Staffing Committee

Minutes of the Staffing Committee Meeting

May 26-27, 2010
In attendance:  Sabri Khayat   Chairperson
Shawn Bergeron Co-Chairperson
Madonna Gardiner  TC Representative
Marc Brière  TSO Representative
Linda Cassidy  Technical Advisor

Sabri opened the meeting by thanking Marc and Madonna for all the work they had done on the work descriptions. The Committee received the new PSTAR work descriptions and the employer requested a seven (7) days turnaround time. Normal turnaround time for new work descriptions is four (4) weeks.

1.         Working Methods of the Committee  

This will be a standing item on the agenda to ensure that we remain cognizant of how we effectively work together.  Reminder to the members to ensure their email rules are set up. The Committee decided that Linda would maintain an inventory log of work descriptions received that would include when they were reviewed and what was still outstanding.

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 but two (2). The Committee did receive nine (9) PSTAR work descriptions that the employer wanted reviewed in seven (7) days. The Committee did manage to get seven (7) of them reviewed in that short time frame.

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

  • MG0854 T/L Branch Services Team
  • SP0017  Video Conference Coordinator
  • Draft Training Coordinator
  • SP0700  PSTAR
  • SP0800 PSTAR
  • SP0801 PSTAR
  • Sp0701 PSTAR
  • MG0952 PSTAR
  • MG0951 PSTAR
  • MG0921 PSTAR

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.

4.         Revenue Collections Integrated Enforcement Team

The Committee will report fully on this item once they have received the report.

Until the report is received this item will no longer be reflected on the agenda

5.         TSDMB

The Chair and the advisor met with Ms. Lysanne Gauvin on May 3rd, 2010. The Assistant Commisionner has requested that we have monthly meetings with only her as opposed to her entire management team bi- annually as we did in the past. Brother Khayat requested rather than monthly meetings we look at an “as needed” meeting schedule, in addition he also requested that if needed additional managers/representatives would also attend these meetings would be an opportunity for us to be updated on ongoing issues and initiatives undertaken by this branch. (Labour Relations will also be in attendance).  

During the May 3rd meeting Ms Gauvin provided an overview of how each program under TSDMB has done for this fiscal year.  Brother Khayat requested that a formal agenda be prepared for future meetings. 

The next meeting is scheduled for July 28th, 2010.

6.         Taxpayer Relief

The CRA has not yet called a meeting to update the Union on the status of this initiative

7.         Debt Management Program Delivery Model

During the May 3rd 2010 meeting Ms Gauvin confirmed that the work on this was continuing but there was nothing new to report. The Committee will keep this item as a standing item on our agenda.

8.         National Workload Allocation Study

Brother Khayat and Sister Cassidy attended a meeting on March 1st, 2010 where the employer provided an update as to the status of this initiative. The employer advised that they will be proceeding with this model and committed to consulting with the Union on the communication strategy.

The employer contacted the Union on May 26th, 2010 and requested a meeting with us on the communication strategy. An update will be provided after the meeting.

9.         Educational Requirement

The employer has requested a meeting the week of May 31-June 4th to provide an update on this initiative.

As soon as the information becomes available we will share it with the field.       

10.       Competency Level

In November 2009, we stated in our Minutes that the Union’s position was incumbents of the positions where levels had been changed should be “deemed” to meet at the higher level.  We also stated, if deeming was not possible, then we wanted to know how the employer was going to redo the O&A.

The employer has subsequently advised UTE that there would be no deeming provisions; a change in levels would require a new O & A be completed.

11.       T1 Accounts Clerk

As the employer advised us in November 2009 that they were proceeding with T1 Accounts Clerks accepting arrangements on accounts and as no Local has subsequently come forward indicating that there is an issue with this, no further action is required by the Committee.
We will continue to monitor any new version of the applicable work descriptions to ensure that this function gets included.

12.       Trust Accounts

The employer confirmed that there was no intention to ever create a stand alone work description for this activity.  

The Local has been advised of this and thus no further action is required

13.       Observe and Attest (O&A)

The Union received a response to our review of the Managers toolkit on March 31st, 2010.
The following is the employer’s response:


1.  In the meantime, we would still like to provide you with answers to your questions as            indicated in the summary below as well as in the attached document.

  • Assessment of FACTS depends on each situation in support of employee's feeling, actions, conversations and thoughts of the specific situation.

  • O&A is one of the standardized tools for employees to have their competencies assessed.

