Staffing Committee

Minutes of the Staffing Committee Meeting

September 7-8, 2002

In attendance:

K. MacDonald
L. Cassidy
J. Kosiba
J. Little
S. O'Brien

1. Agency Classification Standard (ACS) and Job Description Review

The Committee discussed its role in the review of job descriptions provided in draft form by the CCRA. We agreed that our review does not constitute UTE’s approval of the duties of the position, but more so, UTE’s opinion on the description of the substantiating data contained in the work description. From time to time, glaring omissions in the key activities will be noted. Nothing in our review should be construed as to limit or otherwise prejudice a member’s right to grieve or to be construed that UTE entirely agrees with the contents of the work description.

Further to our last committee meeting, a meeting was held with functional representatives of the CCRA’s Finance and Administration division during which we raised various concerns with respect to the national job descriptions replacing the regional job descriptions and the effective date. A follow-up meeting was scheduled for March 5, 2002, but subsequently postponed. We will contact the CCRA representatives to reschedule this meeting.

On February 19, 2002, a teleconference was held with representatives of the CCRA where they reported that there is a new CHRC representative assigned to the CCRA-ACS file. No further information is available at this time.

Discussions have been held with the PSAC with respect to challenging the ACS and the creation of a de facto second standard with the creation of the ACS-MG standard. We will follow up with the PSAC on this matter as the employer has now classified jobs against the ACS-MG standard. A letter will be sent to Judith Martineau on this matter. This is even more important as PIPSC and PSAC have now signed Collective Agreements with the employer, with some jobs being classified against the MG Standard and the affected members now being paid their MG rates of pay.

The CCRA has now provided the Committee with a list of all positions in the MG group as well as all of the pertinent job descriptions.

2. MG Group

Concerns have been raised with respect to some members not being converted into the MG Group as a result of the employer, in some cases, not following its own conversion guidelines. The matter has been raised at the Headquarters level of the CCRA, but no corrective action has been taken to date. Accordingly, members affected by this decision should grieve the matter.

We have been advised that all Official Employee Notification (OEN) sessions have now been completed for affected employees.

On May 25, 2002, the PSAC, in conjunction with UTE and CEUDA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the CCRA simplifying and streamlining a process to deal with MG job description complaints in order to reduce the number of grievances on this matter. This MOU also serves to protect and extend the time limits for filing grievances, should it become necessary. Sixty-seven (67) submissions from twenty-four (24) Locals dealing with thirty-one (31) job descriptions were received by UTE and forwarded to the CCRA on June 18, 2002. In accordance with the terms of the MOU, the employer is to review all of these submissions and respond to them by September 30, 2002.

3. MG Educational Standard

Shane reported that he attended a meeting on August 29, 2002 with the CCRA concerning the formulation of an MG Educational Standard. The CCRA reported that it wished to create a consistent educational standard across the MG line and thus, suggested that the standard be completion of secondary school or an approved CCRA alternative. Selection processes may, however, give preference to a higher educational standard based on business needs. Shane also proposed and the CCRA agreed that persons currently occupying MG positions who have not completed secondary school will be grandfathered. It was also agreed that the CCRA would endeavour to determine how many employees in the feeder groups for some positions do not possess completion of secondary school.

4. Team Leaders’ Job Descriptions – “Due Diligence”

Further to our last meeting, Linda followed up with the CCRA to obtain a response to her letter of March 27, 2002. The CCRA provided a written response on December 14, 2001 advising that the “due diligence” requirement would be reflected under the Leadership element and Contextual Knowledge – Legislation and Regulations. They did not agree, however, that revisions were needed in the area of Well-being of Others or Ensuring Compliance. (Please see the attached revisions developed by the CCRA.) No further action is required at this time.

5. Specified Period Employees

Shane provided to the Committee members a copy of the CCRA memorandum to Assist Commissioners concerning the Three Year Term Reviews (Temporary Resourcing). UTE does not believe that this memorandum adequately deals with the issue and continues to meet with the CCRA on the matter.

Through the last round of negotiations, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed allowing for the creation of a Joint Committee to study the use of term employment in the CCRA. To date, there has been one teleconference of this Committee and one meeting held from September 4 to 6. Further dates have been scheduled. The Committee is comprised of one PSAC representative, three UTE representatives (including two term members), two CEUDA representative (including one term member) and six management representatives. The UTE representatives are Shane O’Brien, Linda Royle and Johanne Pruneau. The Joint Committee is to complete its study and issue a report, including recommendations, by December 2002. Specific Information concerning the study will be issued directly from the Joint Committee.

6. Competency Profiles

The issue of the lack of consultation by the CCRA on the establishment of competency profiles was raised at the December 2001 National Union Management Consultation (NUMC) Meeting. The CCRA has refused to change its position concerning consultation in this matter. As a result, no further action is required at this time.

7. Performance Management

Further to our last meeting, UTE received an email from David Miller, the employer co-chair of the NUMC, formalizing the CCRA’s commitment concerning quotas in the Performance Management Process. This was also discussed at the June 2002 NUMC. Shane also issued a bulletin on this matter on October 19, 2001 (Bulletin 24/01).

