Minutes of the Presidents' Conference

March 21 – 23, 2013



The meeting was called to order at 1:30 p.m.  Bob Campbell, President of the Union of Taxation Employees, presided and the session opened with the song Solidarity Forever in both French and English.

President Campbell asked the delegation to respect a moment of silence for members who have passed away since the last conference.

President Campbell went over the Harassment Policy and introduced the Complaint Administrators: Pamela Abbott, Jamie vanSydenborgh, Christine McLennan and Lyson Paquette.  He introduced the members of the staff from the National Office present in the room, and then asked the Local Presidents to introduce themselves.  The members of the Executive Council were then introduced.

The CPR attendants were presented as follows: Janet Albinet, Bob Campbell, Susan Duncan, Doug Gaetz, Scott Henneberry, Denis Lalancette, Kent MacDonald, Pierre Mulvihill, Shane O’Brien, and Alex Thon.

Newly Elected Local Presidents

Sue Moser, Kelowna
David Fandrich, Calgary
Steve Barrett, Peterborough
Jacquelyn Whyman, Kingston
Daniel Camara, Outaouais
Linda Koenders, Head Office
Kim Koch, Northern BC & Yukon


M/S Brian Oldford/Christine McLennan

That the hours of session be as follows:

Thursday:  01:30 to 5:00
Friday:  09:00  to 11:45; 1:15 to 5:00
Saturday: 09:00 to 11:45; 1:15 to 05:00 or closure of business



(See attached agenda, delegates and observers lists and Items submitted by the Local Presidents)

MS  Darlene Bembridge/Les Smith
That the agenda be adopted with the following additional items:

Employment Equity Governance (Saint John)
On-line Pension Statements (Shawinigan-South)
SP5 Competitions Call Centre Criteria (Montreal)
Public Service Week (Charlottetown)
Disclosure Investigation Material (Toronto Centre)
Call Centre Rehire Process (Edmonton)
Authorized Union Time (Montreal)
Non Consecutive Weeks Leave Without Pay Family Care (Kitchener)
Never Ending IAD Investigations (Calgary)
Workplace Relations (Halifax)
CFIB Report Cards (Edmonton)
Compressed Schedules (Kitchener)
Define the word Dependability (Halifax)


Point of privilege – Gesine Campbell, Ottawa Tax Services 70030

Sister Campbell asked permission to have a 50/50 draw to collect money for the Cancer Charity Bike Ride that will take place this summer.

Point of privilege – Alan Craig OTC

Brother Craig advised that he wishes to have a draw again at the next September Presidents’ Conference to collect money for the OSAM Camp as he did last September.

Both points of privilege were well taken by the President.


President Campbell started his remarks by asking the delegation to stand up and to thank and hug the person beside them for what they do for their union movement.  He went on saying that they were all volunteers, they work hard and they need to be thanked.  He said that there is a time when people have to stand up.  We have been attacked by the Harper government, both in their Bill C-377  and their anticipated legislation on the Rand Formula. Without dues we can’t do our job.  There will be meetings organized by the PSAC with respect to the "We are all Affected” campaign.  They will pay the transport for one person per local to attend these meetings. The selected person would have to report to the Local and get the information to the membership on a one-on-one basis, if necessary.  The plan would be to have the members to re-sign their commitment to the union.  We have to stand up and fight if we want to survive.  He wished everyone a good conference.

President Campbell pointed out the following issues:

Some offices are being told by management that if members are on an "action plan" they are not qualified to be paid overtime and this is false.  There is a court case on that issue and Local Presidents are to advise their RVP if this occurs.

If management has or are establishing local policies, once again Local Presidents must advise their RVP. 

UTE does not have joint Union Management Consultation with the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and if locals do, they are contravening UTE’s position.

A UTE bulletin on quotas and PSAC Regulation 19 on Discipline was passed earlier on the tables.


President Campbell reported briefly on some of the business conducted by the Executive Council earlier during the week. (For additional details, please see the attached Executive Council Minutes and Committee Reports of March 2013).

