Minutes of the Presidents' Conference

March 8 - 10, 2002

Friday, March 8,  2002
Morning Session

CALL TO ORDER  

The meeting was called to order at 09:00 hours.  Betty Bannon, President of the Union of Taxation Employees presided.  All members of the Executive Council were in attendance.

Sister Bannon introduced members of the Executive Council, the Labour Relations Officers, her Executive and Administrative Assistants and the remaining office staff.  She also welcomed and had all Local Presidents’ introduce themselves.  

OPENING REMARKS  

Sister Bannon, the President, described the procedures to be followed during ratification votes and further explained that the procedures were the same as in a strike vote.  Members must attend a meeting and listen to a guest speaker before being allowed to vote.  She added that for UTE the votes should never be conducted on employer premises nor during employer time.  However, there had been discussions with the PSAC and after several e-mails from the locals, it would be left up to the locals to determine if special circumstances existed which would warrant the use of the employer’s time.  For CEUDA the Employer premises may only be used under special circumstances and only following approval from the Regional Office of the PSAC.  

She talked about the workshop on UTE/PSAC that will take place on Saturday and will be facilitated by the Executive Council.  

She explained that Items that should be discussed at the Presidents’ Conferences are subjects that members want input or feedback from other Local Presidents such as:  What is our stand on ADR, discussion on policy changes or a direction that they would like the Executive Council to move to or stay away from etc.  With respect to resolutions/motions she said that they should be directed to the RVPs sitting on the Executive Council who would then present the issue to be discussed and voted on. If there was an emergency or urgent matter after the Executive Council then the avenue to follow would be to bring the resolution to this body.

Sister Bannon mentioned that it appeared not all Locals were using their web based e-mail yet.  She emphasized the importance of e-mail communication and asked those that have not used it yet to do so and to report any problems to the National Office.  She added that she would check the status of the usage again in the following weeks.

 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL BUSINESS

 The Chairperson reported briefly on the business conducted by the Executive Council earlier during the week.  

Items that were dealt with by Council:  

  • CEUDA  
    • Discussions on a merger took place about one year ago with CEUDA to ask them to do more work on the proposal and to come back to us with a concrete plan.  
    • To date we have not received anything from CEUDA.  They have a Board meeting in April and we assume that after that they will contact us.
  • Posting Issues  
    • Sister Bannon met with Jacques Cloutier, Director of Staff Relations and Compensation Directorate and they agreed that it would be more appropriate to the joint committee composed of members of CCRA and the bargaining agent to look at both the electronic and hard copy posting issue.  
    • According to the CCRA the committee should be able to be set up prior to the 90-day time frame from the date of signing.  
  • Negotiations  
    • Thanks were extended to the negotiating team for the work they did, the time they gave up and for the Collective Agreement they obtained.  
    • The Employer team kept going back to Rob Wright, Jolicoeur or Tremblay on every issue.  After ratification, Sister Bannon will go back to Wright and tell him we want someone who has the authority to take decisions at the table.  
    • She announced that during the afternoon session, Sister Theresa Johnson, PSAC Staff Officer and Brother David Orfald, PSAC Research Officer, will be in to meet with all the participants.  
  • By-Laws changes to Convention  
    • As permanent assignment the 1st Vice-President will be responsible for the finance portfolio and the 2nd Vice-President for the collective bargaining;  
    • UTE may withhold any or all monthly dues of particular Locals as a penalty for noncompliance with a request from UTE;  
    • Equal Opportunities Conferences being enshrined in the By-laws  
    • Locals to submit their financial statements/reports for review to the Vice-President responsible for Finance.  
    • Clarification on leave without pay or vacation/compressed days while on authorized union business  
  • Others  
    • Registration fee for the 2002 Triennial Convention was set at $100.00, the per diem at $75.00 per day (Tuesday to Sunday).  
    • A resolution to convention on leaving the PSAC was adopted.  
    • This concluded the Council items.  

The Chair gave additional information on the following issues:  

  • Resolutions for convention have to be in by noon Sunday.  
  • Hotel Reservation Forms must be at the National Office by April 30th.  
  • Labels will be provided to candidates running for office at Convention (in May).  
  • Suggestions from locals were requested for the Convention Banner.  
  • Observers and Alternates for Convention must be registered.  

HOURS OF SESSION  

M/S/C             L. Meston/D. Gaetz 

That the hours of session be as follows:  

Friday:            0900 to 1145; 1315 to 1700;
Saturday:        0900 to 1145; 1315 to 1700;
Sunday:          0900 to 11:45.  

MOTION CARRIED.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA  

M/S/C             B. Stewart/D. Gee 

That the agenda be adopted as circulated with the following additions from the delegates.  

