Summary of Discussion from WFA Committee Meeting – December 7, 2012

In attendance:

VAC: Keith Hillier, Charlotte Bastien, Don Love, Terry Wiseman, Theresa Finkle

UVAE: Yvan Thauvette - Chair, Kim Coles

PIPSC: Doreen Weatherbie

AJC: Mathieu Delorme

CAPE: Karen Brook


Discussion Items

OPI for action items

1. Alternation

  • Current numbers for VAC’s alternation program were discussed, including whether any employees who are looking for alternation have been refused.

  • Charlotte Bastien updated the Committee after following up with Service Canada on a grievance situation resulting from an alternation refused by the other department. This grievance has been heard at the first level, and will be monitored.

CAPE raised concerns that some of the content of the departmental Alternation program may not be compliant with the WFA Directive.

Action Item: CAPE will provide DGHR with a list of concerns with the program


2. Hiring Casuals and Contracts


  • Committee members discussed the use of casuals and other temporary mechanisms, as opposed to terms. First consideration should be given to terms whose appointments have been ended early.

  • A second concern was raised over the use of mandatory overtime after positions had been eliminated.

  • There are situations where casuals were brought in for short stints to help with backlog, replace departures and absences, and for the move to new standards of service.

Action items:

  • DGHR will provide data to the Committee on the use of casuals, terms and contracts by branch.

  • Keith Hillier will look into any situations where terms were terminated and brought back on casual, and if the casual employees can be brought back on a term basis.












Karen Brook











Don Love


Keith Hillier

  1. Terms of Reference

  • The Terms of Reference provided prior to the meeting will be distributed for approval.

  • Any additional representatives will be agreed upon by the Committee and will attend, as required, for specific agenda items only.


4. Round Table Items

  • Discussion took place around several issues presented by UVAE in writing to the Deputy Minister.

    • Medavie: The move of VIP work is still in progress, so some CSA’s may still be performing related duties.

    • The grants portion will be phased in by January, which will reduce the annual transactions total by approximately 2.5 million.

    • Data is being gathered to assess the number of transactions that are coming back and creating a backlog.

    • Response times by Medavie seem well above the VAC standard. The phone system is being adjusted to correctly reflect which calls should be going to Medavie.

    • With the reduction in CSA’s, there is no buffer to account for the increased workload for those who remain. Overtime is being used to get caught up, but this is not the long-term plan. If employees are using their personal time due to ensure service to their clients, they need to advise their manager of the workload situation.

    • Despite the rumors, there is no change in office closures – none are scheduled until 2014.

    • Early departures due to office closures are a risk that management must take in order to reach budget 2012 objectives.

  • Some local management-bargaining agent consultations were cancelled in Atlantic and Saskatoon. Workforce adjustment (WFA) issues should be brought to this Committee, but conversations on local issues should still be taking place. This may be due to the removal of the regional structure.

Action Item: Keith Hillier will follow up with management to ensure local consultations are still happening.


  • Committee members asked if they will be advised in advance of the next round of reductions. A lack of consultation prevents bargaining agents from being able to properly plan for and advise their members. The communications process for any future reductions will include a critical path of the roll out, support for affected employees, and consultation with bargaining agents.

  • Telework and the concept of virtual work were discussed. Management is reducing excessive telework situations, as they are having impacts on client service in certain locations. Although virtual work may be used to alleviate current backlogs, there will be no long-term arrangements.

  • Next meeting will be scheduled for first full week in January (7th).

























Keith Hillier


  1. Round Table (cont.)

  • UVAE requested a status on the pilot project between Montreal and Winnipeg.

Action Item: Management to provide an update the following week.


  • The next Committee meeting will be scheduled for the week of January 7th



Charlotte Bastien