Under what circumstances do Parts I to VI of the WFAA apply and what happens in these circumstances?
Parts I to VI of the WFAA apply when there is:
- A lack of work
- The discontinuance of a function
- The relocation of a work unit
- The closure of an office or work location(s)
Parts I to VI can apply to individuals or to a whole group or work unit.
What happens when work force adjustment happens as a result of a Part I to VI situation?
Decision Consideration 1:
Specific individuals, groups of workers, work units or whole facilities can be impacted by WFA under these parts.
If there is a relocation of a work unit, all employees whose positions will be relocated have the choice of whether to move or be subject to the WFAA.
Otherwise, in most cases the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must notify employees in writing that they are “affected,” although this step could be skipped in some circumstances.
“Affected” status means that a worker may be work force adjusted or surplused. At this point in the process, it does not mean that they will be.
If more than one worker is involved, but the employer needs some workers to remain employed, the employer is obliged to choose those who will remain normally with a relative merit exercise.
If there is a relocation employees will have six months to decide if they want to be relocated.
Decision Consideration 2:
Workers may end up not being work force adjusted. They may experience an increased work load but their jobs are secure for now.
They may be declared “surplus” and receive a “Guarantee of a Reasonable Job Offer (GRJO)” which they can accept or reject.
The definition of a “Reasonable Job Offer” specific to Part I to VI is “an offer of indeterminate employment within the Agency, normally at an equivalent level, but which could include lower levels. Surplus employees must be both trainable and mobile. Where practicable, a reasonable job offer shall be within the employee’s normal workplace, as defined in the Parks Canada Travel Policy.”
A Reasonable Job Offer is a technical term that applies to a job offer within the parameters that are set out in the WFAA (though workers being impacted may well feel that it is neither reasonable nor fair). There are consequences either way depending on their decision.
If the employer does not give a worker a “Guarantee of a Reasonable Job Offer,” they then must choose between three different alternatives with respect to their future intentions.
Decision Consideration 2(a): Worker receives a Guarantee of a Reasonable Job Offer
If workers receive a GRJO, they are put on “surplus priority” and paid until the Agency fulfills their guarantee of a job.
If required, they must be willing to be trained and they must be mobile.
If workers refuse a RJO, they will be laid off one month after refusing, but not until six months after the date they were declared surplus.
Once laid off, they will be on “lay-off priority” for up to 12 months during which time the Agency is obliged to try to find them a job preferably at their former classification and level.
Decision Consideration 2(b): Worker does not receive a Guarantee of a Reasonable Job Offer
The worker becomes an “opting employee.” This means that within 120 days they must choose one of three options:
- Become surplus with surplus priority status for 12 months. The Agency is obliged to try to find them a job within the Agency or to market them in the public service. If they don’t receive a reasonable job offer within that period, they will be laid off.
- Accept a Transition Support Measure. The worker will receive a cash payment based on their years of service (in both the Agency and the public service) as specified in Annex B of the WFAA. They must resign without priority rights.
- Accept an Education Allowance. The worker will receive the same cash payment as above as well as up to $10,000 for reimbursement of receipted educational expenses. They may either resign immediately or go on leave without pay for two years allowing access to (self-funded) benefits while they attend school and then resign.
They may also be able to “alternate” positions with a non-affected indeterminate Parks Canada employee who wants to leave the Agency. The alternation must result in the permanent elimination of the worker’s position and management has the final say in approving it. Alternation can take place between employees in the same group and level and it can take place between equivalent positions. The maximum rate for a higher paid position must be no more than six per cent higher than that of the lower position.