Staffing Committee

Staffing Committee Minutes

June 14-15, 2011
In attendance:  Sabri Khayat   Chairperson
Madonna Gardiner  TC Representative
Chris Di Liberatore TSO Representative
Linda Cassidy  Technical Advisor
Absent:  Shawn Bergeron Co-Chairperson

Although the Committee did meet in Ottawa for a scheduled meeting with the employer on Assessment and Benefits (see Item 17), we unfortunately (due to the Air Canada Strike) had to adjourn the Committee meeting.

The Committee did agree that a summary of all the work that had been completed since March 2011 should be prepared and issued to the UTE’s Executive Council and Locals so that they remain up to date on the various initiatives.

The following report is a summary of what has transpired.

1. Working Methods of the Committee

Although this is a standing item on the agenda, to ensure that we remain cognizant of how we effectively work together, the Committee did not get an opportunity to discuss how the Committee had been working over the past few months.

2. Work Descriptions

The Committee received twelve (12) work descriptions for their review since our last meeting. Comments have been provided to the employer on all.

Since the last meeting, the Committee reviewed and provided comments to the employer on the following work descriptions:

Technical Support Co-ordinator, Public Affairs
Team Leader, Administrative Services, MG0924
Senior Program Coordinator, SP0625
Manager Security, MG0558
Information Systems Analysis and Training Officer
Lead Cabling Analyst
Litigation Support Officer, SP0267
Facilities Management Advisor
Risk Analyst
Intelligence Officer
Liaison Officer
Research Analyst

3. Specified Period Employees

Although this item remains as a standing item on our agenda and the Committee continues to diligently monitor any and all issues related to term/specified period employees, there is nothing to report at this time.

The Committee would again like to remind the Locals that The Managers Guide to Term Rehire should be reviewed.  When this guide was created, it was focused on the TC environment, so union representatives in the Call Centres and TSO’s may not have thoroughly reviewed this document.

4. Tax Service Debt Management Branch (TSDMB)

During this time there were no regularly scheduled meetings with the TSDMB Management Team.  It is UTE’s hope that once a new Assistant Commissioner is appointed that they will agree to the resumption of the bi-annual meetings.

The Staff Advisor and Chairperson did attend a meeting on April 27th, 2011 regarding the Non Filer/Non Registrant Renewal Program.  The employer did advise that they would be establishing a working group to discuss potential changes to the program.

5. Debt Management Program Delivery Model

This is a standing item but there is nothing new to report at this time.

6. Performance Management Working Group (PMWG)

Although this group was originally scheduled to meet via teleconference once per month and have an annual conference in Ottawa, meetings were changed to every other month.

The April 2011 conference call involved a group discussion on how to utilize the conference calls and possible topics of discussion for the future:

Possible Topic #1:  Performance Management Champions in the Regions and Branches

  • The roles of the Performance Management Champions and Director Champions.

  • What’s happening in each branch and region.

  • What is your role as a member of the PMWG.

  • Changes to guidelines and policy. This information comes from the field. What isn’t working? What could be working better? Etc.

It was suggested that PMWG members gather information and what can be done to make the flow better.

Possible Topic #2:  Virtual Management

  • How are things going in your regions?

  • What works well?

  • What are the barriers?


Frans-Benoît Chartrand has been doing some research into virtual management. This is a big issue in Quebec. Virtual management is getting more prevalent in the CRA.

Barbara agrees that this would be a great topic to discuss. At the last conference, the link between Performance Management and Competencies was discussed. Performance Management is going to be even more important since it gets more difficult to observe and review when people are not right beside you. We need to be ready for this in the coming years.

During the June 7, 2011 teleconference, the employer utilized a Webex seminar to facilitate the session.  The minutes of the June meeting have not yet been received thus an update will be provided at a later period.

7. Draft Guidelines for Educational Assistance

Management has provided the following responses (in italics) to the union’s questions/comments on the draft Educational Assistance Guidelines. The draft Guidelines were subsequently split into a Directive and Procedures.