The Committee also examined the provisions of Article 58 of the collective agreement as it relates to quotas in the performance management process. The Committee is of the opinion that clause 58.01 (a), specifically the reference to the “assessment and/or appraisal by any supervisor of how well the employee has performed the employee’s assigned tasks…[emphasis added], prohibits using numeric quotas in the performance management process. Section 58.01 (a) of the collective agreement was included during the last round of negotiations. Shane will contact the appropriate CCRA representative(s) in an effort to schedule a meeting to discuss this matter.

8. PM Educational Standards for PM Positions Requiring Knowledge of Accounting

The Committee reviewed the above noted revised document which the CCRA sent to UTE for comments. The following items were noted:

  • on pages 5 and 7, the title “Annex” should be changed to “Appendix” to ensure consistency with the wording used in the rest of the standard.
  • why is number 7 required in light of the fact that the CCRA has an Auditor Apprenticeship Program.
  • The policy may also adversely affect the Auditor Apprenticeship Program and therefore, an exclusion for staffing actions under this apprenticeship program should be incorporated into the standard.

Shane will draft a response to the CCRA’s invitation for comments.

9. Agency Staffing and Recourse

  1. PIPSC Legal Challenge
    No new information has been received on this issue.
  2. Applications for Judicial Review
    The Anderson case, involving an Individual Feedback decision, has now been scheduled in Federal Court for January 2003. No further information has been received on the remaining two Applications for Judicial Review.


10. Staffing Grievances

The Committee discussed the PSAC’s previous decision not to pursue staffing grievances before the Federal Court and/or the Public Service Staff Relations Board. The UTE National President has now discussed this matter with the PSAC National President and the latter has now agreed to pursue new grievances on this matter. Brother MacDonald will follow up with the UTE National President with a view to obtaining a written undertaking from the PSAC.

11. Preferred Status Directive

Shane reported that he has again met with representatives of the CCRA concerning salary protection for members returning from disability. The CCRA has taken the position that they are not prepared to revise its Directive at this time, but that it is currently under review. In addition, the CCRA has agreed to review each case on its own merits. UTE’s Workforce Adjustment Committee is also consulting with the CCRA with a view to the creation of a revised directive and thus, no further action by the Staffing Committee is required at this time.

12. GST/HST Account Maintenance and GST/HST Accounting – Transfer of Responsibility

Further to our last meeting, the TSO and TC Local Presidents were contacted and advised of this transfer of responsibility. No concerns were reported back to our Committee. The Chairperson of UTE’s Workforce Adjustment Committee was also notified of this initiative. No further action is required at this time.

13. Classification and Job Description Grievances

Further to requests made at the September 2001 Presidents’ Conference and further to our last meeting, Brother O’Brien issued a bulletin on the above noted subject. No further action is required at this time.

14. Leadership Development Programs

On December 22, 1994, the Staffing Committee issued a bulletin (Bulletin 94/94) on the subject of Developmental Assignment Programs and asking Locals to forward copies of any such programs to our Committee for review. With the creation of the CCRA, the employer appears to be engaging in an initiative aimed at the creation of new leadership development programs. Copies of several such programs were sent to the Committee by the Sudbury, Saskatoon, Thunder Bay, Northern B.C. and Yukon and Sydney Locals.

A review of each of these programs was conducted by the Committee and the following common concerns were noted:

  • Employees must be sponsored by a specific level of management. Candidates not sponsored will not be eligible;
  • Term employees are excluded from the program;
  • Varying educational requirements or an absence of educational requirements;
  • Subjective criteria for assessment and selection;
  • An absence of language (except for Saskatoon and Sudbury) on pay and benefits in higher level positions;
  • An absence of employment equity considerations (except Thunder Bay and Saskatoon);
  • Varying levels of experience required;
  • An absence of language on recourse rights;
  • Varying durations of the programs;
  • Reliance on assessment through performance reviews;
  • Adverse consequences on continuing eligibility in the program if an assignment is refused;
  • An absence of language (except for Saskatoon) guaranteeing the right to return to the substantive position; and
  • No definition of the Academic requirements of the program.

Other concerns were noted, but were specific to an individual developmental program.

The Committee agreed that we would attempt to schedule a meeting with the CCRA’s Staffing Programs Branch representatives in order to discuss our concerns surrounding these programs. As well, Brother O’Brien will issue a bulleting asking that all Locals provide copies of any developmental programs to the Committee for review.

15. Coaching and Mentoring Initiative

The Committee reviewed the CCRA’s policy with respect to the above noted initiative. No concerns were noted.

16. Pre-Qualification Process (PQP) Guidelines

The Committee reviewed the above noted guidelines which have now been approved by the CCRA Commissioner. While UTE does not endorse these guidelines, no further action is required at this time as the document has now been finalized and the employer is now starting to implement these guidelines.


17. CS Educational Standard

The employer has now finalized the above noted standard which established a minimum of post-secondary education in computer sciences. This standard adversely affects the career aspirations of many of our members and, in UTE’s opinion, will favour external recruitment. Brother O’Brien will discuss this matter with the National President and ask that she write to the employer outlining our concerns.