Executive Council Meeting:

Adoption of the following items during the week:

  • Congratulations to Brother Bryce Krochter from the Greater Toronto Region who has reached 45 years as an activist.  A plaque will be presented at the Local AGM in a few weeks.
  • Amendments to the Guidelines for Funding for Political Action Campaigns
  • Amendments to the Terms of Reference for the UTE Standing Political Action Committee
  • 2012 Audited Financial Statements
  • Guidelines for developing terms of reference for local and regional employment equity / diversity committees.


HALIFAX – 80003

1.   Political Action - Need a Session on Brain Storming Ideas

The Local commented that we should get new ideas and a different plan of action.  We have to educate the public on what they have already lost and what they are about to loose.  They suggested a session to get new ideas.

President:  This topic has been previously discussed at the PSAC National Board of Directors (NBoD) and they are setting up a committee to gather the information from the field.  Brother Adam Jackson, RVP for the Northern and Eastern Ontario Region is the first member to be appointed to this Committee.

A few locals expressed their point of view and concerns on the fact that an action plan that may be working in a local may not be efficient in another local.  President Campbell welcomed any ideas that would be profitable to the locals.

GUEST SPEAKER – Major Ed Smith from the International Children Awareness (ICA)

President Campbell introduced Major Ed Smith with whom we have been working in partnership in sending one member and one student sponsored by UTE to Cameroon, Africa to help them achieve their fundamental rights such has education, health care and water. UTE also provides for fund raising through payroll deductions at the local level collecting approximately $10,000.00 per year. Major Smith made a presentation to show what they can do with that amount of money through ICA.

President Campbell presented Major Smith with a UTE gift as a token of appreciation for coming and sharing with the participants his involvement with ICA.

PRESENTATION – Rand Project – from PSAC, Morna Ballantyne

President Campbell introduced Sister Morna Ballantyne, Special Project Officer from the PSAC who gave a presentation on the Rand Project and the campaign "We are all Affected".  As an opening remark, Sister Ballantyne pointed out that if the government is coming after us is because we are one of the strongest forces still standing to be able to fight social justice and to represent our members in defending their interests inside and outside the workplace and the political arena.  She also emphasized on the fact that if the government’s threat comes through it will have a huge impact on the union.  We are convinced, and you should be too, she said that this threat can be pushed back and we can win. Once again, if they are coming after us, it’s because we are a threat to them.  The presentation will be sent to each local after the Presidents’ Conference.  Sister Ballantyne answered a few questions from the participants.


Brothers Adam Jackson and Jamie vanSydenborgh gave a brief resume of some of the budget highlights saying that the sick leave will be discussed at the bargaining table and probably would be treated the same way as the severance pay was treated.  It’s a mid term budget and nothing spectacular about it.  A credit was given to CFIB for their great work and Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue received the CFIB Golden Scissors Award.  The Award recognizes an individual who has successfully motivated or demonstrated leadership and courage, and produced meaningful and positive results in cutting red tape for small business.  Brother Jackson gave some financial numbers indicating that CRA will have to find more money through additional restraints and cuts.

The meeting recessed at 1700 hours.

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2013

The meeting reconvened at 9h00 with President Campbell in the Chair.

Point of privilege – David Fandrich Calgary

Brother Fandrich expressed his gratitude for being selected for the UTE Marguerite Stonehouse Memorial Scholarship. 

On the same page, President Campbell announced that Sister Dawn Hardy was the recipient of the PSAC Labour College Scholarship.

The point of privilege was well take by President Campbell.

VIDEO PRESENTATION -  A Struggle to Remember: Fighting for our Families (view trailer)

President Campbell introduced former UTE member Brother Arthur Carkner who brought a video prepared by the Workers History Museum with the participation of Past Perfect Productions in Winnipeg on the Struggle of Paid Family Leave and other kinds of Family Leaves as being an important part of the Canadian Society.  Brother Carkner explained that in the United States they do not have maternity leave and the reason we do, is because of three major strikes in the 80’s.  Brother Carkner concluded saying that it is very important to protect workers’ history and that the museum is working on another interesting project.  President Campbell thanked Brother Carkner after the presentation and announced that UTE will provide each local with a free copy of the video as it will be a very good tool to motivate the membership and to show them what the union has accomplished.


