Bulletin 13/02

April 12, 2002


Executive Council
Alternate Regional Vice-Presidents
Local Presidents
Labour Relations Officers

Re: PM03 Resource Officer/Collections Contact Officer (ROCCO) Job Description in Revenue Collections

Over the past few weeks, there have been numerous emails, phone calls and discussions on the issue of the “New” PM03 Resource Officer/ Collections Contact Officer (ROCCO) job description in Revenue Collections. As a member of the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) National Staffing Committee, and the member responsible for the review of job descriptions, I have been asked to contact each of the ROCCO’s on the contact list provided to me in order to clarify what has happened and to explain the process that has been followed to date.

In July 2001, the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) representatives sent ten draft job descriptions from Revenue Collections to the three Unions for consultation. The UTE Staffing Committee reviewed the applicable job descriptions and sent our comments back to the employer. The committee reviewed these job descriptions based on the input received from the field and attempted to ensure that all comments that were submitted were incorporated. The Staffing Committee also attempts not to have anything substantive removed from draft job descriptions as these are national in nature and removing any responsibilities and/or activities could have a detrimental affect to the point rating and/or classification of the position. The draft job descriptions for Revenue Collections were written as a result of job content grievances being filed and some functional responsibility changes. That was the extent of the Staffing Committees involvement in this process. The Staffing Committee and Executive Council became aware of the issuance of the new job descriptions only when they were handed out in the field.

On February 14, 2002 , when the Staffing Committee became aware of the distribution of the job descriptions, we issued an email to all members of Executive Council advising that the descriptions were being distributed and we included copies of the draft descriptions as well as the submission that the Committee had made to the employer. The Staffing Committee had already issued a bulletin on Classification Grievances and Job Content Grievances and this memo was circulated to the field and was placed on the website. As a result, it did not appear that there was a need to reissue the same bulletins. Concurrently to this happening, I personally had received an email from one Local asking for an explanation of what had happened and advising that they had members who believed that this new description was no longer reflective of their positions. The Committee, through my advice, did discourage a content grievance to remove items from the job description as we were concerned about the potential impact on the classification. The Union at no time indicated from a national perspective that we would not represent a member if they decided to follow this route.

It appears now that there are two separate streams of concern originating from the incumbents of the ROCCO job description. There is a group of members who believe that the new description is reflective of their current duties, but they are extremely unhappy with the current classification. This group should be filing classification grievances and they should also be filing grievances related to the ACS Classification Standard and attempting to exert pressure on the employer to classify this new description under the new standard. The ACS standard is the only standard we have that actually evaluates all elements of the job description. The current PM standard does not adequately evaluate all the required elements. The ROCCO’s also need to be requesting copies of the classification rationale that goes along with the old description as well as the new one. All grievors should be going through their Local Union Stewards for all grievances.

The second group of individuals is not only unhappy with the current classification, but they also believe that the new description is not reflective of their current position. This group of individuals needs to evaluate the option of requesting a job content grievance to try and remove elements they do not feel are applicable. Another possible option would be to have a separate job description written that is reflective of the position that they are in and of the duties that they are performing. This would be possible by filing a grievance requesting a complete and accurate job description be written reflective of their duties.

With all the recent concerns circulating in the field, during our recent meeting in Ottawa , the Staffing Committee reported on the new PM-3 Job Descriptions. Some of the relevant background material that was discussed related to the fact that we were advised that four to six years ago, a job content grievance was filed with respect to the PM03 job description to have certain duties included in that job. As a result, Headquarters rewrote the PM-3 job description, but they rewrote it in the style of the Agency Classification Standard (ACS). One of the problems with this is that the employer will not evaluate the job description under the ACS Standard and the description was evaluated under the old standard.

The UTE Staffing reviewed the new job description in August of 2001 and submitted our comments. The employer agreed to remove some sections and bullets to which UTE had objected. (These were related more to staffing issues being included.)

We have been getting calls from ROCCOs stating that there are some twenty items added to the job description which should be removed. Some of the items added were the direct result of the job content grievances filed in the field and some of the items that they say are new are not in fact new. They were in the old job description, but under different factors and elements. A specific example of this is the comments regarding the approval of legal actions for others. If you review the previous job description, the third bullet under “Key Activities” states:

“Identifying, approving and implementing appropriate legal action on own accounts and/or other Revenue Collections employees as operationally required and within delegated authority by the Tax Services Office Director and in accordance with Departmental policy and procedures as stipulated in the on-line Revenue Collections Manual; or identifying and recommending the strongest legal remedies on accounts where voluntary debt resolution cannot be finalized.”

In addition, under “Interaction “, it states:

Assisting other Revenue Collections employees by approving appropriate delegated legal actions, handling client complaints, responding to correspondence concerning technical issues, and preparing reports on sensitive ministerial enquiries.”

As a result, this cannot then be construed to be a new addition to the job description. Members can file job content grievances and ask to have some items removed from their job description, but there is a fear that this could result in the job being classified lower than it currently is. Therefore, the classification rationale needs to be examined to ensure that we are not removing any of the major elements that generated this classification in the first place.

On the subject of approval of Legal Actions, a ROCCO can only approve T1118’s as established under the Collections Matrix, but this is far more restrictive than what has been implemented in many field offices over the past few years. In addition, it is possible that you will be signing with your own name and not the Director's Stamp. You are not to sign any garnishees until you have been trained on the new Collections Matrix. The Matrix clearly identifies who has what responsibility. This training should have been rolled out prior to your receiving the new job descriptions. You should ask your employer for the Matrix and training package. Related specifically to the approval of legal actions, there was a number of classification grievances filed with respect to the approval of T1118’s after the current job description came out in 1994. We were unsuccessful in this case and it was ruled that this had always been in the job description and did not result in an increase in the classification standard. (It is recommended that individuals request copies of this classification decision.)

At present, it is recommended that all ROCCOs ask Human Resources representatives or their Team Leaders for the current classification rationale. You have to see what they considered in the new job description and what elements have been classified properly. The members should then be sitting with their Local Union Stewards and filing the applicable grievances for their particular situation.

We would also ask for all the locals to ensure that Jim Little, Tax Services Offices Representative to the Staffing Committee, is advised of all actions that have been implemented in their respective offices. This will ensure that the National Office is able to ensure a consistent approach for all the grievances.

In Solidarity,

Linda Cassidy
Staffing Committee