Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
March 7, 2012

Update on National Grievance against Minister Finley

The group grievance, representing about 2,300 members, was presented to HRSDC on February 20, 2012.   The grievance presentation was heard by HRSDC’s Representative, Mr. Peter Larose, Assistant Deputy Minister, Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations.

The Union began the presentation by categorically denying the accusations made publically by Minister Diane Finley that employees are working to rule and are, therefore, responsible for the delays in employment insurance processing.  Minister Finley’s unfounded statements clearly violated Article 22 (Health and Safety) of the Collective Agreement, Treasury Board’s Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace, and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector.  In addition, Minister Finley’s comments have been very harmful to morale.   Statements written by members about the impact of these hurtful statements were read aloud to Mr. Larose.

In closing, the Union pointed out that a public apology would go a long way towards rebuilding the Minister’s relationship with employees.  In addition, a commitment from the Department to communicate with the Union would help prevent future public embarrassment for everyone.  Many legal instruments of the Federal Government encourage on-going consultation between parties.  Of particular note, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector says “Public servants at all levels are expected to resolve issues in a fair and respectful manner and consider informal processes such as dialogue or mediation”. 

The department has said that we can expect their response within twenty working days as per the Collective Agreement, which means we should have it by March 19, 2012

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