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


October 31, 2018 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Boardroom A 5001

5th floor Chancery Place, 675 King St, Fredericton, NB

In Attendance:

PNB (The Employer herein referred to as TB for Treasury Board)

Ben Wolthers, Negotiator, TB
Duane Clowater, Director, DTI |
Mike Cormier, Director, ELG
Melanie Mullin, Classification Consultant, TB
Julie Scovil, HR Team Lead (ERD, DAAF), SNB
Sophie Cormier, Employee Relations, SNB
Greg Sweetland, Director, DAAF
Jennifer Hope, HR Team Lead (DTI), SNB (by phone)

PIPSC (herein referred to as the Union)

Paul Hartigan, PIPSC
Sheila MacLean, Eng
John Michael McPhee, Eng
Brian MacDonald, AGs
Mike Pauley, Eng

Meeting Chaired by: Paul Hartigan

Note Taker: Sophie

# / Issue / Discussion /Action Required

1. Approval of Agenda

Deleted item 4.3. Approved as revised.

2. Minutes Review

– April 10, 2018 Approved as is. 20 min break was required due to a Fire drill.

3. Old Business

Issues / Discussion / Action Required

3.1 4.8 Payout of Vacation Credits

The Union advised that people had been paid ahead of time and some ended up being in the negative as they had used their vacation credits close to the end of the calendar year. It was suggested that the Employer wait until the end date before doing the payout.

UPDATE: E/M received Nov. 1/18 advising that SNB payroll will be contacted and made aware of issue so issue not repeated this year.

Action Required
TB to follow up with HR.

3.2 Items 3.2, 4.2, 4,.4 & 4.8

Information requested was received after drafting of Apr. 10/18 minutes

4. New Business / Discussion / Action Required

4.1 Update on Violence in Workplace Legislation

TB provided an update on Regulation 2018-82, Violence in Workplace legislation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. It was previously scheduled to come into effect on Sept. 1, 2018, but has been pushed to April 1, 2019. The new regulation requires all employers to develop and implement a written code of practice for both Violence and Harassment and the regulation outlines for employers the elements that must be included. This new regulation will require all employers to perform a risk assessment analyzing the likelihood of violence in their workplace and planned steps to mitigate the risk.

Union requested information on: what procedures are in place for the reporting/investigation of a harassment complaint, training that will be available for both managers & employees and whether a template will be available for the Codes of Practice (would be Department specific or uniform across GNB).

Action Required
TB advised that they will check on this and will invite Myrna Belyea-Tracy to give a presentation on how this will be
rolled out. TB will send the WSNB link to Regulation 2018-82.

TB will invite the Director of this policy to the next meeting to provide an update.

4.2 Update on new engineer classification

TB provided an update to the group regarding the new classification that is to be implemented between the old Engineer 3 and Engineer 4 classifications. The old Engineer 4 is now Engineer 5 and the new classification is now the new Engineer 4. The job specifications have been posted, the PDQs are done and payroll should have all retro payments processed by Nov. 15/18.
The Union commented on how this process was exemplary labour- management relations.

Retroactive payments have been made as necessary and all employees should have their rate of pay adjusted by November 15 payroll. Some employees took the option to convert their retroactive payments into

4.3 Retirement of Gerry Chevrier, Director DAFF

TB confirmed that Gerry Chevrier, who was an Employer representative on this Committee has retired. His replacement should be at the next scheduled meeting.

4.4 Staffing updates

The union inquired about latest updates.
ELG – In April they had 6 vacancies, and they have since all been filled.

VETS – In April they had 0 vacancies, and they have since had a resignation, retirement and have encountered some challenges (upcoming maternity leaves and retirements). They are working on developing a new plan to address it and are working on strategies such as updating job ads, recruiting new grads, retired vets on a rotation basis and locum opportunities.

ENG – will send an update by email.

AG – A Crop Development Specialist for Small Fruit and Cranberry has been filled, while another Organic Development Specialist will be reposted as they did not find anyone the first time around.

Action Required
DTI will send an update by email.

4.5 People’s Strategy update

TB provided an update on the People’s Strategy which is a five-year plan and is comprised of three pillars for the Public Service: Proud, Productive and Professional.

TB provided brief overview of the goals of the strategy and the upcoming initiatives.

TB has offered to invite Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) as a guest speaker at the next scheduled meeting to provide an update to the group.

Action Required
TB to invite ADM at the next meeting.

