of the Public Service environment which could be briefly discussed, in relation to the private sector environment.
The Public Service Environment and the Role of Research
It is realistic to assume that an employer in the private sector may not, for very good reasons (one of them being the maintenance of the competitive position of his firm), wish to convey in detail to other employers (particularly his competitors) the reasons why some of the provisions he has negotiated have proven to be very successful in terms of his employees' morale as well as in terms of the general utilisation of his work force. That reluctance in exchanging information with other employers is, in some cases, to be related to the competitive nature of the system within which private employers generally operate.
It is submitted her that perhaps among other factors, the obviously lesser importance of inner economic competitiveness within the Public Service would likely make collective bargaining information more easily communicable from one bargaining unit to another. In such a context, it can be suggested that the role of research could be made easier and, as a result, research could become all the more helpful to the process of collective bargaining.
A further point might be suggested.Within reasonable limits, studies of the collective bargaining process prepared, as it has been suggested, in the perhaps more fluid informational context in the Public Service could provide findings that would be of practical interest to employers and unions in outside sectors where the results of collective bargaining research might perhaps not lend themselves to wide circulation. The suggestion just made is of course very tentative, and, as such, open for comments.
THE ROLE OF THE PAY RESEARCH BUREAU
Within our Public Service collective bargaining environment, the Pay Research Bureau plans an unquestionably important role. For readers who are interested in a factual and detailed account of the evolving function of the Pay Research Bureau over the year reference is made to the article by T.J. Wilkins on The Pay Research Bureau, published in the Civil Service Review of September, 1967, and to the dissertation by Robert Giroux, of the University of Ottawa, on Pay Determination in the Canadian Public Service. Finally, the present role of the Pay Research Bureau has been recently discussed by K. Scobie in a paper entitled, The Role and Function of the Pay Research Bureau.
The Evolving Functions of the Pay Research Bureau
Although reference has just been made to the article by T.J. Wilkins on the Pay Research Bureau, it might be appropriate to submit here parts of some of the perhaps more significant paragraphs of that presentation.
"One of the tenets of the pay policy of the Canadian Public Service is that rates of pay and other terms and conditions of employment within the Service should be generally in line with those prevailing for comparable work outside the Public Service. The task of following this policy has become increasingly difficult in times of rapid changes in rates of pay and has resulted in more emphasis on pay research as a separate and important function. Essentially, the pay research process involves compiling factual data on compensation and other conditions of employment".
"In September, 1957, the Pay Research Bureau was created to provide objective information on pay, employee benefits and working conditions both outside and within the Public Service. It was to do this at appropriate intervals in time later coincided with key dates in the biennial cyclical pay review policy of the Government, and as well on a trend basis where possible. It was to provide this information to the principal staff associations as well as to the various government agencies concerned with pay determination. An intrinsic part of the pay research techniques developed by the Bureau was that of job matching, meaning that thepay data collected were related to jobs which were similar in duties and responsibilities.
In contrast to the practice prevailing even now in industry and other governments in Canada, the Pay Research Bureau was divorced from the pay determination process in order to enhance the objectivity of the Bureau's findings and its operational independence. This point is often misunderstood and cannot be overemphasized. The Bureau provides factual, objective and impartial information ; it does not actually set rates of pay or recommend changes in existing rates. Whether or not compensation for the Public Service is adjusted when differences with private employers are demonstrated by Pay Research Bureau data is a matter for employer and employee representatives to resolve at the bargaining table".
"In March, 1967, with the promulgation of the collective bargaining legislation, the Government provided for the continuation of an independent Pay Research Bureau under the aegis of the newly-established Public Service Staff Relations Board.
The transfer of the Pay Research Bureau from the administrative jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission to that of the Public Service Staff Relations Board was a move intended to enhance even more the ability of the Bureau to conduct its operations impartially and in an atmosphere of independence. In the collective bargaining era, the Bureau is clearly required to serve the needs of the parties to bargaining to the extent that its resources permit and to make its findings available both to the employer and to the certified bargaining agent concerned. In general, the Director has greater authority to establish appropriate operating polices and practices, to determine and modify a basic program of studies, and to respond to ad hoc requests. There is, however, an overriding requirement for regular consultation with employer representatives and certified bargaining agents to ensure that their requirements are reflected in the Bureau's program within the limits of its resources".