  • Effective Date:  The employer should specify the exact date of the previous guidelines.
    - Added:  The exact date of the previous Guidelines is specified in the Directive, Section 1.
  • Section 3: Is this area really required, normally referenced policies are footnotes or references referred to at the end of the document.
    - The standardized template requires this section.
  • Section 4:  The way this is written implies that « If I take accounting then I would have my related competency. » This sentence should be amended to show the CRA is committed to « educating its workforce ».
    - Changed to “The CRA is committed to the continued development of its workforce in order   to meet business goals and challenges”; took out the mention of competency.
  • Section 5:  Manager – who is an « equivalent group » and « team leaders are MG’s thus should not be listed separately.
    - Done.  Took out “equivalent group” and un-listed team leaders, MGs.  See section 9 in Directive or section 6 in Procedures.
  • As well there should be a separate definition of a « delegated manager ».
    - Added.  See section 9 in Directive or section 6 in Procedures.
  • Return to Service Agreement: This is covered by the collective agreement and thus the reference should be included, i.e. Article 50.
    - Since a few other sections have related topics under the collective agreements, we have added a general sentence to indicate that the collective agreements must be consulted and their clauses take precedence.  Section 6 in the Directive “This directive must be applied in conjunction with existing collective agreements, terms and conditions of employment and related documents as listed in the References section. In all cases, the applicable clauses in the collective agreements must take precedence.”  Generally, we try to avoid making reference to a specific Article as the life-cycle of a policy instrument is 5 years and the   specific reference (i.e. numbering of the Article) may change during that life-cycle.
  • Section 6.1
    Determining the percentage: There should not be a determination of percentage to be reimbursed, if management believes a course should be approved then it should be full reimbursement presuming the course is successfully completed.

    - This flexibility is to allow managers to manage their budgets and reimburse a wider variety   and numbers of employees’ requests.
  • Granting of education leave, article of the collective agreement should be referenced.
    - See rationale above re: Return to Service Agreement.
  • « increased competencies » very misleading in that it implies competencies can be achieved via courses.
    - This sentence is in general terms and implies that competencies can be improved.
  • 6.2:The form should be a link
    - Done
  • 6.3:  Consideration should be given to a whole program; we are not asking for preapproval but rather the commitement that a manager would give consideration to the whole program. (see 6.8.1, same principle)
    - Managers are encouraged to discuss the whole program when they have the discussion   with their employees, but the financial commitments can only be given one year at a time.
  • 6.3.2:  We would prefer to see the fees to obtain transcripts be considered an eligible expense.
    - The EA program is intended to reimburse fees to complete credits towards degrees etc.  Due to limited fund, we prefer to focus the purpose of the funds to reimburse accredited   learning activities. 
  • What is a PLAR? Is this for our of country courses and degrees etc??
    - The definition of a PLAR has been added to 4.3.2 under the Procedures.
  • 6.4.1:  We believe reimbursement should be 100%.
    - See 6.1 above.
  • 6.4.5:  There should be an exception, if a term gets ended early but you get called back within a reasonable period of time you should still be eligible for reimbursement.
    - This question has been considered, discussed and debated internally.  We have carefully looked at the impacts and precedence of opening up the requirement of “The individual   must be a full-time or part-time determinate or indeterminate employee of the CRA before, during, and after completion of the learning activities”.  Since this will open up many other   possibilities of claims that would dilute the fund for CRA employees, we have decided to keep the requirement.
  • 6.4.6:  You can commit to an employee leaving for another department but you will not give consideration to terms who have lengthy service.
    - This clause on employees leaving the CRA has subsequently been taken out.
  • 6.5:  Include the references to the collective agreement.
    - See rationale above re: Return to Service Agreement.
  • Should also include reference to « write the exam » and granting of leave.
    - Covered under collective agreement and added general reference.
  • 6.9:  If the collective agreement already states I must come back and work for xxx amount of time, why do I need to do this.  This is the same as LWIA or Maternity/Paternity and a return to service does not need to be signed.
    - This clause was changed from “Return to Service Agreement” to “Commitment to Service Agreement”.  This is because often the employee does not leave work and then return but takes courses while they continue to work.  This is unique to completing degrees and needs   to be clearly defined in our procedures.

