Province of New Brunswick
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC)
NB Agriculture, Veterinary, Engineering, Land Surveying and Architecture


Date: November 14, 2017 2:00pm - 4:00 pm

Location: (FIN) Boardroom J 3004 (14) - Department of Finance, 3rd floor Chancery Place, 675 King St, Fredericton, NB

In attendance:

PNB (The Employer herein referred to as DHR)
Ben Wolthers, Negotiator, DHR
Duane Clowater, Director, DTI
Julie Scovil, HR Advisor, SNB
Gerald Chevrier, Director Central Region, DAAF
Karen Morton, TB Classification
Stacey Chessie-Shepard
Caroline Poirier, HR advisor, SNB
Greg Sweetland

PIPSC (herein referred to as the Union)
Paul Hartigan, PIPSC
Sheila MacLean, Eng
Brian MacDonald, Agr
Marc Verschoor, VP Vet
John Michael McPhee, Eng

Meeting Chaired by:
Paul Hartigan

Note Taker:
Sheila MacLean

1. Approval of Agenda

Switched order of 4.2 & 4.3 and deleted 4.9 – Time off for medical appointments

2. Minutes Review – June 28, 2016

Approved as noted

3. Old Business

3.1 Year End Payout of Annual Leave

Inquired about resolution of issue. PNB to follow-up

Action Required: PNB to follow up

4. New Business

4.1 Classification Appeals Boards – Process Delays

Union stated that there is a long period to get an appeal board set up. Inquired what is the process and how can we improve the process to reduce delays. DHR advised that it is scheduled by another part of TB and currently there is a backlog of appeals. System is transitioning back to Classification Branch this month. Developing a standard operating procedure and look for efficiencies - hoping to get wait period down to 4 to 6 months. One of issues identified is difficult arranging meeting time suitable for all: chair, employee & Dept personnel. Union inquired how many chairs are in the roster – maybe train more to help with backlog. DHR to follow up on current number and forward info on process to Sheila

Action Required: DHR to follow up on transition and number of chairs available

4.2 Engineer Classification -Update

Survey was sent around by DTI to Engineers to identify issues. DTI approached TB regarding the Eng 3 classification based on comments from the survey. TB supported approach by DTI and also identified other Depts with Eng 3’s. Currently there are 2 PDQ’s for Assistant to Dist Eng and Senior Residents. Regional Const managers (buildings Group) are also looking at doing a PDQ. Going to put out communication to look at all Eng 3’s in all Departments and do a group PDQ for a new class structure.

Union stated that the review of all Eng 3’s is encouraged but are concerned that this process will stall the process for the PDQ’s already in the system that are already behind schedule. DHR will communicate process that they will follow for New Eng 3’s including timelines.

Update: memo sent out to certain Depts on Dec. 12/17, DTI employees did not receive until Friday Dec. 22/17 (last day work before x-mas). Jan. 15/18 memo reissued with extension to submission date for PDQ’s & results to TB. 2nd revision to timeline received Mar. 29/18 – new finalization of results by TB is Apr. 30/18.

Action Required: Provide update in PDQ’s already in the system

Action Required: DHR to forward process with timelines on new ENG 3 group PDQ

4.3 Consultation concerning Business Growth Development Officer Positions

The union inquired what is going on with these positions. This area was restructured in Sept/16. Was based on geographical area now on program area. The business growth Branch has 11 officers with same or similar work but under 5 different classifications. DHR is looking to review this and determine what the appropriate classification for this job is.

Going forward the plan is to: communicate with employees affected, provide some assistance to complete the PDQ’s, follow classification review process, determine proper classification and then move those employees not currently in this class already. Goal is to have PDQ’s completed in next couple of weeks, do a group submission and review before/after X-mas.

Union stated there are our members in these positions – even if doing agriculture group and fisheries group work it is still an Agriculture group union position. 1 position already got decertified when it was called as non-bargaining. The union inquired why called non-bargaining if knew contained Apicultural group duties. DHR to follow up and provide rational in why called non-bargaining.

Update: rationale received Dec. 21/17

Action Required: DHR to provide rational to Paul regarding why called as non-bargaining

4.4 Violence in Workplace Legislation - update

Union inquired about status of this legislation. DHR advised that the goal was to have a new Regulation by April/18 and then have policy developed of what timeline to implement roll out.

The union stated in the Federal system that Violence vs harassment are considered 2 separate matters. The union inquired how plan to address where complaints will go, how it will be investigated, etc. Ben agreed to send out info to Union.