  1. Definition of a day (Calgary)
  2. New Job Description in Revenue Collections (Calgary)
  3. Effect of CAS changes on Finance and Administration Staff (Calgary)
  4. Per Diems (Saint John)
  5. ADR Advisor Assignment (Peterborough)
  6. Federal Training Funds (Sydney)
  7. Centralized regional and national inventories (Sydney)
  8. UTE Donations (Sydney)
  9. Lawsuits against our members in collections (Rouyn-Noranda)
  10. Personal Leave (Calgary)  

MOTION CARRIED.  

The Chair addressed the issue on Personal Leave saying that the employer has agreed to move this year’s personal day into next year as long it is requested before March 31st, 2003.   

Point of privilege – MacDonald, RVP  

A moment of silence in memory of Sister Nicole Giroux’s son who died January 31st, at the age of sixteen after a long battle with cancer.  Sister Giroux was an active member of the Sudbury Local and she has been off for the last two years to take care of her son.  

ITEMS SUBMITTED BY THE PRESIDENTS  

1.         Convention Host Committee Update  

Sister Meston introduced Sister Barb Pawlovich and Sister Mary Kearley  of the Convention Host Committee. Sister Meston provided information on a variety of things to do and places to visit while in London and provided the participants with many different brochures and pamphlets.  Sister Meston talked about the activities for the week in July and in reference to the Fun Night she stated that  the National Office will inform the locals by e-mail and the web site (probably late April) on how we will proceed with the sale of tickets.

Discussions took place on whether or not UTE is in favor of using the employer time to vote.  Members shared their ideas, experience and gave their opinion.  The participants agreed that we should do what is in the best interest for our members.

Guest Speaker  

Brother Chris Aylward introduced Hassan Yussuff, CLC Executive Vice-President and CLC Officer responsible for Health, Safety and Environmental Protection.  Brother Yussuff then spoke about the CLC Prevent Cancer Campaign.  He gave the participants some basic tools that could be used to take action to prevent cancer in our daily lives, our workplace and our community. He answered questions from the delegates.  

The Chair, Sister Bannon took some time to talk about the MG Group saying that some MGs did not attend their AGM because they felt they were treated differently.  When talking about them, members refer to them as “them”, “their” raise, etc.  UTE’s position is that all employees are better served with one Bargaining Unit.   They are members of this Union.  The employer has divided our union but there is only one Bargaining Unit.   She said that we will have to work very hard to reunite our union.  We need a commitment to bring everybody back to the unit.  Every member deserves the same respect and same service.  We need a collective will to make this unit a single unit again.  

To clarify the situation the Chair was asked to put in writing everything that was said here about the MG Group and to put it on our web site.  Sister Bannon replied that she would look into this.

ITEMS SUBMITTED BY THE PRESIDENTS

2.         Email Addresses – Status (London)

Local:               Could email addresses of all Local Presidents and RVPs be placed in our phone book? Where are we with getting the CCRA email addresses?  

Chair:                Yes it is feasible to put the e-mail addresses in our phone book.  

All Locals were requested to provide the National Office with the CCRA e-mail addresses of all their members but we did not get much cooperation from the locals.  We would not conduct a make work project on this issue if the locals were not in favour of the project.             

One local commented that it has too many members in its local for this to be feasible and other locals said they did not have the time to do this.  

Chair:                Sister Bannon again asked that locals mail in their e-mail address book.

 3.        Info/Education/Training Sessions – Ratification Votes (London)  

This item was withdrawn by the local 

4.         Joint Committees on C.A. MOU’s – 90 days (London)

  1. Electronic Bulletin Board
  2. Sick Leave
  3. Union Leave
  4. Recourse on NJC
  5. Study - Terms  

Local:              Who will be on the Committees and process will be used to select the individuals?  

Chair:               A resolution about assignment to the Committees will be presented to Executive Council on Sunday.  

5.         Quotas on Performance Agreement (Sherbrooke)  

Local:                          1) Are you aware that this is happening in our region?

                                    2) Would UTE take some action?  

Chair:                Yes we are aware of the situation.  There was discussion at Council on that issue. The Staffing Committee is looking into it.  We will bring this to the next NUMC in June and the media could also be approached if the situation persists.                                   

6.         Accredited Officers (Sherbrooke)

Local:              Evaluations are done by PE – Accredited Officers.

Is the Staffing Committee aware of this? What can be done to stop that?  

Staffing advisor:        Brother O’Brien: We are aware of this.  CCRA Headquarters was not aware of this happening in Quebec.  This is a regional management decision.  It is not a national initiative.   The position of UTE is that we are maintaining that competency should not be assessed at this point in time because it takes the development of the competency profile and the development of standardized tests to assess those profiles.  None of those two developments have been done yet.  Unfortunately, the regional managers in Quebec are too far ahead.  They are not accredited to assess competencies and we will challenge their credentials if needed.