4.6 Retention and recruitment update,

TB explained that a lot of work has been done on this initiative. APEGNB is launching a new logging system for professional development activities. The Union stated there had been some IT challenges, which have caused some delays in getting this new system up and running. TB stated they have been working with UNB and UdeM and will be looking at implementing new job ads for COOP programs. TB inquired if the union could encourage members to participate in working group committees. The Union stated that those that have volunteered in past often did not see any of the initiative’s recommended get implemented. The union further recommended that managers during performance appraisals, through their one-on-one with employees on career
development, talk about & encourage participation in such committees or working groups, and recognize those who do participate or volunteer.

4.7 Winter office closures

TB advised that the annual closure procedure memo should be coming out shortly. The Union expressed concern with the short lead up regarding office closures, and that in some cases employees were either TB will contact appropriate staff for update and
already on the road to work or that the closure took place after the transit bus transportation taking employees home was pulled from the roads. TB will look into this concern and follow up by email.

Action Required
email the Committee

4.8 Translation & posting of minutes

To provide timely communication to both the union membership and Management, the Union requested that the minutes of these meetings be agreed to and translated and sent to them within a few weeks after the meeting was held as per the Terms of Reference.

They also suggested that posting the minutes on the internal government website (intranet). This way the minutes could be accessible to both members and management.

TB offered to check with the webmaster for possible IT solutions and to speak with the other negotiators to see if they have some best practices for sharing minutes.

Action Required
TB will check with webmaster.
TB will consult with his team for best practices.

4.9 Job study - Eng rates of pay

The union expressed its appreciation and successful and efficient completion of the ENG 3 review. The Union proposed a job study to look into how the internal Engineer rates of pay compare to those external to GNB, but within the province. The APEGNB conducts a salary review and the ENG 2 rate is below the range noted in the survey. They explained that this information may be beneficial to both parties at the next round of bargaining.

Action Required
TB advised they will look into this suggestion. TB will look into the proposed study.

4.10 Update on Substance Use Guidelines

TB provided an update on the Substance Use in the Workplace policy AD – 2707 which came into effect this month. Sessions with the HR community have been completed and they are currently developing webinars for people leaders.
The Union brought up privacy concerns with the broad definition of safety-sensitive jobs, and that positions that require an employee to operate any type of motor vehicle are considered safety sensitive. The concern is that not all individuals operating a motor vehicle incident are in a safety-sensitive position. Although they had expressed this concern when they were consulted, it wasn’t modified. The union provided a document from the Ontario Human Rights Commission that talks about balancing privacy rights and mandatory testing and the Federal policy lists the safety sensitive jobs like that of our essential service agreement.

Action Required&
TB advised that this policy was vetted by Legal and Human rights.
UPDATE: TB to give presentation on who could be tested. TB to take privacy concerns back to TB

4.11 Recap/outcome of review of Business Growth Development Positions

The Union requested on update on this item. TB explained the review has been completed and backdated until Oct./16. The 5 different category positions are now either a PIPSC AG 2 (3 people) or PB4. The 3 AG2 positions will receive their wages plus merit increase and will
disappear upon retirement or they vacate the position.

4.12 Employer’s position on PIPSC

Participation at formal or informal redress meetings other than Grievance or Discipline The Union were wondering what is the Employer’s position in regards to meetings such as those related to conflict, counseling or performance. Recently a member requested PIPSC representation at a meeting but was denied because it was reason given was their policy. This type of relationship is encouraged on the Federal side and has resulted in preventing matters from escalating into a more serious issue. The intent is that this is not for every meeting with a supervisor – but to be looked at on a case by case basis on what the mitigating factors are
– more like an informal mediation with HR & member rep present. This type of mediation would result in no additional cost to the Department and would be a win-win result.
TB enquired about formal documentation/policy on the federal side. The Union responded it wasn’t sure there was one, but talked about the benefits of their use of informal conflict management mechanisms.

Action Required
The Union to contact TB if have case where Union participation may be of benefit

Union further clarified that not all cases are black and white and suggested the Employer recognize that on a case by case the Union & TB may be able to help dissolve conflict early on. TB advised that they were not outright opposed to this idea.
The Union asked who they should contact when they have a case where they think they could be of assistance, but are being denied participating in the meeting. TB responded TB (Employee Relations) would be the appropriate contact is such a case.

5. Other

There was a question regarding the mental health training that managers’ have taken. Managers have been asking about how to apply mental health days sick requests from employees, what information are they allowed to ask the employee for example.

It was noted that there is an upcoming duty to accommodate briefing coming up soon with GNB & Unions.

6. Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 11:59 am.

Next Meeting
Next meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 3/19 at 10:00 am.