Collective Agreement between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada regarding the Informatics (IN) Group Bargaining Unit
Part C - Staff Relations Matters
**Article C1 - Union Dues
C1.01 The Employer will, as a condition of employment, deduct an amount equal to the monthly membership dues from the monthly pay of all employees in the bargaining unit.
C1.02 The Institute shall inform the Employer in writing of the authorized monthly deduction to be checked off for each employee defined in the clause C1.01.
C1.03 For the purpose of applying clause C1.01, deductions from pay for each employee in respect of each month will start with the first full month of employment to the extent that earnings are available.
**C1.04 An employee who satisfies the Institute to the extent that he or she declares in an affidavit that he or she is a member of a religious organization whose doctrine prevents him or her as a matter of conscience from making financial contributions to an employee organization and that he or she will make contributions to a charitable organization registered pursuant to the Income Tax Act, equal to dues, shall not be subject to this Article, provided that the affidavit submitted by the employee shows the registered number of the religious organization and is countersigned by an official representative of the religious organization involved. The Institute will inform the Employer accordingly.
C1.05 No employee organization, as defined in section 2 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act, other than the Institute, shall be permitted to have membership dues and/or other monies deducted by the Employer from the pay of employees in the bargaining unit.
C1.06 The amounts deducted in accordance with clause C1.01 shall be remitted to the Institute by cheque within a reasonable period of time after deductions are made and shall be accompanied by particulars identifying each employee and the deductions made on his behalf.
C1.07 The Employer agrees to continue the past practice of making deductions for other purposes on the basis of the production of appropriate documentation.
C1.08 The Institute agrees to indemnify and save the Employer harmless against any claim or liability arising out of the application of this Article, except for any claim or liability arising out of an error committed by the Employer, in which case the liability shall be limited to the amount of the error.
C1.09 Where an employee does not have sufficient earnings in respect of any month to permit deductions under this Article, the Employer shall not be obliged to make such deductions for that month from subsequent salary.
Article C2 - Use of Employer Facilities
C2.01 Access by an Institute Representative
An accredited representative of the Institute may be permitted access to the Employer's premises on stated Institute business and to attend meetings called by management. Permission to enter the premises shall, in each case, be obtained from the Employer.
C2.02 Bulletin Boards
Reasonable space on bulletin boards, including an electronic link from the CFIA Intranet page to the Institute Web site, will be made available to the Institute for the posting of official notices in convenient locations determined by the Employer and the Institute. Notices or other material on bulletin boards shall require the prior approval of the Employer, except notices relating to the business affairs of the Institute and social and recreational events. The Employer shall have the right to refuse the posting of any information that it considers adverse to its interests or to the interests of any of its representatives.
C2.03 Institute Literature
The Employer shall continue its present practice of making available to the Institute specific locations on its premises for the placement of reasonable quantities of literature of the Institute.
**Article C3 - Information
C3.01 The Employer agrees to supply the Institute on a quarterly basis with a list of all employees in the bargaining unit. The list referred to herein shall include the name, geographical location, and classification of the employee, and shall be provided within one month following the termination of each quarter. As soon as practicable, the Employer agrees to add to the above list the date of appointment for new employees.
**C3.02 The Employer agrees to provide each employee with access to an electronic copy of the Collective Agreement and any amendments thereto. On request, the employee shall be supplied with a printed copy of this Agreement.
Article C4 - Stewards
C4.01 The Employer acknowledges the right of the Institute to appoint Stewards from amongst the members of bargaining units for which the Institute is the certified Bargaining Agent.
C4.02 The Employer and the Institute shall, by mutual agreement, determine the area of jurisdiction of each Steward, having regard to the plan of organization and the distribution of employees.
C4.03 The Institute shall inform the Employer promptly and in writing of the names of its Stewards, their jurisdiction, and any subsequent changes.
C4.04 Leave for Stewards
A Steward shall obtain the permission of his or her immediate supervisor before leaving his or her work to investigate with fellow employees complaints of an urgent nature, to meet with local management for the purpose of dealing with such complaints or problems, and to attend meetings called by management. Such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld. After the Steward resumes his or her duties, he or she shall notify his or her supervisor as soon as practicable.
Article C5 - Leave for Staff Relations Matters
C5.01 Public Service Labour Relations Board Hearings
- Complaints made to the Public Service Labour Relations Board Pursuant to Section 190(1) of the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave with pay:
- to an employee who makes a complaint on his or her own behalf before the Public Service Labour Relations Board;
- to an employee who acts on behalf of an employee making a complaint, or who acts on behalf of the Institute making a complaint.
