Québec City AFS Sub-Group 2018 Annual General Meeting

November 14, 2018




Call to order and Quorum by the Chair

At 5:50 p.m., Jean Couillard called the meeting to order by welcoming everyone and ensuring quorum. He then introduced the guest speakers:


Steve Parent, Regional Representative

Frederic Durso, Employment Relations Officer

André Michaud, UTE Representative


Jean Couillard introduced Jean-Patrick Trottier, who will be the Election Chair.



Review of the Notice of AGM and Agenda

As the members had received the notice of meeting and no one asked for it to be read, Olivier Finette moved and Pierre Bouffard seconded that we shall skip the review of the notice of meeting.

Jean Couillard reviewed the Agenda.



Approval of the Agenda

Jean-Guy Bernard moved the approval of the agenda, seconded by Roger Boisvert



Roll call

Jean Couillard called the executives present at the meeting and stated their respective roles.


Jean Couillard, President

Olivier Finette, Vice-President #1

Pascal Thibodeau, Vice-President #2 and Treasurer

Justine Lachance, Secretary

Ian Charpentier, Director

Nancy Cinq Mars, Director

Ghislain Perreault, Director

Lisanne Racine, Director

Regrets: Eric Laplante, Director


Review and approval of the Minutes of the Nov. 22, 2017, meeting

Lisanne Racine moved that the minutes of the November 22, 2017, meeting be approved. Jean Patrick Trottier seconded the motion.


Follow-up to November 22, 2017, meeting minutes: None.



President’s Report

President Jean Couillard presented his report.


It includes: the signing of the new collective agreement expiring on December 31, 2018, career "opportunities" for unilingual employees, similar positions, inventory extensions, recourse (individual feedback, decision review, independent third party review, grievance), notifications for bilingual employees only and the Union-Management Committee.


The report proposed by Jamil Jalbert and seconded by Olivier Finette was approved.

The report will be posted on bulletin boards and online.



Treasurer’s report
Review and approval of Financial Statements

Pascal Thibodeau reviewed the financial statements.


Jean Patrick Trottier, seconded by Danick Pelletier, proposed the financial statements for approval.



Election (over to the Election Committee President)

Jean-Patrick Trottier took the floor as President of the Election Committee.


The following nominations were sent to Jean-Patrick Trottier prior to the meeting. They were nominated by Olivier Finette and seconded by Nancy Cinq-Mars:


President (2-year term): Jean Couillard, by acclamation

Secretary (2-year term): Justine Lachance, by acclamation

Treasurer (2-year term): Danick Pelletier, by acclamation

Director (2-year term): Ghislain Perrault, by acclamation

Director (2-year term): Lisanne Racine, by acclamation


Danick Pelletier nominated Steven Nair as director (2-year term), seconded by Gabrielle Pageau Gosselin.     Steven Nair was elected by acclamation.



Election of an Auditor and an Alternate

Jamil Jalbert was nominated as auditor by Sébastien Coulombe, seconded by Gabrielle Pageau Gosselin.


Sébastien Coulombe was nominated as an alternate by Olivier Finette, seconded by Danick Pelletier.





Guest Speaker: Steve Parent, Regional Representative

The topics covered were:

Pay problems

Management included a time code for Phoenix problems (048).

As of October 3, 2018, 17.7% of CRA employees have had Phoenix pay problems for more than 30 days.

A form is available on the Treasury Board website to claim expenses related to Phoenix pay issues.

Delios Case

CRA defeated (when an employee changes unions, he or she is entitled to his or her personal days off again).

Fehr Case

CRA defeated in the Appeal Court (when an employee changes unions, he or she is entitled to family leaves again).


External competition for AU2 and AU3 positions. The only possible recourse is to file a grievance if we are really interested in the position.


Sick days are on the table.

Members are encouraged supporting job actions.

Official Languages

The language ratings for team leaders are being reviewed for various locations in Quebec. For example, in the Greater Montreal Area, there are no unilingual management positions.

In accordance with the Official Languages Act, Management must objectively determine the linguistic requirements of positions.

“Language of work" and "language of service" are not the same.

Update on the Friday, November 9, 2018, meeting held by Mario Tremblay with all audit teams

Mr. Parent said that it is unacceptable for a manager to identify unilingual employees as a hindrance to the office’s growth. Threats and bullying are not acceptable. The issue will be thoroughly examined.


