As NEVP, I respectfully submit my report.
Since May, I have been extremely busy representing our members across the country and working closely with RVPs on situations in their respective Regions, while providing advice and guidance to RVPs, Local Presidents and members directly and responding to queries sent through our Website.
I have been working tirelessly to escalate our members’ Phoenix Pay issues with the Department as well as through multiple other avenues. It has been a task in itself to get responses on files with many follow ups going unanswered. I will not let up, I will continue to push our members’ pay concerns forward and work to get our members the resolution they are long overdue.
The files that have been referred to PSAC for Arbitration Referral over the past 7 months have included 125 Phoenix Grievances (which includes 36 in the last month), 2 terminations, a policy grievance, and 7 classification grievances.
I have presented 16 grievances since May with consultation on level 1 and 2 grievances increasing from areas across the country. I have had multiple formal and informal discussions with management at multiple levels regarding situations happening in the offices or with specific members.
PSAC Representation has been continuing to refer our member’s Phoenix Grievances to Arbitration or to Mediation. Notifications will continue to be sent by me to the RVPs to ensure the member is aware of the referrals. It is very important for RVPs to send this information directly to the member.
A couple delays that continue with the Phoenix Related Pay files is obtaining the Synopsis of the pay issues once the grievance has been received. I require these synopsizes to not only be able to prepare and present the cases but to be able to escalate our members’ pay concerns in a timely manner. I have also had difficulty in getting back some of the signed grievance responses to where I send out reminders through the RVPs to follow up with the members directly. These signed grievances are required to include in the file when I prepare the files to be referred to PSAC Representation.
I have been participating in the NBoD AdHoc Phoenix Committee meetings where we discuss Phoenix Actions, discuss what PSAC has been working on, how the negotiations are going on the damages for members, the new Phoenix micro-site and we share successes that a variety of Components have had.
In December and January, I participated in consultations with the Department regarding the Civility in the Workplace Plan/Challenge that is being released by the Department. I reviewed draft documents and provided my insight and feedback including on the website content.
We all have a role to play in demonstrating civil behavior on a regular basis. The National Office will be continuing to work with the Department on the official launch and UVAE will assist in promoting the tools and resources that exist, as well as be ambassadors of civility by setting examples ourselves.
I will be working in consultation with the Department on the Mental Wellness Strategy and Action Plan that VAC is presently developing. There was a change with the Manager of Workplace Effectiveness & Learningand I am waiting for a response to my email to follow up on this very important work and to find out when the face to face stakeholders meeting will take place.
A meeting has been scheduled for late August to start discussions with the National President, myself and Department Reps from Corporate HR on the Essential Services Agreements for UVAE. More information will come out about this once consultations have been completed.
Priorities for me can change sometimes by the minute. With many emails coming from across Canada, phone calls, grievance hearings, negotiations/informal discussions with the employer, terminations, duty to accommodate situations and Phoenix it can be difficult to plan my day exactly on work that I will be doing. Sometimes I fall behind in my email replies and I want to thank the RVPs for their understanding and phone calls when they need urgent assistance.
I will continue to put all my energy into Representing and Supporting our Component, working with our RVPs to continue to strengthen our communication to the membership, continue to work with the National President on overall Component responsibilities and escalating and being a voice for our members with Phoenix Issues.
Virginia Vaillancourt, National Executive Vice-President