Staffing Committee

Minutes of the Staffing Committee Meeting

November 25-27, 2009
In attendance:  Sabri Khayat Chairperson
Shawn Bergeron Co-Chairperson
Madonna Gardiner TC Representative
Marc Brière TSO Representative
Linda Cassidy Technical Advisor

Brother Khayat opened the meeting stating that this is the first meeting with translation. We will evaluate the effectiveness of this on Friday to see if we wish to continue with translation in the future. In addition, he had requested everyone bring their laptop to try and save on copying of the documents. (Sustainable development)

1. Working Methods of Committee

Discussion was held on the roles and responsibilities of each committee member, and the way to improve the communication within the Union and with the field.

2. Work Descriptions

The Committee received 20 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:

MG0448

Team Leader, Excise Duty

MG0901

Manager, Strategy and Operations

MG0909

Help Desk Supervisor

MG0911

Manager Planning Reporting and Accountability

MG0916

Executive Assistant to the Assistant Commissioner

MG0918

Manager, Common Services

MG0919

Control Section Team Leader

MG0922

Manager Professional Practices

MG0923

Supervisor, Workload and Registry Services

MG0926

Team Leader, Communications and Web Services

MG0930

Manager OAG Liaison and Issues
Team Leader, Non filer/Non registrant

SP0115

Client Services Officer

SP0114

Technical Advisor, Trust Accounts Examination/Trust Accounts Compliance Officer

SP0634

Production Services Monitor
Registrant Identification Program
Intermediate Supply Business Analyst

SP0707

Equipment Services and National Services Desk Support Analyst (Draft)
Technical Advisor, Non-Filer/Non-Registrant

MG0914

Supervisor, Security Incident Reporting Team

3. Specified Period Employees

Although this item remains as a standing item on our agenda, there is nothing to report at this time.

4. Revenue Collections Integrated Enforcement Team

Although the Committee expected to be provided with a copy of this report at the June 11th, 2009 meeting, it was still not available. Management of the TSDMB explained that Compliance is actually responsible for the creation of this report, thus they have to wait for them to complete the report. The Technical Advisor sent a request to the employer asking for the status of this report and to enquire if we should we be dealing with Compliance.

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

5. TSDMB

The bi-annual meeting, normally scheduled for this time of year, will not happen. The Technical Advisor sent a request to the employer to try to establish a date. The employer has changed their position on having a bi-annual meeting. The new Assistant Commissioner has stated she prefers to deal with items as they arise, not at a bi-annual meeting.

The Committee is not happy with the employer’s new position. It found the bi-annual meetings were an excellent forum and allowed Union and Management to work together. Brother Khayat will consult with Sister Bannon as to how we should proceed.
In the past, several items were recorded under the umbrella of TSDMB. If we are no longer going to be meeting with TSDMB bi-annually, we will report on each item separately.

6. Taxpayer Relief

At the June 2009 meeting with TSDMB, we were advised that this item was under the jurisdiction of Appeals. No meetings have been scheduled with Appeals as of this date. The employer held a contained consultation meeting with the Union on July 28th, 2009. At this meeting the employer asked for all discussions to remain confidential and advised that the regional A’C’s would brief the respective RVP’s. As of this meeting we have not been advised that the contained consultation is over but we have started to receive information from the field that indicates Management is sharing the information. The Union will be requesting a meeting to determine what information is available to be shared with the locals and to discuss an item that has come to our attention recently regarding the potential impacts.

The following email was received:

“For T1 Accounts, the taxpayer relief workflow accounts for 75-80 % of our work for SP-04's. If all goes according to the attached, we will only be processing the relief adjustments after all other actions have been taken. This will greatly reduce our workload.

T1 Accounts has been processing relief requests in the TC since relief first started in 1991, hence no need to set up a Centre of expertise when that expertise is already available at the TC.

