TERMS OF REFERENCE NATIONAL JOINT CONSULTATION COMMITTEE
The Department of Justice (“Management”)
Association of Public Service Financial Administrators (APSFA)
Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE)
Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC)
The Union of Solicitor General Employees, Public Service Alliance of Canada
Objectives of this Document
This document provides guidelines for establishing a formal consultation committee between Department of Justice management and its employee representatives and for conducting its meetings.
Name of Consultation Committee
The committee will be called the “National Labour Management Consultation Committee”, or NLMCC and will be the official channel for this process.
Statement of Commitment
Department of Justice (“Management”) and the following groups (“Employee Representatives”) recognize that this committee is an important vehicle for facilitating the constructive exchange of information, ideas and views to support informed decisionmaking and problem solving. Members are committed to working together cooperatively to ensure a healthy, safe, productive and respectful working environment:
- Association of Public Service Financial Administrators (APSFA)
- Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE)
- Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC)
- Union of Solicitor General Employees, Public Service Alliance of Canada (USGE, PSAC).
- Mutual respect - Members respect individual differences, roles and lines of authority in order to gain a better understanding of each member’s position. Each member’s view and opinion is valued. Members feel free to express their views freely and without apprehension.
- Partnership – Members cooperate and participate as equals in the process, and share in the responsibility for making consultation work so that problems are prevented or solved, and opportunities are identified and developed.
- Equal representation - A balanced representation from each party is maintained to avoid the perception of intimidation and to maintain equality of status.
- Good faith - The committee is a partnership based on the belief in the integrity of the parties. Members are committed to enhancing trustworthiness by following-up on all commitments made. They avoid actions that might place other members in a compromising position.
- Honesty - Members exchange information and views to the fullest extent possible.
- Communication – Members strive to maintain open lines of communication, and use shared information in a manner that promotes positive working relationships. Members seek opinions and advice and ensure that they understand and are understood by the other parties.
Purpose of Consultation
Committee members are committed to consult with one another on issues of mutual interest in order to facilitate informed and effective decision-making that improves outcomes for all and that enhances the union-management relationship. While the NLMCC is intended to foster effective communication and mutual understanding, it is not designed to replace informal communication mechanisms between management and employees.
Scope of Consultation
Consultation is not intended to limit management’s authority or obligation to manage, make decisions or take actions in the best interests of the employer.
Similarly, consultation is not intended to interfere with the Employee Representatives’:
- responsibility to represent the best interests of its members
- rights as established under any legislation or the applicable collective agreement provisions, and
- the regulations governing the Terms and Conditions of Employment.
View of the Consultative Process
Consultation with those who will be affected by changes in the workplace should occur prior to decisions being made or as soon as there is a reasonable likelihood that change will occur. However, this does not in any way imply unanimous or majority agreement among the parties on issues that are the subject of consultation.
During the consultation process, the issues at stake will not be discussed in a public forum until the concerns have been put in writing and the receiving party has had a reasonable opportunity to provide a response. Information disclosure during consultation shall be subject to the restrictions specified by the Access to Information and the Privacy Act.
Consultation should promote mutual understanding, problem prevention and problem solving. It should reduce conflict and stress and should lead to improved understanding and learning in the context of enhancing the relationship.
Composition and alternates
The National Labour-Management Consultation Committee (NLMCC) will include representatives from all 4 Unions.
Management and unions will identify their regular members and any alternates to replace them in the event of absence at the outset of each calendar year. To provide consistency in representation, members and alternates must be named.
- Associate Deputy Minister
- Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services
- Director, Human Resources Policy and Planning
- Associate Deputy Attorney General
- Senior Regional Director
- National Union Presidents and/or delegated union representatives (maximum 2 per union and corresponding named alternates)
Replacement of Members
Where members are to be replaced on a permanent basis for any reason, the co-chairs and meeting coordinator must be advised in advance and provided with relevant contact information.
Co-chairs will be utilized and the chair of individual committee meetings will alternate between Management and the Employee Representative. In the absence of the appointed co-chair, the member’s named alternate will chair the meeting.
On an annual basis, the unions will choose from their committee members, a spokesperson to act as chair for the Employee group.
The Deputy Minister will designate the Management chair and that person will be employed in a managerial or confidential capacity and have appropriate authority to make and apply decisions.
Management will provide a Meeting Coordinator to receive agenda items, prepare the meeting agenda and take minutes. This person will have no decision-making status with respect to issues tabled for the committee.
Departmental Representatives and Invited Guests
Individuals may be invited by mutual agreement of the Management and Employee Representative co-chairs for the purpose of providing specialized or technical advice and information with respect to an agenda item. These parties will not participate in any discussions other than the topic(s) for which they were invited.
