RECORD OF DISCUSSION
March 17, 2014
LOCATION: 233 Gilmour Street, Suite 800, Ottawa
Claude P. Tremblay
1. Combined Affected Employee List / Preferred Status Report
The Union was pleased that the number of employees on the combined affected employee list / preferred status report was decreasing. They asked about timing delays in the production of the report. As example, they noted that one of the employees showing on the list had actually retired in February.
Management responded that the regions had to have an employee’s paperwork in hand in order to update the list. For that reason, there could be delays in updating the information. That said, they would look into the specific example that the Union had raised.
The Union also stated that they felt strongly that employees on sick leave should not be on the WFA list for an extended period of time. They would prefer that individuals on sick leave be given a Reasonable Job Offer (RJO) and following that, the illness aspect of the situation could be handled as needed.
Management noted that in some cases there was no RJO available to be offered to an employee. They added that in the majority of cases, the employees themselves had requested not to be referred. These employees were also being dealt with through the Injury and Illness process at the same time.
2. Process for Identifying an RJO
The Union asked about the factors taken into account when deciding on a RJO for an employee. Specifically, they wanted to know whether factors such as an employee’s education, career path, accommodations, or best fit were taken into consideration when determining which RJO to offer an employee.
Management responded that from a national perspective, there was no established practice in place; discussions were focused on the number of affected employees, the groups and levels, and whether employees could be absorbed.
When an employee was declared affected, they were provided with a form to complete that identified their preferences for job opportunities. Management took an employee’s preferences into consideration when possible and based on the circumstances. This type of discussion was more likely to take place at the local or regional level.
3. RJOs with or without Retraining
The Union stressed the importance of training for any employee in a new position; this included those employees who had moved to a new job as a result of a RJO. They had heard of cases where employees had not been provided with the necessary training and had had difficulties performing their new work duties as a result. Some employees were being told that they would need to be put on an action plan.
Management agreed that any time an employee moved to a new job, the need for training should be discussed. In fact, many jobs had learning paths that were used to ensure employees received the necessary training.
As for re-training, the WFA team created a re-training guide that was shared with the WFA coordinators and the resourcing teams as the first point of contact for managers.
4. Update on Last Budget Announcement and Impact on Jobs
The Union asked if Management was able to provide an update on the 2014 Budget announcement and any potential impacts.
Management responded that the Government had announced a freeze on the operating budgets and the Agency was working to develop strategies to manage the situation. No additional information was available at the time.
The Union asked whether there were additional cuts planned for 2015. This question stemmed from a news article that had been published a few months ago stating that additional cuts were planned.
Management responded that there was no information available at the time.
The Union raised the issue of veterans receiving priority for job placements and asked if there would be any impact on Agency employees who were on the preferred status list.
Management responded that CRA had created a working group to study the impact of this announcement on Agency employees with preferred status.
Both parties expressed their appreciation for the positive discussions and looked forward to the next meeting.
Management asked if the Union wished to receive the next combined affected employee list / preferred status report that was due to be released in two weeks’ time.
The Union responded that it was not necessary; they would wait for the June report.
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