8. Staffing Policy Simplification Project

The timelines for the Staffing Policy Simplification Project have now been reviewed and the employer shared some of the future milestones:

  • The Project is at the Development Phase – the drafting of the policy documents.

  • Consultations on the draft Staffing Policy, the Staffing Directive and the writing plans for the Staffing Guidelines is planned for the fall 2011. The next meeting of the Advisory Committee will take place at the end of October/early November 2011, as part of those fall consultations.

  • Approval of the Staffing Policy and Directive is planned for June 2012.

9. Work Assessment Checklists (WAC) SP4, SP5 & SP7

An email was sent to the employer requesting the final versions.

10. Performance Management Program

The union provided the following comments on the documents:

Establish a review committee to monitor and review the performance pay and leave process to ensure it is administrated in a fair and consistent manner and results in a quality performance management process.

“The union is not supportive of a committee establishing if a manager should get performance leave. We do not care what other people may or may not get just the applicable person whom the evaluation covers. Plus establishing a review committee to look at performance appraisals creates a ranking and comparison system. We understand this has always been the practice but not with the support of the union.”

7.5  Supervising managers

  • Support and strengthen organizational performance through individual performance by establishing expectations and by providing performance feedback.

    Bit of a contradiction as it states the managers /employees must contribute but here in this section it does not indicate that anyone else is involved.  Both sections need to be consistent.

7.6  MGs and HR/RH equivalent managers

  • Contribute to the establishment of their performance expectations.

    Clarification required on the role employees play in this process and if indeed there is one for them. See above.

Employer’s response:

We thank you for your feedback. In light of your comments, we would like to clarify a few points.

Review committees have been required as part of the performance pay and leave process from the beginning, to ensure consistency in the application of the rating scale and fairness. We have made a note of UTE’s concerns.

To follow the format established by the Agency’s Corporate Secretariat, in section 7 we list separately the responsibilities for each individual, group or area involved in the process. Some of the tasks are interrelated which is why the document indicates that supervising managers establish the expectations and provide performance feedback and MGs, as employees, contribute to their expectations. The Employee Performance Management Guidelines and Procedures, which were submitted for consultation last April, also apply to MGs. They describe the process in more detail and talk about a collaborative approach to establish performance expectations. 

11.   Competency Directive

The Committee received the Directive for review on May 20th, 2011 and provided the employer with our comments on June 21st.  There were no comments on the English version of the document but the Committee did note there were several errors in the French version that should be corrected.

The Committee provided the list of errors to the employer.

  • Differences found between the French and the English Versions :

Competency Directive

Directive sur les compétences

3. Related policy instruments (also see References)

This directive flows from the Talent Management Policy.

3. Instruments de politique connexes (voir aussi les Références)

Cette directive découle de la Politique de la gestion des talents.

The link (la gestion des talents) is missing, in the French Version.

4. Introduction

The CRA competencies are the cornerstone that supports all elements of Competency-Based Human Resources Management (CBHRM).  Competencies are the common denominator in CBHRM and are the building blocks for developing job competency profiles as well as standardized assessment tools and methods. The same definitions and descriptions of competencies are applied throughout the CRA. This leads to consistency in describing what employees need to be successful in a given job or role, and what is needed in implementing human resources programs. Competencies provide the means for integrating human resources programs that support organizational success so that they factor into how employees are:

4. Introduction

Les compétences de l’ARC constituent la pierre angulaire soutenant tous les éléments de la gestion des ressources humaines axée sur les compétences (GRHAC). Les compétences de l’ARC sont le dénominateur commun de la GRHAC et fournissent les éléments de base qui permettent d’élaborer des profils de compétences d’emploi, ainsi que les méthodes et les outils d’évaluation standardisés. La même définition et les mêmes descriptions des compétences sont utilisées au sein de l’Agence. Les compétences fournies les moyens permettant d’intégrer les programmes des ressources humaines qui favorisent le succès de l’organisation en fonction de :

This entire sentence is missing in the French Version.

5. Objective and outcomes

5.1 Objective:  To support organizational excellence and effective integration of HR programs by ensuring the proper and consistent use, application, and assessment of competencies throughout the CRA.