Chair:                           Yes we could intervene on the matter through the Staffing Committee.  

Point of Privilege – Brother Aylward  

Brother Aylward welcomed Sister Theresa Johnson and Brother David Orfald from the negotiating team.  All participants stood up and warmly applauded the two members for the difference they made during the last bargaining round. They were thanked, congratulated and as a token of our appreciation, were each presented with UTE jackets.  

Brother Lalancette, Chairperson of the Bargaining Committee and Chairperson of the Negotiating Team took the opportunity to add that the first congratulations should be for the membership.  He asked the people in the room to get up and shake hands with each other.  

Brother MacDonald, member of the Negotiating Team, thanked both Sister Johnson and Brother Orfald for their exceptional commitment and expressed our gratitude to Brother Lalancette for having provided tireless hours for us the membership.  

Sister Barb Stewart of the Ottawa TSO thanked the entire team on behalf of the terms and indeterminate members.

 The meeting recessed at 1700 hours.


Saturday, March 9, 2002
Morning Session  

The meeting was called to order at 09:00 hours with President Bannon in the chair.  

PRESENTATION  

Brother Shane O’Brien conducted a presentation on Developing Effective Membership Activism.   

Afternoon Session

 The meeting was called to order at 1:15 p.m. with President Bannon in the chair. 

WORKSHOPS  

Workshops were conducted on the Pros and Cons of leaving the PSAC, the Pros and Cons of staying with the PSAC, as well as, what do locals foresee as a different relationship with the PSAC if we stay.  Each workshop reported back and a summary will be provided to locals at a later date.  

The meeting recessed at 17:00 hours.


Sunday, March 10th , 2002
Morning Session  

The meeting was called to order at 09:00 hours with President Bannon in the chair.  

ITEMS SUBMITTED BY THE PRESIDENTS  

7.         PSAC National Health & Safety Conference (Peterborough)  

The local commented that we should be pro-active and write to the PSAC to express our concern on the funding status of PSAC Conferences.  A copy should be sent to all other Component Presidents should a resolution be presented to the next PSAC Convention.  

Chair:                  We could do that through the Health and Safety Committee. 

Local:                  How many UTE delegates were fully funded by the PSAC?  

Chair:                   2 that we know of.                                   

There were 16 seats funded by UTE under the Non UTE Events Regulation plus the Chair of the UTE OSH Committee and Brother Norbert Wenzel, member of the committee.  

RECOGNITION  

Brother Terry Dupuis, Chairperson of the Honours and Awards Committee presented Sister Robyn Benson, former RVP, with a 15-year pin for her continuous and commendable services for the Union of Taxation Employees.  

8.         Union Leave (Peterborough)  

Local:               Where does ADR fit in if AUMI is in place?  

Cassidy:         AUMI is in place in the Atlantic and it’s working well.  Sister Cassidy explained that management was told that the fact we have an initiative going in one direction in one area, and in other directions elsewhere, causes confusion.   Individuals running local programs are still provided with information from the office of Dispute Management.  We have to remind them that ADR ceases to exist in the Atlantic region.  A communiqué is being prepared for employees; union and management of the Atlantic region, explaining how there still are two initiatives currently going on but hoping to eventually only have one.

9.         AS-1 Team Leaders (Admin. Services) (Peterborough)  

The submitting local withdrew the item.  

10.       UTE Orientation Kits for New Members (London)  

Local:                          Do we have a kit for new members?  

Chair:                          No but it is doable.  It will be on our “to do” list.  

One local presented what they had prepared for their local.  

11.       UTE Website (London)  

Local:                For Council minutes, bulletins, etc., could we have more than two years worth of information on the web?  It will be important to have the 3 years in between convention period.  

Chair:                We have just finished removing a lot of 1999 information.  We will check to see how big a job it would be to put it back on.  For the future we can maintain three years without a problem.  

12.       Staffing (London)  

Local:                          Can we have an update on the PIPSC Court Challenge?  

Chair:                          There was to be a hearing last October.  I have not heard anything further.  I will follow up on this issue.  

Local:                          Can a bulletin be prepared on the PM3 ROCCOs?  

Chair:                          Yes and it has been noted.

 RECOGNITION  

Brother Terry Dupuis, Chairperson of the Honours and Awards Committee presented Brother Tony Carlson, former President of the Victoria Local, with the Godfroy Côté Award.  

Brother Carlson was involved in the Local Executive for 16 years starting in 1986.  He held the position of Shop Steward, Treasurer, Vice-President and finally President for 11 years.  We wish him well.