HALIFAX – 80003

2. Fire Drill and Fire Marshall Visits

The Local wanted to know if it is the case that there should be only one fire drill per year in the workplace and that the Fire Marshall does not have to go to the premises?

Doug Gaetz, Chair of the Health and Safety Committee confirmed that there should be a fire drill at list once a year or after any changes in the emergency evacuation plans or procedures.  He also confirmed that the Fire Marshall does not have to inspect the workplace once a year.

3. NDP – Doing a Presentation at Conference

The Local asked if the NDP would make a presentation.

President: We mentioned that we would have a presentation on lobbying by a past NDP member.  Brother Jackson clarified that Ian Capstick who will be doing the presentation in the afternoon has worked for the NDP and Liberal Parties, but that he is not a NDP Member of Parliament.

SAINT JOHN – 60005

4. Cell Phone use in Offices

The Local asked with a show of hands, if there was a Local policy on the use of cell phones.

A few locals acknowledged that they have a policy and explained the content.

President: The CRA Commissioner has confirmed that they are preparing a national policy. He asked the locals having a policy to send any information to their RVP.

Point of privilege – Ken Bye, Barry 00052

He informed the participants that Sister Coleen Wice from Barrie was retiring and that it was her last Presidents’ Conference.  They will have a party for her on June 22nd and everyone is invited.  The tickets were on sale at $30.

The point of privilege was well taken by the chair.


President Campbell invited to the stage the committee members.  The Chair, Brother Jean-Pierre Fraser introduced the other members Robin Johnson, Denis Lalancette, Dianne Rayner who was absent and Sylvie Bastien from the National Office.  Brother Fraser referred to UTE Regulation 24 giving some history on some of the awards available.

Brother Doug Gaetz, RVP from the Atlantic Region was recognized by Brother Fraser and awarded a 25 year pin for his active and much appreciated involvement in the union.

PRESENTATION CRA Policy – Preventing and Resolving Harassment in the Workplace

Sister Lyson Paquette, Labour Relations Officer introduced CRA Representatives Paula Wornholtz and Claudine Gelineau who were invited to talk on the latest policy on the above subject. The presentation led to a few questions from the participants.

President Campbell announced the 1st winner of the 50/50 draw for the cancer charity bike ride, Brother Adam Jackson who won the amount of $387.00.  The next draw would be held Saturday afternoon.

President Campbell invited Sister Melanson to explain the process for the afternoon workshops.

The meeting recessed at 1145 hours.


The meeting reconvened at 1:15 pm.

The following workshops took place as follows:

Call Centres – Pamela Abbott and Kent MacDonald
Political Lobbying – Ian Capstick
Management- Can’t Deal With ‘em, Can’t do Without ‘em – Elizabeth Woods, PSAC
Bullying and Harassment – Lyson Paquette, UTE


The Conference was called to order at 9:00 a.m. with President Campbell in the Chair.  He announced that it was the birthday of Brother Mike Montague, Local President from Windsor.

Point of privilege - Jamie vanSydenborgh, RVP Southwestern Ontario Region

Brother vanSydenborgh advised that Sister Caren Tallon, President of the St. Catharines Local was absent due to a serious illness.  She joined their caucus the day before by telephone and she shared that she wished she was here with us. A card to be signed would be circulated and brought back to wish her good health.

The point was well taken by the Chair.

President Campbell announced that he met by phone with two CRA Representatives yesterday and was informed that following the budget, CRA would be cut by 60.6 million dollars. The impact would be modest as 2/3 would be absorbed through attrition.  The most affected region would be the NCR region in its internal administration.  There would be 55 new tax measures and they were coming from the employees.  According to CRA we have only 56 members left without a reasonable job offer.


