National Labour Management Consultation Committee

///National Labour Management Consultation Committee
National Labour Management Consultation Committee 2016-12-04T20:50:17+00:00

AGREEMENT BETWEEN PUBLIC WORKS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES CANADA (PWGSC) AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES UNION (GSU)

with respect to Guidelines for Labour-Management Consultation

PREAMBLE

Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) and Government Services Union (GSU) have a shared interest in providing for the needs of PWGSC employees and GSU members.

As supported by the Union Recognition Agreement (Annex # and http://source.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/rh-hr/text/emp/ssg-gsu-e.html),we recognize, respect and value the contribution of elected GSU officers in pursuit of organizational effectiveness and fairness. We are committed to achieving these goals,

Effective consultation, formal or informal, and other labour-management interactions are useful and constructive in promoting understanding and problem-solving between management and GSU. Any exchange of views, which leads to a more informed decision, is productive for all parties. Management representatives and union officers at all levels are accountable for upholding and promoting the principles and processes set out in this document.

Signed on january 20, 2012 by

François Guimont,

Deputy Minister and Deputy Receiver General for Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada

Donna Lackie,

National President, Government Services Union

Andrew Treusch,

Associate Deputy Minister, Public Works and Government Services Canada

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.         Principles of Labour-Management Consultation

2.         Labour-Management Consultation Committees

3.         Operating Principles for Consultation Committees

4.         Leave for Union Business and Union Time.

5.         Annex

1.  PRINCIPLES OF LABOUR-MANAGEMENT CONSULTATION

 

1.1       WHAT IS CONSULTATION? ILO/JLP

The Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA, Section 8), as promulgated by the Public Service Modernization Act, requires deputy heads in consultation with the bargaining agents, to establish  consultation committees for the purpose of exchanging information and obtaining views and advice on workplace issues.

The parties subscribe to the definition of the term “consultation” as used in the Treasury Board Secretariat guidelines on labour-management consultation:

“Consultation is a process for seeking and providing information and advice, exchanging views, and discussing issues, at a level (e.g., national, regional, local, sectoral or specific occupational group) appropriate to addressing or resolving issues, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.  To be effective, the process must be based on an honest and open commitment, by both parties, to the sharing of information and to listening to each other’s opinions, observations, and recommendations, prior to decisions being taken.  This allows each party to understand the full implications of decisions and actions on their legitimate interests.  However, some limitations must be respected.  They include:

  • The rights of management and the union must not be compromised, encroached upon, or diminished;
  • The provisions of collective agreements and statutes, and their intent, must be adhered to;
  • Matters for which other formal channels have been established (e.g., Occupational Health or Safety, National Joint Council matters) must normally be addressed in those fora; and
  • Issues relating to an individual such as grievance cases must not be discussed in a way that would breach confidentiality.  Note:  Grievance cases may be discussed in a generic way if such discussions provide a means to identify trends or underlying causes that would help in resolving the problem.”

Further, the parties to this agreement also agree that departmental managers and GSU representatives may achieve organizational effectiveness and fairness through other forms of other labour-relations interactions such as co-development, informal discussions and joint activities and training.

1.2       RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONSULTATION

It is essential that both PWGSC and GSU be committed to continuously enhancing and improving the consultation process, and building their relations at all levels. It must be ongoing and not limited to formal meetings between the parties. We all share the responsibility for adopting a consultative approach in all areas of labour-management interactions and are equal in the process. To that end, the parties will support their representatives to ensure the efficient functioning of the consultation process. Effective and meaningful consultation requires time, energy, enthusiasm and sensitivity. The focus should be on finding solutions to workplace challenges so that results of that consultation lead to an enhanced decision.  Issues will be addressed at the lowest level possible.

1.3       TIMING OF CONSULTATION

To be most effective, consultation takes place prior to decisions being made or as soon as there is a reasonable likelihood that change will take place.  Where consultation is not possible prior to a decision being made, consultation will focus on the effective implementation.

In both cases, consultation should take place as early as possible.

Maximum disclosure shall occur to ascertain the full impact on the legitimate interests of the parties.

The extent to which information is shared or disclosed shall be subject to the restrictions specified by Cabinet confidence, the Access to Information Act, the Privacy Act, GSU By-laws and Oath of Office as applicable.

1.4       TOPICS OF CONSULTATION

All matters may be subject to consultation except those which could modify acts, collective agreements or regulations governing terms and conditions of employment or those for which other formal channels of redress have been established.

The annex identifies a list of topics for which formal consultation must be held as stipulated by legislation, the collective agreement and/or the National Joint Council (NJC) (see Annex).

2.  LABOUR-MANAGEMENT CONSULTATION COMMITTEES

 

2.1       PURPOSE OF COMMITTEES

Consultation committees are the focal point for formal consultation and exist at the national, regional, branch and local levels of both organizations.  The purpose of these joint committees is to provide a forum for meaningful consultation between management and union representatives as close as possible to the place of work.