Guest Speaker:  Frédéric Durso, PIPSC Employment Relations Officer

The topics covered were:

Official Languages

Frederic Durso commended the excellent work of the stewards at the Quebec City office. He explained that the Official Languages Act is a quasi-constitutional right, which means it prevails over all other laws.

It seeks to promote bilingualism within a certain scope and covers two main rights: the language of service for the public and the language of work for employees.

If their preferred working language is French, employees may demand that all correspondence be in that language.

Section 91 deals with staffing and the determination of the language requirements of positions. Such a determination must be made objectively and with an effort to recognize the language rights of Francophones and Anglophones. This section does not recognize contingencies. If rights are violated, it is normal to take the case to the Offices of the Commissioner of Official Languages.

We feel that the local management and the Deputy Commissioner are not very accepting of unilingual employees.

The Management Rights have their limits and representatives must ensure that things are done respectfully.

Update on the Friday, November 9, 2018, meeting held by Mario Tremblay with all audit teams

Frederic Durso wants as complete a summary as possible to understand the issue. He will check for any abusive decisions. The employer has the right to meet his employees, but some things they said seem to have crossed the line.


Frederic Durso reminded employees that it is important to use any possible recourse at each step of an appointment process.

When accepting or rejecting an appointment in a process, giving individual feedback is the possible recourse.

When their performance is reviewed, employees must request to see their review. This will be useful if they take any further action.

If the appointment is permanent, they can choose between a Review of the decision (with the Director, in the case of the audit in the Quebec City office, Mario Tremblay) OR, a Review by an independent third party.

The deadline for appeals is 9 days for all staffing decisions.

Questions from employees

An employee noted that the position number on the AU3 process in the Avoidance section is not the usual position number. She expressed concern that the employer would make this (bilingual imperative CBB) a requirement for any appointment in Audit.

Frederic Durso replied that if this is a strategy to circumvent the law, something can be done when it happens.

He added that it is important to ask right away for the substantiation of the language requirements. We should not wait.




Jean Couillard called for members to express interest in sitting on the OHS Committee.

René Bouchard expressed interest.


- Is the office manager, Mr. Fradette, aware of the November 9 meeting? Answer from Jean: We think so. Steve and Frederic and I would like to discuss this with him, but we have no expectations. We will probably have to go further up the ladder because this is a major event. Jean encouraged everyone to send him feedback and ensured everyone that their privacy will be respected.

- An employee stated that a summary was made regarding the changing organizational charts and that the information provided by managers at this meeting was not entirely accurate.

- An employee asked that Management clarify the situation because misinformation was spread during the meeting.

- Frederic Durso and Steve Parent asked the staff to provide Jean with as much information as possible to help us rectify these fallacies.

- The employees would like their union to send them an email stating its position with respect to the November 9 meeting.

- Jean said that employees interested in taking language training, offered by Mario Tremblay, should inform their team lead. He explained that Mr. Tremblay’s openness was the result of unilingual employees’ efforts. Jean urged members to respect unilingual people’s choices. He also acknowledged Mr. Tremblay’s contribution to our office. However, he pointed out that any other laws must be obeyed. Unilingual people are unfairly disadvantaged in terms of promotions, transfers and notifications.

- An employee suggested that the union ask for the number of English vs. French files. We wonder if the results are not falsified by the employer.

- Steve Parent said that regardless of whether Mr. Tremblay wants a referendum, he cannot circumvent the law, including the Official Languages Act. He added that bilingual employees make up approximately 3-4% of employees in the English-speaking provinces. In Quebec, we are talking of about 75%. The difference is huge.

- At his meetings, Mario Tremblay invited employees to check out the Greater Toronto Area reorganization, and said that the same thing could happen in Quebec City if unilingual French people continue to complain and take action. Jean pointed out that departmental reorganizations are still possible even if employees do not take any action. Look at the situation today, and you know that in 5 years it might not be the same because things continue to evolve. For instance, a few years ago, the Special Investigations section was transferred to Montreal. The Appeals and Research sections are based in Montreal as well. The reason is definitely not because of the unilingual French people’s grievances. Other sectors may also move to Montreal one day; plans are always being challenged. Managers holding unilingual French employees responsible for future reorganizations are reckless.

- Jean thanked the Executive for the work done. He noted that Steve Parent and Frederic Durso are fully involved members and they are very often solicited.




Sébastien Coulombe moved the adjournment of the meeting, seconded by Pascal Thibodeau at 9:15 a.m.