Brother Lalancette, Chair of the UTE Bargaining Committee introduced  the bargaining team: Sisters Dawn Hardy and Robin Johnson, Brothers Pietro Masdea,  Doug Gaetz, Sabri Khayat, his Co-Chair, Jean-Pierre Fraser, Sister Pamela Abbott, Alternate Co-Chair, Sister Lyson Paquette, UTE Technical Advisor and PSAC Negotiator Brother Morgan Gay.

Brother Lalancette started by thanking the participants for wearing or displaying the card case and the armband "We are all affected" when they were asked to do so, and underlined the importance of being visible and to act as a group.  He went on to say that we had some good negotiations with CRA in the past and two collective agreements signed before the expiring date.  This time around the perception of this bargaining process is that it is similar on all counts to the bargaining process that we had with the Treasury Board before the creation of the Agency.  CRA has its hands and feet bound. Every time we propose a demand, they leave the table and come back with the three repetitious answers: we do not have a mandate, we do not have money and this is too expensive.  The team has met five weeks and out of those five weeks, we sat with the employer for about four hours, total.  There is no will to negotiate from the employer side because of Treasury Board.  Brother Lalancette invited the participants to refer to the Appendix C of the bargaining agreement as this is one of the most important issues at the bargaining table.  He concluded saying that there would be a monthly activity from now on to show our displeasure and solidarity and he urged all the members to work as a group.  "Unity is strength"! 



5. Bill C-377 and Rand Legislation

The Local asked what would be the impacts on locals.

President: We don’t know at this point and CRA is trying to figure out how this would be implemented.  All we know is that this is the biggest fight ever.

Brother Gaetz, RVP from the Atlantic Region commented on this topic, that we need to work collectively with the CLC, the PSAC and other unions and that the key is to talk to our Members of Parliament, our family members, our friends and co-workers and explain to them the importance of lobbying.


6. Amalgamation of Offices

The Local asked if the structure of UTE will stay the same.

The Local would like the national support with respect to grievance hearings.  They want the hearings to be done face-to-face and not through a video or telephone conference.

President:  The position of UTE is that our structure will stay the same.  We will not change it to match CRA’s.  With respect to grievance hearings, they should be done in person as much as possible.  There might be situations where it is not feasible, but they should be the exception.  He confirmed that these issues will be added on to the agenda of the National Union Management Consultation (NUMC) next June in order to have our position formally stated in the minutes.

Locals commented that it was a challenge to be working in separate offices and that this situation increases the tasks for them.

Small locals are looking for funds to be able to meet and develop an action plan.  The national office will study the feasibility.

It was suggested to have a workshop at the next Presidents’ Conference on this topic and President Campbell agreed that it was a good idea.

The submitting local added that the expertise of the Labour Relations Officers would be very helpful during this workshop.

The comment was made that regional meetings would be a good avenue to discuss this issue.

7. Policy on Violence in the Workplace vs. Training

The Local acknowledged the opportunity to attend the workshop the day before on Harassment as it was very instructive. On the other hand the local regrets that because some local presidents are not members of the Local Health and Safety Committee they can’t assist to the Health and Safety Conferences and get the appropriate training.  They are not trained to provide information with respect to PSAC Regulation 19 and 20.  They need training on these issues.

President: We are definitely looking at doing something along those lines and we will report back to the locals.

8. Impact of Bill C-377 on locals

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local with permission.


9. Exclusive reliance on the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) for income tax clinics for seniors, students, newcomers to Canada, and low-income individuals.  

The Local explained that the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program works in collaboration with CRA and Community Organizations is hosting tax preparation clinics and arrange for volunteers from the community to prepare tax returns for people  that have low income.  The concerns of the local are that these volunteers are doing the members’ jobs.  Furthermore, they were worried about the issue of information security, job lost etc.

President:  The national office is aware of the volunteer program.  It is a government decision and if something happens with the files, it is the government fault and responsibility.  He asked to be given the information that the local has on the subject and a letter outlining their concerns would be sent to the Commissioner.

