Staffing Committee

Minutes of the Staffing Committee Meeting

February 21-23, 2004
In attendance: K. MacDonald
L. Cassidy
M. Gardiner
J. Little

Absent with regrets S. O'Brien

1. Agency Classification Standard (ACS)

Kent explained the process of ACS being off and on the table during the bargaining process. Kent advised that he sent an email to Darrell Mahoney requesting the official status of the ACS working group. Darrel replied that an official response will be issued in the near future on the status of ACS and the Working Committee. Subsequently the bargaining team received a letter dated January 28th, 2004 stating that ACS was delayed in light of the PSAC’s concerns regarding gender neutrality and pay equity. A discussion then followed on the frustrations being experienced when various politicians within the organization are briefed separately and then the employer and the union send out different messages on the outcome. There is a general belief that the employer is using the tactic of briefings with the union to create turmoil in the field and as a means of blaming the union for the delays being experienced. Kent explained the email he had sent to Sister Bannon as a result of the frustration over the mixed messages from the employer. Sister Bannon sent a response to council stating “If you wish to resign from any dealings with the employer in the future regarding classifications I certainly cannot stop you and will respect your wishes not to put forward your name for any future meetings. However, I would ask that you reconsider your position on this. As well, it is the mandate of the Staffing Committee to deal with Staffing issues thus Classification issues will be given to the Staffing Committee and if they chose not to deal with them, they can report to Council.”. Sister Bannon has made it very clear that staffing and classification fall under the mandate of the Staffing Committee and it our responsibility to deal with these issues. Thus the Staffing Committee requests that Sister Bannon ensure that all staff communicate thoroughly any and all of their activities related to Classification grievances and/or classification reform to the Chair and that communication takes place with the PSAC Grievance & Adjudication ( G & A) section to ensure that communications to UTE regarding classification grievances go through the Chairperson and the Staff Advisor to the UTE National Staffing Committee. The Committee is also requesting that the Chairperson of Staffing or his official designate attend all briefings related to ACS and/or any other classification issues. The Committee has numerous concerns regarding the effectiveness of the work they have been assigned being completed as well as other committees if the above requests are not followed by the National Office. The issue of the Committee members participation on the ACS working group will be discussed by the chair of staffing at the next Executive Council meeting

2. Work Description Review

The Committee is still receiving work descriptions under the current format/standards for their review. The Committee is receiving descriptions in many different formats, Non-MG descriptions are being sent to the Committee to be reviewed under the modified version of the UCS Standard, MG work descriptions are being written for review under the current MG standard and a specific number of work descriptions will potentially be sent to the Committee written under a new format to comply with the Canadian Human Rights decision on pay equity. Current work descriptions are written to the 16 elements in the UCS proposed standard, the Canadian Human Rights format would write the work descriptions under the four factors of Skills, Effort, Responsibility and Working Conditions. The Committee is still awaiting a final decision on the employer proceeding with the rewriting of all work descriptions under the new format to comply with the Canadian Human Rights decision. The Committee wants to clarify that regardless of the format a work description is written under it is still evaluated under the legacy standards (PM Standard, CR Standard, etc).

3. Finance and Administration Work descriptions

As reported in the Staffing Committee report of June 2003, a meeting was held on April 1, 2003 with Head Office Finance and Administration on the ongoing National Work description process. Everything is proceeding as planned. A meeting was supposed to be scheduled for the fall of 2003. To date the Committee has not been contacted for the follow up meeting. Kent will follow up with staff relations.

4. Specified Period Employees

The Joint Term Employment Committee Report was finalized and presented at the Multi Lateral Union Management Meeting on September 24, 2003. As of the writing of this report, Senior Management has still not verified the acceptance of this report nor have they sent it to the Board of Management for their review. Although almost all of the recommendations were jointly agreed to, Management has failed to move ahead with the implementation of any these recommendations. The CRA is still refusing to proceed with the three-year automatic conversion for our term employees although Treasury Board has had this policy for in excess of one year.

5. MG Group

Further to our last meeting, Assessment and Collections Branch has completed their informal review of several of the MG work descriptions and they have been issued to the field. We have received no information from any other Branch of the CRA. The Staffing Committee’s involvement in this process was in June of 2002 in regards to the MOU and the informal submission process. Upon expiration of the MOU in Dec 2002 and with the filing of the formal grievances this has now become a responsibility of the LRO's in the National Office. The National Office has issued three bulletins on this issue providing additional direction, any queries related to the clarification of this issue or information on your members’ grievances should be directed to the National Office via the Regional Vice Presidents, as these bulletins were not issued by the Staffing Committee and the processing of grievances is not under our jurisdiction. No further action is required at this time.

6. PM Educational Standards

Further to our last meeting, Shane wrote to the CRA as a result of the employer advising the union during the December 2002, National Union-Management Consultation Committee meeting, that the final policy is with the Commissioner for signature with an effective date on the date of signing. It was expected that this would be signed by the end of December. The new policy has been signed and an amended version is available on the Infozone. No further action is required at this time.