5. Objectif et résultats

5.1 Objectif : Dans le soutien de l’excellence de l’organisation et l’intégration effective des programmes en RH en s’assurant la bonne et consistante utilisation, application et évaluation des compétences à travers l’organisation.

Bad translation: ‘’To support organizational excellence = Pour soutenir l’excellence de l’organisation’’.

5.2 Outcomes

Competencies are reviewed and modified to meet ongoing and strategic goals.

Competencies selected for the job competency profiles indicate a clear direction as to what types of skills, abilities, knowledge, or behavioural characteristics, are needed to meet strategic goals.

5.2 Résultats :

Les compétences sont revues et modifiées pour atteindre les objectifs courants et stratégiques.

Les compétences identifiées dans les profils de compétences d’emploi indiquent clairement  quels types d’habiletés, de comportements et de connaissances sont requis pour atteindre les objectifs stratégiques.

In the English Version, they mentioned :
1) Types of skills, 2) abilities, 3) knowledge or 4) behavioural characteristics
In the French one, they only mentioned :
1) types d’habiletés, de 2) comportements et de 3) connaissances.

6. Requirements

6.1 The CRA Competency Catalogue (Catalogue) contains the official list of competencies, their definitions and their proficiency levels.

  • Competencies are identified, described and revised through a consultation process to align with the Agency’s business requirements and strategic direction.

6. Exigences

6.1 Le Répertoire des compétences de l’ARC (Répertoire) contient la liste officielle des compétences, leurs définitions et leurs niveaux de compétence.

  • Les compétences sont élaborées et révisées en vue de les harmoniser avec les besoins opérationnels et l’orientation stratégique de l’organisation, afin d’appuyer la culture de l’ARC.

‘’Identified’’ and ‘’through a consultation process’’ don’t exist in the French Version.
‘’afin d’appuyer la culture de l’ARC’’ don’t exist in the English Version.

6.2 Job Competency Profiles (JCP) indicate the key competencies and proficiency levels applicable to a particular job that lead to successful performance. Every job must have a JCP and is based on the following structure:

6.2 Les profils de compétences d’emploi (PCE) indiquent les compétences clés et les niveaux de compétence applicables à un emploi particulier. Tous les emplois doivent avoir un PCE, dont l’élaboration repose sur la structure suivante :

This sentence is missing in the French Version.

7.7 Employees are responsible for developing their competencies and obtaining standardized assessment results for individual competencies at the level determined for their jobs.  They are also responsible for developing their competencies and obtaining standardized assessment results for competencies that are in line with their career aspirations.

7.7 Les employés sont tenus d’obtenir des résultats d’évaluation standardisée pour les compétences déterminées pour leur emploi. Ils sont aussi tenus de perfectionner et d’obtenir des résultats d’évaluation standardisé pour les compétences qui conforment à leurs aspirations professionnelles.

This sentence is missing in the French Version

9.4 Manager: For purposes of this directive, a CRA employee who supervises one or more employees. 

9.4 Gestionnaire : Un(e) employé(e) de l’ARC qui supervise un(e) ou plusieurs employés.

This sentence is missing in the French Version.

  • Some ‘’typos’’ and grammar found in the French Version of the document :

4. Introduction

Les compétences de l’ARC constituent la pierre angulaire soutenant tous les éléments de la gestion des ressources humaines axée sur les compétences (GRHAC). Les compétences de l’ARC sont le dénominateur commun de la GRHAC et fournissent les éléments de base qui permettent d’élaborer des profils de compétences d’emploi, ainsi que les méthodes et les outils d’évaluation standardisés. La même définition et les mêmes descriptions des compétences sont utilisées au sein de l’Agence. Les compétences fournies fournissent les moyens permettant d’intégrer les programmes des ressources humaines qui favorisent le succès de l’organisation en fonction de :

7.6 Les gestionnaires sont chargés de participer à l’élaboration et à la mise à jour des PCE pour les postes sous leur autorité, conformément aux procédures établies par la Direction des programmes d'emploi. Ils sont aussi responsables de souvenir soutenir le perfectionnement des compétences de leurs subordonnées et d’intégrer des discussions sur les compétences en rapport avec les objectifs courant et future des employés. 