10. PSTAR Member Pension Calculations, Delays, Inconsistencies

Further to previous discussion, the Local asked if other locals had encountered problems with pension buy back or buy in.  The estimate amounts that members are getting from taking their pension from the Ontario Pension Fund to the Public Service Superannuation are different depending on whom they speak to at the Pension Centre.  Furthermore, the amount can vary from getting money back to owing thousands of dollars.  There is a lack of transparency in terms of calculation and a lack of staffing at the Ontario Pension Centre.  People have asked for recalculations and the results are significantly different.  These are just some of the issues that the local encountered.

A few locals went to the microphones to comment on their specific issues on the subject.

One of the biggest problems is with CAS.

Some offices were able to settle the pension issues before the members transferred to CRA.

President:  We are aware of these issues and we have spoke to CRA about them.  Please send in your information and we will bring them to CRA again.


President Campbell informed the participants that Sister Barb Stewart brought the copies of the video from the Workers Museum that was presented the day before and she had additional copies for sale.

President Campbell asked Sister Abbott, Chair of the WFA Committee to report on the number of affected members following his comment the day before that there were 56 employees affected.

Sister Abbott confirmed that the number of 56 that was given were only for the Cost Containment Plan purposes. There are actually 287 affected members remaining and as of today only 6 options letters have been issued.  Hopefully by fall, the numbers will reduce substantially.

Point of Privilege – Scott Henneberry, HO 70000

Brother Henneberry introduced Brother Bob Brathwaite, who addressed the participants saying that there would be tickets for sale for a charity event called Dreams Take Flight to collect money to send less fortunate kids that are physically and mentally challenged to Disney World, Florida.  The event will take place on May 4, 2013. 

The point of privilege was well taken by the chair.

President Campbell congratulated Sister Jacquelyn Whyman on her birthday.


11. Increased Use of Students

The Local informed us that the employer is hiring students to do our members’ jobs and the number has increased substantially.  They added that it is hard to determine if they do all duties. 

President:  Our position is that we want students to be paid the same salary, have the same benefits and be unionized, same as our members.

On a show of hands, many locals have noticed the hiring of more students.


12. Training Package for Stewards

The Local requires a training package for new stewards.  Some elements of the package should be tailored to the unique structure in HQ, but a significant part of the package could be modeled on a pre-existing package that has already been developed elsewhere.  They need to find out if any locals, regions, or the National Office have developed any training packages for new stewards.  What training is provided to new stewards in other locals or regions other than the Talking Union Basic & Grievance Handling Courses?

President: The PSAC had, at one point, a package for new stewards.  They might still have one.

Some locals shared what they have as documents and what they are doing in that respect:

Monthly meeting with a specific agenda
Lunch and learn sessions
Grievance Course Book
Preparation of a list of needs on different topics such as: WFA, grievances etc…
Mentoring and using Union Management Approach (UMA)
Communication with the members of a regular basis

On the comment that CRA is pushing toward going electronic, President Campbell stated that our Communications Committee is putting together a video to show the services that are being cut.  He also met with the Liberal and NDP critics and they were very interested in hearing what we had to say. We are working very seriously on this issue.

HAMILTON – 00014

The Local commented on the rumours they have heard regarding the closure of Call Centres and wanted to know which Call Centres were at risk and was there a time given?

President: asked that all rumours be sent to the National Office and he will forward them to CRA for them to deal with these rumours.

BATHURST – 60006

13. Armbands

The Local explained that their members didn’t like the armbands and most of them didn’t wear them.

While some locals confirmed that fact, other locals commented that they ran out of them and needed more.

Comments where also made that what works in a local may not work in another.

In the future, an informative message will accompany the action to be done.

It is with the membership dues that we could get together at this conference.  We have to listen to our members.

One local did attach a message saying why they were handing out the armbands and it worked very well.

President: welcomed and appreciated the good exchange on this issue and urged the locals to send in their suggestions and comments to him, Brother Lalancette or the Political Action Committee, so that we know what the members are saying and most importantly, bring in new ideas.  Let us know what would work in your local and we will listen.


The meeting was called to order at 1:15 pm. with President Campbell in the Chair.