- Applications for Certification, Representations and Interventions with respect to Applications for Certification
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave without pay:
- to an employee who represents the Institute in an application for certification or in an intervention; and
- to an employee who makes personal representations with respect to a certification.
- Employee called as a Witness
The Employer will grant leave with pay:
- to an employee called as a witness by the Public Service Labour Relations Board; and
- where operational requirements permit, to an employee called as a witness by an employee of the Institute.
C5.02 Arbitration Board Hearings, Public Interest Commission Hearings and Alternative Dispute Resolution Process
- Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave with pay to an employee representing the Institute before an Arbitration Board or Public Interest Commission or in an Alternative Dispute Resolution Process, or Public Interest Commission proceedings; all are as defined in the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
- Employee called as a Witness
The Employer will grant leave with pay to an employee called as a witness by an Arbitration Board or Public Interest Commission or in an Alternative Dispute Resolution Process and, where operational requirements permit, leave with pay to an employee called as a witness by the Institute.
- Employee who is a Party
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave with pay to an employee who is a party.
- Employee who Acts as Representative
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave with pay to the representative of an employee who is a party.
- Employee called as a Witness
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave with pay to a witness called by an employee who is a party.
C5.04 Meeting During the Grievance Process
- Employee Presenting Grievance
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant to an employee:
- where the Employer originates a meeting with the employee who has presented the grievance, leave with pay when the meeting is held in the headquarters area of such employee and on duty status when the meeting is held outside the headquarters area of such employee; and
- where an employee who has presented a grievance seeks to meet with the Employer, leave with pay to the employee when the meeting is held in the headquarters area of such employee and leave without pay when the meeting is held outside the headquarters area of such employee.
- Employee who Acts as Representative
Where an employee wishes to represent at a meeting with the Employer, an employee who has presented a grievance, the Employer will, where operational requirements permit, grant leave with pay to the representative when the meeting is held in the headquarters area of such employee and leave without pay when the meeting is held outside the headquarters area of such employee.
- Grievance Investigations
Where an employee has asked or is obliged to be represented by the Institute in relation to the presentation of a grievance and an employee acting on behalf of the Institute wishes to discuss the grievance with that employee, the employee and the representative of the employee will, where operational requirements permit, be given reasonable leave with pay for this purpose when the discussion takes place in the headquarters area of such employee and leave without pay when it takes place outside the headquarters area of such employee.
C5.05 Contract Negotiations Meetings
Where operation requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave without pay to an employee for the purpose of attending contract negotiations meetings on behalf of the Institute.
C5.06 Preparatory Contract Negotiations Meetings
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave without pay to an employee to attend preparatory contract negotiations meetings.
C5.07 Meetings Between the Institute and Management
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave with pay to an employee who is meeting with management on behalf of the Institute.
C5.08 Institute Official Meetings and Conventions
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave without pay to a reasonable number of employees to attend meetings and conventions provided in the constitution and by-laws of the Institute.
C5.09 Representatives' Training Courses
Where operational requirements permit, the Employer will grant leave without pay to employees who exercise the authority of a representation on behalf of the Institute to undertake training related to the duties of a representative.
C5.10 Determination of Leave Status
Where the status of leave requested cannot be determined until the Public Service Labour Relations Board or an adjudicator has given a decision, leave without pay will be granted pending final determination of the appropriate leave status.
Article C6 - Contracting Out
C6.01 The Employer will continue past practice in giving all reasonable consideration to continued employment in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency of employees who would otherwise become redundant because work is contracted out.
Article C7 - Illegal Strikes
C7.01 The Public Service Labour Relations Act provides penalties for engaging in illegal strikes. Disciplinary action may also be taken, which will include penalties up to and including termination of employment, for participation in an illegal strike as defined in the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
Article C8 - Interpretation of Agreement
C8.01 The parties agree that, in the event of a dispute arising out of the interpretation of a clause or Article in this Agreement, it is desirable that the parties should meet within a reasonable time and seek to resolve the problem. This Article does not prevent an employee from availing himself or herself of the grievance procedure provided in this Agreement.
**Article C9 - Grievance Procedure
C9.01 In cases of alleged misinterpretation or misapplication arising out of Agreements on items which may be included in a Collective Agreement and which the parties to this Agreement have endorsed, the grievance procedure will be in accordance with Article C9.
C9.02 The parties recognize the value of informal discussion between employees and their supervisors to the end that problems might be resolved without recourse to a formal grievance. When an employee, within the time limits prescribed in clause C9.12, gives notice that such employee wishes to take advantage of this clause, it is agreed that the period between the initial discussion and the final response shall not count as elapsed time for the purpose of grievance time limits.
