IT Group Annual General Meeting
O4 June 2022, 10h00 to 16h00 (Eastern time)
Delta Hotels Montreal (Hybrid)
Cvent ID: VDNZRPLYZW9
Executive Present: Stan Buday, Pierre Touchette, Deb Butler, Tony Goddard, Yvonne Snaddon, Rob Scott, Lucille Shears, Karim Chaggani, Steven Frechette, J. Gordon Bulmer, Patricia Williams
Staff: Jean-Paul Leduc – Negotiator, Josianne Drouin – Researcher, Natalie Tessier – Admin
Chair: Chris Roach – AC Director
- Call to order – Chris Roach took the chair and called the meeting to order at 9h39 Montreal time.
- All stood for the National Anthem.
- Lucille Shears presented the land acknowledgement of the First Nations Territory from where we were meeting (Montreal).
- Moment of silence.
- The equity and harassment statements were read to the assembly.
- Moved: Robert Tellier Seconded: Robert Scott
THAT the agenda be approved as presented.
- Moved: Giovanni Giolti Seconded: Pierre Touchette
THAT the minutes of the 2021 CS Group AGM be approved as presented.
- Business arising from the minutes – none
- Welcome & IT Group President Report: IT Group President Stan Buday
Stan thanked Chris Roach for stepping in as the chair for this AGM.
If you feel safer, please feel free to wear a mask.
Stan introduced the IT Group National Executive and the staff attending today.
Recently, I received an email from a member in response to an admonishment issued as a result of a founded elections complaint. The member indicated that we should be focusing our attention on our work. And that’s of course what we do, with integrity and dedication.
We work on fighting for a fair contract for our members, and in the past, even without the support of our national union leadership. We oversaw IT conversion, reviewed thousands of tenders and filed nearly 2500 policy grievances. We have fought to maintain the integrity of our union with the firm belief that we are here to strengthen that union and not promote the interest of independent contractors with the creation of Professionals Canada.
We work closely with Consultation Presidents providing updates on Group issues and receiving feedback from our grass roots through them.
Our interaction with other Groups at the Strategic Bargaining Committee aids in supporting all our right to Group autonomy. We need to ensure that we have a voice at any central table and that we are able to negotiate our own wage increase without restriction but under the guiding principle of do no harm.
Consultation with Treasury Board has started regarding their effort to deal with the recruitment and retention crisis, the overuse of contractors, the need to revamp staffing practices and a renewed focus on upskilling our members to support new technologies.
We work hard to inform our members and find ways to work around the bureaucratic limitations within our own union. We hold bargaining information sessions, directly update our Sub-group Presidents and post on our website and Facebook page.
As I said we do our work with integrity and with passion. It’s not just what we do, it’s how we do it that matters just as much.
Our meetings with members and activists have continued both virtually and in person. Our Sub-group Presidents’ Meeting was a resounding success. Sub-group Annual General Meetings have resumed across the country. I have attended or participated in AGMs in Victoria, Vancouver, Halifax, Portage, Kingston, Kingston CSC, Quinte, Sherbrooke, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Meetings with members took place around these AGMs whenever possible.
Our objective for the coming year must be the re-engagement of our members and re-energize our activists.
We have lost a growing number of stewards and our Group strategy must also be geared toward the recruitment and support of new stewards. Our focus must be on how they will function in the new hybrid environment.
The past two years have been witness to much change and we have adapted as we must to survive as a union. We must do much more going forward for us to thrive.
Q: Lisa Chau – Concerning the removal of Article 30 in our Collective Agreement; where do you see us being able to move forward when there is a gross lack of resources.
A: It has been and will continue to be a fight with TBS to get them to recognize and acknowledge the issues around recruitment & retention and contracting out. It has always been our fight to maintain the work as IT member jobs. We hope to start lobbying again. “Flipping” contractors into FTE positions has its pros and cons and sometimes removes opportunities from existing members.
- Financial Statement & Budget
Moved: Deb Butler Seconded: Pierre Touchette
THAT the 2022 Financial Report be accepted as presented.
- Tamara Critch – the $40K value listed for visibility items is correct, based on the modification at the last AGM.
Moved: Deb Butler Seconded: Pierre Touchette
THAT we accept the 2023 budget as presented.
Deb presented the various Special Budgets submitted to PIPSC for approvals which are over and above our Group budget.
Q: Dean Corda – What is happening with the recommendation from the SGP meeting that the Subgroup Presidents be involved in the Strategic Planning process?
A: This year, due to timelines, we will likely reach out by Zoom to all SGP.