7. Agency Staffing and Recourse

  1. PIPSC Legal Challenge

    The case has now been heard before the Federal Court and a decision is still pending.

  2. Applications for Judicial Review

    The case was heard on January 7, 2004 and a decision is still pending.

8. Staffing Grievances

Further to our last meeting, Kent will speak with the National President to have her discuss these grievances with the Labour Relations Officers with a view to determining if there are any staffing grievances in the inventory and to develop a strategy around the presentation of these grievances. If there are any staffing grievances in inventory, Kent will request a list of the grievances so we can review which grievances can go forward immediately with the intent of taking our own case to adjudication and then subsequently judicial review. Kent will also follow up with PIPSC to find out the status of Dhudwal vs CCRA 166-34-31523-527 and if they have proceeded with judicial review.

9. Computer Profiles for Trust Compliance/Collections Contact Officers Job Descriptions

Linda reported that she sent a follow up email to David Miller, Assistant Commissioner, Assessment and Collections Branch, outlining UTE’s concerns around the potential for conflict for employees performing the functions of a combined job in assessing/reassessing taxpayers and then subsequently taking enforcement/ collections/compliance action against the same taxpayer. Miller advised that these concerns were already reviewed by the Agency and that the Agency does not believe this to have the potential for a breach of security.

10. CS Educational Standard

Further to our last meeting, the Committee attended a meeting on January 20th, 2003, which was reported in the February 2003 Staffing Committee report. The Committee has continued their efforts to get the employer to rescind their position on the CS Education standards, the employer advised they would review our position and get back to us. Kent will follow up with staff relations as to the status.

11. PQP and Other Staffing Abuses

The Committee reviewed the issues that were listed in the December 2003 Staffing Committee Report and prepared for the meeting with the employer scheduled for March 29, 2004.

12. Research Officer/Complex Case Officer

The Committee attempted to review the concerns that had been brought to their attention as a result of staffing bulletin 13/02 and14/02 in respect of the most recent developments with ACS. While obtaining information on the status of the grievances filed by our members (60 classification, 15 job content and 5 acting pay) in the spring of 2002, the Committee was informed that the National President is handling this issue and that any and all concerns would be addressed by her. Thus our membership should be instructed to contact the National Office, specifically the Office of President, for information regarding ROCCO concerns. Any specific questions related to a grievance should be directed via your RVP to the responsible Labour Relations Officer. No further action required at this time.

13. Assessment of CCRA Recourse

In July, 2003 Brother MacDonald and Brother O’Brien attended a meeting with Deloitte and Touche on the Assessment of CCRA Recourse. They reported back that the assessment was to cover all recourse not just staffing. As a result, Brother O’Brien and Sister Bannon attended the subsequent meetings on this issue. No further action is required by the Staffing Committee at this time.

14. Changes to the PQP process

The Committee wishes to thank those locals that replied to our bulletin on the issues within the PQP process. The Committee has a meeting scheduled with the employer on March 29th and we will raise the respective issues and concerns with the employer at that time.

15. Quotas – Article 58 of the Collective Agreement

Further to our last meeting, a meeting has been scheduled for March 29th, 2004 with the CRA to discuss UTE’s interpretation of Article 58 as it relates to the prohibition of using numeric quotas in the performance management process as well as the discrepancy between “assigned tasks” and what the employer currently includes in the evaluations. On the overall issue of numeric quotas in the performance management process, the Committee is continuing to recommend that employees refuse to sign performance expectations in the performance management process where numeric quotas are used and that they grieve the matter where the employer refuses to remove the numeric quotas.

16. Performance Management System

On the issue of Performance Management and Performance Reviews we advanced the position that with the new wording in Article 58 of our Collective Agreement, the employer’s policy is in contravention of the agreement. Article 58.01 (a) states “a formal assessment and/or appraisal of an employee’s performance means any written assessment and/or appraisal by any supervisor of how well the employee has performed the employee’s assigned tasks during a specified period in the past;”

The employer’s policy states “Written performance assessments will”:

  • assess and confirm the level of performance based on goals, objectives and expectations;
  • identify required learning activities; and
  • include a discussion on career interests, as appropriate.”

So based on this information, we informed the employer that we were taking a very narrow meaning of “assigned tasks” and any performance review with a scope greater than that would be met with opposition.

A bulletin will be issued on the issue of Quotas, production rates, performance management, recall pools and article 58 following the meeting with the employer.

17. Access to Personnel Files

The Committee was advised that Personnel files are being viewed during staffing processes by those who may not have a right to this access. First of all, there is no formal policy in place...either locally, regionally or nationally to cover this situation. The Committee has a meeting scheduled with the employer on March 29th to address our concerns.