Response from ADM HR-Civ Classification Investigation

12 October 2016

Mr. Gary Walbourne
Office of the National Defence and
Canadian Forces Ombudsman
12th Floor
100 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa ON  K1P 5M1


Mr. Walbourne:

This will acknowledge receipt of your June 28, 2016 letter to the Deputy Minister and the concerns you have raised with the administration of classification grievances within National Defence.

The authority to receive and respond to grievance submitted by civilian employees of the department has been delegated within my organization as functional authority for Human Resources management. As you know, the management and staff of ADM (HR-Civ) are consistent advocates of the values and principles supporting sound people management practices throughout the department, and consider the legislative right of employees to file grievances as an integral part of the dispute resolution process available to our civilian workforce. 

For this reason, the management and staff of Director Civilian Classification and Organization have focused significant attention over the last two years in addressing the volume of active classification grievances within the department. As a result, the number of active grievance files has been reduced by over 50% since 2014, with a projection to eliminate the backlog of classification grievances by the end of fiscal year 2017-2018.

The Public Service Labour Relations Board Regulations establish the procedure for submitting and responding to classification grievances, including the prescribed timelines. However, the Regulations also provide for variances to these timelines in certain circumstances, when both parties are in agreement, or when there is a requirement to put the classification grievance in abeyance pending the resolution of a related labour relations dispute, such as the assigned duties or validity of the work description.

In any case, it has been our practice to consult regularly with the unions representing grieving employees, in order for identify the cases of priority for scheduling of grievance hearings.

The foregoing is provided to you as context, in advance if your investigative team meeting with representatives of DCCO. I welcome your office’s independent review of our process, and the consideration of any recommendation that may come of it and I am providing the name of Danielle Simard, Director Civilian Classification and Organization as contact for this examination.


For the Deputy Minister


Kin Choi

Cc: John Forster, Deputy Minister

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