CFHA Minutes



Mr Bastarache, CFHA CEO, opened the April 22, 2010 meeting by welcoming the committee members and advising that this would be his last UMCC as CEO since he will be retiring in June 2010.  He introduced the new General Manager Housing Operations, Ron Vadeboncoeur, who started with CFHA in January 2010 coming from PWGSC.

Approval of Minutes (September 15, 2009 attached).  The Committee members agreed that the minutes had been previously approved secretarially.

Old Business

Workplace Assessments / NQI Healthy Workplace (standing item). The CEO introduced the discussion referring to the “draft” documents provided electronically in advance of the meeting.  He acknowledged that the previous ADM IE had committed to bringing Dr Barrett back to do a reassessment of the findings from the 2005 workplace assessment.  He acknowledged UNDE’s continued requests to bring Dr Barrett back for the reassessment and the previous agreement with UNDE to do so.  However, his staff has advised him of the contracting restraints and the issue of sole source contracting.  Also, he suggested, that UNDE and CFHA should have further discussions to determine the common objectives for utilizing Dr Barrett’s services.

The CEO stated that CFHA has entered into two agreements to have ready available assistance:

  • an interdepartmental agreement with PWGSC to provide organizational development services involving team building and leadership development; and
  • a one-year agreement with DND ADM HR Civ to develop CFHA’s capacity and employees engagement to achieve the CFHA mandate and to sustain itself over the long term.

The CEO stated that he is not dismissing the idea of working with Dr Barrett again.  In fact, the CEO is prepared to provide leadership training to the site managers using Dr Barrett’s expertise.  And if one of the above groups identifies a need for Dr Barrett’s expertise, he can be sole sourced through the Health Canada Emergency Services as he was in another CFHA workplace conflict.

UNDE EVP stated that UNDE is disappointed that CFHA is disregarding their previous agreement.  UNDE EVP stated that a sole source contract for Dr Barrett to continue his work with the CFHA organization could be substantiated based on his history with CFHA and his ongoing working relationship with CFHA Corporate and the employees at different worksites.  His methods are tried and true, and the employees trust him to be impartial because he is not a DND source.  UNDE EVP stated that the CFHA employees may not have the same trust and openess with the other organizations, particulary HR Civ.  And that UNDE itself may not be in a position to support and promote this proposal as presented.

The CEO stated that he consulted with the CFHA Site Managers before moving ahead, they have attended workshops with the the ADM HR Civ group and were happy.

