Memorandum of Understanding between The Treasury Board and The Public Service Alliance of Canada With Respect to Mental Health in the Workplace

This memorandum of understanding is to give effect to the understanding reached between the Employer and Public Service Alliance of Canada regarding issues of mental health in the workplace.
The task force, comprised of a technical committee and a steering committee, is established with a long-term focus and commitment from senior leadership of the parties. It will focus on continuous improvement and the successful implementation of measures to improve mental health in the workplace.
Accordingly, the parties agree to establish a steering committee and a technical committee by April 30, 2015. The steering committee is to establish the terms of reference of the technical committee by May 30, 2015. These dates may be extended by mutual agreement of the steering committee members. The technical committee terms of reference may be amended from time to time by mutual consent of the steering committee members.
The technical committee will provide a report of recommendations to the steering committee by September 1st, 2015. The steering committee members may, by mutual agreement, extend this period. 
The ongoing responsibilities of the technical committee include:
  • Identifying ways of reducing and eliminating the stigma in the workplace that is too frequently associated with mental health issues;
  • Identifying ways to better communicate the issues of mental health challenges in the workplace and tools such as existing policies, legislation and directives available to support employees facing these challenges;
  • Reviewing practices from other jurisdictions and employers that might be instructive for the Public Service;
  • Reviewing the National Standard of Canada for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace (the Standard) and identify how implementation shall best be achieved within the Public Service; recognizing that not all workplaces are the same.
  • Ensuring the participation of Health and Safety committees as required by the steering committee.
  • Outlining any possible challenges and barriers that may impact the successful implementation of mental health  best practices; and
  • Outlining areas where the objectives reflected in the Standard, or in the work of other organizations, represent a gap with existing approaches within the federal Public Service. Once identified, make ongoing recommendations to the steering committee on how those gaps could be addressed. The National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace should be considered a minimum standard that the Employer’s occupational health and safety program may exceed.
The steering and technical committees will be comprised of an equal number of Union and Employer representatives. The steering committee is responsible for determining the number and the identity of their respective technical committee representatives. 



March 27, 2015