Action Required: Provide info to Paul on complaint process

4.5 Survey on recruitment & retention of Engineers - update

Union inquired what the outcome of the survey was. DHR advised that Wendy D. headed up this project for DTI. Survey was conducted in July /17 and had a return rate of 77%. Mid-August the results were communicated to Mgmt, union & staff. Info was then shared with TB and HR strategists.

5 main issues were identified: Main work load, recognition, training & development, career succession/advancement and compensation/classification. Action plan has been developed to address the following:

Train/develop – personal and professional training will be addressed by DTI itself. Plan is to put together a working group to look at what needed for profession, how training is offered and make recommendations how to address. Goal to have recommendations ready for new year. Leadership training by SNB as it is applicable to other Departments as well. The union inquired if this would be expanded to Engineers in other Depts. Caroline to follow-up.

Succession planning – This item will be looked at in the next phase of action plan. Union stated that this was started before but never completed - can work be implemented into this process. ? Caroline to follow – up.

Recognition – no plans for this yet, will keep on radar. The union inquired it there are measures already in place in other departments that could be copied. DHR will follow up on this suggestion.

Classification – already discussed above.

Update: E/M sent Dec. 12/17 advising it is the intent to leverage what is found with working group to other departments if relevant. Also intent to use previous succession planning review info when this issue is scheduled to be addressed.

Action Required: DHR to follow- up on:
training for Engineers in other Depts;
Use of succession planning review info already started

4.6 Staffing Updates

The union inquired about latest updates.
VETS - DHR advised that have a bilingual vacancy in Grand Falls area – having trouble recruiting there. Have an agreement with the Atlantic vet college – have 4 or 5 possible people of interest. Also have Vet pathologist in lab retiring – looking to recruit outside of NB as well for this position.
ENG – June 1st had completion for 9 positions 6 open, 3 internal. Have 23 vacancies to fill – filled 6 since June/17
AG – have 2 vacancies, 1 in Moncton (AG 2) and 1 in Fredericton (AG 3 – crop specialist)
DHR advised that there is an update coming on people strategy. Ben to provide info to Paul

Action Required: DHR to provide Paul with info on people strategy

4.7 Winter Office Closures

The union inquired about communication process on winter shut downs as some have a long commute work. DHR advised that closure info is posted on external website as soon as known. DHR to send memo out to Depts to remind them of process.

Update: memo was sent Dec. 5/17

Action Required: DHR to send memo to Depts

4.8 Designation Process - CA 18.02

Caroline advised did a review of designations in DTI and did find some lengthy delays (7 weeks) - mostly in the buildings division. Issues were sometimes how submitted ( too far in advance) and when responded to (well after started working designation hours). Issue has been addressed with unit and agreed to try to approve within 2 week commitment. Going forward recommend: do not submit too far in advance and do not designation hours until get approval. Caroline to provide summary of findings.

Update: E/M with summary of findings communicated Dec. 14/17

Action Required: DHR to provide summary of findings

4.9 Removed from agenda

4.10 Status of OH&S Committee

The union advised that did training regarding OH&S and invited Worksafe NB to attend. Of particular note was that Worksafe NB does not distinguish PNB by Department, Branch or location but as a whole. To this point, JHSC committees needs to be in-place if have 20+ members. Question is want to know if we are meeting this requirement if have region with 3 people but whole organization with 20+ - how are these people being incorporated?
This point is important to our policy development and wanted to make sure that DHR was aware of this matter. DHR advised would pass this info along to OH&S section of TB & SNB.

Update: Info was shared with Ed M & Pierre T.

Action Required: DHR to pass on issue to TB & SNB OH&S section

4.11 Employer Vehicles: Recall Notices – Status Update

Union inquired about procedure. DHR advised procedure in-place since 2016. Manufacture sends recall to VMA which is separated into 2 sections: non-urgent service/recall & safety issue/recall. Info is sent to client coordinators in each Department. Co-coordinators advise driver and driver goes to VMA or shop to get appointment. Immediate repair for safety issue or if non-urgent then next time vehicle is due for work. Follow –up report is completed monthly. Union inquired if an audit had been completed to see if this policy was working. Caroline to follow – up and advise.

Update: E/M sent Dec. 12/17 stating process working as intended

Action Required: DHR to advise if audit has been done of procedure

5. Other

No new business

6. Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 3:45pm.

Next Meeting

Next meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 25th @ 2:00 pm.

Update: Meeting rescheduled to April 10/18 @ 2:00 pm