7.7 Les employés sont tenus d’obtenir des résultats d’évaluation standardisée pour les compétences déterminées pour leur emploi. Ils sont aussi tenus de perfectionner et d’obtenir des résultats d’évaluation standardisé standardisée pour les compétences qui conforment à leurs aspirations professionnelles.

12. Staffing Bulletin 2010-02

The Committee received a draft version of this bulletin on April 13th, 2011 requesting our feedback.  Comments were provided to the employer and the subsequently responded to our comments on June 18th.

Employer Feedback on our Comments :

In Example 3 in the appendix, you are correct that it would cover Levels 3 to 5 for Auditing. The examples provided are sample statements that could be used in the Notice of Job Opportunity. It would be very confusing for employees if we indicate competency levels beside a qualification. The bulletin clearly indicates that the use of multiple choice tests for Auditing Levels 1 and 2 continues to be mandatory.

With respect to ITPR decisions that included the assessment of EIR and Dependability, we are currently working on a Qualifications List which will help to guide managers how to define and assess various qualifications, including Effective Interpersonal Relations and Dependability. Assessment results for qualifications will remain non-portable. We will share the draft document with you once it is finalized.

No further action is required by the Committee.

13. Trust Accounts Quality Assurance Framework (TAQAF)

The employer advised the national union that the Trust Accounts Programs Division (TAPD) will be introducing a quality assurance framework for our programs and we will be developing a quality assurance tool specific to each program to be used within the scope of the framework.

The framework for all programs and the quality assurance tool for the GST/HST Delinquent Filer Program have been developed and we would like to share them with the national union for their review and feedback. As each program develops their specific QA tools, they will be added to the framework and available to the field offices for their use.

The documents were reviewed and the union’s comments were sent to the employer in May 2011.

The employer subsequently responded with the revised framework documents with the references to the senior officer and technical advisor removed.

Management also clarified that when they replied that the TAQAF would not be included in the performance management process, they were referring to the officer’s performance management process. Please note there is a reference to the TAQAF as an example of tools TLs should be using to ensure the quality of work completed in the common goals and objectives that have been developed for Team Leaders and Managers in Revenue Collections Division in the TSOs for their performance management. 

14. MG03/MG05 Performance Expectations

The CRA provided the final versions of the standardized program performance expectations for team leaders (MG-03), managers (MG-05) and assistant director (MG-05) in debt management programs. Management has also included the communiqué that will be issued to the field and the Question & Answer document for those individuals that this initiative impacts.

Management anticipated that this will be released to the field by the end of April; however, they will advise of the date in advance.

The union did not have any requested changes or modifications to these documents.

15.   Annex L

The Chairperson and the Staff Advisor will be attending a meeting with the CRA on August 12, 2011 to discuss this item.  An update of the meeting will be provided to the field.

16.   Greeting Policy Pilot

The CRA contacted the Staffing Committee and advised that as a result of the negative report card issued in January 2011 by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), where the CFIB was reporting that our agents were often not providing their agent ID to callers, we have been asked to change the Agent Greeting Policy to include the Agent Reference Number as a part of the standard greeting on our enquiries lines. This change in policy, if implemented, would not only apply to Taxpayer Services telephone programs but could also apply to other telephone programs such as GST/HST Rulings Telephone Enquiries Programs. In order to gauge potential impacts on our agents and on the program, we, in the Taxpayer Services Directorate, have asked for approval to conduct a three month pilot in our Business Enquiries Call Centres from July 1st to September 30th, 2011 before implementing a permanent change to the policy.

The union requested that a meeting be held following the end of the pilot to discuss the results of the pilot and any recommendations.

17. Meeting with Assessment and Benefits Branch

The A/C of ABSB requested a meeting with the Staffing Committee to provide an update of the changes that the Branch had been undergoing.  During the meeting the union suggested that we follow the process that had been used in the past with TSDMB and schedule bi-annual meetings so that we remain familiar with the initiatives that the Branch is undertaking as well as to provide an opportunity for discussion.

During this meeting the employer updated the union on several programs including; T1/T3, T2 Barcoding, Benefit redesign, On line service Agenda, My Payment and Business Returns.