Collective Agreement between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada regarding the Veterinary Medicine (VM) Group Bargaining Unit
Part D – Staff Relations Matters
**Article D1 - Union Dues
D1.01 The Employer will as a condition of employment deduct an amount equal to the amount of the membership dues from the monthly pay of all employees in the bargaining unit.
D1.02 The Institute shall inform the Employer in writing of the authorized monthly deduction to be checked off for each employee defined in clause D1.01.
D1.03 For the purpose of applying clause D1.01, 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.
**D1.04 An employee who satisfies the Institute as to the bona fides of his or her claim and 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 is countersigned by an official representative of the religious organization involved. The Institute will inform the Employer accordingly.
D1.05 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.
D1.06 The amounts deducted in accordance with clause D1.01 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.
D1.07 The Employer agrees to continue the past practice of making deductions for other purposes on the basis of the production of appropriate documentation.
D1.08 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.
D1.09 When it is mutually acknowledged that an error has been committed, the Employer shall endeavour to correct such error within the two (2) pay periods following the acknowledgment of error.
D1.10 Where an employee does not have sufficient earnings in respect of any month to permit deductions under this Article the Employer shall not be obligated to make such deductions for that month from subsequent salary.
Article D2 - Use of Employer Facilities
D2.01 Access by Institute Representatives
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.
D2.02 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 Bargaining Agent for the posting of official notices, in convenient locations determined by the Employer and the Institute.
Notices or other material 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 which he considers adverse to his interests or the interests of any of his representatives.
D2.03 Institute Literature
The Employer will continue its practice of making available to the Institute a specific location on its premises for the storage and placement of a reasonable quantity of Institute files and literature.
**Article D3 - Information
D3.01 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 employees 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.
**D3.02 The Employer agrees to supply each employee with a copy of the Collective Agreement and any amendments thereto. For the purpose of satisfying the Employer's obligation under this clause, employees may be given electronic access to the Collective Agreement. On request, the employee shall be supplied with a printed copy of this Agreement.
Article D4 - Stewards
D4.01 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.
D4.02 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.
D4.03 The Institute shall inform the Employer promptly and in writing of the names of its Stewards, their jurisdiction, and of any subsequent changes.
D4.04 Leave for Stewards
Operational requirements permitting, the Employer shall grant leave with pay to an employee to enable him to carry out his functions as a Steward on the Employer's premises. When the discharge of these functions require an employee who is a Steward to leave his normal place of work, the employee shall report his return to his supervisor whenever practicable.
Article D5 - Illegal Strikes
D5.01 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 discharge, for participation in an illegal strike as defined in the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
**Article D6 - Grievance Procedure
D6.01 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 D6.
D6.02 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 D6.12, 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.
D6.03 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.
D6.04 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 D6.07 except that:
- where there is another administrative procedure provided by or under any Act of Parliament other than the Canadian 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 the 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
D6.05 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.
D6.06 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.
D6.07 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.
D6.08 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.
D6.09 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.
D6.10 An employee may be assisted and/or represented by the Union when presenting a grievance at any level.
D6.11 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.
D6.12 An employee may present a grievance to the First Level of the grievance procedure in the manner prescribed in clause D6.07 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.
**D6.13 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.
**D6.14 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) days, submit the grievance at the next higher level of the grievance procedure.
**D6.15 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.
D6.16 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.
D6.17 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.
D6.18 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.
D6.19 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.
D6.20 An employee may abandon a grievance by written notice to his or her immediate supervisor or officer-in-charge.
D6.21 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.
D6.22 No person who is employed in a managerial or confidential capacity shall seek by intimidation, by threat or 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.
D6.23 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.
D6.24 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.
D6.25 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.
**D6.26 The parties agree that an 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 initialled 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, or 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.
D6.28 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.
D6.29 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 D6.28, 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.
D6.30 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 representatives.
**D6.31 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.
**D6.32 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 D6.33.
**D6.33 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 D6.28.
D6.34 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.
D6.35 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.
D6.36 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.
D6.37 The policy grievance process shall consist of one (1) level.
D6.38 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.
D6.39 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 D6.39, 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.
D6.40 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.
**D6.41 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.
**D6.42 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 D6.40.
D6.43 A policy grievance may be withdrawn at any time.
D6.44 A party that presents a policy grievance may refer it to adjudication, as provided under the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
Article D7 - Joint Consultation
D7.01 The parties acknowledge the mutual benefits to be derived from joint consultation and will consult on matters of common interest.
