Performance management and your rights

What you need to know about Treasury Board’s new process

The Treasury Board’s new performance management policy went into effect on April 1, 2014. There is now a detailed process in place to conduct performance assessments.

These assessments can have a significant impact on your employment and you need to know your rights and obligations during each stage of the process. 

  • Your performance agreement
  • Your mid-year realignment
  • Your end of year assessment
  • Action plans for improvement
  • What happens if your performance doesn’t improve

It is very important to put all your comments and concerns in writing at every stage of the process.

While union stewards do not have a right to attend performance assessment meetings, nothing prevents you from asking your manager to allow a steward to attend. If your manager refuses, include that in your feedback to the manager, and meet with a steward soon after the meeting to discuss your assessment while it is fresh in your mind.

PSAC has been working to ensure that the employer’s performance management system is fair, open and transparent and recognizes the employer’s obligations under our collective agreements.

Members should also read Treasury Board’s information on the performance management system.

Developing your performance agreement

Participate fully in the process of developing your work objectives. These objectives set out the general results you are expected to achieve over the year. There should be between three and six work objectives identified.

Identify any concerns you have with the work objectives to your manager. If your concerns don’t become reflected in the performance agreement, then attach them in writing to the agreement itself or send them by email in a separate document to those responsible for your performance assessment. Keep a copy of the document.

Make a note of your manager’s obligations, if any, and make sure that any training or other resources they have committed to provide are provided on time. Keep a written record when they are provided or if they are not.

Make sure you understand the work objectives in your performance agreement. They become the basis for your evaluation at the end of the year. Ask your manager to take the time to explain the objectives and explain what outcomes are expected. These explanations and expectations are to be included in the written agreement.

Your work objectives may include reference to the four core competencies of the public service as set out in the Performance Management Directive. They are: 

  • Demonstrating integrity and respect;
  • Thinking things through;
  • Working effectively with others; and,
  • Showing initiative and being action-oriented.

You need to discuss these core competencies with your manager and ask your manager to specify how each relates to delivering on your work objectives.

Your mid-year realignment

This is the time to ensure that any changes in your circumstances which impact on the appropriateness of the work objectives are accurately reflected in your performance management agreement.

Follow the same advice as for the creation of your agreement and make sure everything is in writing.

End of year assessment

At the end of the year, you will be given your rating. Your manager must provide written examples of your behavior and performance that justify the rating assigned with respect to your work objectives and core competencies. Advise your manager if you disagree with any of the examples and put your comments in writing.

Action plans for improvement

At the end of year assessment, if you receive an overall rating of 1 or, in some cases, a 2, your manager will develop an action plan. By this time you should have already put in writing if you disagree with the reasons for the performance assessment in the first place.

Next, it is important to make sure that the action plan reflects realistic and achievable improvements in performance, and that it specifies what resources and training you will receive to help you to achieve those improvements.

Put your feedback on the action plan in the text of the action plan itself. If it isn’t included, provide your feedback in writing to the manager responsible for your action plan and keep a copy for yourself.

Talk with a union officer any time you become subject to an action plan.

What happens if your performance doesn’t improve?

If your manager decides that you have failed to achieve the improvements set out in your action plan after a set period of time, they have been instructed to either withhold your next pay increment, demote you to a lower position, or terminate your employment.

PSAC says the employer has no authority under our collective agreements with Treasury Board to withhold your pay increment. If your pay increment is withheld, contact your union steward or other Local officer in order to file a grievance.

There may also be circumstances in which an action plan could violate other specific provisions of our collective agreements.

If your manager takes any of these actions, contact a union representative immediately.



May 26, 2014