Minutes of the Presidents' Conference

March 17-19, 2011

THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2011
AFTERNOON SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 1:15 p.m.  Betty Bannon, President of the Union of Taxation Employees, presided and the session opened with the song Solidarity Forever in both French and English.

President Bannon went over the Harassment Policy and introduced the Complaint Administrators, Cosimo Crupi, Jean-Pierre Fraser and Lyson Paquette. Sister Christine McLennan was absent.  She 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.

Sister Christine McLennan was absent and replaced by Sister Carmene Mattson.
Brother Daniel Gagnon was absent and replaced by Sister Pauline Girard.
Brother David Quist was absent for 1 day and replaced by Brother Jamie Batley.

The CPR attendants were as follows: Chris Aylward, Bob Campbell, Susan Duncan, Doug Gaetz, Denis Lalancette, Dave Lanthier, Kent MacDonald, Jean-Yves Martel, Pierre Mulvihill, Shane O’Brien, Alex Thon and Stephanie Wolff.

President Bannon asked the delegation to respect a moment of silence for members who have passed away since the July 2008 Convention.

HOURS OF SESSION

m/s  Hugh McGoldrick/Brian Oldford 

That the hours of session be as follows:

Thursday:  01:15 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

MOTION CARRIED.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

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

m/s  Sylvie Lahaie/Michelle Neill
 
That the agenda be adopted with the additional items.

Time Code/ Cost Centre (Headquarters)
APSAR (Montreal)
Compensation and Notice of Repayment (Halifax)
Call Letters (St. Catharines)
Language of Service (Laval)
Pay Stub Suppression (Headquarters)
Dragon Software (St. Catharines)
Management Disk (Headquarters)
Unallocated List (Headquarters)

MOTION CARRIED.

OPENING REMARKS

President Bannon commented that she had talked about Severance Pay at every AGM. She told the membership in very clear words that their Union of Taxation Employees will not now or ever negotiate away their severance pay.  She advised Management of CRA not to think about bringing the issue of severance pay to the negotiation table. She also commented on the PSAC Supplemental Pension Plan for Elected Officers.  President Bannon concluded saying that our organization the Union of Taxation Employees, is magnificent and what makes us strong is our activists and our members!

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL BUSINESS

President Bannon 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, Presidents’ Follow Up and Committee Reports of March 2011).

From the President’s Report:

UTE Convention:
The “Convention Call” was issued on time in January and the deadline has passed for the names of the delegates and observers who will be participating on the Convention Committees.  A reminder of the important deadline dates was also issued to all locals, Alternate RVPs and Council. 

The composition of the Convention Committees will be submitted to the Council for adoption during this meeting.  We will also be adopting the Convention Rules of Order and the Terms of Reference for the Committees.  The deadline for resolutions and the completed credentials of all delegates and observers (ranked) is Saturday, March 19th by the end of the Presidents Conference hours of session or 5:00 PM, whichever is later.  I remind everyone that Bargaining Demands will not be accepted as resolutions to our Convention and will be returned to the submitting local.  Another reminder is to those who are submitting resolutions to amend the UTE ByLaws/Regulations or the PSAC Constitution.  You must stipulate what section that you are referring to in your resolution or the title for the amendment or that it is “new”.  Failure to do so will render your resolution “out of order” since it is not requesting a change to the UTE By-laws/Regulations or the PSAC Constitution.

The 10 Convention Comment documents have started to be issued and I encourage every delegate and observer to read these documents.  They are especially useful to any new delegate or observer.  They are brief topical documents that outline the workings of our Convention. 

Board of Management (BOM) Chair:
I met with Susan MacArthur, the BOM Chair for an hour on March 4th.  She was very personable and listened intently to my concerns regarding Bargaining, both past and future rounds.  I wanted to ensure that she knew first hand, the position of the Union surrounding such issues as our desire to only bargain with the CRA with no interference, that the mandate remain with the BOM and our refusal to negotiate concessions without obtaining something commensurate in return.  She heard and understood the message loud and clear.  I will continue to issue the same message at all levels of the CRA and the membership every chance that I get.

Annual General Meetings (AGMs):
During this round of AGMs, so far I have attend 17 meetings and have been able to both say “goodbye” to the members and “thank” our membership.  They are the reason that we are all here and they are the ones who give our Component and Locals the strength that we have.  I have received some very kind words directly from the members and the Locals and some well appreciated gifts on the members’ behalf.  In my almost 39 years involvement in the Union, the members have never been very far from my thoughts and it has always been them in my decision making. All union representatives should remember and keep in mind that there is no “me” in UNION.  I am sure that I will have much more to say about our great membership at the Convention, but for now I want them to know that “they are the best and make me a very proud President”.