Steve Anderson returned many promo items for re-distribution.
- Bargaining Update by Rob Scott, Jean-Paul Leduc & Josianne Drouin
- report & slide deck in Group’s Google drive.
Q: Robert Tellier – Would it be wise to send the offer to members for a strong rejection to indicate to TB that we are NOT happy with their offer?
A: If it is after we go to arbitration, we will not have the opportunity to vote. Before hand, it could be an option to consider.
Q: Al Dunbar – If it comes to a vote before arbitration, where would a negative vote put us?
A: It could send us back to negotiations with TB or it could trigger mediation or send us direct to arbitration.
Q: Dave Sutherland – Concerning member engagement: could we include wording on recent technologies (TEAMS) in Art. 26.02 and could we update Art. 27.01 to include city and building information?
A: We will look at those articles in negotiations. Lucille stated that we have identified many Rands and we are looking at revising the way we identify members and the subgroup they belong to.
Q: Everett Scott – Is extra pay for time at sea still on the table?
Q: Stéphane Aubry – What is meant by the request for “parity plus”? We look like sheep following the norm.
A: The plus means all of the monies we have identified as a group to adjust the salaries, the economic increases will be justified with these amounts. Right now we are looking at 6% plus just to cover inflation rates.
Q: Lisa Chau – How are we going to mitigate after PSAC? Last time we were told that there was no money in the pot. How do we argue around that?
A: PSAC is setting new ground with un-tested legislation clauses and we will watch that process very closely. We are in a good position but need to stay up-to-date so we are prepared to make a move. We will be showing TB that we are in a unique situation (R&R, contracting out, etc.) and we can justify more than just the trend. The difference between last round and this round is that this round we are looking at GEI and there will be monies for R&R, pay scale readjustments and TB has acknowledged it will not be a one-size-fits-all situation.
Q: Guy Abel – For communications, have we gotten agreements with PIPSC Communications?
A: We have worked to correct the communications situation and timelines. We are using the IT Group website to push out our messages faster. We have also raised our concerns with PIPSC President Jenn Carr and she is working to fix the situation. The chair also mentioned that a BoD taskforce has been struck to deal with the communications issues and they are looking to rectify the situation.
Q: Joel Wabugwe – What tools do we have to ensure we can negotiate away from the Central Table?
A: Protocols have been revised to permit groups to negotiate pay away from the central table; in the past this was not permitted.
Q: Randy Oomen – Is the WFA wording being reviewed and strengthened?
A: That would be handled by the central table – you can also ask Jenn Carr this question this afternoon.
~ LUNCH BREAK ~
- Steward Framework (PIPSC VP Eva Henshaw)
Eva started by letting the membership know there are over 1400 PIPSC stewards effective April, 2022. She has been assigned the portfolio on Steward Renewal and is working on the action plan:
- Assign resources to support stewards.
- Establish a resource centre for stewards.
- Expand formal training to include webinars & videos that cover some topics not already covered (ex. How to sign up a Rand).
- Exit interviews for stewards – why are they not renewing?
- Recruitment drive.
- Develop an online steward Portal:
- A self-serve application where stewards can get information on a wide variety of topics.
- A self-serve depository for steward accomplishments (awards, committee participation, etc.).
- Database of steward attributes (language(s), ethnicity, expertise, etc.).
There is a new staff position being developed to help Stewards – the National Steward Officer (NSO) will be a liberated steward who will report directly to the PIPSC President (initially). The job posting should be out soon and the position filled in time to announce the successful candidate at the PIPSC AGM in November and will start working in January 2023 for a period of one year with a possible extension. The duties will include:
- Lead the team in establishing the Steward Framework.
- Create and maintain FAQ pages.
- Maintain the steward database(s).
- Follow-up with departing stewards
- Develop a liberation policy.
- Contact stewards annually (min) to assist with personal information updates.
- Develop and maintain webinars.
- Laisse with ERO.
- Track stewards at home and stewards in-waiting.
Eva concluded by emphasising the importance to engage all stewards, but especially the newly appointed, to create a feeling of belonging with PIPSC and other stewards.
Q: Matt Vanner – Concerned about the type of person who may be attracted to this position simply because of the opportunity to network and the effect a full-time liberated steward may have on the political influences of this position. Highly recommend that the selection process be conducted by a committee and that the successful candidate must not be a member of any National or Regional constituent body.