D7.02 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.
D7.03 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.
D7.04 Joint Consultation Committee Meetings
The Consultation Committees shall be composed of Institute participants authorized by the Group Executive and representatives of the Employer who shall meet at mutually satisfactory times. Committee meetings shall normally be held on the Employer's premises during working hours.
The Institute will, on a regular basis, provide the Employer with a complete and current list of all participants authorized by the Group Executive.
D7.05 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.
D7.06 Joint Consultation Committees are prohibited from agreeing to items which would alter any provision of this collective agreement.
Article D8 - Standards of Discipline
D8.01 Where written Employer standards of discipline are developed or amended, the Employer agrees to supply sufficient information on the standards of discipline to each employee and to the Institute.
D8.02 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.
D8.03 The Employer agrees not to introduce as evidence in a hearing relating to disciplinary action any document concerning the conduct or performance of an employee the existence of which the employee was not aware at the time of filing or within a reasonable time thereafter.
D8.04 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 D9 - Employee Performance Review and Employee Files
D9.01 For the purpose of this Article:
- a formal assessment and/or appraisal of an employee's performance means any written assessment and/or appraisal by any supervisor of how well the employee has performed his assigned tasks during a specified period in the past;
- formal assessment and/or appraisals of employee performance shall be recorded on a form prescribed by the Employer for this purpose.
- When a formal assessment of an employee's performance is made, the employee
concerned must be given an opportunity to sign the assessment form in question upon its completion to indicate that its contents have been read. An employee's signature on his assessment form shall be considered to be an indication only that its contents have been read and shall not indicate his concurrence with the statements contained on the form.
A copy of the employee's assessment form shall be provided to him at the time the assessment is signed by the employee.
- The Employer's representative(s) who assesses an employee's performance must have observed or been aware of the employee's performance for at least one-half (½) of the period for which the employee's performance is evaluated.
D9.03 When an employee disagrees with the assessment and/or appraisal of his work he shall have the right to present written counter arguments to the manager(s) or committee(s) responsible for the assessment and/or appraisal decision.
D9.04 Upon written request of an employee, the personnel file of that employee shall be made available once per year for his examination in the presence of an authorized representative of the Employer.
D9.05 When a report pertaining to an employee's performance or conduct is placed on that employee's personnel file, the employee concerned shall be given an opportunity to sign the report in question to indicate that its contents have been read.
Article D10 - Employment References
D10.01 On application by an employee, the Employer shall provide personal references to the prospective employer of such employee, indicating length of service, principal duties and responsibilities and performance of such duties. Personal references requested by a prospective Employer outside the Agency will not be provided without the written consent of the employee.
Article D11 - Sexual Harassment
D11.01 The Institute and the Employer recognize the right of employees to work in an environment free from sexual harassment and agree that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in the work place.
- Any level in the grievance procedure shall be waived if a person hearing the grievance is the subject of the complaint.
- If by reason of D11.02(a) a level in the grievance procedure is waived, no other level shall be waived except by mutual agreement.
Article D12 - No Discrimination
D12.01 There shall be no discrimination, interference, restriction, coercion, harassment, intimidation, or any disciplinary action exercised or practised with respect to an employee by reason of age, race, creed, colour, national origin, religious affiliation, sex, sexual orientation, family status, marital status, mental or physical disability, membership or activity in the Institute or conviction for which a pardon has been granted.
- Any level in the grievance procedure shall be waived if a person hearing the grievance is the subject of the complaint.
- If by reason of D12.02(a) a level in the grievance procedure is waived, no other level shall be waived except by mutual agreement.
Article D13 - Interpretation of Agreement
D13.01 The parties agree that, in the event of a dispute arising out of the interpretation of a clause or Article in this Agreement, the parties shall mutually and cooperatively seek to resolve the problem. This Article does not prevent an employee from availing himself/herself of the grievance procedure provided in this Agreement.
Article D14 - Employees On Third Party Premises
D14.01 Strike or Lock-Out
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.
D14.02 Interference in the Performance of Duties
If an employee or employees whose normal duties are performed on third party premises are interfered with, or otherwise harassed or coerced such that they are prevented from fully and effectively performing their duties on the industrial employer's premises, the employee or employees shall report the matter in writing to the Employer. The Employer will then consider appropriate measures to investigate and implement corrective action for any substantiated claims of such interference.
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