NRC RO/RCO Group - Newsletter

PIPSC NRC Newsletter October 2015
RO/RCO Group
Research Officers and Research Council Officers Group Executive Members (2015)
Susan O’Donnell
Patricia Loder
Mary Zborowski
Lawrence Mak
Keith Yeung
Pengfei Liu
Jeff Zidichouski
Devanand Pinto
Daniel Durand
Paul Thorburn
Daryl Wong
Goose Bay
St. John's
St. John's
St. John's
From the Group President(s)
Our focus for the next year will be effective consultation with NRC management to resolve the many
issues of concern to RO/RCOs. Your group co-presidents are looking for members in Ottawa to help us
do that. Susan is an SRO in New Brunswick and Pat is an IRAP ITA in Labrador, both carrying a heavy
load with our PIPSC work plus our NRC work. We have limited time to travel to Ottawa to meet with
NRC management to properly address these issues. We need members in Ottawa to pick up this
important work. Please contact us at if you can help by becoming a steward and
joining our consultation team.
One of many issues is how the matrix management and the program structure at NRC have changed
how we work. While many members have opportunities to take leadership roles in projects and
programs, others are not being given the opportunity to work on key client projects or approved
internal projects. In some cases, members have expressed concern that assignments are based on
personal criteria rather than performance or competencies.
All NRC programs are being reviewed; many are not achieving their revenue targets. Due to lack of
work on approved projects, some positions have been eliminated under the workforce adjustment
(WFA) policy. However, it also appears that this approach is being used to terminate senior researchers
and, later on, hire early-stage career researchers as a cost saving measure. In other cases, the business
cases prepared by NRC to justify termination are flawed.
We can and will address these concerns with senior NRC management through the union-management
consultation process. To do this effectively we need help from new stewards in Ottawa, as well as more
information about these situations, or others of concern, across the Council. Please feel free to call on
any members of the executive or send an email to . If confidentiality is a concern, we
can keep the information anonymous when we present it to NRC management.
Consultation on Redefining Career Paths at NRC for RO/RCOs
As reported in previous newsletters, the RO/RO group executive is consulting with NRC management to
develop new promotion guidelines and career paths. Co-presidents Susan and Pat are on the career paths
consultation committee. The first step will be an anonymous survey of all RO/RCO staff, expected in
October. Both NRC management and the RO/RCO group will have access to the results. If all goes as
planned, we expect to report back to you in December or January. NRC management is planning to
develop the new RO promotion guidelines first, followed by the RCO guidelines. NRC is also planning to
group together the ROs and the RCO members working primarily as researchers. Dan Wayner, VP
Emerging Technologies, is the project champion, and we have invited him to speak about the process at
our AGM on November 5th. We will keep you posted with updates closer to the date.
Update on new security screening process
In July PIPSC filed a motion with the federal court asking for an injunction to prevent the
government from implementing its new security standard. PIPSC cited the privacy-invasive measures
which at NRC includes mandatory fingerprinting, and credit checks for new NRC staff as well as all
NRC staff renewing their security clearance.
In late September, the federal court ruled that PIPSC could not have the injunction to immediately
halt the new security screening practice. The requirement for an injunction is that the practice would
cause irreparable harm. However the judge stated that there were serious issues related to the new
security screening practice. We understand that these will be the next steps:
*PIPSC will appeal the decision re the injunction
*the substantive issue of the potential breech of the Privacy Act will be considered in the near future however it may take six months or more for that decision to come through
In the meantime, PIPSC is telling its members to comply with the requirement (consent to the credit
check and fingerprints). However on the form, PIPSC suggests that members who have concerns
should write on the form some language similar to this: “I am agreeing to the credit check (and / or
fingerprinting) under objection and if the policy changes I would like my credit record (and / or
fingerprints) destroyed.”
RO/RCO Co-presidents
Susan O’Donnell, Senior Research Officer, ICT Portfolio, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Pat Loder, Industrial Technology Advisor, IRAP, Goose Bay, Labrador
President Susan O'Donnell speaks on scientific integrity and bargaining at our lunch meeting
with members on June 12 at Lunergan's Pub near the NRC Montreal Rd. Campus in Ottawa.