Taxpayer relief redesign has been ongoing for a number of years. A couple of years ago, Appeals advised that they were looking at centralizing the "screening" of taxpayer relief requests. We were also told that the valid relief requests would still be forwarded to the home tax centre for processing and therefore no loss of work. This has certainly changed since then as per attached info.

Neither myself nor my co-workers had been asked for any input into these drastic changes. We just found out about all of this, not through our own management, but via an email that was routed through XXXXX TC???? Our Union is supposed to know about all of this.
Could you address this at the management meeting and find out what our management is doing to keep this relief work in our TC”

As a result of receiving this email it appears that all information has now been shared with the field and there are some potential HR impacts that we need to discuss with the employer. An update will be provided to the field as soon as we have the information to share. As well, communications with the locals to determine the impacts of changes like this will occur.

7. Debt Management Program Delivery Model

No new information has been received. Normally, the employer would have provided an update at the bi-annual meeting. As we are not able to participate in the regular bi- annual forum, we will request a separate meeting with the responsible manager.

8. National Workload Allocation Study

No new information has been received. Normally, the employer would have provided an update at the bi-annual meeting. As we are not able to participate in that forum, we will request a separate meeting with the responsible manager.

9. Educational Requirement

The employer advised the Union in June that the review was completed and would be shared with the union. We have not yet received a copy. The Technical Advisor sent a request to the employer requesting a meeting.

10. Competency Levels

At the June meeting, it was discussed that the union’s position was that incumbents of the positions where levels had been changed should be “deemed” to meet at the higher level. If that was not possible, then we wanted to know how the employer was going to redo the O&A. The employer has still not advised how this change in level would be addressed. UTE has requested a meeting with the employer to discuss this.

11. T1 Accounts Clerk

The employer advised that they will continue to allow the T1 clerks to accept arrangements. The employer advised that they understood there were concerns with current work descriptions and they were willing to discuss this item with the UTE. As no new information has been received, the Technical Advisor will contact the employer to obtain an update and schedule a meeting if required.

12. Trust Accounts

The Union raised a concern at the TSDMB meeting that an office was stating a new description was being written to cover only PD83s. The employer asked to see what had been received from management. They requested the Union forward this information to them via Staff Relations.

Management stated it was never their intention to create a special position for this workload.

The information was sent to the employer in June 2009, the Technical Advisor will contact the employer to determine the status of this issue.

13. Observe and Attest

In October 2009, the Committee received a draft version of the Manager’s tool kit. We were asked to provide feedback and concerns. The Committee responded to the employer with a series of concerns. We are unable to provide a copy of the concerns at this time as we are still in contained consultation. Once a response is received from the employer, the comments and the employer’s response will be shared.

The Committee was made aware of a recent PSLRB decision, 2009 PSLRB 141 that relates somewhat to “O&A”. Although the outcome of the grievance was not positive, the case is interesting in that it verifies the information that the Union has continually brought to CRA’s attention. Regardless of instructions being sent to the field, Management, in various locations, continues to try and make the employees provide examples.

During the last Presidents’ Conference, several Locals brought up concerns that O&A was still not being implemented correctly. The Committee respectfully requests that Locals not wait until a Presidents’ Conference to bring up these concerns. If any Local or member has concerns, the Committee needs to be advised as soon as possible. The Committee asks for any issues to be brought to the attention of the respective Local and RVP who can then refer the item to us if necessary.

Brother Khayat and Sister Cassidy attended a meeting with O&A on June 22nd, 2009. As a result of CBHRM Advisory Committee deciding that assessing competencies beyond the threshold may be prudent, they have decided to run pilots to see if it can actually work. Brother Khayat and Sister Cassidy advised that they did not think this was a good idea and End State should be implemented first.

Pacific and Information Technology Branch (ITB) have volunteered. We requested the respective A/Cs need to have a discussion with the RVPs as that is where Locals should be directing their questions.