"Essentially, the Bureau is requesting management in a great many organizations throughout the country to provide data about salaries and wages, working conditions, pay structures and classification plans. This information is often given to the Pay Research Bureau and to no other survey organizations. It is furnished on the understanding that it will be treated in confidence and that the input of individual companies will in no way be revealed in the final reports of the Pay Research Bureau. It is furnished also on the understanding that these reports, even though they represent a distillation of data from many organizations, are distributed on a confidential basis and used in a highly responsible manner. The trust of individual companies is an important commodity without which the Bureau could not obtain the co-operation which is essential if it is to provide the comparative data needed by the parties to bargaining" 6.
The Advisory Committee on Pay Research
In this new context of collective bargaining in the Public Service, the continuing and important role of theAdvisory Committee on Pay Research of the Pay Research Bureau, should certainly be emphasized. This Committee, under the Chairmanship of Mr. George E. Gauthier, Vice-Chairman of the Public Service Staff Relations Board, comprises representatives of the Employers and of the Staff Associations, and its principal function is to advice on the scope, priority and other aspects of the Bureau's work, in preparation for collective bargaining. There is no doubt that this Committee makes an extremely valuable contribution towards the development of an informed and factual climate within which collective bargaining can function constructively. In the longer perspective, such Committee may well represent an experiment of significance in the field of employer-employee consultations for the development of relevant and useful information, and it may therefore constitute as part of the Pay Research Bureau total fact-finding effort, a development of significance in the field of labour relations in Canada.
The independent character of the Pay Research Bureau can be illustrated by the balanced consultative mechanisme that has just been described and also by the responsibilities of the Director of the Bureau as outlined in the article that hasbeen quoted and also in the terms of reference of the Bureau, copy of which is attached to this article7.
The Increasing Importance of Independent Research in Labour Relations
Observing the labour and staff relations scène today in most of the public and private sectors leads one to believe that this independent research and survey roe is a method of support to the process of collective bargaining which has been more and more frequently used. Probably due in part to the fact that the conflict aspect of the industrial or staff relations process has been stressed by news media, the increasingly frequent use of jointly planned research and survey efforts has perhaps not received the kind of attention that it deserves.
Although the Pay Research Bureau's role is one of the perhaps better known and even most significant efforts in this area, it is by no means the only instance of it. Recently, as a result of formal understanding between the British Columbia telephone company and the Federation of telephone employees of British Columbia an independent management consultant firm was retained to undertake an objective survey of clerical positions within the bargaining unit. Discussions were held between the company and the federation and the consultants to discuss the scope of the study. It might be mentioned here that the survey was conducted as a result of a commitment made during negotiations between the employer and the federation ; at no time was any consideration given to the possibility of the survey result being used for future negotiations. It was more of a fact finding survey to help develop bench-mark job matches in the area of mutual interest.
Another instance of the use made of independent research was the establishment some time ago of the Manpower Consultative Service by the Federal Department of Labour, a service which is now part of the Department of Manpower and Immigration. It may be recalled here that one of the key principles behind the establishment of this new service was that appropriate steps should be taken well in advance of work displacement resulting from industrial change. And another equally important principle was that where there was a union, a joint union-management approach should be followed with respect to research assessment and plans for dealing with the adjustment process to industrial change. As will also be recalled, steps were taken to provide financial assistance to employers and unions for research on manpower development in advance of changes in technology. There is no doubt that the type of research that has been carried out with such support (and there has been many instances of it) is problem-solving and independent in nature.
Furthermore, recent legislation such as that adopted in the Province of Québec regarding advance notice to be provided in cases of technological change might also encourage and promote the use of independent research because such legislationcan be expected to be an incentive to advance planning in order to work out successful adjustment processes.
What should also be emphasized is the well established and widely recognized research role of the Economies and Research Branch of the Canada Department of Labour where, for a long period of time, substantial staff resources have been very positively used to provide the kinds of factual climates conductive to problem identification and problem solving in labour relations, and related fields.