President Campbell invited to the stage the Chair of the Harassment Committee, Brother Jamie vanSydenborgh.


Brother vanSydenborgh introduced the members of the Committee being his Co-chair, Sister Pamela Abbott, the Local Presidents’ representative, Sister Christine McLennan and the Technical Advisor, Sister Lyson Paquette.

Brother vanSydenborgh explained that with the support of the other Standing Committees, the Executive Committee and Executive Council, the guidelines were updated and put to effect last September 2012.  The committee members walked the participants through the guidelines and gave some information on why they were adopted.  The committee members then presented a PowerPoint document which can be found on the website.  The committee answered a few questions from the participants.

BATHURST – 60006

14. Travel Grant

The Local questioned the decision of changing the travel grant to 2 times Tango Plus and expressed their disappointment regarding the way it was presented and the fact, among others, that this issue was not brought to the Presidents’ Conference for discussion. The Local’s intention is to bring a resolution at the next National Convention.

President: Explained that this resolution was created to help the locals to bring more observers to UTE events. When it was first set, there was not much of a difference between economy and latitude airfares and the amount was set at 1.5 times latitude.  Over time, the airfare prices have made a big difference in the way we do business.  We couldn’t continue to fund locals the way we did as the deficit was bigger every year since last convention.  This is a decision made by the Finance Committee Members.

Locals went to the microphones to express their point of view of the situation.  It was suggested to bring a resolution to the next convention in order to cost these expenses.

Brother Brière, Chair of the Finance Committee welcomed the item and explained the decision of the Executive Council of last December 2012.  The discussions began at the March 2012 Executive Council and again in June 2012. Brother Brière enumerated some financial figures related to conference expenses and explained that we couldn’t cut else where (salaries, hotel, per diem) because the funding of conferences was the major expense.  He also pointed out that this grant was for travel purposes only.  Last November, the committee’s mandate was to analyze the situation and make a recommendation to the next Council meeting.  The recommendation was adopted unanimously.He concluded saying that the difference in travel grant from this conference and the one in September 2012 was $50,000.00.  The advances to locals are sent approximately 4 to 5 weeks in advance and that is the rate that is used to send the money to the locals.  The committee will eventually look at the feasibility of making arrangements with Air Canada to get a group rate.

MONTRÉAL – 10008

15. PSAC MEMO XO 06 13 - Action Plan Regional Meetings

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local with permission.

16. Commissioner’s Message on Protecting Taxpayer Information

The Local asked what else we can do to make the members understand that they should not access taxpayer’s personal files.

President:  Acknowledged that people are still accessing taxpayer personal files.  This issue was discussed recently with the Commissioner and he was to send a message out to the field.

One local mentioned that the most recent memo from the Commissioner asked to send any questions or comments by clicking to a specific spot.  They suggested that all local presidents should do so and ask the following question: how do you expect people to understand over 600 pages with a 1 page memo?

The President agreed that this was a good idea and encouraged the participants to do so.

REGINA – 40022

17. Bargaining Communications

The Local thanked the Bargaining Team for the work they do on behalf of the members. 

At the time they put forward this item they had received very little information.  Our members are wondering what is going on.  Could the National Office get a letter out to the members and tell them what is really going on, as stated earlier by Brother Lalancette that CRA can’t negotiate because it is Treasury Board (TB) who decides.  Let’s tell the members the real facts.

President: Stated that he does make a special mention to members at every AGM that they will not get a contract soon because of TB.  The reason TB is slowing the process down is to get the members irritated with the union.  TB knows that the longer it takes, the less the membership is going to accept.  The membership will get mad at the union, not at management or the government.  He also tells the members that they should take responsibility for what they sign.  They can’t sign their contract and walk in the next day saying: look what the Union got me.

Brother Lalancette reiterated that the team can’t provide information that they do not have. They have been at the table for approximately 4 hours in 5 weeks.  At the end of each week, the team prepared a one page bulletin with the information they had.  He invited the participants to read his article on bargaining in the UTE newsletter, as it is very informative.  He concluded saying that with respect to severance pay, the longer it takes to have a contract because of TB, the more money it is in the bank for our members.

