Health and Safety Committee

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE CANADA CUSTOMS AND REVENUE AGENCY NATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY COMMITTEE

INTRODUCTION

Protecting the health and safety of Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA) employees is of the utmost importance to both Agency management and the unions representing Agency employees. In line with the requirements of the Canada Labour Code (CLC), Part II, management and unions have agreed to the establishment of a National Health and Safety Policy Committee, which will be a forum for joint labour-management consultation regarding national occupational health and safety (OHS) issues within CCRA.

AUTHORITY

This committee is established under the authority of the Canada Labour Code, Part II (CLC, Part II).

SCOPE

The National Health and Safety Policy Committee’s primary focus will be the broader, strategic and emerging OHS-related issues and, through its reviews, to provide corporate leadership and strategic direction to senior management and Work Place Committees. It will also address unresolved issues, referred to it from Work Place Committees.

MANDATE

The objective of establishing a National Health and Safety Policy Committee is to create a forum to:

  • resolve Agency OHS issues;
  • allow management and the unions to participate in the process of developing new policies, or the updating of existing ones;
  • discuss the strategic direction and foster consultation and co-ordination among local work place committees;
  • monitor overall progress and provide guidance to those working on solutions and actions required to address OHS issues; and,
  • involve technical experts/advisors as required from time to time to take part in inquiries and investigations undertaken by the Policy Committee, pertaining to occupational health and safety matters.

FUNCTIONS

The National Health and Safety Policy Committee shall:

  • participate in the process of the development of national health and safety policies and programs;
  • consider and expeditiously dispose of matters concerning health and safety referred by a Work Place Committee, a health and safety representative, or members of the Policy Committee. This may include scheduling of Ad-Hoc meetings, or the establishment of working groups, of some or all participants to address specific issues. These Ad-Hoc meetings or working groups may also include participants who are not members of the Policy Committee, but who are subject-matter experts. The establishment, composition and scheduling of ad-hoc meetings and working groups shall be by mutual agreement of the Policy Committee co-chairs who will also agree on the most efficient manner in which such meetings shall be held.
  • participate in the development and monitoring of a program for the prevention of hazards in the work place, which also provides for the education of employees in health and safety matters;
  • participate, to the extent that it considers necessary, in inquiries, investigations, studies, and inspections pertaining to occupational health and safety;
  • participate in the development and monitoring of a program for the provision of personal protective equipment, clothing, devices or materials;
  • cooperate with health and safety officers;
  • monitor data on work accidents, injuries and health hazards;
  • participate in the planning of the implementation and in the implementation of changes that may affect occupational health and safety, including work processes and procedures;
  • have full access to all government and employer reports, studies and tests relating to the health and safety of the employees in the work place, or to the parts of those reports, studies and tests that relate to the health and safety of employees, but shall not have access to the medical records of any person except with the person’s consent; and,
  • keep accurate records of all matters that come before it, as well as minutes of its meetings.

The National Health and Safety Policy Committee may request from an employer any information that the committee considers necessary to identify existing or potential hazards with respect to materials, processes, equipment or activities in any of the employer’s work places.

COMPOSITION OF COMMITTEE

The committee shall be composed of the following members:

  • Management Representatives
    • Three Human Resources Branch Representatives
    • Two Finance and Administration Branch Representatives
    • One Customs Branch Representative
  • Employee Representatives
    • A total of Six Employee Representatives, including members from the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, and the Social Science Employees Association.
  • Observers
    • A maximum of six observers (three management and three union).

ALTERNATES

Each committee member may select an alternate member to serve as his or her replacement when he or she is unable to perform his or her functions.

ADDITIONAL PARTICIPANTS

Additional persons may be invited as technical or special advisors, or subject matter experts, provided the co-chairs of the committee agree in advance. Guests should speak only on the agenda items for which they are invited, and shall not participate in unrelated discussions on other agenda items.

CO-CHAIRS

  • Members representing the employees will nominate one of their committee members as the employee representative co-chair.
  • A representative from Human Resources will act as the management co-chair.
  • Each co-chair will alternate the chairing of the meeting.
  • The co-chairs will identify an alternate to act on their behalf when they are not available.
  • The co-chairs shall jointly designate members of the committee to perform the functions of the committee, as specified in section 135.1(8) of the CLC, Part II.

TERM OF OFFICE

Members may be appointed for a term of up to two years, but they may serve for more than one term. A member who resigns, or ceases to be a member for any other reason, will be replaced within 30 days of the next regular meeting.

MEETINGS

Notification

Notices of upcoming meetings will be sent to all members at least seven weeks prior to the meeting date. The co-chairs will be responsible for submitting agenda items at least five weeks in advance of the meeting.

Frequency

The Policy Committee will meet at least four times a year, during normal working hours, on dates to be decided by the parties. The Committee may meet more often when matters of significant importance are raised.

Agenda

  • The agenda will be prepared by the Labour Relations Division, based on input from the co-chairs of the committee.
  • Topics will be submitted to the co-chairs at least five weeks prior to the meeting.
  • The final agenda will be provided to members two weeks prior to the meeting.
  • Each item placed on the agenda should be researched in advance to allow for meaningful discussion, and should be accompanied by supporting documentation.
  • Urgent items may be added at any time. However, full discussion may not be possible at the meeting, due to insufficient advance notice and preparation time.
  • Normally, only subjects that have a national impact, or subjects that could not be resolved by the local Work Place Committee or through the process outlined in the “Unresolved Local Issues” section (below), should be tabled by the co-chairs for discussion at the Policy Committee.

Unresolved Local Issues

Any issues that can not be resolved by the Work Place Committee or Health and Safety Representative, should be forwarded to the appropriate Union Representative of the National Policy Committee, and the Director, Labour Relations Division (Staff Relations and Compensation Directorate), for resolution. All supporting documentation must be forwarded to these two parties, including the minutes of any lower level meetings. If the issue cannot be resolved at this level it will be referred to the co-chairs of the Policy Committee, for review by that committee.

Language

Meetings will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Official Languages Act.

Minutes

  • Management will provide secretarial services.
  • Draft minutes will be prepared by management and normally circulated within forty five days, for review and comments.
  • Both co-chairs will sign the final document.
  • Management will ensure that each committee member receives a copy of the signed minutes.
  • Minutes will be circulated to committee members in hard copy and electronic format.

Copies of the minutes will also be distributed to the regional and local level “for posting”, with a goal of getting the minutes out to everyone who should receive them.

LEAVE FOR COMMITTEE MEETINGS

Employees are entitled to take the time required, during their regular working hours,

  1. to attend meetings or to perform any of their other functions; and,
  2. for the purposes of preparation and travel, as authorized by both chairpersons of the committee.

The meetings or functions referred to in this section would include all meetings or functions assigned jointly by the co-chairs, including participation at, and preparation and travel time for, ad-hoc meetings or working groups.

PAYMENT OF WAGES

Employees shall be compensated by the employer for the committee functions, whether performed during or outside the member’s regular working hours, at the member’s regular rate of pay, or premium rate of pay, as specified in the collective agreement.

TRAVEL

Management will not be responsible for the travel costs or accommodation of employee representatives.

AMENDMENTS

These Terms of Reference may be amended by consensus of the committee members.

Original signed by
D.G.J. Tucker
Management Co-chair
National Health and Safety Policy Committee
November 28, 2001

Original signed by
Betty Bannon
Union Co-chair
National Health and Safety Policy Committee
November 19, 2001