Discussing at the table the priority issues identified by CAPE members

Despite the employer’s somewhat obsessive focus on its proposal to significantly weaken the sick leave provisions of the TR and EC collective agreements, CAPE sought to bring discussions around to the priority workplace improvement issues identified previously by its members. Among those priorities, the proposal to improve the provisions concerning employee performance review seems to have found some traction with the employer.

CAPE’s position and the wording it proposes are based on the principles of good faith and the employer’s obligation to provide clear and measurable targets, appropriate standards, and the necessary tools, training and mentoring, as appropriate, that would allow employees to meet their assigned performance objectives. CAPE believes that the best way to avoid circumstances that could potentially lead to discriminatory, arbitrary or bad-faith decisions – in short, decisions that could be characterized as constituting abuses of authority leading to legitimate complaints, but which might otherwise be avoided – is to make the performance review exercise as objective as possible.

CAPE’s position is supported by case law. In fact, much of the wording proposed by CAPE is drawn directly from the arbitration decisions that defined the employer’s obligations in recent years, e.g. the Mazerolle, Plamondon and Raymond decisions. Moreover, the Association’s general goal in seeking to establish a framework for performance assessment should normally be shared by the employer. Not only does a performance review process that respects case law and minimizes possible variations in judgement contribute positively to the work of public service employees and the effective operation of the public service, it also by extension contributes to the well-being of all Canadians. It is in everyone’s best interest to have a public service with absolutely no tolerance for arbitrary management decisions.