Porter Airlines:
The following was brought to my attention and I would like Council to have a discussion on whether or not we will now use Porter Airlines:
Porter ground staff unionize
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 | 04:02 PM EST
Porter Airlines’ ground staff in Ottawa have voted to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees, becoming the first of the airline’s workers to unionize.  “We are very pleased to welcome our newest members into our growing CUPE airlines family,” said Paul Zamperin, CUPE national representative, in a statement. “Now our Porter members will have the full range of representation and services that all CUPE members enjoy.”  The 50 workers include customer service, ramp attendants and operations staff. A spokesman for Porter was not immediately available for comment.

PSAC Supplemental Pension Plan:
The PSAC NBOD adopted a resolution at its February 2011 meeting to create a Supplemental Pension Plan for full- time elected officers of the PSAC and Components.  The plan is effective March 1, 2011.  However, the issue of whether the AEC officers will opt in will be presented to the PSAC Convention to be held in May of 2012.  Each Component should deliberate the issue and advise the PSAC as to whether or not they will be opting into the Plan or not.  We will be having discussions at both this Council meeting and the Presidents Conference regarding this plan.  As you may know it has caused much discussion in the field with both correct and incorrect information being circulated. 

Catherine Swift and the CFIB:
We continue to raise the issue of the derogatory comments made by Catherine Swift against our members at all of the AGMs.  We also continue to encourage the members to frequent the stores that are members of the CFIB and let them know that we will not be spending any of our hard earned money in their stores due to the position of their CEO on our wages, benefits and pensions.  It is pretty hard to accept that our membership is overpaid, have generous benefits, including “Cadillac pensions” as touted by Catherine Swift.  Frequently I hear about the difficulties that our members are having trying to make ends meet when they are either currently working or retired.  Her failure to disclose factual information on the issues to the public is unforgivable.  Maybe if she hears from enough of her members, she may think more seriously about what she is saying.  At a minimum, she may finally open her eyes to the truths about our wages, benefits and pensions and the fact that we pay dearly for all of it.

Pay Stub Suppression and Tax Software:
We issued a notice to our members that we wanted them to file paper returns as a sign of protest for the recent decisions of our employer, the CRA, regarding the suppression of the pay stubs and the removal of the tax software that use to be available to the membership to file their tax returns.  Some have asked why do this?  Well, first of all it is something visual to the employer if all 26,000 members decided to do this.  Secondly, it has caused discussions to take place regarding the suppression of the pay stubs and right now we are near a resolution to most of the problems that were outlined in the flyer to the membership.  Thirdly, the suggestion itself came from many of the members.  We have also sought legal opinions as to the legality of the pay stub suppression and are awaiting their advice in the event that we need to take further action.  Please continue to encourage the membership to take this action to express their displeasure with the decisions of the employer.

From Executive Council Minutes:

Adoption of the following items:

Be it resolved that Bill McCallum receive the Union of Taxation Humanitarian Award.

Be it resolved that the deadline for submissions to the UTE Humanitarian Award Regulation 24.6(1) be changed from December 7th, to December 15th.

Be it resolved that the Union of Taxation Employees invite all UTE Life Members to our conventions starting in July of 2011, and for those that wish to attend that all of their expenses be paid by regulations as if they were a delegate.

Be it further resolved that all the UTE Life members be recognized in some manner at the convention.

Be it resolved that UTE rename the Montreal Regional Scholarship to the Jean Bergeron Montreal Regional Scholarship.

Two resolutions to form a Component comprised of Directly Chartered Locals.  See Council Minutes.

ITEMS PRESENTED BY THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS

POLICY & PLANNING – 70004

1.  Reimbursement of Brand Name Prescriptions vs Generic Prescriptions

The Local has received many complaints from members that Sunlife will cover only generic brand prescriptions unless the doctor specifies that it can’t be substituted.  Some members have no choice but to take a brand name prescription and will therefore be penalized.  The costs between generic and brand names can fluctuate between cents to dollars and the member will be responsible to absorb this costs.