Point of privilege – Christian Vallée – Montérégie-Sud, 10017

Brother Vallée mentioned that it was the last Presidents’ Conference for Sister Lise Pitt, President of the Montérégie-Sud Local. He added that she was not retiring and we wish her well.


18. Moving Presidents’ Conference from March to April

M/S Terry Ruyter /Jerad Cooper

Whereas the March President’s Conference often conflicts with March spring break in one or more provinces; and

Whereas travel costs during this time significantly increase making it more expensive for locals to book travel arrangements.

Be it resolved that the National Office look into the feasibility of moving the President’s Conference from March to April; and

Be it further Resolved that the National President report the findings at the September 2013 President’s Conference.


HALIFAX – 80003

19. Ipad  Data Plan

The Local asked if UTE will pay for the data plan.

President Campbell turned to microphone to Brother Brière, Chair of Finance Committee.  Brother Brière answered that they are waiting for the invoice to show the purchase of the Ipad.  He noted that all locals have received a subsidy.  Nevertheless, the Finance Committee will look into the feasibility of providing a subsidy for the data plan expenses.

20. Political Action Funding

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local with permission.

21. Disability Insurance / Sick Leave

The Local mentioned that the employer is not communicating with employees on sick leave. 

President:  Thanked the local for his input and asked the local to talk to their RVP since it is not happening across Canada.

22. ROCCOs. 

The Local asked if other locals were experiencing difficulties in creating pools for ROCCOs.

Some locals have SP7s that have certain competencies and some others don’t. In one office, management did a 6 month learning plan for these people to make sure they can get these competencies and it worked great.

To the comment that management is using the term “developmental positions”, Brother Shane O’Brien, Senior LRO, explained that these words are not any where in the Staffing Policy.  In fact, he said one of the cornerstones of the Agency Staffing Process is that a candidate must be competent or qualify in all respects.  UTE has argued with the Agency on the fact that they cannot be competent and qualify if they are in a developmental position.  UTE has challenged them on that issue many times before the old Public Service Commission and the Appeal Board and we have been successful with every case. He concluded saying that if management keeps on referring to the term “developmental positions”; they should point out where in the policy it says that they can staff such positions.

Brother Khayat, Chair of the Staffing was of the view that if management recognizes that the work done must be reclassified to SP7, then they recognize that people that are doing the work have the competencies to do it.  He recommended bringing this issue directly to the employer for them to solve the problem.

The Summerside Local added that there is a Talent Management Policy used to target people that could be well suited to a certain position and can be developed in that regard when an employee has the proper skills. 


23. Constantly changing deadlines and priorities and definition of bullying in the workplace, increased anxiety

The Local explained that a government website refers to 2 criteria on bullying being unrealistic deadlines and priorities.  We have more and more people on sick leave, people who are retiring as early as age 33, people that have panic attacks etc. Is this happening nationally?

A show of hands demonstrated that yes this is happening across the country.

The Local asked if we could put forward a training package to help management at all levels to deal adequately with these situations.

President:  We could talk to CRA about this.

24. Conflict Resolution Part II

The Local commented that their co-facilitators wanted to know why Part II wasn’t rolled out jointly.

Brother Khayat, Chair Ad hoc Conflict Resolution Committee reconfirmed that the role of the facilitators was discussed at previous Presidents’ Conferences. We have asked to be involved in Part I as it is an introduction on how to operate and to explain what are the roles of the facilitator. Part II is to obtain competencies and should be given by experts as we do not have this expertise.  The involvement of the union is only in Part I.

25. CUPE - Type Radio Campaign

The Local stated that the Toronto area had a very good feedback on the CUPE campaign and suggested to have something similar to raise the positive union outlook.

President Campbell appreciated the suggestion.

26. PSAC Sponsored Campaign.

The Local commented that our pension has been affected directly by the overhaul of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and wanted to know what the PSAC is doing in that regard.

President: PSAC is working on a paper to explain the CPP to the membership and to inform them that they are not loosing money.