In summing up, it can be argued that there are probably a number of reasons why independent research and fact finding become of increasing importance in the field of collective bargaining. Two major factors might perhaps be singled out : the fact that the public interest is at stake in an increasing number of employer-employee disputes increases the need for wideranging factual information on the basis of which accommodations can be more easily and quickly worked out. The second major factor is that impact that certain labour relations developments (those resulting from technological change for instance) can have on society at large and in relation to these developments, the increasing awareness by governments of their responsibility in cushioning if not eliminating the adverse impact of certain economic and industrial changes.
THE RESEARCH FUNCTION WITHIN TKE PAY RESEARCH BUREAU
Before discussing in specific terms the activities undertaken in the research division of the Pay Research Bureau, it might perhaps be useful to convey here the spirit in which we approached that research function. Thus, with the permission of the Director of the Pay Research Bureau, we wish to be allowed to read parts of a memo addressed to him on our concept of the role of research in the Public Service collective bargaining environment. This approach, which is still ours, is of course entirely personal in nature :
" During my year at the University of Toronto, I selected to be exposed to the new approaches to the world of work now being systematically taught in various advanced social science courses, and also being actively developed in many sectors of Canadian industry. I refer to the behavioural approach to personnel administration and labour relations, an approach that somewhat extends the emphasis from traditional concepts of " pay and working conditions " to concepts such as the employees' self fulfilment, or career development. " " What is of particular interest is that this new approach is due, in part but not to a small extent, to the arrival on the labour market of great numbers of better educated young employees whose work expectations through years spent in high schools, community colleges or universities have been somewhat strengthened and broadened. In more specific terms it is now recognized in the world of work that good pay alone will no longer be the factor that will attract and keep young employees in a given occupation or environment. Quite aside from attractive salary scales, very practical steps are taken to strengthen the employee's sense of self-fulfilment and, as behavioralists call it, their "self-actualization". "In the light of the general observation just made, three things are of particular relevance here : first, it is that the Public Service of Canada is receiving its contingent of young officers whose years of schooling have strengthened and broadened their work expectations ; secondly, it is that these younger officers are joining the Public Service at a time when collective bargaining becomes the major working conditions setting process in our service ; thirdly, it is that collective bargaining in the public sector as in the private sector, can either inhibit employees' motivations or can stimulate these motivations. " 8
" Needless to say that the observation just made has definite, and in my view, important implications for any research program to be conducted in the Pay Research Bureau. The major implication is that such a research program should be balanced in orientation, more specifically, that it should provide attention to non pas as well as to pay factors in our staff relations context. To put it even more concretely, such a balanced program should help the collective bargaining process in providing not only desirable pay results but also providing the type of collective agreements and collective bargaining relationships which will be in line with the broader career expectations of public servants — particularly those born, raised and educated in an age of affluence. "
" Perhaps my final observation should be that while in the private sector, collective bargaining is often criticized for producing certain results that run counter to employees' work satisfaction, collective bargaining in the public sector — prisoner of hardly any past — has perhaps the golden opportunity to innovate and to be more in tune with the time. To provide a higher degree of work satisfaction might be one of the areas where collective bargaining in the public sector might well show the way to collective bargaining in the private sector. "
The statement just quoted opens of course a longer perspective on the orientation of our research effort. In the shorter perspective, and in view of serious staff shortage, we hâve had to plan our research effort on the basis of priorities of which the first was in view of requests received, a thorough analysis of the collective bargaining process and of collective agreements in the Public Service.
A Priority : The Analysis of the Collective Bargaining Process in the Public Service
With regard to the analysis of collective agreements, a coding schedule and methodology specifically geared to the substance of our agreements has been developed and is now being tested^. It can certainly be expected that in the near future descriptive and analytical articles will be published on some of the significant provisions of our Public Service agreements. Although use was made of the methodology that over the years had been developped in other government agencies and, in particular, that of the Federal Department of Labour, it was soon realized in the light of the many and very specific requests received regarding the substance of our agreements, that a specific approach had to be developed.