Other locals commented that it is very sad that with the new card that no information was provided either by the PSAC or Sunlife that they would reimbursed only generic brand unless specified by the doctor as mentioned earlier.  Members found out at the drug store. No information also was given on the fact that members going south for a few months can’t get a prescription for that period of time unless they give Sunlife advanced notice.

President:  A few issues were sent to Patty Ducharme, PSAC National Executive Vice-President, as they came up.  She suggested that they have the doctor specify no substitute on the prescription.

The meeting recessed at 1700 hours.


NOTICE OF MOTION

Brother John Drozd served notice to amend the agenda.

FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2011
MORNING SESSION

The Conference was called to order at 09:00 a.m. with President Bannon in the Chair. 

M/S John Drozd/Marc Brière

That the item Call Centres be added to the Agenda.

MOTION CARRIED.

Point of privilege – David Quist

Brother Quist thanked everyone for the messages of sympathy he received on the passing of his father.

NOTICE OF MOTION

Sister Colleen Wice served notice to amend the agenda.

ITEMS PRESENTED BY THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS

JONQUIÈRE – 10004

2. PSAC Regional Conventions

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

HALIFAX 80003

3. Sun Life Claims

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

4. SP-7 ROCCOs

The Local commented that the SP-6s had been upgraded to SP-7 through the MOU of the Re-classification of ACS jobs.  The incumbents were not notified of the change of competencies to SP-7.

President: We will deal with that immediately with the Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources.

5. Staffing Policy Simplification

The Local referred to the last Presidents’ Conference presentation on Staffing where all different Directives were to be simplified. They would like an update on that issue.

Brother Khayat, President of the Staffing Committee commented that CRA had undertaken consultation with the regions on the subject and the results were to be reviewed and recommendations made during the meeting scheduled in February.  In January the meeting was cancelled and no date for the next one was given to them.

TORONTO EAST – 00001

6. PSAC Regional Conventions & Non-UTE Events

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

THUNDER BAY – 00020

7. Clerical Staff and Duties

The Local commented that there was a concern raised that clerical duties such as travel claims and ILP entering were being taken away from the clerical staff and given to the individual employee to enter.  Is this happening across the country and if so, what is the replacement work that is being given to that clerical staff, and why are these clerical functions being downloaded on to the other members?

Other locals were advised that managers would be retrained and will be handling their own travel arrangements.This information was supposed to be made available in the regions. Furthermore, travel is now tied to CAS and ESS.  The claims are being input right into the ESS System and sent to the delegated authority.  This procedure directly affects our clerical staff members.

President: We were notified that travel arrangements would be going directly to CAS as a change made in the Travel Policy. 

WINNIPEG CCSC – 50032

8. Funding for PSAC Regional Conventions

M/S Carmene Mattson/Caron Tallon

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the UTE partially fund locals for their delegates to PSAC regional conventions; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this funding be based on paying for two (2) of the following costs: travel, hotel, per diems or loss of salary if they are not reimbursed by any other organizations for the same costs.  The cost for transportation will be the most economical means for eg. Seat sales, mileage.

MOTION CARRIED.

9. Increments – 52 Weeks vs. Anniversary Date

The Local would like some clarification on the issue and provided beforehand the following background information: The Collective Agreement states that an increment is due after 52 weeks. - The pay increment period for employees at levels SP-01 to SP-10 is fifty-two (52) weeks. A pay increment shall be to the next rate in the scale of rates.

The recent interpretation that Compensation is following is that an employee is due an increment on their anniversary date, as they stated this was the intention.  The problem is that the employee has to wait an extra day or maybe 2 days to get their increment using the anniversary date.  Ex.: An employee is promoted on Monday, November 15, 2010.  The anniversary date increment would be Tuesday, November 15, 2011.  The increment date using 52 weeks would be Monday, November 14, 2011.

If an employee is promoted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010, Compensation will keep their increment date as the 1st Monday following 52 weeks, which would be Monday, October 17, 2011.  This is because the employee was appointed prior to November 1, 2010.

President:  Asked the local to send the examples to the National Office and we will contact CRA on the issue to get their interpretation.

ST. CATHARINES – 00016

10. Funding for PSAC Regional Conventions

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

MONTREAL – 10008

11. Long Term Leave & Graduated Return

The Local would like to know if UTE would ask CRA to provide support to the employees on long term leave and their graduated return to work in order to ensure that they receive proper supervision and psychological protection.  Would UTE ask CRA to provide support to the concerned employees to ensure that they benefit from all available resources?

