Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
February 20, 2012

The union pushes the 3 Departments to set up national workforce adjustment committees

We are all very apprehensive about the impacts of the upcoming budget of the federal government which will include drastic cuts to the federal public service necessarily affecting a number of our members. A few months ago, every Department was required to prepare for two scenarios, one for a 5% decrease in expenditures and the other for a 10% decrease.

In order to be able to face this, because our members will be affected at one time or another, CEIU has been pushing for a few months the 3 Departments – HRSDC, CIC and the IRB – to set up national workforce adjustment (WFA) committees designed to monitor workforce adjustment. As of today, only CIC has demonstrated openness since some steps have been taken to set up a committee.

The following is an overview of the situation within the 3 Departments:

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)
CIC management and the unions, including CEIU, met twice already. The terms of reference of the national labour-management committee on WFA were established and monthly meetings are to be held. The CEIU representatives on this committee are Don Rogers, National President of CEIU, Steve McCuaig, National Executive Vice-President of CEIU, Paul Croes, National Vice-President for CIC, and Luc Pomerleau, National Resource Officer. Management does not intend to set up regional or local committees. The union will see to it that they are created as required. Whatever the openness of CIC, the union will make sure to establish effective communications with the regions and Locals for the good of the members.

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)
HRSDC has taken no visible action. However, management notified us that a meeting of managers would be held during the week of February 13th on the setting up of a national labour-management committee on WFA. We were assured that a first meeting of this committee would be held during the week of February 20th in order to establish the terms of reference of the national committee on WFA.

Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB)
No visible action has been taken by the IRB, which seems to obstinately refuse to set up a national committee on WFA before receiving information on the Budget Speech and its impact on the IRB workforce. However, it seems that the recent introduction of a new immigration bill has changed management’s position on the relevance of such a committee.

The PSAC has placed information on its website linking WFA to what our collective agreement provides in terms of entitlements and options. You will find various tools such as a guide, questions and answers and what we need to know.

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