Staffing Committee

Minutes of the Staffing Committee Meeting

May 6-8, 2013

In attendance:  Shane O’Brien          Chris Di Liberatore
                         Madonna Gardiner     Bob Campbell

Regrets:            Sabri Khayat             Adam Jackson

1. Working Methods of the Committee

This is a standing item on the agenda to ensure that we remain cognizant of how we effectively work together. The Committee discussed the need for full and timely sharing of information, as well as the need for timely feedback. Even if Committee members have no comments, they should respond advising so. During the absence of the Chairperson, Brother O’Brien will ask the CRA to ensure that all information is sent to him, with copies to the National President and Brother Khayat.

2. Work Descriptions

The Presidents’ representatives to the Committee continue to review all work descriptions upon receipt from the CRA, in addition to those Job Competency Profiles sent to us for review.

3. Specified Period Employees

Although this item remains as a standing item on our agenda and the Committee continues to meet as required with CRA on matters related to specified period employees, there is nothing to report at this time.

4. Performance Management Working Group

The Working Group continues to meet by teleconference on every first Tuesday of every second month, but is nearing the end of its mandate. Brother O’Brien is now the UTE’s representative on this Working Group. The Working Group is currently deliberating upon the necessity of the continuation of this group as it feels that it is nearing the end of its mandate.

The revised policy is nearing completion and training is scheduled for the near future. UTE will ask for an opportunity for input on the finalized product.

5. Performance Management Pilots (formerly known as Performance  Management Pilot Pacific)

To date, the employer has still not provided the Committee with a copy of the report on the above noted Policy. Brother O’Brien will follow up with the employer on this matter.

6. TSDMB Work Assessment Checklists (WAC) 

The Committee reviewed the Work Assessment Checklist for the SP04 Insolvency positions in August 2012 and noted no significant concerns. Our response was forwarded to the CRA. No further action is required at this time and this item will be removed from our agenda.

7. Greeting Policy Pilot

The following email was shared by the Chairperson of the Staffing Committee on April 23rd, 2013 with the Executive Council and the Staffing Committee.

Please see below the recent update we have received from the CRA, about the Greeting Policy for Business Enquiries Agents:

Recently, the Taxpayer Services Directorate implemented a revised Greeting Policy for its Business Enquiries (BE) lines. This revised greeting policy includes a requirement for all BE agents to provide their unique Agent ID reference number at the beginning of each call. 

The Taxpayer Services Directorate would like to expand this greeting policy to its other telephone lines to ensure consistency within its programs. A pilot will take place on the Individual Income Tax Enquiries, benefits, and e-services helpdesk lines to analyze the impact of this expansion. The purpose of the pilot is to gather information on caller reaction and impacts on call length.  The pilot will take place from May 6th to October 31st, 2013.

Currently, agents provide their Agent ID number when asked to provide their surname to callers. During the pilot, we will instruct the agents to include both the first name and Agent ID number at the beginning of each call.

The telephone greeting during this pilot period will consist of the following:

  • A salutation such as “Good morning or Good afternoon” or “Hello
  • Identify the line of business
  • The agent’s first name and identifier using the words “and my agent reference number is”
  • An offer of assistance

Example: Hello, Individual Enquiries. My name is Jane and my agent reference number is 12345 “O” “N” “T”, how may I help you?

We will also be asking a select number of agents nationally, to record any feedback and reaction from callers, positive and negative, so that we can consider all impacts in the recommendations coming out of the pilot period.

We will update the Individual Services Technical Help Guide and arrange to brief agents on the pilot between now and May 6th.

****************************** VERSION FRANCAISE  ****************************

Veuillez trouver ci-dessous la récente mise à jour que nous avons reçue de l’ARC, concernant la Formule d’accueil pour les agents des demandes de renseignements des entreprises

Récemment, la Direction des services aux contribuables a mis en œuvre une politique révisée relativement à la formule d’accueil pour les agents des demandes de renseignements des entreprises (DRE). Cette formule d’accueil révisée prévoit l’obligation pour tous les agents des demandes de renseignements des entreprises de fournir leur numéro de référence d’identification d’agent unique au début de chaque appel.

Nous envisageons introduire cette formule d’accueil révisée auprès des agents des autres lignes téléphoniques afin d’assurer une cohérence au sein des différents programmes.
Les agents des Demandes de renseignements aux particuliers, des Programmes de prestations, et des Bureaux d’aide des services électroniques participeront à un projet pilote afin d’analyser les impacts de cette formule d’accueil révisée.
L’objectif de ce projet pilote est de recueillir des informations sur la réaction des appelants et d’observer les impacts sur la durée des appels.
Le projet pilote aura lieu du 6 mai au 31 octobre 2013.

À l’heure actuelle, les agents donnent leur numéro d’identification d’agent lorsque les appelants leur demandent de mentionner leur nom de famille.  Pendant le projet pilote, les agents devront mentionner à la fois leur prénom et leur numéro d’identification d’agent au début de chaque appel.