Other locals stated that they do not have a policy per se, but that they have individualized graduated return to work procedures and that they are revised as needed.  This works successfully.  They added that Duty to Accommodate also applies when needed and that it covers return to work.

President : Management has the illness and injury and return to work tools that is accessible to us.

PETERBOROUGH – 00008

12. Tax Preparation Software for Employees

The Local referred to the CRA National Release of January 10, 2011 and the follow-up Open Letter to members of the UTE from our National President.  What was UTE’s Policy prior to this national release rescinding such software access for CRA employees?

President: It has always been UTE’s position that our members should be filing a Paper Tax Return.  The software can be used to do the input of information.  Then it should be printed and mailed. 

ITPR PRESENTATION

Sister Linda Cassidy, Labour Relation Officer gave a presentation on ITPR and Using Experience as a Placement Criterion.  The presentation will be sent to all locals next week.


AFTERNOON SESSION

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

ITEMS PRESENTED BY THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS

PETERBOROUGH – 00008

13. Extreme Weather Conditions – Employer’s Policy

The Local asked if there was a CRA National Policy in consultation with UTE to cover this issue and asked the floor for their views on the Code 5400 leave under Article 54 of the Collective Agreement.

President: There is no National Policy.

Other locals commented that they have filed grievances on that issue.  Some have a Weather Policy, while others have Storm Committees.  Some locals are refused leave without pay if they don’t present themselves at work for a safety reason during a storm day.  In some regions, they have to demonstrate that they were unable to go to work by calling the RCMP or by getting the road conditions and weather reports, etc…

Brother Stein, RVP for Southwestern Ontario, stated that for persons reporting to a virtual manager it is the manager where the members are working that would make the decision on this issue, not the delegated manager where they report to in another city if it’s the case.

14. Overpayment Situations effective November 10, 2010

The Local referred to the CRA National Release of February 7, 2011 and UTE response to such based on concerns raised at previous UTE Presidents' Conferences.  The release indicates a last modified date of April 2009.  Is this then a new release with modifications?  Are the concerns raised by UTE membership being addressed? Was UTE consulted on this subject matter prior to this recent release?

President:  We had several discussions with CRA on this issue.  UTE’s position was that the amount of time it took to advise of the overpayment should be the amount of time allowed to members to pay it back.  Our Labour Relations Officers have not been talking to the employer for quite some time on this issue.

LAVAL – 10028

15. UTE Montréal Convention

Sister Caroline Robin, Chair of the Convention Host Committee gave an update on the Fun Night.  Among other things, Sister Robin indicated that there will be 400 seats available for the Fun Night.  She also commented that there will be rebates given out on some of the attractions offered by the City of Montreal.  They will be available when people check in to the hotel if they mention that they are with the UTE group.  Additional information was given with respect to the agenda and deadline and this information is posted on the UTE’s website.

President Bannon reiterated that as it has been the rule for last conventions, no children under 18 will be allowed at the Fun Night or the Banquet Dinner.

PETERBOROUGH – 00008

16.  Severance Pay & Treasury Board

The Local asked what was UTE’s stance on the subject and what political actions will be taken?

President: Referred to her opening remarks where she stated that UTE will not now or ever negotiate away the members’ severance pay unless the employer is prepared to compensate for such loss.  When Sister Bannon spoke with the Board Chair, she told her that if the issue of severance pay came to the table, it would mean two things.  First, that Treasury Board is controlling our bargaining and second, that they were looking for a fight. She added that if the government wants the members’ severance pay so bad, then they can legislate and take it because she will not stand up and say that she gave it away. On a last note, she stated that this issue could very well be one leading to a strike.

HEADQUARTER – 70000

17. Time Code / Cost Centre 6400

Local: Commented on the issue and asked if this should be brought to a National Level?

President: We have had local managers questioning whether or not wanted to authorize leave for UMI Trainers or sessions or grievance presentations etc.  The issue is not with UTE.  It’s the managers who should discuss this issue with their management if their budget is being used.  She added that she told CRA that if they deny the leave, UTE will deal with that fact and were never denied a leave.  It is not a national issue.  It’s a manager or team leader’s issue who doesn’t want to grant the leave.

Locals’ comments were mixed.  For some locals, this was not a problem, while for some others, they had difficulties getting the leave.

PRESENTATION ON DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE

Brother Erik Gagné, Labor Relation Officer gave a presentation on Duty of Fair Representation.  The presentation will be sent to all locals next week.