It appears in the Pacific Region that we are only looking at Penticton and possibly Burnaby Fraser but there are some concerns regarding how many of the competencies they will be able to assess beyond the threshold. They want to assess all nine and H.R. thinks there should only be three – Client Service, EIC and Team Work and Cooperation. As for ITB, we do not have a lot of information yet but it will involve SP’s, FI’s and CS’s.

As information becomes available on how this initiative is progressing we will keep the Locals and Council informed.

14. Working Groups:

in the past all working groups have been recorded under one item, for this set of minutes and all future minutes we will report on each working group individually.

For Recourse, Brother Khayat received verification back that the recommendations were approved and they will proceed with said recommendations. Therefore, no further action is required.

However, it should be noted that although the recommendations are apparently being implemented, neither the Committee nor the Chairperson have been kept informed of the status.

15. Competency Consultant Working Group

As of the date of the meeting, the Chairperson has not yet received confirmation of the next meeting. The Committee will follow up with the employer.

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

The first meeting of the working group was held July 22nd & 23rd, 2009. The Union was provided with two seats on this working group. Sister Cassidy and Brother Khayat will be the representatives on this Committee. Sister Cassidy was not able to attend the first meeting so Brother Bergeron attended on her behalf.

As information becomes available, it will be shared with the Locals.

The Terms of Reference for the Committee are the following:

Mandate

  1. Examine effective approaches and practices for End-State PQPs in TCs, CCs and Client Compensation Service Centres.

  2. Recommend an approach to support the consistent implementation of End-State PQPs in TCs, CCs and Client Compensation Service Centres including the consideration of former CRA term employees eligible for rehire.

Working Group Membership

The Working Group will consist of members who possess a broad experience in TCs, CCs and Client Compensation Service Centres:

  • One manager from each region representing either TC (including OTC), CC and/or CCSC issues;

  • One manager representing each of the following branches: Assessment, Benefits and Services Branch, Human Resources Branch, and Taxpayer Services and Debt Management Branch;

  • One HR representative from one of the implicated Resourcing Centres of Expertise;

  • Two union representatives at the national level from the Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC).

  • One union representative at the national level from the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).

  • The Chair will be selected by the working group.

The Resourcing Division, Human Resources Branch, will provide secretarial support.

The next meeting of the working group is expected to be held in February 2010.

17. Placement Criteria Working Group

UTE has been given two seats on this Committee. Brother Khayat and Sister Cassidy are representing UTE on this Committee. The first meeting was held October 14th and 15th, 2009.

After the meeting was held, the employer shared a draft document “Staffing Process Aid” and the Union provided comments on this document. As information becomes available and/or recommendations are made, the information will be shared with the Locals.

The Terms of Reference for this Committee are as follows:

Mandate

The mandate of the working group is to undertake an in-depth review and discussion of current placement practices and identify opportunities for enhancements, including new ideas on how to approach placement decisions.

Working Group Membership

  • Working group members must possess a solid understanding of placement criteria and be well experienced in its use and application by having participated in one or more selection processes.

  • Working group members must be motivated and committed to moving this initiative forward and bringing clarity to the issue of placement.

  • The working group will consist of members of the management community as well as subject matter experts from Hr:

    • Management representatives who are experienced in selection processes (ideally one manager per region as well as two from the HQ Branches), and

    • Regional Resourcing Advisors.

18. Interchange

The Union received the draft version of the CRA Interchange Policy and Interchange Procedures. We reviewed the documents and responded to the employer on October 7th, 2009. The employer responded to us on October 20th, 2009. When the final versions are received, the Committee will issue them to the Locals. Please refer to the attached document entitled ‘’Interchange Union Feedback’’.