L’accueil téléphonique pendant le projet pilote sera composé de :
• Une formule de politesse telle que « Bonjour » ou « Bonsoir ».
• L’identification du secteur d’activité.
• Le prénom de l’agent, puis son identificateur en formulant « et mon numéro
d’identification d’agent est ».
•Une offre d’aide.

Exemples :
Bonjour, Renseignements aux particuliers. Mon nom est Jeanne, et mon numéro d’identification d’agent est 12345 « O » « N » « T ». Comment puis-je vous aider?

Nous allons également demander à un certain nombre d’agents à travers le pays de prendre en note toutes les rétroactions de l’appelant, positives ou négatives, afin de pouvoir tenir compte de l’ensemble des répercussions sur les  recommandations mises en place au cours de cette période de projet-pilote.

Nous allons également mettre à jour le Guide de soutien technique des services aux particuliers et des séances d’informations sur le projet-pilote seront données aux agents d’ici le 6 mai.

Sabri Khayat
Vice président régional
S.E.I. - A.F.P.C
UTE Logo
(514) 283-1737  Bureau
(514) 777-6341  Cellulaire
(514) 626-6261  Télécopieur
khayats@ute-sei.org

No further action is required at this time and this item will be removed from our agenda.

8. Employer Compliance Audit Renewal

On May 8, 2013, the management representatives of Taxpayer Services Debt Management Branch (TSDMB) provided an update to the Committee. Specific details will be reported under the item Meeting with TSDMB Representatives.

9. Atlantic Pilot on 519 Workload

The Committee has now received from the employer a copy of the final report concerning this Pilot. A copy of this report will be sent to Executive Council and Locals. No further action is required at this time and thus, this item will be removed from our agenda.

10. CRA Directive on Recourse (Annex L)

A draft copy of the Directive was sent by the employer to the Committee for consultation. We have offered our comments and a meeting is scheduled with the employer for May 13th, 2013 in order to further advance our position. Both the Staffing Committee and the UTE National Office Labour Relations Officers have met with representatives from the CRA on several occasions to suggest improvements to this Directive and to the Recourse procedures, but for the most part, our suggestions have been largely ignored. We still believe that the process needs many improvements in order for this Directive to become a meaningful and effective system of recourse.

11. AU Education Standards

The AU Educational Standards were revised on September 19, 2012 recognizing degrees from other postsecondary institutions when the education standard indicates a degree from a recognized university. The CRA intends to conduct a further review of this requirement, but no further action is required at this time and thus, the item will be removed from our agenda.

12. Competency Directive

The Competency Directive was updated by the CRA on November 19, 2012. As promised in our last minutes, a copy of this latest revision will be sent to all Locals and Executive Council. This item will now be removed from our agenda.

13. Competency Catalogue

The Competency Catalogue was finalized by the CRA on September 4, 2012 and a copy was sent to Executive Council. As promised in our last minutes, a copy will also be sent to all Locals. This item will now be removed from our agenda.

14. Staffing Policy Simplification Project

The Chairperson of the Staffing Committee wrote to the CRA asking for a summary of the information that was presented to the Board of Management. No response has been received from the CRA to date. Brother O’Brien will contact the employer to ask for a full briefing and consultation for the Staffing Committee concerning Staffing Simplification. The national President will attend this meeting as well.

15. Standardized Testing

Brother O’Brien will follow up with the employer in order to obtain an update on the Standardized Testing pilot, including but not limited to where it was piloted, the results of the pilot and the current status of the project.

16. Management Group Learning Program (MGLP)

Further to our last meeting, Brother O’Brien met with representatives of the CRA to further discuss our suggestions for inclusion in the MGLP. As a result, the CRA has revised its MGLP and has for the most part, included our suggestions. As a result, no further action is required at this time and the item will be removed from our agenda.

 17. Observe and Attest

Further to our last meeting, Brother O’Brien will follow up with the CRA to obtain a status report as the employer was in the process to considering alternatives to Observe and attest. Although we have been advised of some initiatives, the CRA has not updated us on their findings and conclusions.

18. Call Centres and Accounts Receivable National Inventory (ARNI)

As mentioned in our last minutes, this item was added to our agenda as a result of some offices moving employees between Call Centre and ARNI positions on an intermittent basis, without using an appropriate staffing vehicle. The Committee followed up with the employer on this matter.  The employer’s HQ Call Center representative confirmed that employees should only be moved through legitimate staffing means and communicated this message to the field. As a result, no further action is required and this item will be removed from our agenda.

19.  Use of Quotas in the Performance Review Process

The issue of the CRA, in some offices, continuing to use Quotas in the Performance Review system, was referred to the Committee by the National President. The National President had issued a bulletin to the field (March 28, 2013), as a reminder of the UTE Position.

