NLMCC Summary

Sept 15, 2017, 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.

Administrative Items – R. Parker

The Chair opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the meeting and he said this will be a busy fall with a new Minister in addition to the usual activity. Donna Lackie, Government Services Union President, was acknowledged for her efforts in SSC consultation as she is retiring.  

The president gave updates on current activities:

  • Borden renovation which is continuing and will increase in the fall,;
  • the HPC centre in Dorval is moving forward;
  • the new service for hosted contact centres is moving forward;
  • GCNet WAN continues to be rolled out;
  • new mobile device technology continues to be rolled out gradually and will continue this year
  • Cloud brokering contracts have not been awarded.

The President noted that the Employee Pulse Check Survey noted issues of harassment and discrimination at SSC.   While the numbers identified at SSC were similar to those in other department, the President was clear that there is no place for harassment in the department.   Over the next few months, discussions will be happening in the department to develop a zero tolerance approach to harassment and discrimination.

PIPSC asked about the influence of the Gartner Report on the direction of SSC. The President highlighted that the report provided recommendations only and that the government is studying those recommendations.   

Update on Cloud Brokering - D. Adamson

A Cloud brokering presentation was provided that gave an overview of the Request for Proposal and employee opportunities.

Potentially twenty-four contracts will be awarded with the first two scheduled to be announced soon. These will be for unclassified data. The goal is cloud enablement.  Eventually Protected B cloud services will be developed but there are many requirements around security. The target for first cloud capacity is early next fiscal year.

The bargaining agents asked having 20 contracts seems like a departure from the usual SSC approach to contracts. The normal approach of SSC has been to reduce the number of contracts especially when it was for a single service. 

New opportunities for employees related to cloud technologies were identified in the areas of cloud architecture and cloud administration. PIPSC asked for clarification of whether Cloud positions are a version of existing positions and functions. SSC responded saying Cloud Services will not replace existing support activities. Cloud architects and administrators will have slightly different skill sets.

Update on Email Transformation Initiative (ETI) & Enterprise Mobile Device Management - P. Sehgal

ETI migration remains on hold with exception of the migration of Health Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Migration started in early September and the error rate is very low. There is no plan for full migration for other departments. 

Several legacy email systems have been upgraded in partner departments to ensure service continuity. The Email Transformation Initiative contract, with Bell is coming to an end in 2020 and SSC will be looking into lessons learned to better digital communications services in the future.

Bargaining Agents heard the RCMP had stability issues and there was an effort to upgrade email systems.  PIPSC was interested if there were further intentions to upgrade email infrastructure for other departments in a similar situation since we are no longer migrating net new departments to the ETI solution. SSC responded that partner platforms are being standardized under contracts with Microsoft to move departments from other platforms onto Exchange. The priority is to deliver stable environments to departments.

It remains unknown when migrations will resume and systems will need to be supported after 2020. Legacy system will have to be maintained and made ready for migration. SSC has told staff supporting these systems that they will have jobs for some time.

ITSM Process and Tool - C. Macintosh

An ITSM tool update was provided from an earlier presentation given a year ago. A major program is underway to provide service management process improvement that impacts all services lines throughout SSC. Service management operations are expanding to several hundred people over the next few years. SSC is trying get away from a fragmented system of multiple tools onto a consolidated suite of enterprise processes and tools to deliver effective service to customers.

Procurement of a tool in 2018-19 is underway but will require a further one year for configuration. A contract is supposed to be awarded imminently for the new solution.

There are challenges with workloads due to tool fragmentation, performance reporting capabilities and documenting complicated processes. An interdepartmental working group has been established with partners to build Government of Canada (GoC) wide guidelines.

Bargaining agents are concerned about data integrity. A lot of foundational work needs to be completed to current SSC processes to ensure the tool is used efficiently. Getting more staff is a step in the right direction. There is concern that these opportunities are not well known among staff. Active recruiting and role definition is underway. Like the rest of SSC, Service Management is struggling with bringing in staff. Numerous avenues and forums are being used to promote emerging staffing opportunities.

Employee Pulse Check Survey Action plan - J. Hébert

An analysis of the Pulse Check Survey of SSC, branches and regions has been undertaken. A co-creation day was held with participants across branches and regions. Priorities were identified by participants based upon their interests. New activities are being launched for harassment/discrimination awareness.

The results of the PSES will be available in March and a decision about having another Pulse survey will be made. Regular communication with employees is being carried out. The overall idea is to establish two-way communication with employees as it was identified as a concern in the survey.

Bargaining agents are interested in seeing the Harassment guide, particularly steps taken in harassment complaints to examine where the unions fall into the process. A Harassment guide will be shared with all bargaining agents.

Implementing the Federal Public service Workplace Mental Health Strategy at SSC - R. Kattackal

The Clerk of the Privy Council has challenged departments to raise awareness and start conversations among employees around mental health in the workplace. The feedback from several surveys is that employees do not have necessary resources to support their mental health; managers do not have the ability to support them; and stress levels are high.

Mental Health Month will be the first opportunity to promote communication with employees. Tools are being identified to support staff across the country.  PIPSC asked if the capacity exists to support the demand and employee needs identified. Strategies are being put into place to address gaps. One recommendation is to establish a structure, and to assess needs before moving forward.