Veteran’s Affairs Canada internal survey: employees are worried about the impact on veterans and staff

Internal documents obtained by the Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees under an access to information request show that employees are worried about the new $560 million dollar Rehab Contract and the impact on the Veterans they serve.

“While the Minister is silent and the Department is claiming that everything is great, employees are sounding the alarm,” said Virginia Vaillancourt, National President of the Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees.

The Union obtained confidential surveys carried out by the Department that showed employees, mostly Case Managers are becoming more skeptical the more they find out about the new Rehab contract. They are particularly worried that the new contractor won’t be able to deliver services to Veterans as promised and that they will suffer more as a result. They are also worried about staff burnout and have little confidence that this new contract will make their jobs easier as promised.

“This internal survey confirms what Case Managers have told the Union,” says Vaillancourt. “Case Managers, who care deeply about the Veterans they serve see this new contact as a lose-lose-lose proposition. It’s bad for Veterans. It’s bad for Case Managers. It’s bad for Canadians.”
The Union is calling on Veterans’ Affairs Canada to delay implementation of this contract until the concerns of the staff have been addressed. If Veterans Affairs Canada cannot prove that this new contract will not do any harm or cause further delays to any Veteran, it should be cancelled. They are also requesting a meeting with the Minister of Veterans Affairs to discuss concerns about this contract and staffing shortages at the Department.
“It’s time for the Minister to step forward on this issue,” said Vaillancourt. “Veterans deserve better than this and our members want to deliver those services.”
For more information and to arrange media interviews please contact:

Mike Martin
Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees

Toufic El-Daher
Vice-président exécutif national / National Exécutive Vice-President
Syndicat des employé-e-s des Anciens Combattants (SEAC)
Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees (UVAE)

Quotes from Survey

“PCVRS (contractor) will lack a Veteran centric approach and will be too rigid for are most complex Veterans.”

“Concerned that it will create 2-tiered service for our clients – some will be with the new contractor, others will continue with present provider, different expectations, not the same accountability for both staff and clients. Could be difficult for CMs to explain this to clients.”

“I am concerned we will never have a relatively stable and well-trained workforce.

“I am also worried that we will see an increase in burnout as CM’s attempt to transition their files.”

“I fear that the case managers will be tasked to deal with complaints from Veterans and required to follow up when the RSS isn’t able to deal with a particular issue or concern. They will be stuck in the middle between the Veteran and the RSS.”

“The migration plan will have Case Managers potentially frustrated of having possibly old rehab plans for complex rehab plans to be migrated later and the new rehab plan for migrated/new rehab plans.”

“Fear of not getting enough training before the new program is implemented.”