19. Validation and Controls

The employer responded on June 29th, 2009 as follows:

Further to your question regarding the Validation and Control as it relates to the CR-04 reviews, the decision todiscontinue CR-04 reviews in V&C is explained as follows:

CR-04 reviews were discontinued or modified to meet the PM-01 review requirements.The excerpt in the email string was the rationale for discontinuing the workload because program objectives were not being met;

CR-04 reviews such as reconfirmation and GSTC marital status were discontinued as there was no true validation. These reviews only asked for an individual to corroborate information we already had or to provide a date. We did not ask for substantiation/documentation to support the recipients position; and

The V&C budget was not reduced because of the workload change. More PM-01 work was identified and reviews completed. The overall effect was higher paying and more satisfying jobs in the V&C tax centre operations.

Therefore, no further action is required.

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

On October 6th, 2009, the employer sent a link to the new Directive on Minimum Education Standards. This information was shared with the Executive Council. The Presidents’ representative will forward this information to the Locals.

21. Training and Learning – Apprenticeship Program Framework

It was noticed that inadvertently, the employer’s response to our comments were included under item 16, Directive on Planning of Learning, in our May 2009 Minutes.

As the employer has responded, there is no further action required other than once the final document is received, it will be distributed to the field.

22. CRA Succession Planning

As soon as the final document is received, it will be sent to the field. No further action is required.

23. Common Account Pilot Project

From June 11th 2009 Meeting

In Ontario, it started as a Regional Pilot, from May 1st 2008, to April 30th 2009. We were collecting Federal and Provincial Corporate Taxes and trying to discover the areas where we have problems.

The final report is now prepared and a decision will be made as to if we continue or have to stop. We will continue to cooperate as the project was about the ‘’Level of Cooperation’’. We will see if this report could be shared (Toronto information included in this report, so we have to validate with them). It does not touch jobs.

From the union’s perspective we are more interested by the outcome of this report than the report itself. If the report is not sent to us, we could share the outcome during a meeting.

Sister Cassidy sent a request to the employer regarding the final report. Will we be receiving the report or at least a summary or the recommendations?
Depending on the employer’s response, the Committee may require a meeting with TSDMB.

24. Draft Guidelines for Educational Assistance

The employer has not yet responded to our comments. Once we receive the final versions, UTE’S comments and the employer’s response will be issued.

25. Performance Management Cycle

Brother Khayat and Sister Cassidy attended a meeting on June 22nd, 2009. The CRA would like to align the employee performance management cycle with the Canada Revenue Agency’s fiscal year. The Union advised the employer that we did not believe that this is a good idea.

26. Education Standard for Procurement

The employer is establishing Education Standard/Apprenticeship Program for Procurement/Material Management positions. The Union provided several comments to the employer on this document:

First and foremost, the Union reiterated our position that we are not supportive of the creation of Education Standards. Our position is that the creation of these Standards creates an inherent barrior.

The employer requested a meeting to discuss UTE’s position on the Education Standards. Brother Khayat attended this meeting but the end result was that UTE believes there should not be an education standard and the employer believes it is necessary.

A full summary of UTE’s comments and the employer’s documents will be shared when contained consultation is completed.

27. End State

There have not been any meetings with the employer since the Committee last met. The Committee did receive the Draft Framework and Draft Directive on the End State Pre Qualification Process (PQP) on May 29th, 2009. Comments were provided to the employer on June 5th, 2009 and the employer subsequently responded on July 27th, 2009. Please refer to the attached document on End State.

The final version was sent to Locals, Executive Council and LROs by Brother Khayat on September 14th, 2009.

The Committee then had a discussion regarding options that could be available to provide an overview on End State to UTE. Brother Khayat will discuss these options with Sister Bannon. A bulletin will be issued outlining the various education options once approved.

28. Terms of Reference

Brother Khayat asked the Committee members to review the previous draft Terms of Reference. Please send any comments or recommendations to him. He is proposing that we need to get established Terms of Reference in place and he would like to present a version to the Executive Council for their approval.

29. Next meeting

Brother Khayat will follow up with Sister Bannon regarding approval for our next meeting. It is proposed to be February 16-18, 2010.