Evidence of meeting #56 for Government Operations and Estimates in the 39th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was classification.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

  • Bibiane Ouellette  Clerk of the Committee , Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates
  • Susan Louis-Seize  Association of Compensation Advisors
  • John Gordon  National President, Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Diane Melançon  Association of Compensation Advisors
  • Michael Brandimore  Association of Compensation Advisors
  • David Orfald  Director of Planning and Organizational Development, Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Margaret Jaekl  Classification Officer, Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Rob Walsh  Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel, House of Commons

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Diane Marleau

Thank you, Ms. Nash.

We'll now go to Ms. Simard.

June 7th, 2007 / 4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I'd like to thank the witnesses for being here this afternoon.

Madam Melançon, can you tell me when the classification structure was established? Was it established 10 years ago, 15 years ago? Has it been reviewed recently?

4:30 p.m.

Association of Compensation Advisors

Diane Melançon

I think it was 1965 or 1964 when we had our classification.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Was there a major review at some point?

4:30 p.m.

Association of Compensation Advisors

Diane Melançon

At one point, yes, there was a slight review.

I think she can answer this.

4:30 p.m.

Margaret Jaekl Classification Officer, Public Service Alliance of Canada

Perhaps I can help you. I am a classification officer with the Public Service Alliance, formerly with the government.

The standard for the administrative services group, which is where these positions are currently classified, was established about 1965 as part of the original set of classification standards for collective bargaining in the Public Service. It has never been reviewed.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Madam Chair, I guess the Tuesday meeting was very frustrating for us. We had witnesses who didn't seem to have the answers we required. We're talking about employees here who aren't getting paid for three months. We're talking about employees who are being promoted and not getting their additional funding. It seems that we're also getting departments that are kind of passing the buck. We're not sure who's responsible. They're not sure who's responsible.

My concern is this. I don't want to prevent my colleagues from speaking on this, and we can keep going, but I will be presenting a motion. I'm really concerned that we're going to be gone for the next three or four months. By the time our committees are reactivated, and by the time we get witnesses from different departments, we won't be dealing with this issue until next spring. I think that's too long.

I'm going to make a recommendation that the Auditor General get involved in this with some sense of urgency. I think we should also forward this. It just seems to me that at this point, it's getting ridiculous. We're hearing about this not through official channels; we're hearing about it through employees who are coming to us or are calling our MPs' offices.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Diane Marleau

Let me just add something. It might be possible for us to invite her, if you are willing, next week to one of our meetings. Perhaps we can discuss it with her then. There may be other people we can invite, as well.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

That would be great.

4:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Diane Marleau

Go ahead, Mr. Brandimore.

4:30 p.m.

Association of Compensation Advisors

Michael Brandimore

When you were talking about people being afraid to come forward, I have to tell you that it has not been easy for people in the compensation community, for the same reason.

I know that we don't want to get anecdotal here, but I attended a forum specifically on retention and recruitment, and Sylvie Joseph, from Treasury Board, attended that and told us in the first 15 minutes that we were not there to discuss classification. The entire thing was to bring compensation people together, and they were going nationwide to get our opinions on what would be the resolution to this. Classification was not even to be discussed.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

Madam Chair, if we're on the topic and I have a motion in both officials languages, is it in order?

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Diane Marleau

It is, because we are discussing the topic. Did you want to allow other people to speak? You have to be speaking to present the motion.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

Raymond Simard Saint Boniface, MB

I am speaking. That's why I'm doing it now, because I may not get another opportunity.

4:35 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Diane Marleau

Your motion is that....