C9.03 The time limits stipulated in this procedure may be extended by mutual agreement between the Employer and the employee and, where appropriate, the Union representative.
C9.04 Subject to and as provided in section 208 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act, an employee who feels that he or she has been treated unjustly or considers himself or herself aggrieved by any action or lack of action by the Employer in matters other than those arising from the classification process is entitled to present a grievance in the manner prescribed in clause C9.07 except that:
- where there is another administrative procedure provided by or under any Act of Parliament other than the Human Rights Act to deal with the employee's specific complaint, such procedure must be followed, and
- where the grievance relates to the interpretation or application of this Agreement or an arbitral award, the employee is not entitled to present the grievance unless he or she has the approval of and is represented by the Union.
C9.05 Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, a grievance shall be processed by recourse to the following levels:
- Level 1 – first (1st) level of management;
- Level 2 – intermediate level where such level has been established by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
- Final Level – President or President's authorized representative.
C9.06 The Employer shall designate a representative at each level in the grievance procedure and shall inform each employee to whom the procedure applies of the name or title of the person so designated together with the name or title and address of the immediate supervisor or local officer-in-charge to whom a grievance is to be presented. This information shall be communicated to employees by means of notices posted by the Employer in places where such notices are most likely to come to the attention of the employees to whom the grievance procedure applies, or otherwise as determined by agreement between the Employer and the Union.
C9.07 An employee who wishes to present a grievance at a prescribed level in the grievance procedure shall transmit this grievance to his or her immediate supervisor or local officer-in-charge who shall forthwith:
- forward the grievance to the representative of the Employer authorized to deal with grievances at the appropriate level;
- provide the employee with a receipt stating the date on which the grievance was received by him or her.
C9.08 Where it is necessary to present a grievance by mail, the grievance shall be deemed to have been presented on the day on which it is postmarked and it shall be deemed to have been received by the Employer on the date it is delivered to the appropriate office of the Agency. Similarly the Employer shall be deemed to have delivered a reply at any level on the date on which the letter containing the reply is postmarked, but the time limit within which the grievor may present his or her grievance at the next higher level shall be calculated from the date on which the Employer's reply was delivered to the address shown on the grievance form.
C9.09 A grievance of an employee shall not be deemed to be invalid by reason only that it is not in accordance with the form supplied by the Employer.
C9.10 An employee may be assisted and/or represented by the Union when presenting a grievance at any level.
C9.11 The Union shall have the right to consult with the Employer with respect to a grievance at each level of the grievance procedure. Where consultation is with the President, the President shall render the decision.
C9.12 An employee may present a grievance to the First Level of the grievance procedure in the manner prescribed in clause C9.07 not later than the thirty-fifth (35th) calendar day after the date on which he or she is notified orally or in writing or on which he or she first becomes aware of the action or circumstances giving rise to the grievance.
**C9.13 The Employer shall normally reply to an employee's grievance, at any level in the grievance procedure, except the Final Level, within fifteen (15) calendar days after the date the grievance is presented at that level. Where such decision or settlement is not satisfactory to the employee, he or she may submit a grievance at the next higher level in the grievance procedure within fifteen (15) calendar days after that decision or settlement has been conveyed to him or her in writing.
**C9.14 If the Employer does not reply within fifteen (15) calendar days from the date that a grievance is presented at any level, except the Final Level, the employee may, within the next fifteen (15) calendar days, submit the grievance at the next higher level of the grievance procedure.
**C9.15 The Employer shall normally reply to an employee's grievance at the Final Level of the grievance procedure within forty (40) calendar days after the grievance is presented at that level.
C9.16 Where an employee has been represented by the Union in the presentation of his or her grievance, the Employer will provide the appropriate representative of the Union with a copy of the Employer's decision at each level of the grievance procedure at the same time that the Employer's decision is conveyed to the employee.
C9.17 The decision given by the Employer at the Final Level in the grievance procedure shall be final and binding upon the employee unless the grievance is a class of grievance that may be referred to adjudication.
C9.18 Where it appears that the nature of the grievance is such that a decision cannot be given below a particular level of authority, any or all the levels, except the Final Level may be eliminated by agreement of the Employer and the employee and, where applicable, the Union.
C9.19 Where the Employer demotes or terminates an employee for cause pursuant to paragraph 12.(2)(c) or (d) of the Financial Administration Act, the grievance procedure set forth in this Agreement shall apply except that the grievance shall be presented at the Final Level only.
C9.20 An employee may abandon a grievance by written notice to his or her immediate supervisor or officer-in-charge.
