Union raises concerns about Ministry of Social Development Employment and Labour Market Services Division staffing strategy

May 30, 2011

Last week the Ministry of Social Development circulated a document to employees in the division titled "Staffing Strategy – Business Transformation Project."

This document will also apparently provide part of the material for a Division Town Hall scheduled for this week. Approximately 300 employees are impacted by this process, most who were transferred from the federal government several years ago.

The basis for this strategy appears in part to be budget driven. The division is facing a budget reduction of 30 percent in their "administrative" budget by 2014/15. The deadline for the ministry to achieve these savings is March 2014.

In March, the Ministry Article 29 Joint Union Management Committee was briefed on a preliminary organizational design and staffing strategy guidelines for this project. At that time union representatives on the committee had some questions about this draft document.

The ministry is obligated to consult with the union on reorganizations of this nature through the Ministry Article 29 Joint Committee. The ministry committed to discussing issues around the position mapping contained in the draft document with the union as the business decisions became apparent. We were also told that it was not anticipated that there would be any significant changes to report until late summer.

We were very surprised that the ministry chose to circulate this staffing strategy without first consulting with the union as they are obligated. Some of the material in their staffing strategy is in conflict with your rights under the collective agreement.

The BCGEU will continue to monitor this situation and try to work with the ministry and the Public Service Agency to remedy the strategy. We will advise you of events as they unfold.

Please direct any concerns you believe that the BCGEU should be aware of to a member of the committee.

In Solidarity

BCGEU Ministry of Social Development Article 29 Committee Members

Doug Kinna, Co-chair and SIH Component Chairperson

Barb Peters, Committee member, Local 1202

Edna Park, Committee member, Local 605

Tony Sprackett, Committee member Local, 1201

Michael Eso,  BCGEU Staff Representative