Committees function in a consultative capacity. All parties accept the responsibility of helping to make the committee work effectively. The objective is to communicate freely and to resolve matters through consensus.

These guidelines shall serve as the basis for joint consultation proceedings at each level. However, within this general framework, some flexibility may be established by mutual agreement between the parties directly concerned in order to facilitate the efficient functioning of the committee.

2.2       LEVELS OF CONSULTATION

National Labour-Management Consultation Committee (NLMCC):  The committee will provide strategic direction and deal with issues of horizontal, department-wide importance.

National Branch Consultation Committees:  may be established as required.

Regional level:  Regional committees will provide a forum for discussions on specific regional issues.

Local level:  Local committees will provide a forum for discussions on issues affecting the workplace (the parties can agree to establish sectorial consultation committees).

Branch level (National Capital Area (NCA) specific):  Branch committees will provide a forum for discussions on branch specific issues in the NCA which do not have an impact on other branches.

The parties shall make reasonable, sincere efforts to resolve problems at the appropriate levels.  Unresolved topics appearing on the agenda for two consecutive committee meetings will be referred to the next level.  Local issues should only be raised at the national level once efforts have been made to resolve them at the local, regional or NCA branch levels.

2.3       JURISDICTION OF COMMITTEES

Labour-management consultation committees may make decisions according to their jurisdiction. Any issue that may arise which is beyond the authority of the committee concerned will be referred to the next level along with any relevant comment or documentation, which might facilitate the resolution of the problem at the next level.

2.4       COMPOSITION

These committees shall be composed as follows:

2.4.1   National Committee:

  • Management
    • Deputy Minister / Associate Deputy Minister
    • Assistant Deputy Ministers
    • Chief Executive Officers
    • Other members of the Departmental Executive Committee who may be affected by items on the agenda
    • Director General responsible for Labour Relations
    • Other representatives, as determined by Management
  • Government Services Union
    • National President
    • National Vice-Presidents
    • Other representatives, as determined by GSU
  • Resource Persons
    • Secretariat

2.4.2       National Branch Consultation Committees:

  • Management
    • Assistant Deputy Ministers / Chief Executive Officer
    • Other members of the Branch Executive Committee who may be affected by items on the agenda
    • Manager, Labour Relations and Labour Relations Advisor
    • Other representatives, as determined by Management
  • Government Services Union
    • National President
    • National Vice-President(s)
    • Other representatives, as determined by GSU
  • Resource Persons
    • Secretariat

2.4.3   Regional Committees:

  • Management
    • Regional Director General
    • Regional Directors
    • Regional Manager, Labour Relations
  • Government Services Union
    • Regional Vice-Presidents
    • Representatives, as determined by GSU
  • Resource Person
    • Secretary

2.4.4   Branch Committees (in the NCA):

  • Management
    • Branch representatives at the Director General or Director levels
    • Senior Consultants, Labour Relations
  • Government Services Union
    • Representatives, as determined by GSU
  • Resource Person
    • Recording Secretary

2.4.5   Local Committees:

  • Management
    • Senior Departmental Representative in the area or sector
    • Senior Line Managers
    • Senior Consultants, Labour Relations
  • Government Services Union
    • Representatives, as determined by GSU
  • Resource Person
    • Recording Secretary

Please note that with respect to Resource Persons, the parties may invite technical or specialist advisors or other interested parties affected by items on the agenda to participate in the discussion of particular topics.  They shall play an advisory role only.

2.5       FREQUENCY OF MEETINGS

The recommended number of meetings per year are as follows:

  • National: a minimum of 2 meetings annually
  • National Branch: a minimum of 2 meetings annually
  • Regional and NCA Branch: 4 meetings annually
  • Local: 6 meetings annually.

Additional meetings shall be scheduled when either party raises urgent matters of significant consequence.

2.6       ESTABLISHMENT OF SUB-COMMITTEES

Sub-committees may be established, by mutual agreement, to study particular topics or issues in detail.

2.7       LABOUR-MANAGEMENT SEMINARS

Labour-management seminars permit the study of specific topics in greater detail than is possible at committee meetings. The seminars provide for additional representation from both union and management, enabling individuals who might not otherwise have the opportunity to dialogue on matters of common interest. Seminars will be held, on a biennial basis unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.

PWGSC will contribute time and financial resources to support the seminar attendees for the fulfillment of their duties and responsibilities. Such arrangements will be determined by the union and the management organizations hosting the seminars.