C9.21 An employee who fails to present a grievance to the next higher level within the prescribed time limits shall be deemed to have abandoned the grievance, unless the employee was unable to comply with the prescribed time limits due to circumstances beyond his or her control.
C9.22 No person who is employed in a managerial or confidential capacity shall seek by intimidation, by threat of dismissal or by any other kind of threat to cause an employee to abandon his or her grievance or refrain from exercising his or her right to present a grievance as provided in this Agreement.
C9.23 Where an employee has presented a grievance up to and including the Final Level in the grievance procedure with respect to:
- the interpretation or application in respect of him or her of a provision of this Agreement or a related arbitral award; or
- disciplinary action resulting in suspension or a financial penalty; or
- termination of employment or demotion pursuant to paragraph 12.(2)(c) or (d) of the Financial Administration Act;
and the employee's grievance has not been dealt with to his or her satisfaction, he or she may refer the grievance to adjudication in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Labour Relations Act and Regulations.
C9.24 Where a grievance that may be presented by an employee to adjudication is a grievance relating to the interpretation or application in respect of him or her of a provision of this Agreement or an arbitral award, the employee is not entitled to refer the grievance to adjudication unless the Union signifies in the prescribed manner:
- its approval of the reference of the grievance to adjudication; and
- its willingness to represent the employee in the adjudication proceedings.
C9.25 In cases of alleged misinterpretation or misapplication arising out of agreements concluded by the National Joint Council (NJC) of the Public Service on items which may be included in a collective agreement and which the parties to this Agreement have endorsed, the grievance procedure will be in accordance with Part 15 of the NJC By-Laws.
**C9.26 The parties agree that any adjudicable grievance may be referred to the following expedited adjudication process:
- at the request of either party, a grievance that has been referred to adjudication may be dealt with through Expedited Adjudication with the consent of both parties;
- future cases may be identified for this process by either party, subject to the consent of the parties;
- when the parties agree that a particular grievance will proceed through Expedited Adjudication, the Bargaining Agent will submit to the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB) the consent form signed by the grievor or the Bargaining Agent;
- the parties may proceed with or without an Agreed Statement of Facts. When the parties arrive at an Agreed Statement of Facts, it will be submitted to the PSLRB or to the Adjudicator at the hearing;
- no witnesses will testify;
- the Adjudicator will be appointed by the PSLRB from among its members who have had at least three (3) years' experience as a member of the Board;
- each Expedited Adjudication session will take place in Ottawa unless the parties and the PSLRB otherwise agree. The cases will be scheduled jointly by the parties and the PSLRB and will appear on the PSLRB schedule;
- **the Adjudicator will make an oral determination at the hearing which will be recorded and initialed by the representatives of the parties. This will be confirmed in a written determination to be issued by the Adjudicator within five (5) calendar days of the hearing. The parties may, at the request of the Adjudicator, vary the above conditions in a particular case; and
- the Adjudicator's determination will be final and binding on all the parties, but will not constitute a precedent. The parties agree not to refer the determination to the Federal Court.
- The Union may present to the Employer a group grievance on behalf of employees in the bargaining unit who feel aggrieved by the interpretation or application, common in respect of those employees, of a provision of a collective agreement or an arbitral award.
- In order to present a group grievance, the Union must first obtain the written consent of each of the employees concerned.
C9.28 The Union shall transmit the group grievance form to the appropriate person, as identified by the Employer, who shall on receipt of a group grievance:
- deliver to the Union a receipt stating the date on which the group grievance was received; and
- forward the group grievance to the person whose decision constitutes the appropriate level of the group grievance process.
C9.29 Subject to and as provided in the Public Service Labour Relations Act, the Bargaining Agent may present a group grievance in the manner set out in clause C9.28, except where:
- there is another administrative procedure provided by, or under any Act of Parliament, to deal with his or her specific complaint such procedure must be followed, other than the Canadian Human Rights Act; or
- an employee has availed himself or herself of a complaint procedure established by a policy of the Employer if the policy expressly provides that an employee who avails himself or herself of the complaint procedure is precluded from participating in a group grievance, that employee may not be included in the group grievance.
C9.30 There shall be no more than a maximum of three (3) steps in the group grievance procedure. The final step shall be the President, Canadian Food Inspection Agency or his delegated representative.
**C9.31 The Union may present the group grievance at the first step of the group grievance process no later than thirty-five (35) calendar days after the Union received notification of any act, omission or other matter giving rise to the group grievance.
