Canadian Forces Health Services
OPI - Mary Chamberlain
REPORT OF CFHS LMRC – 4 JUNE 2007
Col Patenaude, COS, welcomed everyone to the meeting and stated that the PIPSC representative would be attending by conference call, followed by an introduction of committee members in attendance.
Approval of the April 24, 2007 minutes. UNDE asked that para 14 reflect that the Corporate JOSH committee had met but that the value of the meeting was yet to be determined.
Move of NDMC to Montfort Hospital. UNDE requested a list of positions that might be affected by the move. COS responded that at this point in time it is not anticipated that any positions would be affected. Although services would be offered at the Montfort, the services would still be provided by CFMG staff functioning out of Montfort resources. However, there may be positions affected through the restructuring under the Clinic Model. These have yet to be determined. An update will be provided by end-June.
Essential Services. Chief Military Personnel (CMP) has agreed that these negotiations can proceed at the national level as in the past. UNDE stated that contrary to past consultation on designations, only a percentage of a position may be required, not the full position. It is rumored that some managers are struggling with identifying the essential service required and the percentage of the work this equates to. HR asked when the deadline is for negotiations? UNDE replied March 31, 2007 at the Local level and May 31, 2007, long past. The problem is that Treasury Board will not provide clear direction to departments, UNDE continues to encourage management to come to the table. The COS stated that authority will be delegated to HR to conduct the negotiations on behalf of CFMG. It was agreed that dates will be coordinated with the OPI at DGLRC to negotiate the essential services over the summer months.
(Secretarial Note: feedback/comments/concerns from the Locals would be appreciated)
Staffing. UNDE questioned the practice of conducting external staffing processes, the most recent example was a CR 4 Records Clerk. UNDE requested that internal staffing processes be the first consideration affording possible career advancement opportunities for current employees. Furthermore, in internal processes, employees have a set recourse mechanism; on external processes, employees can file a complaint with the PSC, but the jurisdiction of the PSC is not the same as the Tribunal. UNDE reminded the Committee that Management is not always aware of the skill sets that may be available within the existing workforce and that UNDE encourages that internal staffing processes be the preferred first option.
Corporate JOSH Committee. UNDE has voiced concerns in regards to the contravention of the Canada Labour Code (CLC) in regards to the conduct of meetings and the perceived conflict of interest of the Management Co-chair in light of the draft DAOD 5008. UNDE requested a review of Management Co-chair and consideration for a uniformed representative. HR advised that the CLC is not specific to who can/cannot participate at the meetings, it essentially only speaks to the conduct of meetings and who can appoint representatives. COS responded that he has not seen the referenced DAOD. He advised that the Co-Chair is double hatted and also reports to the CO CFUSU(O). Further, the duty of Co-chair is contained within the WD of the Management Co-chair. The Committee agreed that conducting productive meetings is the overall concern; the COS committed to ensuring that meetings are held in accordance with the CLC.
Grievance Report. UNDE stated that the report was requested for two reasons: 1) to standardized information being shared in the various forums UNDE attends; and 2) to express concern for the numbers and types of grievances that are filed by UNDE members in the CFMG work environment, in particular harassment. UNDE stated that it is surprising the number of harassment cases being brought to National’s attention considering the fact that the majority of CFMG managers are in professional roles, ie doctors and dentists. The COS asked if there was a pattern and were these situations isolated to one area of the country? HR responded that there is a pattern and that the problem is not isolated, that it exists across the country. UNDE also expressed concern that even in mediation to resolve these issues, some managers are still resistant to respecting employee/member’s rights. There was further discussions around possible reasons, ie, limited knowledge around employee rights under the collective agreement, and various approaches to correct the situation to improve workplace relationships. It was agreed that Committee members would come to the September meeting prepared to discuss suggestions to improving workplace relationships.
Use of Calian Contractors. PIPSC raised the concern that contract workers are still being used for extended periods of time in some areas. HR responded that there is a national staffing process ongoing to fill the various positions in the field of mental health. It was explained that the majority of staffing is conducted through external advertised processes and external non-advertised where required. HR further explained that contract workers are able to compete for public service positions through the external process.
Rate of Pay on Initial Contract. PIPSC cited recruiting and retention problems when addressing the hiring of professional trades, nurses and physiotherapists, and the salaries being offered on appointment. HR responded that there is a TB Policy “Pay above the minimum on appointment from outside the Public Service” and that there are certain criteria that must be met.
PCRI Team Leaders/Practice Leaders. PIPSC raised concerns with the working conditions and hours of the Practice Leaders, do they have work descriptions (WD) and are they within the CFMG chain of command? The COS responded that proper terminology is Practice Representatives, not to be confused with the Team Leaders who are in Ottawa. For clarification it was explained that Practice Representatives are mostly military personnel who assist as volunteer workers; there is no WD, but there may be a terms of reference (TOR). And no, they are not in the leadership chain of command. It was suggested that specific situations be discussed on an individual basis.
UNDE requested clarification in regards to medical treatment for civilian employees at CF medical establishment. COS explained that the CF are mandated to provide medical treatment to the CF personnel. They can only provide limited medical attention to civilian employees – call 911 and the ABCs of emergency first aid as covered by the “Good Samaritan Act”. A list of workplaces and the status of the establishment of Local LMRCs was distributed. UNDE stated that it was good to see that committees were being established and that consultation was taking place at the Local levels.
UNDE opened discussion in regards to the minutes recently received from the meeting held in Borden, on April 18. Respecting that there are varying levels of knowledge and experience in every organization, UNDE has some concerns.
- Para 4. LMRC Training. UNDE fully supports the LMRC training process, however, it is a process that is facilitated jointly. UNDE is not aware of any Management Representatives that are trained and available to co-facilitate?
- Para 7. Low Scent vs Scent Awareness. UNDE stated that the union has had a “no scent policy” for several years and, while UNDE appreciates the Cmdt’s intent, is it doable or enforceable in one workplace? A national DND policy would be of more value. UNDE advised that the unions have recently been asked to comment on a “Communication Plan – Environmental Sensitivities” which has been developed by D Safe G. UNDE raised concerns with that D Safe G proposed communication, which lead into the specific comments at the end of para 8 of the subject minutes “The Cmdt may be able to convene a disciplinary board put will discuss her options with HRs”. Although only discussion, what message does this send to employees?
- Para 10. Review of Work Descriptions. UNDE asked why another SOP is required? The unions consult at the national level with the ADM HR Civ staff to develop and agree on policies and directives that impact on the civilians’ work environment while at the same time respecting and protecting union members’ rights under the respective collective agreements. The development of “sub-unit” policies and SOPs leads to individual interpretations usually resulting in grievances, ie the individual Base policies on the carry over of annual leave. Do we need more directives?
UNDE advised that these matters have also been brought to the attention of the UNDE Vice President Ontario for follow up at the Local level.
UNDE also advised that as a member of the DND Scholarship Committee, UNDE is happy to announce that an employee of CFMG was a successful applicant of the program. Formal presentations will be made on Monday, June 11 at NDHQ.
Next meeting – September 13, 2007