A: The selection committee has already been discussed and will include VP Eva, VP Stéphanie Fréchette and two (2) PIPSC staff resources. They are currently reviewing the role and the attributes needed to complete the tasks. If there is too much work for one person, it will be reviewed. The individual must commit to the position on a full-time basis and as such would probably not have the time to engage in any constituent body. We are looking for a minimum of 5 years steward experience.
Q: Pierre Touchette – Will PIPSC do the negotiating with the employer for the liberation MOU of the successful candidate?
A: The liberation agreement will be a legal document negotiated by PIPSC with the steward’s department and will ensure that all benefits, leave allowances, etc. will be maintained over the life of the agreement.
Q: Pierre Parent – We need to encourage Deputy Ministers to get onboard with PIPSC since we support many of the same objectives.
A: I agree and will see that that objective is added to the Recruitment portion of the role.
Q: Steve Anderson – The liberated job description sounds like an IT-04 level position; shouldn’t the job be paid at an IT-04 level?
A: We discussed the pros and cons of a paid position vs. a liberated (salary replacement) position and felt that we would prefer, at least in the development stages, to not jeopardise the member’s benefits and seniority. If we were to pay the NSO, they would become a PIPSC employee and all GoC benefits would stop.
Q: Steve Anderson - The steward listing on the PIPSC website creates an opportunity for people to send messages and spam to many stewards and is being used inappropriately; is there something we can do to mitigate this issue?
A: Once the NSO position is filled, it will soon become apparent that the best “first-contact” with PIPSC will be through the NSO and that will hopefully help reduce the abuse you describe.
Q: J. Gordon Bulmer – The length of time to get into steward basic training is far too long and we need to change the on-boarding process. For example, we might ask new applicants to complete the on-line training and we could then issue them a steward card and give them a 2-year period to enroll in the in-person training.
A: I fully agree. We are looking at the training opportunities and they do need to be timelier and we should increase the on-line experiences. Also important, is staying connected with new steward applicants.
Q: Francis Poirier – For the NSO position, besides looking at the length of service of a steward (5-years min) perhaps we should also look at that steward’s workload during that period.
Q: Mike Doll – If someone applies to be a steward, they should be matched to an existing steward.
A: Absolutely, a buddy system will certainly help keep those new steward applicants engaged and interested.
Q: Stacy McLaren – One suggestion for involving the RMG is to create a “people library where you create a list of former stewards who are willing to sit and discuss experiences with stewards and steward applicants.
A: Great idea – and I will look forward to your support at the BoD.
The Chair took the opportunity to welcome those IT Group members who are attending their first IT Group AGM. Chris also welcomed the newest IT Subgroup to the AGM – Sydney, Nova Scotia.
- New Business:
Moved: Stéphane Aubry Seconded : Eric-Pascal Bourrée
- Considering that Treasury Board (TB) has revised the classification of the positions of our members, to now be called "Information Technology (IT)";
- Considering that our group as well as our abbreviation does not have the same name as the new CT classification, and this cause confusion;
- It is proposed to change the name and abbreviation of our group in our ByLaws, with the following text;
Be it resolved that Article 1 be amended as follows;
BY-LAW 1 NAME
The name of this Group shall be "The Computer Systems Group of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada" hereinafter referred to as "the Group".
The name of this Group shall be "The Information Technology (IT) Group of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada" hereinafter referred to as "the Group" and also as the "IT Group-Groupe TI".
Be it resolved that the title of the Group's By-Laws be amended as follows;
CS Group Constitution and By-Laws
IT Group By-Laws
Challenge to the Chair – Chair’s decision was upheld by the assembly.
Moved: Scott McConaghy Seconded: Karim Chaggani
THAT the AGM endorse the request of the PIPSC BoD to approve the change of Bylaws to change the name of the Group, as recommended by the BLPC.
Amended: Robert Tellier Seconded: Randy Oomen
Add: “Without the ratification of the CS AGM”
- PIPSC President’s Remarks
Jenn Carr – I will provide you with a very high-level overview followed by a question period. You can ask me any question and I will give you a straight answer; if I donèt know the answer, I will find you one.
Transparency is of the utmost importance and you have elected a Board who are all rowing in the same direction. This Board believes that a Union exists because of its members – we are owned by our members.
My primary message is “an informed member is an engaged member.” If we can convert all of our Rands to full members, we would be boasting a membership of over 70,000 professionals.
(PowerPoint presentation in the Group AGM shared drive)
Q: Robert Tellier – Will the restructuring of the PIPSC staff and the actions of the new Board better facilitate communication to members by the Groups?