  • Not every change to job competency profiles (JCP) will have an impact on O&A; upward changes will require new attestation.

  • Recommendations of changes to O&A fall under the responsibility of the CBHRM Advisory Committee, therefore there is no timeframe established to determine when changes may occur.

  • O&A is an integral part of the responsibilities of all managers.  The O&A process ensures ongoing communication between managers and their employees and the purpose of such discussion is to ensure both parties understand the competencies/behaviours required to perform the duties of the job.

  • The Quality Assurance Committee role is to review attestation for common and consistent understanding of the competencies and the distinction between the levels, which ensure consistency of the results.

In addition the Union provided comments on the pre-attestation guidelines and the employer responded as follows:

From CRA:

The following responses are provided to your concerns.

Composition of the local QR Committee - We changed mandatory requirements to recommendations to allow flexibility for local realities. We also removed the requirement for QR Committee members to be at least one level above the person being attested to. It is not the intention that a full-time position would be created in each office for O&A.  The local QR Committee would meet only as required and would provide support to local management.

Percentage of Review by QR Committee - It is important that managers who are new to O&A or to a particular competency/level truly understand the process and the behaviour to be demonstrated by the employee, to ensure accurate competency assessment results as part of this standardized methodology. That is the reason to start with one hundred percent review and then would reduce that requirement as the manager gains experience with the process. It will be the responsibility of the local QR Committee to determine when the percentage of review will be reduced and how ongoing spot checks of attestations will take place.

Tracking - We made changes to the guidelines to provide flexibility to the offices on how to track the quality of O&A attestations. It is not intended that the tracking would include specific employee information. The QR Committee in each office will communicate to the managers how the going QR will be done. If required, the local Committee may decide to send a questionnaire to the managers to determine the volume of attestations that are being completed to ensure an adequate proportion are reviewed.  

Management is continuing to work on the overall O&A quality framework and the post-attestation monitoring process.

14.       Competency Consultant Working Group

The last correspondence received was on April 8th, 2009 where it was indicated a meeting would be scheduled for the fall as the employer was interested in piloting the recommendations. As it appears the employer is implementing the recommendations that came out of this working group we are presuming that there work is completed.

15.       End State Pre-Qualification Process – Tax Centre / Call Centre Working Group

The last meeting of this working group was held March 10th and 11th, 2010. It was an interesting two days of meetings. CRA is working on the final report  unfortunately we are unable to discuss the final recommendations until such time as the CRA advises us that the Advisory Committee has approved the report. We have been advised that the process will probably take until December 2010 before the approvals are completed.

16.       Placement Criteria Working Group

An email was received from the employer thanking the working group for their work and providing an outline of the recommendations that would go forward.

“The work plan to address placement focuses on three key elements:

  • Selection process planning;
  • Placement guidelines;
  • Factoring job performance into staffing/placement decisions.

The selection process planning job aid is now published on Infozone and will be communicated to senior management shortly.  Effective placement decisions start with effective selection process planning by developing placement criteria/staffing requirements linked to business needs at the beginning of the selection process.

Thank you for providing feedback on the outline for placement guidelines.  These guidelines will be developed as part of the Staffing Policy Simplification project targeted for completion in April 2011. 

(The Working Group also recommended the performance verification level be changed from “mostly meets” to “meets” performance expectations.  This issue will also be addressed through the Staffing Policy Simplification project.)”

Both UTE and PIPSC had concerns with the content of the email and the implied support to the recommendation as outlined. 

An email was sent to the employer stating:

Although we confirm that this was a topic of discussion during the session “Considering Job performance in Placement Decisions”, we cannot agree that a recommendation was arrived at that stated “meets” must be the standard.

We concur that the group did discuss if this was to be a viable option but it was important to note there are always exceptions. I also will point out that using performance ratings in a selection process was a concern due to the fact that terms on recall/rehire do not get performance assessments.

I have reviewed my notes from the meeting.  During the various discussions groups comments came out that people liked the idea but there was no stated recommendation to proceed with it. Participants also commented on the fact that this could be inconsistent

As a result of the union’s concerns, the employer modified the email to read:

The WorkingGroup indicated interest in further exploring changing the performance verification level to “meets” in order to factor job performance into staffing/placement decisions.  Further review of this issue will be included into the Staffing Policy Simplification project. 

