Equal Opportunities Committee

Union of Taxation Employee Employment Equity Update

June 29th, 2006

UNION OF TAXATION EMPLOYEES
  EMPLOYMENT EQUITY UPDATE

Thursday, June 29th, 2006
1:00 to 3:30
233 Gilmour Street
PSAC Building – 8th floor

Attendees:

Management

Elaine Courtney – Director Employment Equity Program
Linda Nishikawa – Senior EE Advisor

Bonnie Lehman – Labour Relations representative

Union
 
Lina Ruel - LRO / ART
Shawn Bergeron - Chairperson / Président
Terry Dupuis - Regional Vice-President / Vice-président régional
Darlene Bembridge - Elected by the Locals / Élu par les sections locales
Shirley Baker - Aboriginal Peoples / Autochtones
Loree-Ann Huard - Gays & Lesbians / Gais et lesbiennes
Cindy Little – Women / Femme
Joseph Parris - Visible Minority / Membre d'une minorité visible
Louis Verreault - Persons with Disabilities/ Personne ayant un handicap

Speaking Notes

Summary of Discussions/ Commitments

Update from last meeting commitments:

1)  Out and About" publication by Canadian Heritage and Parks Canada

  • The CRA supports the use of this publication.
  • Since the meeting of October 2005,  there has been a change in direction with respect to the GLBT.  The new Assistant Commissioner, Mme Gauvin, recommended a different approach from the one that I had presented at the union meeting.  During the meeting, I informed the unions that we were proposing to share the GLBT publication with a note from the AC explaining that the publication was an excellent guide for managers, etc.  Since then, the AC recommended that we tailor the guide to CRA.  The Pacific Region accepted to undertake this task. 
  • The GLBT Committee in the Pacific Region was asked to adapt the brochure for CRA use at the national level.
  • We are reviewing the adapted brochure and while it is excellent for the Pacific, we will need to change it to give it a more national perspective.
  • We regret the delay this has caused.
  • Workforce Analysis Deck (English).  Elaine agreed to send the deck as well as the French version electronically to participants.

Workforce Analysis Deck was shared on October 31, 2005.

  • EE Annual Report - Elaine agreed to forward to all participants once the Report has been tabled in Parliament.  Lina requested that this be sent to her as an attachment to the e-mail.

Unfortunately, the EE Annual Report for 2004-2005 has not yet been tabled in Parliament.

  • Electronic Workforce Profile Survey - Elaine informed participants that the national EE section will keep unions informed and consult with them on the next round of the Workforce Profile Survey and the messaging that will go with it.  Elaine also committed to giving the unions the return rate by region which will be possible as of February 2006.

The unions were consulted on the messaging.
This initiative was very successful.
We are currently preparing the workforce analysis for dessimination.  The Union will receive a copy as usual.

  • CRA Strategy for Persons with Disabilities - Elaine has committed to sending unions update on CD’s due to the volume of material included in Québec’s update, this is the best strategy to avoid it being bounced back.

The information was shared but instead of sending it on CD, we refered to the Québec Info Zone since they had all the information on their site.

  • Electronic Resource Centre - Elaine committed to looking into where the EE/Diversity training is located on the various sites and providing links to the unions (ie. a repertoire of the training available within CRA on the EE/Diversity).
This item is still outstanding.

UPDATES

1. Workforce Analysis – As of March 31, 2006

Present the national Overview as of March 31, 2006.  Since this has not yet been sent to the regions, ask the union representatives to please not share with anyone at this point.

ACTION

The National EE Section will send the Workforce Analysis to the unions via Bonnie Lehman on disk.

2.   EE Annual Report 2005-2006

  • The National EE Section is currently working on the EE Annual Report for 2005-2006.
  • Highlights of the Report were presented to AMC and BOM in June 2006.
  • Once the Report is tabled in Parliament, a copy will be distributed to the Unions.
  • The Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada is responsible to table the EE Reports – they have until March 31st to table the Reports.
 
  • Copy of the Report will be sent to the Unions once tabled in Parliament by PSHRMAC.

3. Electronic Workforce Profile Survey

  • We have sent a reminder to all employees about the Workforce Profile Survey - May 2006.
  • A communication package for the managers was provided to assist in promoting the self-identification.
  • Unions were consulted on the messages and the package.
  • The new data will be reflected in the next workforce analysis of March 31, 2007.  
  • N/A

Other Agenda Items from UTE:

1. Employment Equity and affected employees under the Workforce Adjustment.  If there is a gap for a certain group, will this be taken into consideration when declaring employees affected?

