DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CANADA
NATIONAL LABOUR MANAGEMENT CONSULTATION COMMITTEE (NLMCC)
June 6, 2018
A. François Daigle — Associate Deputy Minister, Justice Canada
Ursula Hendel — President, Association of Justice Counsel (AJC)
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CANADA (JUS)
Johanne Bernard — Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Deputy Minister, Management Sector
Lynn Lovett — Assistant Deputy Minister, Tax Law Services Portfolio
Leigh Taylor — Deputy Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Safety, Defense and Immigration Portfolio
Martine Dagenais — Acting Director General, Human Resources Branch
Sandra Guttmann — General Counsel and Labour Relations Officer, Association of Justice Counsel (AJC)
Bella Skalin — Regional Vice-President, Union of Safety & Justice Employees (USJE), Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
Melanie Crescenzi — Director, Labour Relations, Union of Safety & Justice Employees (USJE), Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
Natalie Malcom — Labour Relations Officer, Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE)
Vivian Gates — Labour Relations Officer, Association of Canadian Financial Officers (ACFO)
Laurie Wright — Employment Equity and Diversity Champion and Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Law and Legislative Services Sector
Robert Beeraj — Director, Corporate HR Programs, Planning and Systems
Alexandre St-Jean — Acting Director, Workplace Branch
Virginie Emiel Wildhaber — Director, Labour Relations and Compensation
Anny Blondeau — Manager, Labour Relations
Nathalie G. Drouin — Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General of Canada
Sarah Godwin — Employment Relations Officer, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
Claude Archambault — Labour Relations Officer, Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE)
Stan Stapleton — President, Union of Safety & Justice Employees (USJE), Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)
- OPENING REMARKS
Mr. François Daigle welcomed all attendees to the NLMCC meeting.
- AGENDA APPROVAL
The agenda is approved with the addition of one item regarding Legal Dualism. In addition, since Mr. Daigle was to leave prior to the expected end of the meeting, it was agreed that the agenda items would be presented in reverse order starting with the last item on the agenda.
- STATUS AND SIGNATURE OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
Minutes for the February 21, 2018 meeting were approved. However, due to Ms. Drouin’s absence, the Minutes will be sent secretarially to Ms. Ursula Hendel for her signature.
- LEGAL DUALISM
Ms. Sandra Guttmann raised the issue of Legal Dualism. The bisystemic and bilingual Legal Dictionary of Property in Canada (LDPC) offers over 300 articles describing the legal vocabulary of property with regard to Canada's civil and common law systems. Some time ago, a request was presented to maintain the accessibility of this tool. More recently, Ms. Laurie Wright, Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Law and Legislative Services Sector, agreed with the requested changes to the Website and a meeting to review and implement the changes will be scheduled in the near future.
The Official Languages Directorate to schedule a meeting with the AJC
- LP WORKING LEVELS
Recently, 9 employees at the LP-01 group and level from the Quebec Region sent a letter to Mr. Francisco Couto, Regional Director General, Quebec Regional Office (QRO), in order to raise the issue of the working level for Justice Lawyers. They argue that they are responsible for files of the same level of complexity as many of their colleagues classified at a higher level and that the lack of professional advancement undermines them psychologically. They ask to be recognized for their work and their experience. Ms. Guttmann noted that this perception is not exclusive to the QRO; other employees from other regions are of the view that they are performing work at a higher level.
Ms. Guttmann indicated that many employees fear of reprisals from filing a grievance; they fear that if they file a grievance it will affect their professional advancement. Ms. Bella Skalin agreed that employees are fearful of filing a grievance and the impact it may have on their professional future.
Ms. Bernard committed to providing data on promotions of employees at the LP-01 and LP-02 levels.
Mr. Daigle mentioned that needs assessments from coast to coast are conducted from a management perspective. Management is being encouraged to have open discussion with employees and to take necessary steps to address the issues. LP-01 duties exist and the need for LPs at all levels is present in most files in the Department. The needs assessments are being conducted to determine departmental requirements. Mr. Daigle committed to providing information on how the needs assessments are conducted.
Send data on promotions to the Bargaining Agents
Send information on the needs assessments
- BRITISH COLUMBIA REGIONAL OFFICE (BCRO) RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION CHALLENGES
Ms. Ursula Hendel provided an update on her discussions with employees in the BCRO in regards to recruitment and retention pressures in that region. She stated that there is a serious crisis and that the reality is worse than the statistics indicate.
