Call Centre Committee

Minutes of the Call Centre Committee Meeting

January 25-26, 2011
In attendance:  Bob Campbell 1st National Vice-President (Chairperson)
Nick Stein RVP, Southwestern Ontario (Co-Chair)
Debbie Ferguson Call Centre Representative (Saint John)
Micheline Bourgeois Call Centre Representative (Montréal)
Kent MacDonald Staff Advisor

1. Preparation for Joint Consultation Committee meeting on extra hours and overtime at Call Centres

Brother Campbell opened the meeting explain how the information for Item no. 2 was compiled from the responses to his December 2010 email to the Call Centre Contacts.

The Committee had a general discussion on Call Centres. 

Brother Stein provided an update from an Ontario Regional meeting he attended on Call Centres.  He reiterated UTE’s position that we need improvement on staffing ratios; i.e., perm/term, full-time/part-time employees.  At this meeting, the employer provided an overview of the operations of all five Ontario Call Centres;   i.e., Toronto North – General Enquiries, Toronto Centre – Business Window, Hamilton – General Enquiries, ITSO – Non-Resident and Ottawa – National   Collections Call Centre.  Brother Stein also raised the concerns about   pensionable hours, call-back procedures, five-year rollover and the upcoming   Internal Expenditure Review. 

Sister Ferguson provided an overview on an employer’s proposal to use an “agent assessment tool” to assist managers in deciding how to allocate additional hours.

Sister Bourgeois’ concerns are with the five-year rollover and the use of students in positions that should be given to our members to make them permanent/full-time.  She is also concerned about the creation of an SP-05 Technical Team as opposed to each work team being assigned an SP-05 Technical Advisor.  This item will be discussed at the Joint meeting with the employer.

The Committee concluded that “extra or additional hours” can be broken down into three categories:

  1. Long-Term:  When the employer does its forecasting and can allocate hours in advance.

  2. Middle:  When additional hours of 3 or 4 weeks are needed to meet a specific demand.

  3. Short-Term:  Related to daily business needs; i.e., member off on sick leave, office closure thus telephone lines needing to be open in another office.

Specific concerns related to the above will be discussed at the Joint meeting.

2. Review of input from Call Centre Contacts

In December 2010, Brother Campbell sent an email to the Call Centre Contacts in which he asked 12 questions looking for information to assist the Committee in preparation for the Joint Committee meeting on extra hours.  The Committee reviewed all the data received.

3. Joint Consultation Committee Meeting – January 26, 2011

The members of the Ad Hoc Committee met with representatives of the CRA on January 26, 2011 to discuss additional hours and overtime hours at Call Centres. 

The employer stated that in preparing for this meeting, they had sent out the same questions to their Call Centre management teams that Brother Campbell had sent out.  We reviewed the employer’s responses and had a good dialogue about the Call Centres. 

Brother Campbell, along with all the Committee members, stressed the importance that the employer continue to work at making our members permanent/full-time and the UTE will continue to raise this issue until we are satisfied that the employer has done everything it can do to maximize permanent/full-time and reduce the use of term/part-time.

As a result of this meeting, the employer will be looking into the concerns raised at our meeting and another meeting is to be scheduled in the near future.

4. Recommendation to Executive Council

As a result of the Joint meeting and the need for a follow-up meeting, the Committee has postponed this item until our next meeting.

5. Call Centre Contact List

The Committee reviewed the contact list and updated the names and email addresses for each Call Centre.  Brother MacDonald will ensure that the list is updated and sent out to the Committee members.

6. Sign-on Agreements

In previous discussion, concerns were raised about the issue of sign-on agreements. Brother Campbell explained that the issue in question was that the type of sign-on agreement being used in one office was not the same as being used across the country.  Brother Campbell brought this to the attention of the Regional Vice-President.  It is Brother Campbell’s understanding that the RVP had resolved this concern at the Regional/Local level.

The meeting adjourned at 3:45 pm, January 26, 2011.