AC Director’s Report from February 4, 2012 AC meeting
This was the first meeting of the Advisory Council (AC) in 2012. I chaired the meeting in the absence of Chris Roach, AC Chair.
1. Shannon Bittman, PIPSC Vice-President, presented the President’s report on recent Institute activities (January 2012 Strategic Planning meeting, “Prosperity: It’s Mutually Beneficial” campaign, Recent PIPSC meetings with Treasury Board, Deficit Reduction Action Plan, Budget 2012 etc) and answered questions from AC members.
2. Isabelle Roy, PIPSC General Counsel, provided an overview of recent court & tribunal cases and decisions: Public Service Staffing Tribunal, Public Service Disclosure Protection Act, Chopra case, Expenditure Restraint Act (ERA) case law. She also spoke briefly on the constitutional challenge of the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA) and Bill C-377 (An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (requirements for labour organizations).
3. Lyne Morin, Acting Chief Negotiations Officer, gave a status report on bargaining for PIPSC groups. The NR collective agreement was signed on January 25, 2012.
4. Shannon Bittman, PIPSC Vice-President, gave a presentation on Shared Service Canada (SSC). She was accompanied by members of the SSC Steering Committee, Brian Thompson & Stan Buday. Brian is the interim President of the SSC Consultation Team. She spoke briefly about Gary Corbett’s presentation at the meeting of the Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates held to review Shared Services Canada (SSC).
5. Martin Ranger, PIPSC Counsel, presented an overview of the activities of the National Joint Council (NJC). The NJC is a forum where participating public service bargaining agents and employers come together and take joint ownership of broad labour relations issues and develop collaborative solutions to workplace issues (eg, NJC Directives). Martin is the Bargaining Agent Side Secretary.
6. Laureen Allan, PIPSC Communications Officer, gave a presentation of the Legacy Foundation Scholarship program. She encouraged groups to consider contributing to the scholarship fund.
7. As per By-Law 10.4.2 (The Advisory Council shall review PIPSC Annual Priorities and make recommendations to the Board of Directors prior to the second Board of Directors meeting of the calendar year), I provided an overview of the 2012 Strategic Objectives. AC members reviewed these priorities and recommended a modification and requested clarification. Modification: Under “Initiatives to Support Strategic Objective 2”, add extra bullet on “Engagement with professional associations”. Clarification: Under “Initiatives to Support Strategic Objective 1”, clarify issue of direct contact with “affected” members by stewards/staff.
8. As per the December 2011 Board instructions, I provided AC members with an overview of the draft “Policy on Constituent Body Finances”. This was followed a discussion. The policy has been sent earlier to all AC members for comment.
9. John Arthur discussed the February 3, 2012 meeting between Engineering Working Group (EngWG). A representative of Engineers Canada attended the meeting. The Board of Directors had extended the mandate of the EngWG for another three years at its December 2011 meeting.
10. Glenn Maxwell, the new Chair of the Working Group on Consultation (WGC), gave a brief summary of the WGC meeting on February 3, 2012.
11. Rober Tellier, DND Consultation Team AC Representative, gave a presentation on his vision for electoral reform at the Institute. I provided some context discussed at the Board ie, Elections Committee was tasked at the June 2011 Board meeting to brainstorm ideas for modernizing Institute Elections and bring back recommendations to the Board. Scott McConaghy, Chair of Elections Committee, explained the constraints his committee has to face in responding to the Board request.
Moved & seconded that the AC recommend to the Board that all Regional Councils hold consultations on the subject of Electoral Reform at their 2012 Councils. That these consultations be performed by groups external to the Board of Directors and that the Regional Councils provide reports on these consultations to the Board before the end of June.
12. Pierre Richard, NR Group AC Representative raised the issue of the decision of the Board to put the activities of the Professional Recognition and Qualifications Committee (PRQC) in abeyance for 2012. Some AC members emphasized the temporary nature of this decision and the need to focus resources on impending Public Sector cuts.
Moved & seconded that the AC recommend to the Board to reconsider its recent decision to suspend the work of the Professional Recognition and Qualifications Committee (PRQC) for 2012 and to resurrect the PRQC with a renewed and re-evaluated mandate to increase its communication role and its importance.
13. Dates of next meetings:
- AC Steering Committee – March 17, 2012
- AC meeting – April 21, 2012
Reported by Kofi Crentsil, AC Director