I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Statistics Canada National Consultation Team, to extend our wishes for a happy and healthy summer. Your team of volunteer stewards has been working diligently in the background and at management committee meetings to express our position to management. We represent your interests on pertinent issues, programs, processes and departmental direction that affect you, our members, in the workplace.
The amount of work to be done on your behalf, as members of PIPSC, is endless and you can be assured that we are working continuously to represent your interests when dealing with performance management, the IT transformation, mental health, Statistics Canada’s modernization, contracting out IT work, new competitive processes and many more issues that affect you in the workplace. The Consultation Team routinely communicates with senior management both formally at the consultation table and informally when dealing with individual member issues.
A key component of consultation is communication, and I hope to partially address that with this newsletter. I have also listed all the members of the Consultation Team at Statistics Canada for your information and if you have any issue you would like to have discussed, whether with PIPSC or with management, please feel free to contact any of our team members and they will ensure the information is directed to the proper helping resource.
Yours in solidarity,
PIPSC Statistics Canada National Consultation Team
Your PIPSC National Consultation Team for STATCAN:
- Tony Goddard (CS) – President (LMCC, HRLMCC, LMOCC, ITLMCC)
- Eric Hortop (RE-MA) – Vice-President (LMCC, HRLMCC, LMOCC, MLMCC)
- Kathleen Emberson (RE-MA) – (MLMCC)
- Robert Hébert (CS) – (WCOHS, PCOHS, ITLMCC)
- Harold Mantel (RE-MA) – (PCOHS, MLMCC)
- John Meier (CS) – (ITLMCC)
- Don Whiting (CS) – (ITLMCC)
Although Statistics Canada has had minimal impact from the Phoenix fiasco, much due to the fact that we are still processing our time through our own in-house developed reporting system and it is being carefully monitored by our dedicated HR staff, there still have been some issues with members pay. An agreement between the PIPSC President, Debi Daviau and the Chief Statistician of Canada, Anil Arora have identified two PIPSC Stewards at Statistics Canada who can be freed up to concentrate on your Phoenix issue if you have one. Both myself, Tony Goddard, and Eric Hortop are available if you need any assistance with Phoenix problems.
With the announcement of the IT Transformation, we approached the CIO and requested the formation of a Consultation Table for the Informatics Branch. Martin St-Yves readily agreed and we have conducted a first IT Consultation meeting for the sole purpose of discussing IT (CS) issues. We hope to make more advances and keep the dialogue moving in a positive and consultative direction.
Statistics Canada Modernization
While we recognize the need for the Department to keep abreast of current trends and technologies, and support the move to modern and more relevant processes and working environments, we also want to make sure that the modernization project does not negatively impact our members. We have been actively involved with many of the modernization initiatives and have been monitoring the impact of programs like ABW and the modernization of our workplace, raising our concerns where we saw the need.
In the last round of negotiations, PIPSC and the TBS signed an MOA committing all departments with more than 10 RE or SP members to develop their own Scientific Integrity Policy. The science based group executives and PIPSC staff developed a draft model policy and presented it to the new Chief Science Advisor of Canada. Since we have over 300 RE and SP members at STATCAN, we have formed a consultation committee which will soon meet with management to adapt this model Scientific Integrity policy to the Statistics Canada context.
New Competition Process
As most are aware, a new competition process has been introduced at Statistics Canada, one where more authority has been delegated to the hiring managers. The new process allows faster turnaround times for the selection process without making any changes to the recourse mechanisms. It all sounds good for our members but what we are finding is it is lacking in transparency. Once you qualify for one of the competition “lists” you ultimately sit there until approached by a hiring manager who may want you on their team. This is great for those being approached but those who are never contacted have no insight as to “why” they are not being given a chance at promotion while all the promotions are happening around them. We have asked for a meeting with senior HR managers to discuss this lack of transparency and what can be done to mitigate this problem.
While Statistics Canada has been ahead of the curve for years with performance evaluations, they have become a much more important aspect of our day-to-day work reality. The weight given to your yearly assessment has grown exponentially with the results of that evaluation being used to identify employees for the talent management program and flag employees who require remedial attention. More often the latter situation results in disciplinary measures and seriously affects the employee’s ability to apply to selection processes. If you receive an assessment from your supervisor that is a complete surprise to you or if your objectives are not “SMART”… there is something wrong and you should talk to one of your union stewards. It is still the policy of the GoC to provide employees with continuous feedback on performance so nothing in the mid-year or final evaluation should ever be a surprise.
Contracting Out of IT Work
While the use of IT contractors is lower at Statistics Canada than some other GoC Departments, it is still an issue that we must address to ensure CS members are trained to the current technologies and are given the opportunity to work in future IT projects. Consultation with IT Management and Labour Relations has resulted in a new procedure to be followed before a manager tenders for a contactor to do IT work. Our CIO has admitted that changing the way hiring managers approach staffing will take time but the new procedure is being implemented to make sure that certain obligations to hire CS members are met before any consideration is given to a contractor being hired. New wording in the CS Collective Agreement will help us enforce this and guide our employer to ensure a transfer of knowledge from contractors to members and increase the training so our CS members can continue to do the work for which they have been hired.
If you have any questions, concerns, comments or issues please do not hesitate to contact one of your local Stewards.
- ABW – Activity Based Workplace
- CIO – Chief Information Officer
- GoC – Government of Canada
- HRLMCC – Human Resources Labour-Management Consultation Committee
- ITLMCC – Informatics Labour-Management Consultation Committee
- LMCC - Labour-Management Consultation Committee
- LMOCC - Labour-Management Operations Consultation Committee
- MLMCC – Methodology Labour-Management Consultation Committee
- MOA – Memorandum Of Agreement
- PCOHS – Policy Committee on Occupational Health and Safety
- PSPM – Public Service Performance Management
- SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Trackable/time bound
- TBS – Treasury Board Secretariat
- WCOHS – Workplace Committee on Occupational Health and Safety