The most notable change in collective bargaining to show up in the data was the fall in the number of staff covered by expired collective employment agreements4. This year only 3.4% of Public Service staff were on expired collective employment agreements compared with 9.4% last year. One of the effects of this fall was to increase both the proportions of staff on individual employment agreements and those on collective employment agreements. There were 45% of Public Service employees on individual agreements compared with 43% in 2000 and 25% in 1996.
Newer and younger staff were much more likely to be on individual agreements than previous cohorts of public servants. The proportion of employees on individual agreements fell, as age increased, from 72% of 15-19 year olds to 34% of 60-64 year olds. In general, the shorter the tenure, the more likely staff were to be on individual agreements. Of staff who have been with their department for less than one year, 66% (71% in 2000) are on individual agreements. For each subsequent tenure group this proportion falls. Only 25% of staff who have been with their department for 10 years or more are on individual agreements.
Changes in these trends over the next few years will depend heavily on patterns in union membership. The survey found that at least 82% of staff on collective agreements, and at least 15% of staff on individual agreements, were union members5.
4Throughout this report reference is made to employment agreements, although some staff were still covered by employment contracts negotiated under the Employment Contracts Act
5Data have been collected on union membership in cases where departments process union fee deductions for their employees. While this has yielded reliable data for members of the Public Service Association (PSA), it is not clear how many members of other unions were missed in the collection.