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The main intent of my message below on the Work Force Adjustment was to urge all CSAs whether they are considering retiring in the near future or not, to participate in the SERLO (Selection of Employees for Retention and Lay Off) exercise.  As this will allow them the opportunity to either receive a reasonable job offer, or if declared surplus, to be able to select an option afforded to them under the WFA, or the opportunity to enter into an alternation process.


Everyone knows that the past is an indication of what the future will bring. For the last 2 years the employer has been telling us that the transformation of the department is moving along quite nicely. We also know that this initiative promises to abolish 552 positions from now until the end of 2015. The employer has also stated that the majority of these positions will be eliminated through attrition.

Following the last budget, surprise, the employer advised us that 261 CSAs would receive a letter stating that their positions may be “affected”. The letter mentions that there is a discontinuance of a function. Will all or will only some of the functions be discontinued? Nothing is clear at this point except the cuts will not be absorbed though attrition, but will be a WFA situation.

During the last UMCC held on April 26th, we asked the employer to clarify the intention of the letter sent to all CSAs as well as modify it.  We have not received an official reply to date. We only know that 75 CSA positions will be cut by next fall.

UVAE/PSAC is urging members who are thinking of volunteering for early retirement to wait until the work force adjustment process under the terms of their collective agreement. The union also urges members to talk to their union representative before making any decisions about whether to retire or volunteer before they have been declared surplus.

Under the terms of the collective agreement, those who volunteer for alternation are entitled to the same benefits that a “surplus” employee would receive. i.e. severance, transition support measures, education allowances, etc. Some employees are also eligible to retire early without penalty in a workforce adjustment situation.

The directive is clear and must be interpreted in the same manner as an article in the collective agreement.

1.1.6 When a deputy head determines that the services of an employee are no longer required beyond a specified date due to lack of work or discontinuance of a function, the deputy head shall advise the employee, in writing, that his or her services will no longer be required.

Such a communication shall also indicate if the employee:

  1. is being provided with a guarantee from the deputy head that a reasonable job offer will be forthcoming and that the employee will have surplus status from that date on;


  1. is an opting employee and has access to the options set out in section 6.3 of this Appendix because the employee is not in receipt of a guarantee of a reasonable job offer from the deputy head.

Where applicable, the communication should also provide the information relative to the employee's possible lay-off date.

1.1.13 Departments or organizations shall provide the employee with the official notification that he or she has become subject to a workforce adjustment and shall remind the employee that Appendix D, Workforce Adjustment, of this Agreement applies.

The employer is trying to get around the Directive, and is not being to subtle about it. The employer mentions that the employee becomes subject to the directive only when the employee receives their letter declaring that they are surplus or opting out, this is false. The employee is covered by the directive as soon as they receive a letter stating that their positions may be affected.

The employer’s head is in the sand. The employer knows full well that some employees do not want to participate in the retention process enabling them to keep their jobs for legitimate reasons.

Do not allude yourselves. This situation is intentional and allows the employer to get out of their obligations. The employer in their “selflessness” pushes you to leave sooner, denies your rights as employees, and thanks you for your services rendered without giving you that which you are entitled to.

Where we come from we call this pulling the wool over someone’s eyes.

The more senior managers realize savings through budget cuts and by minimizing the cost of the WFA, the higher their at risk pay and bonuses will be.

As the union, we must speak against this principle. I have contacted VAC Human Resources. They understand and comprehend what I am saying. I indicated that it will probably be different when it comes time for their job to be eliminated.

It is the union’s belief that the employer will not apply this process consistently when it comes time to eliminate fewer than 10 positions and do not have to go through a SERLO exercise. They will tell those employees that their position has been surplused and that they are entitled to the benefits in the WFA directive.

I am asking that you consult with your local union representative before taking a decision with regard to your future.

You can also consult the PSAC web site to read more on the WFA.


In Solidarity,


Yvan Thauvette,
UVAE National President




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