UMCC HR SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING
DECEMBER 6, 2012
Sister Brendalee Blaney, UNDE Union Services Officer for the Prairies Region, attended the DND UMCC Human Resources (HR) Sub-Committee meeting on behalf of UNDE. UNDE National President and EVP attempted to change the meetings scheduled for the same week that the UNDE National Executive was in session, however, the department denied UNDE’s request.
ADM HR (Civ) opened the meeting and welcomed everyone and introduced the new Labour co-chair Jean-Marc Noel. The members of the committee then introduced themselves.
The minutes of the October 3, 2012 meeting and the agenda for today’s meeting were accepted.
Item 3 – Previous business – ADM HR Civ went through the action items from the previous meeting and noted some of those items were on today’s agenda. She did affirm that the issue dealing with Civilian Personnel Education Support Program will be flagged to ensure it is address for the HR Sub-Committee meeting in June 2014
Harassment – Most of the labour representatives in the room indicated that their preferred method of resolve was using a CLC Regulation 20 Complaint – Violence in the Workplace and that the TB and DND policy violated the law. DGWM indicated that it was important to point out that a Regulation 20 did not provide a mechanism for redress.
It was also pointed out (by labour) that the language around harassment indicates “conduct” and conduct is behavioral and we want to ensure the department’s policy reflects harassment as conduct and not just “any action”.
It was also pointed out that ADR will now be offered to assist in addressing issues around harassment. UNDE queried as to how that would fit in the process. For example, when a grievance is formally filed, the offer of ADR is given. How will this be done in relation to harassment issues? The department indicated that the department will discuss that with the stakeholders when dealing with the process. UNDE also raised the question of “self-help” and what that meant. The department explained that it is the employee attempting to resolve the issue themselves informally.
Item 5 – ADR (update on the Conflict Management Transition Plan)
Acting DGADR gave a presentation on the ADR program. She also indicated for those sites that are closing, they are negotiating with Wing/Base Commanders to keep a mediation room available. She also mentioned a name change from Dispute Resolution Centres (DRCs) to Conflict Resolution Centres (CRCs). It was also stated that more ADR work will be done remotely using Skype and Samba technologies – the hope is that a client in Esquimalt can use technology to contact a practitioner in Edmonton for example. There is also a 1-800 number that folks at home can use to have access to a practitioner.
It was pointed out by labour that in view of the fact that the department has cut the DGADR budget by 70%, EAP is also available to the members.
Item 7 – DND Learn Demonstration – (DLN- Defence Learning Network) a presentation was given and a short demonstration was provided. It was stated that the intention was to deliver an enterprise corporate Learning Management Platform (LMP) for the CF and DND. DLN will serve as enabler for the following business outcomes: Improve management and administration of Training and increased Training Effectiveness. It was also stated that the Defence Learning Network is the platform to be used within DND in place of any others that may exist. HR Civ courses have been moved over to the platform and they are ready now. The system will be better able to track what is going on in learning. All records are done electronically through HRMS.
Questions were raised in relation to whether or not this program provided for links to e-courses at university level. The response was no. It was asked whether courses taken by individuals on this site would be eligible for credit at universities. It was stated that the courses provided were not recognized by universities.
A question was also raised about the School of Public Service and if there would be a link. It was stated that they use the same platform but for now there is no integration with 3rd party courses – the intent is that they will.
It was also asked if there would be funding support for training and the answer was yes. A short demonstration was provided on how to use the site.
Item 8 – EAP – Report from April to September 2012 – there were 1000 (one thousand) visits with RAs with the Atlantic, Pacific and NCR seeing the majority. The top three problems were identified as: Work related – 299; Family related – 275 and Mental/Emotional Health – 252. The bi-annual report (from Health Canada) indicates the utilization rate for EAP for 2012-2013 = 1.5% with the majority (51.2% originating from the Admin. Support group and 85.8% of the referrals were self-referrals with 209 relating to psychological health issues followed next by family (couples) then family (children).
Item 9 – Federal Internship for Newcomers Program – UNDE raised concerns over how there could be support for public service renewal in an atmosphere of WFA and downsizing. UNDE also questioned when the process would end? UNDE also raised the issue of funding for FIN interns being paid through MARPAC budget resources? It was stated that the FIN issue be forwarded to the Apprenticeship Program committee to be addressed there.
UNDE raised the issue of the sharing of information during the grievance process. Reference was made to minutes of the UMCC HR Sub-Committee meeting of October 2007 and reiterated that UNDE was seeking a re-affirmation of the sentiments expressed during that meeting that the sharing of information during the grievance process would continue.
UNDE also raised the issue of reorganization within ADM HR (Civ) and requested an organization chart be provided in order to know who was responsible for what both within the regions and at corporate level. ADM HR (Civ) indicated a preliminary org chart was available on their website. UNDE pointed out that being external to the Department UNDE does not have access to their website. We were assured an organization chart would be provided.
UNDE read a letter of thanks to Mandy Hanlon (DGWM) on behalf of UNDE and its members along with the presentation of a gift from UNDE. DGWM thanked UNDE.
The issue was raised regarding the large number of folks seeking assistance through EAP for mental health issues and the question was asked as to what the department was doing to assist. DGWM indicated that not all mental health issues are due to workplace issues and one had to be careful. DGWM went on to outline that the Department will be preparing an Annual Report on Civilian Well-Being and that input is appreciated.
DGWM also stated that the schedule for the next round of meetings for 2013 had been sent out and if anyone had a conflict with the dates to let them know as soon as possible.
ADM HR (Civ) thanked DGWM for the support that was provided both to the Department and this Committee and wished her well in her future endeavors.