Policy on Consultation

Purpose and Scope

The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework for consultation and co-development activities between the Institute and the employer. Union-management consultation is a forum to raise issues, share information, advice and concerns about programs, policies and procedures, with a view to resolving problems and concerns. Co-development is a union-management relations process, based on voluntary participation, designed to allow the equal participation of the parties to produce a desired product.

What Can and Cannot Be Discussed in Consultation

Generally speaking, any issue of general (not personal) interest can be discussed.

Consultation on issues such as Classification, reorganization, collective agreement interpretation and Workforce Adjustment should not be conducted without the advice and guidance of an Institute Staff Representative. Commitments or agreements on these issues cannot be made without the consent of the Institute.

Consultation cannot be used to modify the terms of a collective agreement, engage in collective bargaining, or to discuss ongoing grievances or personal issues. Grievance cases may be discussed in a generic way if such discussions provide a means to identify trends or underlying causes that would help in resolving the problem.

Co-development should not be undertaken without consultation with and approval by the Institute.

Consultation Terms of Reference

Terms of Reference between the Organization (Department, Agency or Employer) and PIPSC must be developed so as to provide a framework for the consultation meetings at various levels. Topics to be included in the terms of reference include, but are not limited to:

• List of formal meetings

• Composition of meeting participants

• Frequency of meetings

• Location and scheduling of meetings

• Agenda creation guidelines

• Record of Decision/Minutes guidelines

Level of Consultation

For each Organization, levels of consultation will be defined in the Consultation Terms of Reference. In order to be effective, consultation must be targeted to resolve issues at the lowest level possible. Only those issues unresolved at lower levels or not appropriate at lower levels should be dealt with at higher levels.

Organization Consultation Teams

The Institute conducts consultation through Consultation Teams consisting of Institute stewards assisted and advised by Institute staff. A Consultation Team is specific to an Organization.

Where a Consultation Team does not exist, PIPSC will endeavour to form a consultation team.

Consultation Team Membership

The Consultation Team in each Organization is led by a President appointed by the Institute. The Institute will consider recommendations by the Team made in accordance with the Team's internal terms of reference in making that appointment. These appointments will be reviewed every two years.

The Consultation Team consists of all Stewards conducting consultation within an Organization, as approved by the Team President, in accordance with the Team's terms of reference.

The members of the Consultation Team will develop a consultation model and internal terms of reference appropriate to their organization. That model and terms of reference is to be approved by the Institute before implementation.

Internal Terms of Reference

Each team is to have internal terms of reference. The Internal Terms of Reference must include, but is not limited to the following items:

• Consultation Structure

• Consultation Meetings with Employer

• Team Composition and Roles

• Team Member Selection Method

• Annual Meeting

Appointment of Organization Consultation Team Presidents

The following process will be conducted by an Institute staff member:

1. A request for interested parties will be sent to all stewards in a Department or Agency. It will contain a description of expected duties and time commitment as well as expected travel and potential to be away from the job the member was doing.

2. The Consultation Team will review the interested parties CV’s and make a recommendation either as a group or individually to the Institute staff member.

3. All Stewards will get to express their preference on the selection by votes and these votes be tabulated and provided to the Executive Committee as part of the appointment process.

4. The Institute staff member will forward the Consultation Team recommendations, Steward preferences, and their own comments or recommendations where relevant to the Chair of the Working Group on Consultation (WGC).

5. The Chair of the WGC will send the recommendations with their own comments to Executive Committee.

6. Executive Committee will review the comments of the Team, the Chair of the WGC and the staff (if any) and decide to support the recommendation or to make an alternate appointment.

7. The successful candidate and the Consultation Team will be notified of the decision of the Executive Committee (acting for the Institute) and a letter is sent to the Department or Agency Deputy Minister / President / Commissioner.

8. The Board of Directors is informed of the appointment.

All Stewards get to express their preference on the selection and that these votes be tabulated and provided to the Executive Committee as part of the appointment process.

Where other employers have different structures for appointment of Presidents, these structures will be maintained as approved by the Institute.

Role and Responsibilities of the Consultation Team President

The Consultation Team President, in addition to their responsibilities as a consultation team member:

• is accountable to the Institute for the effective operation of the Consultation Team

• is responsible for keeping the Institute informed of important issues and developments

• ensures the production and distribution of a newsletter

• enables and encourages consultation at all levels for the purpose of resolving issues at the lowest level possible.

• approves membership of the Consultation Team in accordance with the Team's internal terms of reference.

• approves which team members will act as official Institute representatives at various consultation committees

• maintains a current listing of team members and responsibilities, and submits the listing to the Institute for posting on the Institute's website

• prepares and submits for approval an annual budget for the Consultation Team

• authorizes travel within the approved budget, and submits the authorization to the Staff Representative for processing

• coordinates activities between team members, the Organization and the Institute

• is the Team's representative at the Advisory Council and Working Group on Consultation (applies only to Treasury Board Departmental Consultation Teams, in accordance with By-Law 10.4)

• ensures Organization members are kept informed on consultation activities

• chairs meetings of the Consultation Team

• carries out succession planning and capacity building within the Consultation Team

Other Roles and Responsibilities

Consultation Team members have the following roles and responsibilities:

• act as official Institute representatives at various consultation committees

• conduct themselves in a professional and respectful manner at meetings

• keep abreast of Institute positions on employer policies

• solicit input from members and Institute staff on issues of concerns

• ensure items of concern are placed on the meeting agendas

• ensure unresolved issues at one level are referred to the next level

• ensure that members are kept informed on discussions held at consultation meetings

• consult with Institute staff on technical issues where guidance is required

• maintain bilateral communications with the Staff Representative on agenda issues

• request travel authorization from team President for consultation activities

• report to the rest of the Team, including the Staff Representative after meetings, and distribute any documentation provided, as applicable.

Within an Organization, all members share responsibility for contributing to the effectiveness of consultation by informing stewards of issues within their workplace.

Stewards not involved in consultation should submit to the consultation team those issues which can be discussed and resolved in consultation.

Team Communications

Communication among Consultation Team members is necessary for the purposes of preparation for consultation, post-consultation debriefing, dissemination of information, and other team business as outlined in their approved consultation model.

Communication with the Staff Representative is to take place on a regular basis.

The Consultation Team will communicate to Organization members on consultation activities at least quarterly. This is normally done electronically.

Budgeting

Every year, the Consultation Team will prepare a budget at the time specified by the Institute, using the templates provided. (See Appendix B)

The budget will include all anticipated costs, and will be prepared using the following assumptions:

• Consultation Teams will make effective and efficient use of Institute resources.

• Consultation Teams will have made every attempt to seek agreement with the Organization regarding travel costs for attending consultation meetings.

• Consultation Teams will have made every attempt to seek agreement with the Organization regarding paid time for consultation meeting preparation and follow-up.

• The number of people attending any meeting will be kept to the minimum necessary.

• Teams are encouraged to minimize costs by appending consultation and team meetings to other scheduled meetings whenever possible.

• Annual budgets are to be prepared based on the team structure and meetings outlined in the team’s Internal Terms of Reference.

References

Sample Consultation structures

Budget Template

Sample Terms of Reference, with indication of what should be considered for inclusion

Model agreement with the Employer regarding travel costs