Thanks very much, and welcome to all of you.
This is an issue we have been trying to grapple with for some time and, as you have heard, we have not been very successful. We had a bit of frustration on Tuesday, when we had some witnesses who really could not provide us with the information we were looking for. I think we're getting more to the nub of the issue with your being here today. Thank you for the information you're providing to us.
I want to make sure I understand the problem. The problem arose when members of the committee were hearing that there were people who were not getting paid in a timely fashion, or not getting paid, period. What I'm hearing is that the pay problems are a result of problems with the position of the compensation advisor. From what you're saying today, I understand that this job not only requires complex skills but also deals with this myriad of very complex rules, collective agreements, and a variety of factors. You're dealing with all aspects of compensation.
As I understand it, the core problem with the compensation advisor is that the job is not classified properly, and therefore people are being underpaid because they're not ranked at the proper classification level. Because they're underpaid and the job is extremely demanding, there is a retention problem and a recruitment problem. This means greater staff shortages, which are compounded by the difficulty of replacing the baby boomers who are leaving, so it's a problem that keeps getting worse.
I noted in your handout that the compensation advisors also end up working extra hours that they're often not compensated for. Of course, we have all heard this week about the class action suit that's being launched against one of the major banks for this very issue. It is an issue that—It seems like a simple thing to get someone's paycheque solved, but it's actually the tip of a much bigger iceberg.
It sounds like an easy thing to maybe reclassify the positions, but how do we actually grapple with this? If the classification is the root of the problem, then if people were properly classified and paid at the appropriate level, it would be more attractive and easier to recruit and retain people. How do we get that done?