Work Force Adjustment Directive –
January 1, 2019
The National Joint Council (NJC) is pleased to announce that the consultations led by the NJC Work Force Adjustment (WFA) Committee have resulted in a new NJC Work Force Adjustment Directive (WFAD). The Work Force Adjustment Committee is composed of representatives from Federal Public Service Bargaining Agents, the Employer and departments.
The new Work Force Adjustment Directive is effective January 1, 2019.
The Executive Committee wishes to thank all members of the Work Force Adjustment Committee for their effort and commitment in this important review.
You are invited to consult the Q&A's which are posted in the "Communiqués" section of the NJC website: December 10, 2018.
The new directive is available on the NJC website: January 1, 2019.
Highlights of Changes
Alternation – The language has been revised to indicate that alternations may be approved for an employee who selects Option 6.4.1 (a), the twelve-month surplus priority period.
Education Allowance – The amount for the reimbursement of receipted expenses for tuition from a recognized learning institution, books and relevant equipment has increased to $17 000. The word relevant replaces the word mandatory.
Transition Support Measure – The language has been revised to include the years of service in the public service.
Part l – Roles and Responsibilities
Departments or organizations (1.1.3) – Departments and organizations must establish
joint WFA committees. The wording “to advise and consult” has been added along with the requirement to establish Terms of reference which must include a process for addressing alternation requests from other departments and organizations.
Notification to employee (1.1.6) – Departments and organization must clarify in the written notification to the employee which of the four reasons justifies the WFA (discontinuance of a function, lack of work, relocation of work unit, or alternative delivery initiative).
Use of contracted out services (1.1.29) - the term “use of contracted out services” has been added to cover all types of outsourced contracted services. In addition, the current wording had a provision that departments could not re-engage (where practicable) outsourced personnel if it could facilitate the appointment of surplus employees and laid-off persons. The new provision stipulates that departments shall refrain from engaging or re-engaging outsourced persons where practicable.
Lay-off notice (1.1.33) – A new requirement has been added whereby departments and organizations must send a copy of the employee lay-off notices to the national head of each bargaining unit. Also, notices may now be sent electronically.
Counselling is to include advice on alternations (1.1.36) – Paragraph (j) has been added to include assistance concerning alternations. Also, a paragraph (o) has been added to include advice to employees on their right to be represented by their bargaining agent in the application of the Directive and a paragraph (p) has been added to include reference to the employee assistance program. As a result, the bullets have been renumbered.
Part ll – Official Notification
Notification to national head of each bargaining agent (2.1.2, 2.1.3) – Two clauses have been modified to include the option for departments and organizations to send notifications electronically to TBS and bargaining agents. The term chief executive officer has been replaced by national head of each bargaining agent.
Part lV – Retraining
Retraining Plan (4.2.6) - A new provision has been added to allow surplus employees who are denied a retraining plan to hold a meeting with the manager to discuss the rationale. The bargaining agent representative may attend the meeting.
Training period (4.2.7) – The paragraph was reworded to clarify the retraining provisions for a surplus employee who is guaranteed a reasonable job offer and is granted relocation. The language clarifies that the retraining may continue up to one year after completion of the two-year retraining period.
Part VI – Options for Employees
NEW Voluntary departure programs (6.2) - A two-prong voluntary departure program has been added to the Directive for employees who are not provided with a guarantee of a reasonable job offer. Departments and organizations must establish the program for situations involving 5 or more employees at the same group and level within a work unit. Also, the DH may establish a program for units where less than 5 employees are affected. The provision also indicates that the program must be subject to meaningful consultation through joint union-management WFA committees, must not be used to exceed reduction targets, must take place before the department or organization engages in the selection of employees for retention or lay-off (SERLO) process(es), provide for a minimum of 30 calendar days for employees to decide to participate, and allow employees to select Options 6.4.1 (b), (c)(i) or (c)(ii). Finally, when the number of volunteers is larger than the required number of positions to be eliminated, volunteers must be selected based on seniority.
The following provisions have been renumbered:
Departments or organizations – 1.1
Alternation - 6.3
Options - 6.4
Retention Payment – 6.5
Alternation for opting and surplus employees (6.3) – A number of provisions have been added to the program. Alternation can now be extended to employees who select the 12-month time-limited surplus period with the condition that the alternate’s transition support measure (TSM) be reduced by one week for each completed week of the surplus employee’s surplus period. This measure is to avoid a duplication of payment (surplus employee’s salary and alternate’s TSM). In addition, if an alternation is denied, the employee can hold a meeting with the manager to discuss the rationale for the denial, with a representative of the bargaining agent present. Finally, a provision was added to clarify that alternations will not be denied solely as a result of untimely administrative processes.
Counselling services fees (6.4.6) – There has been an increase in entitlement from $600 to $1 200 for counselling services in respect of potential re-employment or retirement.
Core Public Administration (6.4.7) – The term core public administration has been replaced by public service. The purpose is to expand the reimbursement provisions to organizations outside of the core public administration when employees receive a lump sum payment and are immediately rehired in the public service. Employees will be required to repay an amount proportional to the period from the date of re-appointment to the end of the period for which the lump sum applies.
Education Allowance (6.4.1(c)(i) and (c)(ii)) – As indicated in the Definitions section, the amount for the reimbursement of receipted expenses for tuition from a recognized learning institution, books and relevant equipment has increased to $17 000.
TSM Splitting (6.4.1 (b) and (c)(i)) - Options 6.4.1 (b) and (c)(i) were also modified to specify that the TSM shall be paid in one or two lump-sum amounts over a maximum two-year period.
Part VII – Special Provisions Regarding Alternative Delivery Initiatives
Vacation leave credits and severance pay (7.9.2) – Language has been amended to clarify that when employees accept a reasonable job offer under a type 1 or 2 alternative delivery initiative and the new employer has a severance program similar to the core public administration one, the current employer, at the time of transfer, shall pay employees the applicable severance entitlements as per their collective agreement (for employees who have not cashed out their severance in 2009).
Appendix D – Key Elements of the Work Force Adjustment Directive – Wording has been added to include the voluntary departure program and updates to the alternation provisions.
Appendix E – Alternative Delivery Initiative (ADI) – A chart has been added to explain the process for the three types of ADIs.
The committee edited this section to include other references, namely the Isolated Posts & Government Housing Directive and the Pension Eligibility at Age 60 - Workforce Adjustment and Pension Waivers. There was an update of the title of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act.