Visitors and observers
Visitors and observers may attend committee meetings for the purpose of employee development, subject to the advance notice and approval by the co-chairs. These parties will not participate in any discussions.
Liaison with other Labour Management Consultation Committees (LMCCs)
Regional LMCCs will exist in every departmental region and each will establish its own operating principles and procedures.
Local LMCCs will exist where there is adequate mutual interest and resources to ensure their ongoing operation. Where there is no local LMCC, employees may refer issues directly to the Regional LMCC.
Regional and local LMCCs will not have representatives on the NLMCC however they will have access to agendas and minutes from the NLMCC and will be able to refer unresolved issues where this is appropriate.
All parties share the responsibility for contributing agenda items. The parties agree to prepare and exchange subjects for consultation at least 10 working days in advance of meetings, to permit the parties to make the necessary preparations for discussion.
Originators of agenda items shall indicate the corresponding objective (decision-making, information, consultation, co-development etc.) for each agenda item submitted and shall indicate if a specific person is required to be in attendance in order to respond to a particular subject. A sample form is attached to facilitate submission of agenda items.
Originators are responsible to provide all background information and related documentation to the meeting coordinator at the time the agenda item is submitted or as soon as it is available before the meeting date in order to all members adequate time for their review.
The presiding co-chair will approve the agenda and the meeting coordinator will be responsible for distributing the approved agenda to members and named alternates.
The party proposing an agenda item shall introduce the topic at the meeting.
Topics for consultation
All matters may be subject to consultation except those that could modify acts, collective agreements or regulations governing terms and conditions employment or those for which other formal channels of redress have been established. Individual employee cases (problems or grievances) do not fall within the scope of issues for discussion in the NLMCC forum.
The committee will provide strategic direction and deal with issues of department-wide importance involving strategic, structural or policy changes:
- Policies, program and procedures on a departmental scale
- Structural or technological changes having department-wide implications
- Identification and resolution of national situations/issues
- Unresolved problems or issues from the regional levels.
Organizing the Meeting
Four meetings will be held annually during regular work hours in February, May, September and December. Members agree that regularity is important to the consultation process, consequently whenever possible, meetings will not be cancelled or re-scheduled unless urgent circumstances require this.
Joint ad-hoc or sub-committee meetings
Ad-hoc meetings may be conducted any time there is a need to address a specific, complex or urgent issue, or for the purpose of project or sub-committee work.
Where issues are specific to one union, consultation may occur between management in functional areas and a specific union. Should the issue become pertinent to other member groups, then it should be referred back to the NLMCC.
The co-chair is responsible for providing a suitable meeting location, refreshments and for arranging all required security clearance for participants.
Language of meetings
Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the provision of the Official Languages Act.
Minutes of Meetings
The meeting coordinator will record discussions, agreements, decisions and commitments requiring follow-up action by the parties. The minutes will also identify deadlines, responsibility assignment and any issues deferred pending further study.
Draft minutes will be issued in English or French to all parties for review within one month of the meeting to permit corrections.
Approved minutes will be signed by the co-chairs and issued in both official languages to committee members and regional LMCC chairs. They will also be posted on the departmental intranet.
Referral of issues
Between LMCCs and other committees
Unresolved issues from the regional levels/departmental committees or issues requiring authorization by a higher level, may be raised to the National level only after all efforts have been made to resolve them at the lower levels in the Labour-Management Consultation Committees and with the agreement of the employee representatives and management at those levels.
Conversely, issues may be referred to lower levels where this is appropriate to resolving specific issues.
There is a mechanism for facilitating referral of issues between the various LMCCs.
A sample referral form is attached for this purpose.
The parties agree to fully support joint union/management training on an on-going basis in order to foster a better understanding of the relationship. To that end, they will identify training needs and solutions.
Leave for union-management training will be granted in accordance with the provisions of the relevant collective agreement.
Management and Employee Representatives will jointly establish mechanisms for selfassessment and will strive to ensure that this committee achieves its objectives with respect to consultation.
Members will be canvassed annually by the co-chairs to assess whether operational or other changes are required in order to ensure effective and efficient committee functioning.
Amendments to this document
This document will be reviewed after two (2) years by the NLMC committee and may be amended at any time by mutual consent of management and the unions.
Original signed by
John H. Sims,
Associate Deputy Minister
Department of Justice
October 4, 2004
Original signed by
Association of Public Service
July 6, 2004
Original signed by
Canadian Association of
July 10, 2004
Original signed by
Steve Hindle, President
Professional Institute of the
Public Service of Canada
August, 11, 2004
Original signed by
Linda Davis, Sr. Labour Relations Officer
Union of Solicitor General
Employees, Public Service Alliance of
August 30, 2004
This document is effective the 26th day of July 2004.