Policy Grievance – Settlement Reached Between CAPE and DOJ - 1400 Hours Standard of Legal Services

November 02, 2018

In 2015 CAPE filed a policy grievance with the Treasury Board Secretariat of Canada (TBS), claiming that the introduction of a minimum target of 1400 hours of legal work per fiscal year for paralegals (ECs) by the Department of Justice Canada (DOJ) was unreasonable and arbitrary in violation of the EC Collective Agreement. The matter was referred to adjudication at the Federal Public Service Labour Relations Employment Board (FPSLREB)  in 2016 and in 2018. The parties agreed to avail the services of mediation with the FPSLREB.  A Memorandum of Settlement was reached in July 2018.  Prior to the mediation proceedings CAPE surveyed the paralegals at DOJ which proved to be beneficial to CAPE during the mediation sessions.  

Highlights of the Settlement 

The National Timekeeping Protocol will be revised to reflect that paid rest periods as outlined pursuant to article 28.08 of the EC Collective Agreement will count towards the 1400 hours as periods worked, retroactive to July 1, 2018. 

In addition, flexibility to apply exceptions to the 1400-hour standard will continue to apply where deemed appropriate by management with on-going regard to the application of the collective agreement obligations. The 1400-hour standard can be adjusted for employees who have special work arrangements, such as, but not limited to, annual leave of five weeks or more, leave with income averaging and leave for union business. While the standard is based on a Full Time Equivalent, managers can consider various work situations and adjust the expected hours accordingly. Managers can also approve exceptions to the standard if a significant amount of time will be spent on a corporate activity such as, for example, the Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign.

Another key issue in contention was the impact that compliance with the 1400-hour standard would have on performance reviews.  As confirmed in the Memorandum of Settlement, DOJ agrees that the standard of 1400 hours will not be the sole factor in determining the rating for Performance Management Agreements.  

CAPE would like to thank the members at DOJ who assisted and supported CAPE throughout the grievance and mediation proceedings. 

If you have any questions regarding the settlement, please contact:

Claude Archambault                                     
613-236-9181 ext. 222  
Anita Bangiricenge
613-236-9181 ext. 256