Mr. Daigle stated that management is aware of the challenges and that several discussions were held on this matter with the former Regional Director General of the BCRO, Bill Basran, as well as with the Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Geoffrey Bickert. The Regional Director General, Brenda Carbonnell, has taken steps to hire new staff through internal and external innovative staffing approaches and selection processes.
It was noted that a working group was created to discuss options and solutions to the recruitment and retention problem in BCRO. In this regard, Ms. Hendel proposed that a national working group with bargaining agent representation and regional management representation be formed. The regional working group did not include bargaining agents or non-managerial employees who can be of assistance in providing innovative ideas. Mr. Daigle indicated he will discuss with the Deputy Minister the proposal put forward by the AJC to implement a National working group.
Discuss with the Deputy Minister the proposal to implement a National working group on recruitment challenges
- RESPECT IN THE WORKPLACE
Mr. St-Jean provided the latest update regarding respect in the workplace. Since the beginning of the #MeToo campaign, the office has been reviewing its processes in dealing with harassment complaints and more specifically as they relate to sexual harassment. Consultations with stakeholders are planned to identify issues, as well as the indicators of success in the management of these files.
The office is currently managing four complaints which are at different stages of the process.
- INFORMAL CONFLICT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (ICMS)
Mr. St-Jean provided an update with respect to ICMS. A communication campaign originally intended for launch in March was rolled out in May*. Posters were developed and visuals were designed, with a focus on destigmatizing conflict and encouraging employees to use ICMS early. Unions were consulted and the constructive feedback that was received from them was incorporated.
A pilot series of three workshops were delivered in December 2017 and January 2018 and February 2018. The Workplace Branch plans to offer these workshops in the regions and again in the National Capital Region (NCR).
Group interventions have been requested and training sessions have been scheduled to support employees in the regions. Employees and managers who are interested in obtaining ICMS services are invited to contact the ICMS Team.
*It is to be noted that the communication campaign will in fact roll out in September 2018.
- MENTAL HEALTH
Mr. St-Jean provided the latest update with respect to mental health. Mental Health sessions such as the Joint Learning Program (JLP) - Mental Health in the Workplace and The Working Mind (TWM) were cancelled because there was insufficient registered participants. A JLP workshop was scheduled in May with over 15 participants. The office had developed a communications strategy and over the course of the year, JustInfo messages, Champions messages as well as communications with the Mental Health Ambassadors were sent out. Ms. Bella Skalin indicated that it is often difficult for employees to attend such sessions because it is not always possible for them to be away from the office for a full day.
The Mental Health Strategic Advisory Group (MHSAG) met in February and April. A guest speaker attended the February meeting and the Group has provided an update on the Mental Health Action Plan for 2017-2020 including recommendations to address challenges and achieve success.
Activities were organized throughout the Mental Health Week (MHW) from May 7 to 11, 2018. For the National Public Service Week (NPSW), the Wellness Program is currently organizing the JUST4Fun Run / Walk.
- EMPLOYMENT EQUITY (EE)
Ms. Laurie Wright provided an update on the quantitative and qualitative progress made in the first year of our Employment Equity and Diversity Plan 2017-2020 and the activities of the four advisory committees. The Department continues to monitor its progress with respect to EE. Information for the period of April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, show positive results. There are still gaps in representation for the LC group for Aboriginal Peoples, for visible minorities in the EC group, and for persons with disabilities in the administrative support category.
Separations for Persons with Disabilities were higher than all the other EE groups and for Justice overall. This is reflective of the federal public service overall due to an aging population.
During the first year of the EE and Diversity Plan, the advisory committees achieved several initiatives, such as:
- The Advisory Committee on Women at Justice (ACWJ) launched their factsheet in December 2017 and have been raising their profile through targeted activities resulting in increased visibility, new membership, and a plan to update the Digital Workplace (DW) site.
- The Advisory Committee on Visible Minorities (ACVM) participated in the consultation with the Visible Minorities Chairs & Champions Committee (VMCCC) on February 21, 2018, as well as the Steering Committee so that the ACVM can identify the three main strategic plans and priorities for 2018-2020. As part of International Women's Day on March 8, 2018, the ACVM participated in the organization of a leadership group in the Department, in collaboration with the ACWJ and the Wellness Program.