There might be ground here for a fear of duplication in effort in the field of collective agreement analysis. It is felt, however, that in the context of the newness of collective bargaining in the Federal Public Service, analytical tools had to be specifically geared to the public service environment. We would not wish to overstress this point, but it is felt that there may be a degree of similarity between human process, such as collective bargaining, and human beings in the sense that as human beings in their prime youth require the more individual attention of the home before becoming engulfed in the broader treatment of the school system, so new processes in their initial phase of development also require detailed and special attention. At any rate, there is for us the golden opportunity to do independent and thorough analysis on a relatively small sample of agreements.
The analysis of Public Service agreements again raises the problem of the environment within they apply. What our centralized and diversified collective bargaining system brings about is a wide variety of situations making these Federal Public Service agreements sensitive to a wide range of many types of situations. There are two underlying dimensions here : the dimension of scope of the bargaining units ; and an occupational dimension. Federal Public Service agreements can,for instance, cover employees working in the midst of urban turmoils and agitation ; and these same agreements may cover the same types of employees working in the likely more relaxed climate of a rural or semi-rural environment.
Federal Public Service agreements can also cover employees in areas where one of the major labour relations concerns of a number of the surrounding corporations in how to increase the work-related happiness of generally well-paid workers. Yet these same agreements will cover similar types of employees in other areas of the country where, due to less favorable economic conditions, the almost exclusive labour relations " concern is still, to use behavioral terms, at the so called " lower needs " of employees, that is earnings.
Because of the variety of occupations that are found in the Federal Public Service, a wider range of sensitivites are bound to develop in relation to economic and social factors. For instance, the Federal Public Servant whose job may be to develop programs of information in either written, oral or filmed form, may be subjected in formulating some of his own collective bargaining demands, to the impact of the phenomenon he is asked to observe and to report on. Writing in hypothetical terms, could for example a film producer requested to present a visual description of a specific social or economic development be to some extent influenced in his own collective bargaining behaviour by some of the things he has had to observe and analyse ?
Social developments can also have an impact on the substance of Federal Public Service agreements. Increasing instances of tensions within penitentiaries could, conceivably I suppose, give rise to demands regarding special or new collective agreement provisions, not only applicable to guards but also to other public servants who, at regular intervals are called upon to perform their duties within penitentiaries.
If what has just been discussed has social substance, it cannot be denied that these types of impacts may also have monetary implications. At any rate, such possible developments are of a nature that require well-planned research that might be helpful in paving the way to adaptive measures and provisions, if the need arises.
lncreased Need for Collective Bargaining Information : A Suggestion
From the standpoint of immediate practicality, it can be stated that in view of the centralized and diversified nature of our collective bargaining system, and in view also of the generally increasing complexity of collective bargaining matters, more specific information and data are likely to be wanted on more provisions, and perhaps more quickly than before.
The question can be raised therefore whether in addition to the analysis of the contents of labour agreements now very extensively conducted, an attempt should not be made, using to the full the computer facilities now available within Departments of Labour, and within Universities such as McGill and Laval, to conduct a coordinated assessment of selected collective bargainingpractices in selected sectors, that is an analysis ofexperience that have taken place as a result of the implemention of selected provisions. This exercise might be the useful beginning of, in our view, a much needed assessment of collective bargaining in terms of its contributions, real or potential, to increases in productivity.
What has just been stated could be illustrated by taking, in a very preliminary manner, the example of a provision pertaining to employees retraining. The analytical approach, and this is of course only a beginning, that might be developed to assess theuse which is, or is not, made of this provision could be described as follows :Provision not used - Reasons: ( 1 ) no changes have taken place that have required its use ; (2) not used due to the bad quality of the provision and to the lack of agreement regarding its possible change during the life of the collective agreement ; (3) not used due to the hostility or lack of interest of employees or of a group of employees; etc.Provision used- Results : (1) immediate positive results ; (2) positive results after period off "testing"; (3) "mixed" results due to the hostility or lack of interest of certain employees or of a group of employees ; etc.Studies on Wage and Salary Trends in the Public Service and Outside Sectors
Another important aspect of our research work is an analysis of Public Service salary changes as a result of collective bargaining. Still another aspect of our research effort is the preparation of reports on wage and salary trends, one such report has recently been published 10 and the other will soon be released. These trend reports are based on an analysis of surveys of given occupations in the ouside sector as well as in the Public Service and it is hoped that by producing these trend studies a useful contribution to the overall study of wage and salary behaviour in Canada can be made.