13.       Duty to accommodate (Peterborough)

The submitting local withdrew the item.

p/a       D. Quist/I. Daykin  

            That we move up our last item.  

MOTION CARRIED.

14.       MG Bonus Pay (Peterborough)  

Local:                Have the Performance Guidelines for the MG Group been established and will the union be consulted on the issue?  

Chair:              No they have not been established and yes they will be done in consultation.  We have received a letter from the CCRA asking to set up the committee.

 Local:              Commented that UTE should send out directions through a letter and perhaps the PSAC could get involved in that as well because it’s the first time we have opened the door to recognize performance pay.

15.       Life Insurance while on UTE’s duties (Peterborough)

            Local:              Could you outline the policy for us?  

Chair:                There have been numerous bulletins on the issue including a copy of the policy.  I can’t outline the details but we will reissue the old bulletin.

16.       Code of Ethics & Conduct – Appendix B (Peterborough)

Local:                We knew this was coming from the employer and we had the training.  Why was there no direction from the National Office on how members should respond?  

Chair:                The National Office was given an opportunity to comment on the “Draft” quite some time ago and we did forward our comments to the employer.  We were not aware when the document was being issued in the field until we started to get calls from the locals.  Advice was given to the locals in question but I agree that we could have sent out a bulletin with the options open to the members regarding signing the document.  We have now provided and in-house legal opinion on the document and signing.  It is in your package.  

17.       The Treatment of Members’ Claims by Sun Life (London)  

The submitting local withdrew the item.  

18.       Definition of a Day (Calgary)  

            Local:              Could you give the definition?  

Lalancette:     Wherever leave is dealt with in the collective agreement, if a day is not defined as 7.50 hours, leave should be granted according to the variable shift / compressed schedule arrangements of the person requesting the leave (sections 43, 45, 53, 54.02 and 54.03).  

You should be aware, however, that the employer is contesting this decision, and also tried to negotiate a new clause that your negotiating team rejected, despite the employer’s continued insistence. The employer even let it be understood that this could affect variable shift schedule arrangements. We believe that threats are futile as we know that CCRA employees like these schedules and that the employer should recognize this.

MacDonald:   Brother MacDonald, who is a member of the Bargaining Committee, commented that vacation and sick leave are not affected by the definition of a day clause.  It’s different for family related leave where you are entitled to 6 days.  

19.       New Job Description in Revenue Collections (Calgary)  

The submitting local withdrew the item.

20.       Effect of CAS changes on Finance and Administration Staff (Calgary)  

Local:                 We have been told by the employer that we will be starting to use CAS to buy on line and to process travel claims and that they will not need all the staff they presently have.  We will be running into a WFA situation.  

Stein:                Chair of WFA said that to be expedient, members should complete and forward the survey questionnaire on the issue, which is contained in their conference kit.  

21.       Per Diems (Saint John) 

The submitting local withdrew the item as a resolution will be sent to  Convention.

22.       Federal Training Funds (Sydney)  

Local:               Did the CCRA put aside money for members to get the bilingual status training?

Chair:              No.  They have put aside $300,000 to have the committee look at employment of terms.  The CCRA is not involved in the Training  MOU that was negotiated with the Treasury Board Tables.  

23.       Centralized Regional and National Inventories (Sydney)  

Local:              We are looking for direction on that issue.  

Chair:               National Inventory Control will be beneficial for small locals.  It is not a bad thing.  The pilot will be introduced at a local level instead of a national level.  We will contact Guy Proulx to see where they are with that issue.  Originally everything was to be done at a National level but I am now hearing from you that it has switched to a Regional/Local level.  I will follow up with the CCRA for an update.  

24.       UTE Donation (Sydney)  

Local:               Thanked the National Office for the donation made for the basketball tournament and the banner that Brother Lefebvre sent over.

25.       Lawsuits against our Members in Collections (Rouyn-Noranda)  

Local:              What can we do to help our members at the National Level?

We are asking that modification be done to the policy and better yet that the legislation be updated to ensure that our Collection Officers have certain immunity.  Local Management will not provide letters to our members.  

Chair:                We will contact the national level re. Identification of public servants and letters will be given to our members who find themselves in lawsuits where they have only been doing the work they are requested to do to the best of their ability. Members are not subject to a lawsuit if they are doing their job and acting in good faith.   

We will be talking to the employer regarding a plan that the CCRA should have concerning Detax people.  

26.       Personal Leave (Calgary)  

The submitting local withdrew the item.

CLOSING REMARKS  

Sister Bannon reminded the participants that we have to keep our members informed on what is happening with the CCRA issues and even though we have a collective agreement we should be vigilant and keep on doing the good work.  She wished everyone a safe trip to their home.  

The meeting recessed at 11:45 hours.