**C9.32 The Union may present a group grievance at each succeeding step in the group grievance procedure, beyond the first step either:
- **no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the day on which the decision of the previous level was received; or
- **no later than forty (40) calendar days after the expiry of the period within which the decision was required if the Employer has not conveyed a decision to the Union within the time prescribed in clause C9.33.
**C9.33 The Employer shall reply to the Union regarding a group grievance no later than twenty (20) calendar days after the day on which the group grievance was received by the person identified under clause C9.28.
C9.34 Where it appears that the nature of the grievance is such that a decision cannot be given below a particular step of authority, any or all the steps except the final step may be eliminated by agreement of the Employer and the Union.
C9.35 An employee in respect of whom a group grievance has been presented may, at any time, notify the Union that they no longer wish to be involved in the group grievance.
C9.36 The Union may refer to adjudication any group grievance that has been presented up to and including the Final Level in the grievance process and that has not been dealt with to its satisfaction.
C9.37 The policy grievance process shall consist of one (1) level.
C9.38 Both the Union and the Employer may present a policy grievance to the other in respect of the interpretation or application of the collective agreement as it relates to either of them or to the bargaining unit generally.
C9.39 Neither the Union nor the Employer may present a policy grievance in respect of which an administrative procedure for redress is provided under any Act of Parliament, other than the Canadian Human Rights Act:
- despite section C9.39, neither the Employer nor the Bargaining Agent may present a policy grievance in respect of the right to equal pay for work of equal value.
C9.40 Both parties to this agreement shall identify the person authorized to receive a policy grievance, who on receipt of a policy grievance shall:
- deliver a receipt to the other party stating the date on which the policy grievance was received; and
- shall forward the policy grievance to the person whose decision constitutes the level of the policy grievance process.
**C9.41 A policy grievance may be presented no later than thirty-five (35) calendar days after the earlier of the day on which notification was received and the day on which there was knowledge of any act, omission or other matter giving rise to the policy grievance.
**C9.42 The person whose decision constitutes the level of the policy grievance process shall provide a decision to the other party no later than twenty (20) calendar days after the day on which the policy grievance was received by the person identified under clause C9.40.
C9.43 A policy grievance may be withdrawn at any time.
C9.44 A party that presents a policy grievance may refer it to adjudication, as provided under the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
Article C10 - Joint Consultation
C10.01 The parties acknowledge the mutual benefits to be derived from joint consultation and will consult on matters of common interest.
C10.02 The subjects that may be determined as appropriate for joint consultation will be by mutual agreement of the parties and shall include consultation regarding career development. Consultation may be at the local, regional or national level as determined by the parties.
C10.03 Wherever possible, the Employer shall consult with representatives of the Institute at the appropriate level about contemplated changes in conditions of employment or working conditions not governed by this Agreement.
C10.04 Joint Consultation Committee Meetings
The Consultation Committees shall be composed of mutually agreeable numbers of employees authorized by the Group Executive, and Employer representatives who shall meet at mutually satisfactory times. Committee meetings shall normally be held on the Employer's premises during working hours.
C10.05 Employees forming the continuing membership of the Consultation Committees shall be protected against any loss of normal pay by reason of attendance at such meetings with management, including reasonable travel time where applicable.
C10.06 Joint Consultation Committees are prohibited from agreeing to items which would alter any provision of this collective agreement.
Article C11 - Standards of Discipline
C11.01 Where written standards of discipline are developed, the Employer agrees to supply sufficient information on the standards of discipline to each employee and to the Institute.
C11.02 The Employer agrees to consult with the Institute when existing written Standards of Discipline are to be amended. The Employer further agrees to carefully consider and, where appropriate, introduce Institute recommendations on the matter.
C11.03 Where an employee is required to attend a meeting on disciplinary matters the employee is entitled to have a representative of the Institute attend the meeting when the representative is readily available. Where practicable, the employee shall receive a minimum of one (1) working day's notice of such meeting.
C11.04 The Employer agrees not to introduce as evidence in a hearing related to disciplinary action any document or written statement concerning the conduct of an employee unless that employee has been provided with a copy of that document or statement within a reasonable period before that hearing.
C11.05 Notice of disciplinary action which may have been placed on the personnel file of an employee shall be destroyed after two (2) years have elapsed since the disciplinary action was taken provided that no further disciplinary action has been recorded during this period.
Article C12 - Employees on Third Party Premises
C12.01 Employees prevented from performing their duties because of a strike or lock-out on the premises of another employer, shall report the matter to the Employer, and the Employer will make reasonable efforts to ensure, so long as work is available, that such employees are appropriately employed elsewhere and that they shall receive the regular pay and benefits to which they would normally be entitled.
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