President Campbell acknowledged to the microphone Sister Gesine Campbell to do the last 50/50 draw of the day to collect money for cancer.  They have collected $1025.00.  Sister Maria Wormsbecker from Hamilton was the successful winner of $612.50.

SAINT JOHN - 60005

27. Employment Equity Governance

The Local stated that the employer is taking Employment Equity out of the local level, and this is not acceptable.

Sister Robin Johnson, Chair of the EO Committee agreed with the local statement and she feels the same frustration as the local members.  A meeting will be scheduled with the employer whereby they will discuss this new model and hopefully they will have information soon.  She asked the locals to bring forward any issues they may have with these changes to help the committee to be well prepared for the meeting. 


28. On-line Pension Statements

The Local advised that since January 2012, no paper pension statements were produced and made available.  They were told by management that they would be available online in September 2012. As of today, nothing is available online and we were told recently that they are still working on their website.  This is unacceptable.  The Local stressed the importance of having a date of when a paper statement will be available, as they have members ready to retire and need those numbers.

President: We have forwarded the question to Government Services Union and we received the same answer early this week.  We will have their memo translated and available next week. We will also contact CRA to put pressure on PWGSC for paper statements.

MONTREAL – 10008

29. SP5 Competitions Call Centre Criteria

The Local explained that about 3 years ago the placement criteria were based on 40% on the experience and 60% on the test. Now they have changed the criteria to be 20% experience and 80% for the test.  Can the employer change the percentage as they please?

Brother Khayat, Chair of Staffing Committee answered that there was no change except for the percentage.  Unfortunately, the employer can change the percentage for business needs purposes.  This issue should be brought to the employer and put them on the spot.

A show of hands showed that this situation is happening in half of the country.

President:  Welcomed the issue and will bring it to the June NUMC.


President Campbell asked Brother Brière to draw the tickets for the two leather jackets: Sister Sue Moser from Kelowna and Brother Hicham Youssfi from Moncton were the lucky winners.


30. Public Service Week

The Local understands our position to boycott PSW and expressed that the local members want to celebrate this event. Can PSAC help the locals to put something together in order to keep the members at the local event and not at the CRA activities?

President: We will bring it up and talk to them as we have a meeting scheduled in 2 weeks.  PSAC National President, Sister Benson’s office is preparing a communication on the matter.

Locals asked what can the members do or can’t do during that week.

President:  He reconfirmed that members holding an executive position should not participate in any activities organized by management such as passing out cake or pizza, etc.

He left the decision to the locals to organize an activity during that particular week or to do it at some other time.

With respect to members collecting money or food for charity organizations during that week, it was suggested to make sure that the activity is being done as a UTE activity not as a PSW activity to promote the image CRA.


31. Disclosure Investigation material prior to imposing discipline

The Local asked if other locals were receiving disclosure and if so, how extensively was it?

Most locals do get a draft report prior to discipline being imposed and just a few locals get their report during the investigation.

Few locals had to go through Access to Information.

Two locals in the Toronto Region received a printed third party transcript.

President: We had a workshop on this issue one year ago and we have passed out a booklet, which is on our website.

EDMONTON – 30025

32. Call Centre Rehire Process

The Local wanted to know if the testing was done on the employee or the employer’s time.

The St. John’s Local stated that their members work on Saturdays and get paid, including travel time.

MONTREAL – 10008

33. Union Time

The Local was under the impression that union time had dropped and that there was less time allowed when there was a change in the Local Presidency.

President:  It depends on the manager.  Each office is different.

Brother Brière added that he had to fight during his last year as a president to get union time.


President Campbell’s closing remarks were to thank the interpreters and technician(s) and the UTE staff here at the conference, but also the staff back at the office that assisted in the preparation of the conference.  He thanked all the participants and expressed his appreciation for their hard work and reiterated that there is much more to be done.  We can do it, we can get the information to our members, we can get a good contract, we can defeat this government and get rid of Harper, and we will do it together.

The meeting adjourned at 17h00 p.m.