Ombudsman writes to ADM (HR-Civ) concering visit to 15 Wing Moose Jaw, SK

23 February 2015 

Ms. Cynthia Binnington
Assistant Deputy Minister
Human Resources - Civilian
National Defence Headquarters
Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K2


Dear Cynthia:

I am writing to follow up on my visit to 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, from February 2-5, 2015. During this visit, my staff and I were pleased to meet with and listen to concerns and positive feedback from military personnel, civilian employees, caregivers and military family members.

I would like to highlight some of the concerns that we heard regarding civilian employees. I am also offering my assistance should you wish to follow up on any of these matters. I am a firm believer that collaboration and sharing best practices leads to long lasting positive changes.

We heard a number of concerns regarding civilian staffing, classification and human resources advice. It was mentioned that some work descriptions have not been reviewed in more than ten years and that there is a lack of understanding from the military side on what duties belong to civilians. It was brought forward that it is difficult to receive support and when obtained, HR support is inconsistent and expertise questionable (for example, a manager requested advice and was provided with a response contrary to what the collective agreement dictates). The frequent changes in Human Resources Officers assigned to the Moose Jaw files have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of staffing and the confidence of managers.

There is a wish for increased support, communication and transparency. That being said, we encouraged civilian employees and managers to avail themselves of the resources and complaint mechanisms available to them and to contact us for general information and individual assistance.

I am available to discuss further and explore what positive contribution can be made to better support civilian employees in Moose Jaw. Please do not hesitate to contact me.


Gary Walbourne

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