UNDE EVP stated that mixed messages are received when UNDE representatives meet with the members, some employees may not be comfortable raising concerns to their Local managers but are willing to share with the union in confidence. As an initiative to improving the workplace relations, UNDE EVP stated that UNDE would like to establish a LMRC structure at an interim level to the national UMCC.  Currently there is one local LMRC in place (Ottawa).  A forum at the regional level would eliminate the need for UNDE to bring issues from the Local to the national without an attempt to resolve an issue at a lower level.   The committee members agreed and supported that a regional structure would be feasible and beneficial.  UNDE EVP will pursue the idea with the UNDE National Executive. (Note:  there are no CFHA employees excluded at the Local level to participate in a LMRC as management representatives.)             The CEO advised that NQI is proceeding with the next level in the fall of 2010.  Awareness sessions are continuing. Organizational Review.  The CEO stated that the word description (WD) review is done.  Consultation with the EGs and CRs has taken place.  The Chief Business Officer WD has been sent for a classification determination.  Ms Hansen, HR, advised that on-site reviews were conducted before the development of the WDs to confirm the duties and responsibilities assigned to the various positions and again following the development of the WD to confirm the content.  The onsite review to validate the WDs for the satellite locations should be complete by end-April.             UNDE EVP stated that a UNDE representative participated in the conference calls when the classifications and rationales were shared with the employees.  UNDE EVP also acknowledged CFHA’s recognition that collective (generic) WDs written in Ottawa do not necessarily meet the needs of the organization at every location across the country.  UNDE EVP stated that it was unfortunate that other DND organizations did not take geographic locations and available resources into consideration before driving a corporate written collective WD down to be implemented at a Base/Wing. Update of the Terms of Reference (TORs).  The TORs were agreed to following confirmation that the CFHA UMCC TORs meet the same intent as the national UMCC Framework. New Business Strategic Review, Budget Restraints, Funding for FY 10/11 and Management of Term Employees.  UNDE asked for an update since the last meeting in regards to the strategic review, upcoming funding and the impact on CFHA operations.  HR provided a list of the current CFHA term employees: CR 5 – Goose Bay – specific term employment to cover a leave of absence (LOA) EG 3 – Goose Bay – appointed indeterminate CR 4 – Halifax – appointed indeterminate EG 3 – Shilo – extended and will roll over in June 2010 EG 3 – Trenton – a specific term to end December 31, 2010 CR 4 – Ottawa – extended and will roll over in August 2010 CR 4 – Toronto – a specific term to end December 31, 2010 CR 4 – Petawawa – a specific term employment to cover a LOA CR 4 – Comox – extended and will roll over in September 2010 CR 4 – Borden – internal advertised staffing process ongoing.  UNDE EVP asked if there was a previous staffing process to hire the term employee and, if so, why the term employee was not appointed without competition?  HR to follow up. UNDE EVP noted that the number of term employees in CFHA is minimal in comparison to other DND organizations.  And, that based on the information provided, it appeared that CFHA is respecting the TB Term Policy, unlike other DND organizations.   ACFO asked if CFHA hires casual employees?  The CEO and HR stated that they do not hire many casual employees and when they do, the casual employee is hired for a specific function.  CEO advised that CFHA also has  seasonal indeterminate staff and that CFHA utilizes the FSWEP.             In response to the strategic review and funding questions, the CEO explained that there are two reviews that could impact on CFHA: the strategic review:  preliminary indications are that CFHA will not be affected by the ongoing strategic review because CFHA are a revenue based (self-supporting) organization; and   the Accommodation Policy Framework Review:  CFHA receives no funding from DND, as above, they are self funding.  However, it is impossible to be self sufficient and still address the housing challenges and quality of life issues raised in the SCONDVA report of 1998.  Additional funding is required. In response to UNDE’s question, the CEO advised that CFHA has a 15% vacancy rate but that this figure also includes sites that are to be demolished.  A more accurate vacancy rate would be 11%. Workforce Adjustment – Ottawa:  UNDE EVP asked for an update of the recent information of the downsizing of the Ottawa office.  The CEO stated that employees were advised approximately two (2) years ago with the closure of Rockcliffe housing site that staffing changes would occur.  The closure of Rockcliffe has resulted in the need for a satelitte office of possibly 3-5 positions vice the current 8 position.  Each employee was invited to meet with HR to discuss their intent/interests for future employment opportunities.   All have done this.  It is hoped that all affected employees can be accommodated within CFHA without having to issue surplus letters.             UNDE EVP asked to be added to the distribution of the Corporate LMRC Minutes. Grievance Report.  Ms Hansen, HR, gave an update on the grievance statistics:                                                 Subject Level 1                       Effective Date of Work Description                       4          (UNDE)                                     Language Requirements of Position                   1          (UNDE)                                     Contents of Work Description                               4          (UNDE)                                     Travel Directive (NJC)                                             1          (UNDE) upheld at level one, grievor requested mileage from home to a training location vice from work to a training location Level 2                       None Level 3                       Lack of Accommodation/Sick Leave                    1          (UNDE)                                     Disciplinary Investigation Report                          1          (UNDE) Adjudication              Contents of WD       (2004)                                     1          (UNDE) Classifcation             Group and Level      (2008)                                     8          (UNDE)                                     Group and Level      (2010)                                     31        (UNDE)             The CEO noted that there are no outstanding harassment grievances. Staffing: PSST Complaint – Internal Non-Advertised.  Challenge to the statement of merit.  Hearing held, waiting the decision PSST Complaint – Internal Non-Advertised.  Pool Appointment.  Exchange of information done, waiting for mediation. PSST Complaint – Internal Advertised.  Mediation was unsuccessful, waiting for a hearing date.             UNDE EVP asked if there have been any successful military applicants in a CFHA staffing process.  HR advised that there has been one (1) appointment through an advertised process in Edmonton.             The CEO also advised that a Lieutenant-Colonel is being posted to CFHA corporate. Round Table UNDE            UNDE EVP stated that although UNDE has not always agreed with CFHA Management and some of the decisions made, there has been consultation and attempts to work together to improve the CFHA work environment.  UNDE EVP wished the CEO good luck on his upcoming retirement. ACFO             The ACFO representative requested a copy of the head office and comptroller section organization chart.  He continued stating that he had reviewed the 2005 Workplace Assessment.  He asked how successful the use of exit interviews has been and does CFHA still support office exchanges?                         The CEO advised that there have been some exit interviews done but people tend to be uncomfortable with the process.  And yes, office exchanges are supported when they are operationally and fiscally feasible. CFHA CEO   The CEO thanked the bargaining agent representatives for their continued support and for working closely with CFHA and him over the past four years to create a positive environment and addressing common goals.  He reminded the committee members that our members are his employees. Next Meeting.  September 2010 (date to be confirmed).  It was proposed that the next meeting be scheduled to coincide with the UMCC HR Sub-Committee.  HR agreed to contact the PIPSC representative identified by UNDE EVP. Questions and comments are welcomed.   M.L. Chamberlain Executive Vice President