National Joint Consultation Committee (JCC)
NRC senior management meets with representatives of the two unions at NRC, PIPSC and RCEA, at
regular quarterly consultation meetings of the national joint consultation committee. The minutes of
these meetings are available on the web:
The minutes of each meeting are approved at the subsequent meeting, so they do not appear until four
or five months after each meeting. If you would like an update anytime on the progress of any issues
discussed at the JCC issues, contact your RO/RCO executive at:
How you can participate in the federal election
If you have any questions about how you as a federal public servant can participate in the federal
election, please consult the PIPSC election toolkit and this page that has a checklist of do’s and don’ts:
Recruitment & Retention at NRC
Are you aware of any RO/RCO's who have left NRC recently? Do you know of any difficulties in
filling vacant positions? The RO/RCO Group is interested in any recruitment issues for new or
replacement employees at NRC. For example, have positions remained unfilled for long periods, even
though the jobs have been advertised? Or, have competitions been canceled due to lack of suitable
applicants? The other half is retention of present employees. Have any RO/RCO's left your portfolios
for jobs outside of NRC? As well, early retirements may be of interest, depending on the reason for
same, if known. Please send any relevant information to Paul Thorburn .
Time Recording
• 1050 (telework agreement)
• 1010 (non-compensated time)
Employees who have been using attendance type 1050 to capture their normal scheduled hours of
work while teleworking should instead use attendance type 1000 (attendance).
In keeping with how the system was set up initially, some employees have used attendance type
1010 (non-compensated time) to record time worked over and above normal scheduled hours of
work where there was no expectation of overtime compensation either in payment or leave. Going
forward, the system will continue to record hours worked beyond an employee’s normal scheduled
hours; though they will simply be tracked using attendance type 1000 (attendance). Should these
additional hours be allocated to particular projects, they will be accounted for as “project costs” the
same as normal scheduled hours. As in the past and in accordance with the provisions of the various
collective agreements, overtime compensation will continue to require approval, in advance, from
an employee’s delegated manager.
Are you planning a social, cultural, recreational or information activity for your RO/RCO
colleagues, a BBQ, outing, ball game, holiday lunch, workshop or other event? You can ask
the RO/RCO Executive for funding support - up to $20 per member attending to a $200
maximum - to raise awareness of our union and recruit volunteers. The only requirement is
to share information about our union at your event. It could be a print-out of the PIPSC
homepage . Let everyone know that
the event was supported by their union and that we always need more stewards.
Some of the social events partially sponsored by the RO/RCO Group this year.
NRC St. John's Golf Tournament
Aerospace BBQ in Ottawa
Call for Institute/Portfolio Representatives
The NRC RO/RCO Group is seeking volunteers to serve as local representatives for the RO/RCO
Group in their respective Institutes/Portfolios. Generally, there is one representative per
Institute/Portfolio. However, when a Portfolio has multiple locations, it is good to have a representative
in each location.
If anyone is interested in volunteering a small portion of your time to serve as an
Institute/Portfolio representative, please send an email message to .
RO/RCO Executive Committee Meetings; As NRC has many locations across the country,
exec visits will normally occur on a 3-4 year cycle. However, if you feel a pressing need for
the executive to visit your workplace sooner rather than later, please contact the executive
at .
Consultation and Better Together - Your union representatives have several formal, and many
informal, opportunities, to engage with NRC management on workplace issues, including the NCOSH
- National Committee on Occupational Safety & Health, and the JCC - Joint Consultation Committee.
The PIPSC “better together” motto reflects the need to raise awareness of the importance of unions in
the workplace.
Most recent RO/RCO Group information will be on the PIPSC web site, under groups – go to:
provide labour relations representation and advice to members. The PIPSC
Employment Relations Officer (ERO) for all the NRC groups in Ottawa is Paul
Tittley. His office is at PIPSC, 250 Tremblay Road, and he can he reached by email, ,
or by telephone at (613)228-6310 or 1(800)267-0446, extension 2264. The EROs for NRC in other
regions are: Atlantic - Max Way, Quebec - Valerie Charette, Toronto - Tony Jones, Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Alberta - Grace Chychul, and BC – Jennifer George.
Email - PIPSC asks that you receive correspondence by email. There is a form at
You can specify that you receive these messages at an email address of your choice. The messages are
very short as they generally do not contain any information, but direct you to a specific bit of the
PIPSC web site.
Did you know? PIPSC has agreements with a number of companies in
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PIPSC members.
Rent a car from Avis, travel on VIA Rail, stay at a Delta Hotel, clothe
yourself at Mark’s Work Warehouse or buy a Toshiba or Apple computer.
For more details, go to
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