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Canadian Food Inspection Agency - VM

Veterinary Medicine Group


Please use these personal email addresses to communicate with Executive members on PIPSC issues rather than on the CFIA Group Wise System.

Ravi Rai President (Ontario Rep)

Ayman Soryal Vice President & NOSH (Member-At-Large)

Ann Allain Secretary (NCR Rep)

Lina Johannson Treasurer & NUMCC (Prairies/NWT Rep)

Valérie Coupal (Quebec Rep)

Doug Aitken Parliamentarian (Member-At-Large)

Dave Cartledge Communications (Member-At-Large)

Witold Wince (BC & Yukon Rep)

Krista Ann Puddester (Atlantic Rep)

Should you have an interest in learning more, please contact any of the Group Executive to discuss becoming a union Steward. Many hands make for light work.

Your National Executive had nominations for our positions, i.e. President, etc., and elected to keep the people in the same activity. Congratulations to the Executive!

A. CFIA VM-News Item: VM Group Ratifies Tentative Agreement

22-MAY-2014 02:58 PM

  • The Executive of the VM Group announces that the members of the VM Group have ratified the Tentative Agreement as negotiated between CFIA and the members of the Bargaining Team of the VM Group.
  • 84% said YES, with 60% of our members voting.
  • Treasury Board only ratified the agreement in June of this year.
  • We now await the official signing of the document, before the Collective Agreement becomes active, and back-pay is calculated. Pay-out for the termination of our Severance Pay will come later. The date for signing has not yet been proposed by CFIA.

B. Talent Management Questionnaires (TMQs):

The Operations Branch TMQs have been rolled out. Members are encouraged to take the online training that is available. Operations has developed its own list of required behavioural competencies to be assessed for each different group (inspector, supervisor, technical specialist, etc), and the TMQ also has a section for work objectives that will be left to each manager/super to develop for each worker/work site. The purpose in this is to increase the number of conversations between managers and staff, which is a good thing.

Members should request the reasons in writing for their evaluations (why one rating was picked instead of another) especially if they do not agree with the assessments. In the signature block, members should cross out the wording that states that the TMQ is “true and complete” and initial the cross out prior to signing, as this statement is not in agreement with our collective agreements (signature only means that the document has been read). TMQs could indeed be used for staffing and promotions in the future. PIPSC disagrees with several sections of this form and will likely be pursuing a policy grievance similar to what they have done with other departments.

C. Sub-Groups:

Ontario, BC, and Alberta Region Sub-Groups are doing well. PLEASE contact your local committee on issues. The Montreal, Quebec Sub-Group is almost organized. These are YOUR Sub-Groups to become active in to get more information to your National Executive. We will be inviting a member of each Sub-Group to attend our AGM.

D. Staffing Ombudsman:

There are complaints from the field indicating that true resolution of staffing complaints may not be happening through this office. Despite this, members are still encouraged to file a complaint if they are not satisfied with a staffing process. Both bargaining agents informed this office during consultation for its development that if no real action occurs as a result of complaints, then this office is a futile effort. Most of the complaints are currently about the collective processes and statistical tests, also the fairness of processes. The Ombudsman is planning to meet with HR and EPSI to try and resolve the complaints about the statistical testing. Members with complaints or concerns about this office are encouraged to contact a Group Executive member.

E. Work Description Grievances:

PIPSC has been in touch with the PSLRB to ascertain the procedure they wish to follow in order to ensure the validity of as many of the 643 job content grievances as possible. We are hoping that we will be able to use a similar process to the 2009 grievances whereby one representative griever completed the required form and the remaining members signed a roster type form. It is likely that there will need to be a representative griever for each separate work description, which would mean 23.

The remainder of the administrative work is done in terms of the organization for the filing itself. The development of tables to coordinate signatures with work descriptions as well as to track our progress in the collection of data is underway.

UPDATE: We are waiting for the PSLRB to give us some dates for a hearing!

F. Essential Services:

The Canadian Labour Congress, and PIPSC is a member, is pursuing legal action ( against the Treasury Board to get a decision on who is essential, and whether a group goes on strike, or goes towards the arbitration route.

G. Staffing levels:

Members are encouraged to contact a Group Executive member if they are unable to bank compensatory leave, go on training, take leave, or go on acting assignment due to their work group being too short staffed.

H. Learning transformation:

CFIA has been working on designing a future model for training whereby the skills and training that are required for each position are mapped out and members would be well informed about what training is required for their chosen career path. Different technologies and methods are also being researched.

I. PIPSC AGM Delegates:

Dr. Ayman Soryal and Dr. Krista Puddester will attend the PIPSC AGM on behalf of our PIPSC/CFIA-VM Group on November 7th & 8th, 2014 in Ottawa.

J. The CFIA Operations Branch is undergoing a realignment

The CFIA Operations Branch is undergoing a realignment. This realignment involves all positions that contributed to the provision of program advice, interpretation, and guidance to front line staff. Creation of the Centers of Expertise (COEs) is only one part of this realignment process. COE is not the sole role being realigned. Many members doing these types of duties in Operations and Policy and Programs Branch (PPB) are a part of this realignment and have been given a questionnaire to complete indicating their interest in the different categories of jobs that will be available under the new structure. This questionnaire is mandatory to complete for all Operations Branch employees who received one; it is optional for PPB employees.

Members are encouraged to provide as much information as possible on this questionnaire; this is where you can indicate what you would be interested in doing. Members will also be asked about their willingness to relocate; indicating a willingness to relocate at some time in the future does not constitute an agreement to relocate. CFIA management has emphasized that no jobs will be lost through realignment. They also stated that relocations will not be forced. Members are encouraged to add any and all relevant information to the bottom of the form (or extra pages if necessary) about other duties they perform that are not included in the realigned duties, or any other interests they have.

There is no rush to complete the questionnaire – members can wait until the deadline in case Management provides more clarity. Anyone who does submit a questionnaire and wishes to change their mind may resubmit the questionnaire but is encouraged to highlight the fact that it is a resubmission.

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and all other communications from Management have been posted on the Operations Branch site, on Merlin. The FAQ is being updated to include questions that have been submitted by members; we do not yet know the level of detail that will be given in the answers.

New distribution of duties and new assigned roles will require new job descriptions. PIPSC does not have information at this time about all of the new job duties/distribution, nor what new job descriptions may be created. There have been discussions between PIPSC and management about this, and management states that the new roles will be comparable to the current AG/BI/VM 03 and 05 duties. As these roles are implemented, PIPSC will be participating in discussions with the employer about the job descriptions. If members have questions they are encouraged to contact their supervisor and/or their PIPSC Group Executive member.

NOTE: Our next National Executive meeting is tentatively on Friday, October 3rd, and our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will tentatively be on Saturday, October 4th, 2014 in Mississauga, Ontario.

In Solidarity,
Dave Cartledge – Communications Officer

Publish Date: 25-JUL-2014 01:19 PM
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