Equal Opportunities Committee

UTE / CRA Employment Equity Briefing Meeting

May 18th, 2005

Present:

Management

Equal Opportunities Committee

Elaine Courtney Linda Cassidy
Bonnie Lehman Terry Dupuis
Manda Noble-Green Darlene Bembridge
Shirley Baker
Cindy Little
Joseph Parris
Louis Verreault
Loree-Ann Huard
Lina Ruel

Overview of Employment Equity Activities under the EE Act

For the benefit of the new members of our committee, the employer did a brief presentation on the major employment equity activities under the EE Act.

  • Self-Identification – workforce profile survey
  • Workforce Analysis
  • Employment Systems Review
  • EE Plan – Strategic Direction for EE and Regional Action Plans
  • Monitoring of progress - EE Annual Report
  • Review and Revision of the EE Plan
  • Compliance Audit by Canadian Human Rights Commission
  • Communication with employees
  • Consultation and Collaboration

Update on the Employment Equity Activities in CRA

EE Annual Report 2004-2005

The National EE Section is currently writing the EE Annual Report, as of March 31, 2005. It is expected that the Report will be tabled in Parliament sooner this year (i.e. mid-September 2005).

Workforce Analysis – as of March 31, 2005

The National EE Section is currently crafting the new Workforce Analysis, as of March 31, 2005. Once completed, the Workforce Analysis will be shared with the Senior EE Coordinators, the Regional EE Coordinators, the Chairs and Co-Chairs of the National Advisory Committees (NAC), and the Union representatives at the national level.  The new Workforce Analysis will identify the gaps and the Regions will be asked to adjust their action plans, if required.

EE Strategic Direction 2005-2008

The Board of Management approved EE Strategic Direction 2005-2008, outlining the CRA’s priorities, on March 23, 2005. The Strategic Direction was developed in consultation with EE stakeholders (NAC members, Senior EE Coordinators, Regional EE Coordinators and Union representatives at the national level). The final version was shared in April 2005.

Electronic Workforce Profile Survey

This project consists of developing an electronic workforce profile questionnaire that would be available for completion by employees on a continual basis.  It was successfully piloted with the NAC members, the Senior EE Coordinators, regional EE Coordinators and Unions. It will be launched nationally very shortly. It is recommended to have a yearly reminder by the Commissioner to ensure that the records are kept up-to-date as much as possible.  The employer acknowledges that the electronic version will not be easily accessible to approximately 5 to 6 thousands employees; the paper version of the survey will be accepted.

Strategy for Persons with Disabilities

The Québec Region completed its activities for the pilot of the Strategy for Persons with Disabilities on March 31, 2005.  Statistics demonstrate that the Strategy was successful in bridging their overall regional gap for persons with disabilities.  The Assistant Commissioner for the Québec Region will be disseminating the results of the specific activities.  The results we will also be shared with the unions.

National Committee of Federal Public Servants with Disabilities (NCFPSD)

This is an inter-departmental committee. At the Congress 2005, a few employees of CRA were voted in as representatives on the Committee:

  • Marlene Hoce – Prairie Region
  • Rachelle Halpenny – National Capital Region

The CRA continues to support NCFPSD activities, along with the other federal organizations. It was mentioned that Treasury Board is still not negotiating with Sunlife Insurance to ameliorate the conditions for eligibility and the benefits for persons with disabilities.

Aboriginal Awareness Training

Dr. Neil McDonald will continue to provide Aboriginal Awareness Sessions in English for 2005-06. The dates for the sessions for this fiscal year have been communicated to the regions. We are currently working on a contract for the French session for the Québec Region.

National Adaptive Technology Support Project

A project is underway to develop an IT Support Services Model to better support employees that require adaptive technology to do their work. Information Technology Branch and the Adaptive Technology Program (Finance & Administrative Branch) are spearheading this project. The purpose of this project is to ensure that the architecture, best practices, ITB standards and norms for acquisition, and the development and maintenance of Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) products are applied to all Adaptive Technology solutions. Part of this project includes training for the first level IT support. The project is well underway.“Train the trainer” sessions in the regions are completed and the regions are now training their IT people.

Once completed, it is expected that the rollout of IT products will be more accessible and that the service to our adaptive computer users will be better coordinated.

EE as Placement Criteria

Elaine explained the need to provide clarification to the regions on the use of EE as a placement criterion.  In June 2004, a draft new Bulletin with supporting documentation was sent out for consultation. Comments received were taken into consideration and a second version of the Bulletin was sent in March 2005.
 
Linda reiterated our two areas of concerns which were shared with the employer last year:

  • The addition of “National” under the area of under-representation; and
  • The recommendation of the possible use of “EE as placement criteria” on all job postings, even if there is no under-representation at the time of the posting.

The Staffing Program Directive on Employment Equity states clearly that:
“Authorized persons may use Employment Equity as a placement criterion in selection processes, where there is demonstrated under-representation within an occupational group as per an employment equity plan.

Regional Employment Equity Action Plans – 2005-2006

The regional plans are to be submitted by the end of June.

“Out and About”

This publication prepared by Canadian Heritage and Parks Canada is to promote a better understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered person in the workplace.  In January, we had asked CRA to consider a wide distribution of the publication within the Agency.  Elaine will ask Darryl Mahoney if he has made a decision on the issue.

Language as a Barrier to the Hiring and the Promotion of Members from the Visible Minorities.

A general discussion was held on the issue of language as a barrier for the hiring of visible minorities members.  There should be more language courses and integration (co-op) programs in the Community.  This concern was also discussed at the National Advisory Committee for Visible Minorities but no feasible suggestion was brought forward.

Once hired, some regions do offer courses such as “Pronunciation Power” to employees with different language skills.  This software assists in the development of general English pronunciation skills. This initiative should be shared with all the regions.