Representatives attending seminars are as follows:

2.7.1   National Seminar:

  • Management
    • Deputy Minister / Associate Deputy Minister
    • Assistant Deputy Ministers
    • Chief Executive Officers
    • Regional Directors General and/or other senior officials who may be affected by items on the agenda
    • Director General responsible for Labour Relations
    • Other representatives, as determined by Management
  • Government Services Union
    • National President
    • National Vice-Presidents
    • Regional Vice-Presidents
    • Other representatives, as determined by GSU
  • Resource Persons
    • Secretariat

2.7.2   Regional Seminars:

  • Management
    • Regional Director General
    • Regional Directors and/or other senior officials who are involved in the local or sectorial LMC process or may be affected by items on the agenda
    • Regional Manager, Labour Relations
    • Other representatives, as determined by Management
  • Government Services Union
    • National President
    • National Vice-President designated by the National President
    • Regional Vice-Presidents
    • Local Presidents
    • Other representatives, as determined by GSU
  • Resource Person
    • Secretariat

2.7.3   National Capital Area Seminar:

  • Management
    • Members of Branch and Local Committees, NCA
    • Senior Consultants, Labour Relations, NCA
    • Director General responsible for Labour Relations
  • Government Services Union
    • National President
    • National Vice-President designated by the National President
    • NCA Regional Vice-Presidents
    • Presidents of NCA Locals
    • Other representatives, as determined by GSU

3.  OPERATING PRINCIPLES FOR CONSULTATION COMMITTEES

3.1       MONITORING ROLE OF COMMITTEES

It is highly recommended that the parties periodically undertake an assessment of how well an LMCC or any of its sub-committees is functioning.  These assessments will be tabled and reviewed at regional committees and national committees for discussion.

A checklist for effective consultation is found in the Annex.   Committee members (at all levels) are encouraged to discuss and complete the checklist together and attach a copy to the minutes. It is recommended this be done at least once a year.

3.2       CHAIRPERSON

There shall be a Chairperson for each meeting which will alternate between management and the union.

3.3       OTHER PARTICIPANTS

The parties may invite technical or specialist advisors or other interested parties affected by items on the agenda to participate in the discussion of particular topics at a consultation committee meeting. They shall play an advisory role only.

3.4       ALTERNATES

Core members of each consultation committee, as identified in the “Composition” section, shall have decision-making authority for those organizations they represent. Membership shall remain constant, to the greatest extent possible, to ensure continuity.

In the absence of a regular member of the committee, the parties recognize their right to appoint a designated alternate. To maximize the benefit of the consultation process, the parties agree that alternates will be used sparingly, and when used, Co-Chairpersons will be given notice as early as possible.

3.5     MEETINGS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

Labour-management interactions and consultations will be held in the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner to meet budgetary restraint measures and to comply with the Directive on the Management of Expenditures on Travel, Hospitality and Conferences (http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=19855§ion=text) and the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy, which aims to reduce the environmental footprint of federal government operations in the key areas of green buildings, electronic waste, printing units, paper consumption, green meetings, green procurement, and greenhouse gas emissions (http://source.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/dlc-ink/dcd-aag/2010-10-15-02-eng.html).  As a result, the use of technology such as teleconferences and video conferences should be used to link participants from their respective work locations.

In person attendance at Union-Management Consultation Committee (UMCC) meetings will be required for only a limited number of instances.  The need for in person meeting will be driven by agreement reached between the concerned GSU and PWGSC Management Co-Chairs.  The following factors may be considered in making this determination:

  • Duration, sensitivity and complexity of the matters of consultation should be considered in assessing the need for in person meetings;
  • Need to build face-to-face relationships – e.g., at the beginning of a significant consultation such as building a labour-management consultation framework or annually;
  • Time constraints and urgency –It is generally more efficient to use technology for videoconferencing and teleconferences to seek input on urgent matters requiring joint and focus attention of all parties;
  • Number of participants – In situations where in person meetings is required, efforts should be made to limit the number of participants required to attend in person.

Union representatives authorized to travel at PWGSC expense to UMCC or NLMCC meetings will have their travel costs administered in accordance with the NJC Travel Directive.

3.6       LOCATION AND SCHEDULING OF MEETINGS

Meetings will normally be held on the employer’s premises and scheduled during normal working hours.

Representatives of the committees shall be protected against any loss of regular pay due to attendance at meetings. Every reasonable effort will be made to schedule meetings respecting work schedules of committee members. Where this is not possible, members shall be given an equivalent amount of time-off with pay. The department will ensure that there will be no loss of pay for committee members who are on shift work, when they are required, in emergency situations or otherwise, to exercise their committee functions outside their regularly scheduled shifts.

3.7       PREPARATORY TIME FOR REPRESENTATIVES

As labour-management consultation committees enable management and union representatives to communicate their views on subjects which are of importance to them, it is essential that all members be prepared for meetings so that views are obtained and given careful consideration. Preparation time for committee meetings and necessary follow-up time shall be granted and shall be considered an investment in the process.

Any paid leave granted to union representatives for the purposes of attending any committee meetings should include appropriate travel and preparatory time.