  • Response:
    • The National EE Section does periodic analysis of affected employees to ensure that designated groups are not adversely affected, especially in areas of under-representation.  The last analysis did not indicate that the four designated groups were more affected than non-designated group members. 
    • There is a new guide that will come soon about Workforce Adjustment and it will provide tools to assist in maintaining our representation.  EE can be used as a retention criterion.  This guideline will be shared with the unions.

2. Designated group members working in offices across the country but reporting to NCR-HQ.  How the stats (WFA results) indicate that they work at NCR-HQ and how this affects members of designated groups in the NCR-HQ region. (We discussed this topic before).

  • Response:
    • We are aware of certain areas that have changed their reporting relationship and we are continually doing analysis of the impact of these changes.  For example, in the case of Classification, where employees from across the country report to NCR-HQ, we are aware that approximately 10 employees, residing in different areas across the country, report directly to NCR-HQ.  In the statistical analysis, those 10 employees will show in the NCR-HQ statistics.  At this point, the numbers involved are so small that it does not affect negatively the workforce analysis at the regional level.  (Annex 1 for example). 
    • We are also aware of the situation in the Atlantic Region (Sydney reporting to Halifax).  Again, we have done an impact analysis and at this time, there is no negative impact that we have been able to detect.  This is an area that we will continue to monitor very closely because as the Agency changes its way of doing business, we need to ensure that the integrity of the workforce analysis is not compromised.

3. Accountability of Hiring manager- Hiring managers should be aware of possible gaps prior to placement; and if there is a gap, and the manager decides not to use EE as placement, he/she must have to defend their action.

  • Response:
    • When we communicate the Workforce Analysis to the Regions, the Senior Employment Equity Coordinators inform their regional management teams of the regional gaps.  In addition, the HR Managers and Advisors are also informed and provide advice to hiring managers on the gaps.
    • Some regions have taken different approaches when it comes to bridging the gaps.  For example, in HRB, managers have been informed to use EE as a placement criteria when possible to assist in bridging the gap of visible minorities. While it is not in the managers’ accountability agreement at this time, the Assistant Commissioner is requesting that we report on when the special measure is not being used and the rational. 
    • More regions are using special measures – in many cases, it is a question of education.
    • We are doing more education around the utilization of this tool with managers, HR Advisors and with the National EE Advisory Committees.
    • Culture needs to shift – need to allow flexibility for managers to manage.
       

4. GLBT – Why not push for Regional committees like the Pacific?

Comments from the Union:  The Union expressed disappointment with the delay in producing the GLBT brochure.  We need to do more education around GLBT.  UTE is looking for direction from National with respect to encouraging regions to have GLBT advisory groups.  They are lobbying to have a fifth designated group for GLBT. 

Management thanked the Union for their comments and will take them under advisement.  Management also indicated that the GLBT Brochure could be ready for consultation by late Fall 2006.

  • Response:
    • Each region has a different reality in terms of its workforce.
    • Currently, each region has various committees in place that best serve their realities.
    • There is nothing preventing regions from establishing a GLBT committee.

5. Employee Survey 2005 (if results are available to discuss Questions dealing with EE issues)

  • Response:
    • Because the results have just been made public, I am not ready to discuss this issue at this time.
    • We are concerned over the increase of harassment and discrimination results.

6. Aboriginal Tax Officer Apprenticeship Program (ATOAP)

Comments from UTE:  Need to ensure education of others in units where there are  Aboriginal participants so they do not face hardship.  Mentors could help the Aboriginal participants in the Program to deal with the backlash.  The Union can assist in prepare in their local executives. 

  • Response:
    • Approved by the AMC in the Spring 2006
    • Compliance Programs Branch was asked to take the lead to develop the implementation plan.
    • CPB are putting together a working committee to develop the implementation plan.

OTHER ITEMS DISCUSSED (not on the agenda)

Leave with Income Averaging

The union asked why the minimum time you can take is five weeks.  Some employees cannot financially afford to take five weeks but could take 3 weeks.  Why must the leave be from five weeks to three months.

Following the meeting, Staff Relations provided us with the following response:

Individual leave arrangements with leave periods of less than five weeks are too costly to administer in comparison to the potential benefits for the employer.

We are not satisfied with this answer and will continue to pursue the subject with the employer.

Observe and Attest

A concern was raised that some of the managers assessing the employees never received any kind of cultural awareness training and this could have an impact on the level received by employees of various cultural background.  Elaine agrees that more cultural awareness training has to be given to managers.

National Advisory Committees (NAC)

The union asked what criteria is used for the selection of NAC members.  Elaine replied that there is no criteria used and that the selection is made at the regional level.  Being on a regional or national NAC committee is considered a developmental opportunity.