In terms of new research needs, another for possible exploration might be suggested : and it is assessing the feasibility of presenting as specific manpower forecasts as possible, by occupation, for the public administration sector, and by levels of government. A question related to this research effort might of course be : to what extent, if any, are the changes affecting the occupational structure of the labour force in total reflected in the occupational composition of the Public Service ? There is no doubt that such forecasts, if feasible, might support the planning function within collective bargaining in the Public Service.
Other research needs could be singled out, but it is felt that the points raised in this paper have demonstrated that independent research and fact finding can be of great assistance to the process of collective bargaining in the Public Service as it has been and is of increasing assistance in other sectors.
In concluding, it is suggested that the Pay Resarch Bureau, in view of its widely recognized and well-established tradition of impartiality and independence, provides a unique environment for the planning and carrying out of such research, in the public interest.
* The comments and remarks presented in this article are strictly personal in nature and are note to be taken as a reflection of the official views or thinking of the Pay Research Bureau or the Public Service Staff Relations Board.
1 See Les Relations Industrielles et les Changements Sociaux, a paper by Mr. Robert Sauvé, Deputy Minister, Québec Department of Labour and Manpower; McGill Industrial Relations Conference, 1970, pp. 31-32.
2 FINKELMAN, Jacob, "Some Aspects of Public Service Bargaining in Canada", inThe Civil Service Review, Vol. XLIII, No. 1, March, 1970, p. 18.
3 Some Comments on the Collective Bargaining Scène in the Public Service of Canada, an address by TJ. Wilkins, Director, Pay Research Bureau, to the Toronto Chapter of the Public Personnel Association, p. 3, (October, 1969).
4 Such transferability of collective bargaining experiences, from one occupational sector to another, rests of course on the assumption that some problems encountered in the world of work share a good deal of similarity in substance almost regardless of the occupational context. That assumption can, I feel, be somewhat related to what Professor Everett Hughes had to say when, suggesting an approach to the study of occupations, he wrote in one of his essays :
"We need to rid outselves of any concepts which keep us from seeing that the essential problems of men at work are the same whether they do their work in some famous laboratory or in the messiest vat room of a pickle factory. Until we can find a point of view and concepts which will enable us to make comparisons between the junk peddler and the professor without intent to debunk the one and patronize the other, we cannot do our best work in this field". (SeeMen and Their Work, by Everett C. HUGHES, Harper, 1958, p. 48)
5 Second Annual Report, Public Service Staff Relations Board, p. 48.
6 WELKINS, T.J., "The Pay Research Bureau", in theCivil Service Review, September, 1967.
7 Aside from other responsibilities, it will be noted here that the Director is authorized under the P.R.B. terms of reference to : "determine, and from time to time to modify, a basic programme of studies ; to respond, within such limits and under such conditions as he considers reasonable, to request from accredited employer or employee representatives for special tabulations not called for by the basic programme. The same terms of reference also specify that : "the Director will consult regularly with employer representatives and certified bargaining agents to ensure that, as far as possible within the limits of the Bureau's resources, their requirements are reflected in the Bureau's programme".
8 On the side of possible inhibition, some behavioral scientists consider for instance that the rigidity of the scope of some seniority provisions in the private sector by preventing the occupational mobility of employees, may deprive them from the opportunity to perform different types of work, a situation which may interfere with their self-development and work satisfaction.
9 To gain a notion of the distinctive features of some of the provisions found in Public Service agreements, see paper referred to in footnote number 5.
10 Trends in Rates of Pay in Industrial and Other Organizations in Canada, October 1, 1958 to 1968, Pay Research Bureau, Ottawa, April, 1970.
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