The meeting recessed at 1700 hours.


SATURDAY, MARCH 19, 2011
MORNING SESSION

The Conference was called to order at 9:00 a.m. with President Bannon in the Chair. 

Brother Terry Dupuis was absent with permission.

Brother McGoldrick was absent with permission and replaced by Brother Jeff Moffet.

The President was pleased to announce that Brothers David Webster and David Lanthier will be attending the Canadian Labour Congress School.  

NOTICE OF MOTION

Brother Quist served notice to amend the agenda.

M/S Colleen Wice/Esther Burt

That we add to the agenda Withdrawal of Commissionaires and Lack of Security.

MOTION CARRIED.

MONTREAL – 10008

18. Subscription to APSAR Membership

The Local could not present the motions as previously announced, but explained the issue saying that the local subscribes annually to the membership of APSAR and that they enrol for 1 year, each member that retires from the Montreal Local.  The Local would like UTE to promote the Association of the Public Service Alliance Retirees (APSAR), to encourage all its locals to join APSAR and undertake to affiliate all its locals to the APSAR each year. A resolution will be sent to Convention.

President:  UTE is a member of APSAR.  The information was sent to all locals on how to join APSAR. 

HALIFAX – 80003

19. Compensation Notice of Repayment

The Local commented that the employer is taking money from the members on their pay cheques without previously notifying them.  Is there something in place so the employer is to advise the employees before deducting any amount?

President:  They are supposed to contact the individual.  Please let your RVP know of any particular cases.

ST. CATHARINES – 00016

20. Call Letters

The Local commented that we should be more careful with these call letters and read them more carefully to be within the requirements and timeframe.  There are Indeterminate Level 6 Members (Temporary Lateral Moves) that were screened out because of their writing skills based on their written submission.  The employer is saying that they do not write well enough.  Is this happening in other locals?

A local commented that their manager consults with them to make sure that the call letters are done right.

President: Suggested that the issue be brought to the UMC. 

LAVAL – 10028

21. Language of Service vs Language of Work

The Local referred to the last two Presidents’ Conference where this topic was on the agenda.  This is a serious issue and yet only 2 complaints have been filed.  The Local would like the other bilingual locals to react to this problem and to advise if they encounter the same problem in their region. It will take a miracle from the Official Language Commissioner to be successful when only 2 complaints were filed.  The Local will be issuing a detailed letter to its members to inform them of the importance of the subject and of their rights on the issue.  The Local will be more than pleased to share this letter in both official languages with other locals for their members and a copy will be sent also to Brother Mulvihill in the National Office.

Other bilingual locals commented that they do not encounter problem with this topic in their region.

President: The UTE’s position is that our members should be able to work in the language of their choice.  She reiterated that she had spoken to the Commissioner of Official Languages a while ago at a NBoD meeting and she was told that what CRA is doing was right.

HEADQUARTERS - 70000

22. Pay Stub Suppression

The Local explained that members do not always have a computer or access to a printer.

One local will be preparing a petition to be sent to members to have the choice of a pay stub.

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE

Brother Chris Aylward, Chair of the UTE Health and Safety Committee, introduced the other members of the committee being Brothers Doug Gaetz, Norbert Wenzel and Pierre Mulvihill.  Brother Aylward commented that Phase I of the Multiple Environment Job Hazard Analysis was completed which comprised the reviewing of 87 jobs.  There are 7 categories that would be reviewed in the workplace: warehouse, mail rooms, print to mail, general office environment, call centers, tax center program areas and information technology.  Phase II will starts Monday, March 21st and is expected to end mid May. Thirteen (13) locations will be visited by the Job Hazard Analysis Specialists and 440 people will be interviewed and watched doing their jobs as they can’t identify the job hazard simply by looking at the job descriptions.  The Local Health and Safety Committees comprised of 2 employers and 2 employee representatives will be involved at the 13 sites and will also be interviewed.Phase III starts with the analysis of all hazards followed by the recommendations.  The report is expected to be ready by the end of January 2012.

With respect to defibrillators, Brother Aylward confirmed that they have been purchased and the contract has been awarded to Recue 7.  They will start delivering the 443 defibrillators next Monday. 

We have finally achieved to have the employer to allow the Local Chairs of the Health and Safety Committees to attend the National Day of Mourning Ceremonies on April 28th at their location. 