3.8       AGENDA

Union and management members will be responsible for providing agenda items to the committee secretary appointed by management. This must be done in sufficient time to permit the meeting agenda and supporting documentation to be distributed to the parties as far in advance as possible of the scheduled meeting. Items not on the agenda may be discussed at the meeting with the approval of the parties.

3.9       MINUTES AND ELECTRONIC POSTING

The committee secretariat, provided by management, will prepare the draft minutes of the meeting. At a minimum, the minutes shall report major issues raised, follow-up action required and by whom, a deadline if required and a record of decisions made. Also included shall be an attendance section.

As minutes are intended for the information of employees, there should be enough information so that issues are clearly understood.  They are also the key tools used to refer unresolved issues to the next level committee.  Information about employees should not be included in Committee minutes.  Confidentiality must be respected at all times.

Draft minutes shall be circulated to the committee Co-Chairperson (or by agreement of the parties, to the Chairperson of the meeting) for review and comments within fifteen working days after the meeting. The Co-Chairperson (or Chairperson) shall return the draft, which will include any revisions to the text, to the committee secretary within five working days.

Once amendments to the minutes are made and the text translated (in those areas designated as bilingual), they shall be distributed as soon as they are signed, according to a mutually agreed-upon schedule and distribution list, and posted locally and regionally for the information of PWGSC employees.  Minutes should be posted electronically where feasible. For monitoring purposes, and in addition to the regular distribution list, the following shall also receive copies of committee minutes:

  • Regional/Branch LMCC minutes shall be forwarded to the Director General, responsible for Labour Relations, 1B3, Place du Portage, Phase III, Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0S5 and the National President of the Government Services Union, 233 Gilmour Street, Suite 705, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 0P2;
  • Local LMCC minutes shall be forwarded to the Regional Managers of Labour Relations and Regional Vice-President(s) of the Government Services Union.

3.10    LANGUAGE

Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Official Languages Act. Minutes shall be produced in a bilingual format in those areas designated as bilingual.

3.11    IMMUNITY

Members must be free to discharge their duties without fear of reprisal or fear that their relationships within the department will be affected by action taken in good faith as a member of the committee.

3.12    AMENDMENT

This agreement shall be reviewed on a regular basis and may be amended at any time by consent of the parties.

4.  LEAVE FOR UNION BUSINESS AND UNION TIME

Text of document to follow

5.  ANNEX

 

Annex A – CHECKLIST FOR EFFECTIVE CONSULTATION

For consultation to be effective, certain elements must be present. The following checklist can be used by all parties to evaluate the process.

  • Consultation took place prior to decisions being made or where there was a reasonable likelihood that change will take place.
  • If the parties were not part of decision-making process, consultation took place on the implementation of decision.
  • There was maximum disclosure of contemplated actions prior to decisions being taken.
  • The parties treated each other with respect.
  • There was a commitment by the parties to share information and to listen to opinions and observations.
  • The parties worked together to solve problems and resolve differences.
  • Consultation reduced stress and conflict in the workplace.
  • Consultation is well understood and supported by all levels in the organizations.
  • Consultation committees are in place and are operating in a meaningful manner (e.g., they are well-attended and productive).
  • Consultation and dialogue are ongoing and not restricted to formalized meeting.
  • Consultation is constructive.  Participants feel they can raise issues and have them addressed positively.  Participants feel their involvement is valued.
  • Discussions are genuine and both parties have a sense of accomplishment.
  • There is an improvement in labour-management relations, (i.e. there is a building of mutual respect and trust between the parties, working on attitudes and skills that foster meaningful consultation).
  • There is an improvement to the overall work environment, discernable in the periodic survey of public servants.

Annex B – TOPICS OF CONSULTATION

Consultation topics provided for by collective agreements:
  • Determination of union representatives’ area of jurisdiction Adoption and implementation of reasonable methods and procedures for preventing occupational accidents;
  • Workforce adjustment situations (as soon as a decision is made and throughout the process);
  • Establishment of grievance procedures;
  • Reopening of collective agreement between the Treasury Board Secretariat and PSAC;
  • Technological changes affecting the employment situation or employee’s working conditions;
  • When the implementation of shift work schedules or regular hours of work;
Topics provided for by the National Joint Council (NJC):
  • Consultation forum between the employer and bargaining agents concerning issues throughout the Public Service or national issues.
  • When NJC directives (travel, relocation, isolated posts) are prepared or revised.
 Other consultation topics include, but are not limited to the following:
  •  Staffing in general
  • Integrated Human Resource Planning (IHRP)
  • Enhancements made to the workplace
  • Changes in programs or services
  • Outsourcing / insourcing
  • Strategic planning
  • Knowledge transfer and continuous learning
  • Any topic which is agreed upon by the parties and affects their respective sectors.
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