- The Advisory Committee on Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) spearheaded the Department’s response to the launch of the Truth and Reconciliation’s Call to Action #27 and #57, by implementing mandatory Indigenous Learning Activities a requirement for all Justice Employees.
- The Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities (ACPD) created a checklist to identify a list of disability considerations for design or renovations to the workspace. The list was adopted and implemented by the Accommodation Management Team in October 2017. The ACPD is currently working to publicize the list with the Public Service as a best practice.
All four EE advisory groups participated at the Mental Illness Awareness Week Event 2017 on October 3, 2017 by sharing a table and providing information on the various initiatives created by the four advisory committees.
The Department and the advisory committees will continue to address how to reduce gaps in representation and move forward with the initiatives outlined for the second year of the plan.
- UPDATE ON MANAGEMENT \ BARGAINING AGENTS CONSULTATIONS
Following the September 28, 2017 NLMCC meeting, a new standing item was introduced to provide an update on the various issues that are the subject of consultation between the Bargaining Agents and management at Justice Canada.
Ms. Emiel Wildhaber provided the following update:
- Environmental Sensitivities Guidelines: First consultation occurred in 2017. This item will be discussed at the next ACPD and a member from the Bargaining Agent will be invited to the meeting.
- Court Clothing Directive: Consultations occurred in 2015 and 2017. The proposed changes resulting from consultation are currently in the process of being approved.
- Learning Policy: Changes were made to the Education Policy and consultations occurred in September 2017. Following written comments received from the AJC, a follow up meeting will be scheduled in the next few days to address the issues raised.
- Administrative Review: This subject was discussed during the February 16, 2017 NLMCC meeting as well as in June 2017. The final report will be shared with all Bargaining Agents in the next few weeks prior to being sent to employees.
- Legal Excellence Program (LEP): Consultation occurred on May 23, 2017 with very positive comments from the AJC. The next step is to communicate the National Framework to stakeholders and to create a national inventory of LEP graduates.
- UPDATE ON THE TRANSFORMATION OF PAY (Phoenix)
Ms. Emiel Wildhaber provided an update on this topic. The HR-to-Pay Stabilization Unit developed a Justice-specific "Who does what" poster. This visual tool will help employees better understand the capabilities of the Self-Service tools (PeopleSoft & Phoenix) and the respective roles of the HR TSLU and the Pay Centre.
A Finance - Pay Transformation Team was established in January 2018 to work collaboratively with HR to report on overpayments and underpayments. It also operates the Departmental Claims Office to reimburse departmental employees for financial hardship caused by Phoenix.
The Unit is looking to have a booth during the NPSW to promote the tools being developed to help employees and managers. If the event is successful, the Unit is looking to launch “Lunch and Learn” sessions that could be provided via videoconference to the regions in order to allow participation of employees across the country.
The Trusted Source and Liaison Unit (TSLU) has been restructured to offer a more interesting career path for employees. However, recruitment of employees with compensation knowledge continues to be a challenge.
PSPC recently announced that the Department of Justice will be part of the next phase of the roll-out of the POD delivery model beginning in June. According to PSPC, the POD concept is expected to bring more efficient and comprehensive resolutions of pay issues, a reduction in backlogged cases and strengthened collaboration between Pay Centre and TSLU staff.
Ms. Hendel stated that they are grateful with the service received, and they feel they are very well served with Ms. Emiel Wildhaber’s Unit. She mentioned employees are still struggling with communications and processes and that the AJC is ready to help. Ms. Emiel Wildhaber mentioned that the Department will continue to share the different communication tools and initiatives.
- ROUND TABLE
There were no items raised during the round table.
The next meeting is scheduled for September 20, 2018*, and will be chaired by Ms. Ursula Hendel
The meeting was adjourned.
*It is to be noted that the date has been changed for September 24, 2018, due to the National Joint Council (NJC) Conference scheduled for September 20, 2018.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CANADA
Nathalie G. Drouin
A. François Daigle
Virginie Emiel Wildhaber
ACFO (V. Gates)
AJC (U. Hendel & S. Guttmann)
CAPE (C. Archambault and N. Malcom)
PIPSC (S. Godwin)
USJE (B. Skalin and M. Crescenzi)