A: The new Board is making full use of the Advisory Council (AC) to better hear the concerns of the membership. We also have established a new Board Task Force on Communications to deal with this issue. The new Board takes this issue very seriously.
Q: Robert Tellier – Can we get an update on the negotiations surrounding the Dental and Health Insurance plans?
A: Negotiations for the dental plan has not yet started. The PSHCP negotiations are almost at an impasse at this point; this plan must be self-sustaining so we can only make new proposals if we find other efficiencies. Please read my last newsletter for a better report.
Q: Francis Poirier – Is it time to ask the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives to review the reports they have previously prepared?
A: Possibly. Of interest is the fact that PSAC is at an impasse and that may be to our advantage and we will have the opportunity to highlight the importance of the professional services we provide. Please support our PSAC brothers and sisters when you see them on a picket line in September.
Q: Steve Anderson – Many constituent bodies memberships are based on geography and therefore do not allow a member to choose which Branch or Subgroup they wish to become active in. Is there any consideration to open those restrictions and give the member more choice?
A: We don’t want to create a competition between constituent bodies for members but we do need to make it easier for all equivalent bodies (Branches, etc.) to have the opportunity to offer the same or equivalent levels of service and activity.
Q: Pierre Parent – Can we please ensure that the Consultation Presidents and stewards are provided information before it is broadcast to the general membership? We also need more staff support at the consultation table.
A: This is a Group AGM and not a Consultation session, but I will respond. We do need to establish national EROs to handle and support the consultation process.
Q: Renaud Guiard – There are many issues with the Concur application and the Finance Section employees who support this application for member expense claims. Francophone members have issues since the Concur application is largely unilineal English and the PIPSC employees who support the system are also mainly English. It makes it very difficult for a francophone to navigate, especially when there are issues.
A: We will certainly look at this situation. There should be no reason that a member has to complain to the office of the PIPSC President because they are not being served in the language of their choice.
Q: Lucille Shears – We should all take note that while our paycheque may not have been affected by Phoenix, we have been impacted. Many have refused acting positions, opted not to apply for a promotion or to move departments because we all know what the impacts of Phoenix may be.
A: True – we have all been impacted.
Q: Patricia Williams – Will PIPSC look at changing the policy on meals for virtual meetings?
A: The AC has provided a proposal and it will be discussed at the Board.
Q: Lisa Chau – Is EWSP officially dead?
A: We cannot confirm that. Many aspects of the EWSP proposal have been implemented by departments. We expect that the proposal will come back to the table in some form in the future.
The IT Group President, Stan Buday, thanked President Jenn Carr for her wise words and then took this opportunity to thank the outgoing IT Group Executive members:
- Stacy McLaren
- Eva Henshaw
- Gordon Bulmer
- ELECTIONS REPORT – Yvonne Snaddon
- Stan Buday - elected
- Stephane Aubry
[953 ballots, 24 blank, 929 counted]
- Rob Scott – acclaimed 3 yrs
- Robert Tellier – elected 3 yrs
- Stéphane Aubry – elected 3 yrs
- Debbie Butler – elected 3 yrs
- Patricia Williams – elected 3 yrs
- Tamara Critch - elected 2 yrs
- J Gordon Bulmer
- Denis Caissy
- Aleksandra Dukic
- Shawn Adams
- Nino Mangione
- Randy Oomen
- James Brown
- James Young
- Yaamalai Sri Tharan
- Matthew Waters
- Alex Stefishen
[953 ballots, 16 blank, 937 counted]
Robert Tellier volunteered to take the 2-year term and give Tamara Critch the 3-year term.
7 Election complaints were received.
Q: Did complaints resolution involve any Penalties/repercussions?
A: A letter was sent to all members.
Moved: Yvonne Snaddon Seconded: Pierre Touchette.
THAT we accept the Election Committee Report as presented.
Moved: Yvonne Snaddon Seconded: Robert Tellier
THAT we destroy the ballots/data.
- Executive Reports
Officer reports are available on the google drive.
Moved: Stacy McLaren Seconded: Stan Buday
THAT we accept the Executive Reports as presented.
Tony Goddard presented the new IT Group Logo.
- Closing remarks
Chris handed the floor over to President Stan Buday for some closing remarks.
Stan Buday – We need to re-engage our membership and I recognise that there is a lot of dedication and passion in this room. Many of you have been coming back for years, which means you have not given up. Thank you to the new delegates, this demonstrates that there is renewal.
Have a safe journey home.
With the agenda being exhausted, the Chair adjourned the AGM at 16h50.
(transcribed from notes & Zoom file by Tony Goddard, Secretary)