Brother Aylward introduced Brother Denis St-Jean, National Health and Safety Officer with the Programs Section of the PSAC who had given presentations at all UTE Regional Conferences and also at the National Conference in Ottawa.  Brother St-Jean was given a UTE Jacket as a token of appreciation for his experience and help.

Brother Aylward concluded saying that the National Office is keeping a distribution list of health and safety contacts for when information is sent out.  A link can be found on our website.Any updates should be sent to Brother Mulvihill.

M/S David Quist/Norbert Wenzel

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Union of Taxation Employees donate $10,000.00 to the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Efforts.

MOTION CARRIED.

ST. CATHARINES – 00016

23. Dragon Software

The Local asked the other locals to check if they have employees using this software and if they would be interested to join a network tree with Sister Debbie Willet who is currently using it.  Information should also be shared with Sister Linda Cassidy in order to describe issues they have encountered and how they solved them.  Sister Willet is already connected to a couple of other members that are using the software.  One of them was able to walk her through and solve an issue that she was trying to solve for months.  The Local concluded saying that the use of this software falls under the employer accommodation policy and yet they don’t provide any training on how to use it.

A few locals went to the microphones acknowledging that this was a good idea and that they would like to be informed as well on some of the issues encountered.

It was mentioned that Performance Reviews would be affected and members penalized if they can’t use the software properly because they don’t know how to use it.

President: She is requesting a meeting with the employer and Brother Campbell to have a demonstration of the software.

She asked the locals to let Sister Cassidy know if their members using the software agree or don’t agree to join the network tree.  For the ones that agree, they are to send Sister Cassidy their non CRA addresses for our use and CRA addresses for the network by the end of the month.

HEADQUARTERS - 70000

24. Distance Management

The Local reported that is was rather difficult to represent members when they report to a manager that is not on site.  Should they do the representation with the manager on site or with the manager who is in Hamilton?  There are also some managers in the Ottawa Bankruptcy Division that handled files in Hamilton.

Some locals explained that it has been feasible, but rather difficult, to represent members when they report to another region or to Headquarters.

President: Advised that if the manager who should hear the grievance representation is located somewhere else, then the first option is to contact the National Office.  The second option would be to do the representation by phone.

25. Unallocated List

Local mentioned that they have brought this topic before to this body as we need to make progress on the issue.  We all got our delegate numbers for Convention based on how many members we have.  Last summer we were given access to the employer’s disk and we were able to identify approximately 3,000 UTE members that were not assigned to a local.  We worked on a series of questions for the employer and we are hopeful that they will provide us with accurate information. We have received suggestions that we bring a resolution to the PSAC Regional Conventions that all dues collected on behalf of a member allocated to a local should in some way be applied through a regional budget through the component. 

President:  The employer’s disk shows sections that do not even exist anymore and Brother Campbell is having conversations with the employer on that aspect in order to get accurate information.  In general, we can establish an area where the member might be and then have Sister Bastien contact the local.

For convention purposes the suspended members count, but not the rands.


AFTERNOON SESSION

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

MONTREAL – 10008

26. Call Centres

The Local commented on some of the issues they encountered and invited the locals to take notes on what they were about to elaborate on.  They also wanted to know if other locals have the same problems.

We know that there are many determinate employees whose job are precarious and the employer is taking advantage of this situation to maintain a constant stress on employees.

There is a constant augmentation of the provincial programs offered by CRA, i.e. GST and Child Tax Benefit.  The employees have to keep themselves up to date.

The employer keeps statistics on the quality of how employees answer the phone calls.  Their obsession is to have better quality per employee.  The employer reduced the reading and training time that the employees had to keep up to date.  The 15 minutes that they had to do their time sheets and statistics has been cut to add it to the reading time.

The employer does not respect the Collective Agreement when they change the schedule within 7 days, they must pay overtime if the schedule is modify without proper notice.

The employer also offers the employees to work beyond 6h00 without respecting the C.A. on late hours.  We have an email to confirm this fact.

The last item, but the not least, is that the employer had provided a calendar for vacation with a yellow, green or red color for each day.  The employees were asked not to chose the days marked with a yellow or red color as they would be denied.

Many locals when to the microphones to give their comments on the above items.

President: asked that each Call Centre tries to deal with these issues locally.

The Call Centre Had Hoc Committee took note of these issues for their next meeting with the employer.