On Monday, April 20, 2013, Brother O’Brien attended a meeting with the CRA to discuss quotas and to advance UTE’s position in this matter. The CRA representatives agreed with our position that quotas should not be used in the performance management system, but they distinguish quotas from numerical performance indicators and that these numerical indicators were permitted under the performance management system. These indicators may include national standards, unit/group averages and the like, but the CRA representatives agreed that they should be customized to an individual employee, depending on considerations such as an employee’s level of experience, complexity of work, necessary accommodations and other such matters. The employer further advised that the current performance management policy clearly outlines this direction, but agreed to reinforce this message during the current training sessions with respect to performance management.

As no further action is required at this time, this item will be removed from our agenda, but the Committee will continue to monitor the situation.

20.  Meeting with Taxpayer Services Debt Management Branch (TSDMB) Representatives

General

The TSDMB representatives advised that they were still going through the process of staffing some of its senior management positions as they had almost an 80% turnover in that cadre.

They agreed to our request to be provided with additional details concerning agenda items for future meetings so that we may be better prepared to have meaningful discussion on these items.

Trust Accounts Calculation Tool (TACT)

This item was also discussed at a meeting between the employer and the UTE Technological Change Committee. TACT is being piloted in 8 different offices and is expected to be rolled out in June 2013. Train-the –Trainer sessions will be held regionally during the week of June 10 2013 and a national session will be held during the week of June 17. The CRA will identify who will be conducting the training and ensure that the requirement for training is contained in these employees’ work descriptions.

There are no human resources impacts as a result of the introduction of this tool.

Standardized Performance Expectations

TSDMB is in the process of creating standardized expectations for Headquarters SP05, SP07 and SP08 positions. The other positions will be reviewed at a later point in time. Additional expectations may also be customized or tailored to individual employees as necessary. A working group of managers will be selected to determine the expectations, but a focus group of employees will be selected to review the findings. UTE asked that the focus group be selected randomly to ensure impartiality and objectivity.

UTE also asked the management representatives to ensure that quotas are not included in the expectations and management agreed to stress this message.

TSDMB will continue to consult locally with respect to this issue as they relate only to HQ jobs at this time, but the National UTE would be kept apprised of this initiative as it will eventually be rolled out to the field.

National Quality and Accuracy Learning Program (NQALP)

On May 1, 2013, the CRA launched an internal survey to ascertain training needs. The CRA will be looking more into web-based training and long distance learning.

Hours of Service in Call Centres

The hours of service in Call Centres will change from 8:15 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. as a result of the budget reduction exercise. Other changes are anticipated, but consultation will take place with UTE as is normal practice.

Agent Greeting

The Agent Greeting initiative has already commenced in Business Enquiries and will be piloted in Individual Enquiries over the next 6 months. UTE will be updated as necessary.

New Hires Training

A team has been established to analyse current and future learning practices. They are consulting with new staff, experienced staff, team leaders and managers to obtain input. Two sites, Toronto Centre and the Montreal Call Centre, are being piloted for the New Hire Training initiative. UTE will be consulted when further information becomes available.

Recap of Filing Season

The employer advised that additional funding was obtained for Call Centres to help them stabilize their staffing during the filing season. This enables managers to offer additional hours to employees in their initial contract offer, rather than offering constant extensions.

The employer will be sending an animated “Thank You” to Call Centre employees.

Transformation of In-Person Services

Counter services were closed in 28 Tax Service Offices (TSOs) in 2012 and the balance will be closed in October 2013. The CRA will be communicating this information to the public at the end of May 2013.

The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program continues to exist and the Minister and the Commissioner are very supportive of this initiative. Funding for this program has not been cut. Face-to- face outreach will be ending, however.

The YM/YWCA and the Salvation Army are very active in this program. The CRA has developed training videos around some of the more common issues and these videos and other webinars are being well used by the public.

Senior Collections Enforcement Officer (SCEO)

This position was created approximately 18 months ago and the positions deal with, amongst other things, chronic non-filers, tax avoiders, non-payers, and other taxpayers that the current system does not deal with effectively. A training package was created and training is now finished.

Regional District Office Allocation Code 2 (DAC2) Pilot Projects

These projects are being piloted in Atlantic and Quebec and should last about one year.

Employer Compliance Audit (ECA) Renewal

This initiative entails approximately 100 FTEs, with between 800 and 900 audits handled each year. The first phase involves developing an enhanced risk strategy. HQ is working with local offices and is developing a screening tool and a training package around the COMPASS system. Phase 2 will involve examining taxpayers’ books and records and educating them about how to report taxable benefits. Certain sectors and industries will be targeted. Phase 3 will involve centralizing workloads, with file selection being made centrally and the work allocated as needed. The face-to-face work will still be done locally, but the file managed by a virtual manager. This will serve to provide the attention needed to these audits. The employer advised that there will be human resource impacts as a result of this initiative.  

Non-Filer Renewal

The employer advised that this year was a big one for Non-Filer with over 16,000 cases being sent to the Debt Management Call Centre. A compliance rate of 30% to 35% was achieved.

A centre of expertise was established for T3 workloads. The centre is situated in the ECO region and is working well. The employer advised that there will be human resource impacts as a result of this initiative. 

The employer advised that the future of Non-filer will involve concentrating on file selection and centralization of the workload for workload assignment to the regions.