17.       Performance Management Working Group

Linda provided an update on this working group. We have finally been asked to sit on this standing working group to provide our feedback. This group meets via teleconference once per month and has an annual conference in Ottawa.

The terms of reference of the working group:


The Performance Management Working Group (PMWG) develops and improves the CRA employee and MG performance management process and practices in areas identified for development and improvement by the Performance Management Steering Committee.
The Working Group also recommends fixes and enhancements to current performance management processes and provides linkages between regional and branch activities with headquarters to support the management of performance results within CRA.


The working group members include all Performance Management Advisors and non-EC manager representatives from each region, four or five representatives from branches in Headquarters, members of the Human Resources Branch Performance Management Section and representatives from PSAC-UTE and PIPSC-AFS.


The PMWG serves as the forum for solving operational issues related to people management, integrated technology solutions, education and communication, consistency and coherence in employee performance management policy administration and delivery as well as support and linkages to Competency Based Human Resources Management in the CRA. The PMWG is responsible for identifying new issues, affecting performance management, and referring them to the Performance Management Steering Committee for deliberation, when appropriate.

Frequency of meetings

The Performance Management Working Group meets once a year to develop action plans and monitor progress regarding key priorities. Conference calls are held on a monthly basis while support and communication are ongoing

18.       Directive on Minimum Education Standards (formerly reflected under Accounting Requirements

The Presidents’ representative will forward this information to the Locals.

19.       Training and Learning – Apprenticeship Program Framework

It appears that this document was posted to the Infozone prior to it being sent to the Union. The employer did provide us with a link to this document on February 18th, 2010.

Locals are encouraged to go to the Infozone to see the most current version of this document.

20.       Common Account Pilot Project

As a result of PSTAR the employer no longer sees a need to proceed with this initiative.

21.       Draft Guidelines for Educational Assistance

We have not yet received a response from the CRA.

22.       Education Standard for Procurement

As soon as the final document is received, it will be sent to the field.

No further action is required.

23.       End State PQP

The Committee continues to be perplexed by the employers insistence at attempting to get approval to allow terms eligible for rehire who are not current employees the ability to apply on internal processes. 

The Union has continued to advise the employer that there are legal issues that have still not been answered and there are many concerns regarding treating terms eligible for rehire different than other terms.  The Union has requested many times that the employer undertake proper research and consultation on this matter as opposed to continue transferring this issue to various working groups. 

To date, two working groups consisting of HR and managers as well as Union reps have indicated this is not an appropriate change to make, however the employer continues to try and implement this change. The chair and co chair will discuss this matter in greater detail with executive council.

Plan of Action for End State PQP

Presentation was made at the Presidents Conference in March 2010. The electronic version was issued to all Locals on March 20th, 2010.

During the presentation the Committee asked all Locals to advise the Committee of any concerns that they had regarding End State and its implementation. As of this date the Locals have not provided us with any specific concerns.

It should be noted that the Locals did provide very positive feedback regarding the presentation on End State and they did appreciate the information but they have not provided us with any direction regarding what tools they may need to ensure the proper implementation of End State in their location.

24.       Staffing Policy Simplification Project. 

The objective of the Staffing Policy Simplification Project is to restructure and simplify the staffing policy documents and processes to make it easier for managers, the human resources (HR) community and employees to understand and apply.

Brother Khayat and Sister Cassidy attended the first meeting on May 12th and 13th, 2010.
Nothing new to report at the moment.

25        Lateral Moves

The Committee provided the following comments on this directive on Feb 25th, 2010.

Page 2

  • 6.1.1 As there is a section on lateral moves without consent, to provide clarity the statement in the staffing program 4.4-2 on consent should be added in this directive.  It is in the current directive.
  • 6.1.2 see comments above under application.  needs clarification.
  • 6.1.3 refers to appendix A  Where do the MG's fit into this?  They are not mentioned in the appendix.
  •  6.2.1 this is covered under "exceptional circumstances" in the current directive, this needs clarification. 

Page 6

  • Appendix A makes no reference to our MG employees.  Are they not covered by the directive?

General comments;

As lateral moves can be made from the core public service, should there not be some reference similar to the directive on external recruitment where it states; "Consideration will be given to internal employees prior to conducting external recruitment." 

Could the document be amended to provide direct links to ALL the directives referenced?

What is the reasoning for the removal of the delegated levels referenced in the current directive?

There is no date on the current directive and it indicates a review should be under taken every five years.  For consistency purposes a date should be indicated of when the document was last reviewed.