BARRIE – 00052

27. Withdrawal of Commissionaires and Lack of Security

The Local explained that their commissionaire was removed from his functions because of budget restraints.  Their solution will be to have at the front counter a button connected to the Police Station.  The Local would like to know if this happened in other offices across Canada.

Brother Aylward, Chair of the Health and Safety Committee, stated that the same situation happened in Lethbridge a few weeks ago.  He had spoken with the Director General of the Security Directorate in Headquarters and she advised that a risk threat assessment is done site by site and based on that, if a security presence is required, they will maintain some sort of security including a commissioner.  If the assessment demonstrates that they do not require a security presence, then it is left to each office to decide if they wish to employ a commissionaire.

Some locals commented that the security needs to be increased while some others are satisfied with the situation.  Depending of the office or the region, the situations are different.

President: Commented that the commissionaires are contracted either directly by CRA or by Public Works.  She asked the locals to deal with the issue through their H&S Committee and after if need be, through UMC.

PETERBOROUGH – 00008

M/S David Quist/Norbert Wenzel

BE IT RESOLED THAT the UTE donate $10,000.00 to the Japanese Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Efforts.

MOTION CARRIED UNAMINOUSLY.

Point of privilege – Shawn Bergeron

Brother Bergeron advised that Sister Christine McLennan’s father-in-law had passed away the night before due to illness.

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL WFA COMMITTEES

President Bannon invited the Chair, Brother Nick Stein, to introduce the other members of the Committee. He started saying that this conference would be his last one as he will be retiring.  He went on to introduce Pamela Abbott, Co-Chair, Sylvie Lahaie TC Local Representative, Hicham Youssfi, TSO Local Representative and Kent MacDonald, Labor Relation Officer.

Brother Stein started by thanking all the Locals, the RVPs and the Executive Council for their tremendous work in the field.  Not too long ago there were 1600 jobs on the affected list and it is now down to 9. Unfortunately, there will be more WFA situations affecting our members as the government keeps on cutting millions of dollars from their operating budget. The people that are the most vulnerable are the terms who can’t be protected with our Collective Agreement Job Security Clause. However, this doesn’t mean that we will not do our best to ensure that they are treated decently and fairly.  He cautioned the participants that the fight was not over and to be ready to fight again for inevitable job loss. He concluded saying that the Collective Agreements were being delivered and invited the members to look at the second last page to the new Appendix D where the parties agree to establish a joint committee comprised of equal representation to review and decide upon any potential changes to Work Force Adjustment Appendix ‘C’.

The committee answered a few questions from the participants.

President Bannon asked the locals to come to the microphones and give suggestions for future presentations.

Suggestion for future presentations

Resolution writing the year before convention
Presentation content to be given prior Presidents’ Conferences
Invite James Infantino back re. Disability Insurance and Sun Life problems
Return to work after long term disability
UTE and the Browder Labour Movement
What District Labour Council means
Information on Pension : André Cormier
Duty to Accommodate
Invite Sun Life to talk about the process
How to run an effective local – train new employees
Team Building
Provide tips for public speaking.  Invite someone from Toast Masters
Information on membership system language used
Call Centres specific issues
Mental health in the working place
Continuous employment, service & impact on re-set dates
Conflict Resolution
Compensation
Dealing with difficult people and difficult conversations
Best practices to help new members
Term employees and their entitlements/benefits
Critical thinking for Executive Officers
How to hold effective UMC’s
Orientation sessions
By-Laws & Regulations and Term of Reference for Committees
Job descriptions & how to prepare related grievances for classification
Information on the website for new local presidents
Each Presidents’ Conference as a large group to come up with a different theme, pitch and campaign and put it to the employer to show them that we are organized, prepared, harmonized and united etc…
Rules of Order
Tool for writing and amending By-Laws and Regulations
Plantgating of information
Workers Compensation Issues
Mediation Skills
Workshop for local treasurers

The 50/50 draw for the UTE Boobettes 60 kilometer walk to end cancer collected $930.00

Sister Cassidy thanked everyone for their generosity and support and announced the winner of $465.00 being Brother Robert Hume from the Pacific Region who donated back the money for the cause.

President Bannon announced that the Executive Council will reconvene at 4h30.

CLOSING REMARKS

President Brannon’s closing remarks were short. She invited the participants that would be attending the Regional PSAC Conventions to make UTE proud as they made her very proud over the years.  She wished them a safe trip home.  The meeting adjourned at 16h00 with the song ‘Solidarity Forever’.