2006-04-27 - RETAIL STAFFING, DON MILLS, SCARBOROUGH CSC

MINUTES OF CONSULTATION
BETWEEN
GTA CENTRAL-RETAIL
AND
CUPW-ONTARIO REGION, SCARBOROUGH, PORT HOPE, BOLTON LOCALS
APRIL 27, 2006

CPC CUPW
P. Scott L. Pajot (via conference call)
B. Dawe C. Forman
P. Dyck C. MacKenzie
K. Ratchford L. Bouvier
P. Wright J. Morris
L. Waine M. Duquette
L. Charles
J. Glover
D. Hardy
B. Foley

Retail representatives examining counter operations to determine staffing levels convened this meeting to discuss a Retail proposal to adjust staffing levels in various sections and offices in the Toronto GTA as a result of a review. This review included a review of volumes where applicable; customer usage and service, and work flow, resulting in the proposal to delete several full time assignments.

Scarborough D

There are presently 7 FT assignments, which will be maintained and 4 PT assignments in the A.M., 1 PT in the P.M., the proposal to delete 1 PT assignment in the A.M.

The union expressed a concern whereby a part time employee had been denied educational leave due to operational requirements, management replying that the leave requested was for an employee who worked the A.M. shift, but was requesting educational leave for evening courses. However, in this situation there was a long-term absence commencing May 2005 that had not been backfilled under article 39:07, which supported that all assignments were not required. The union inquired whether volumes had decreased, or if full time employees performed the box sortation. Management stated that service standards had been maintained without staffing the long-term absence. On an exceptional basis full time relief perform box sortation. There have been no additional hours to perform the duties of the assignment not backfilled. There have been instances where additional hours have resulted during periods of absence. In response to the union’s inquiry of part time relief, the union was advised that it was one of the A.M. assignments, position number 82034026. The union stated that Group 2 employees assisted this operation, management responding that this occurred only during a two to three week period in December when there were many employees seeking temporary accommodation. The union stated that this was not consulted on, management unaware whether consultation with Delivery management had or had not occurred. The union questioned whether overtime hours had been worked; the reply was that there had been no overtime hours worked to supplement the assignment to be deleted.

Don Mills

Presently there are 5 full time assignments, which will be maintained, and 3 part time assignments, the proposal to delete 1 part time assignment. There is 1 long-term assignment commencing in April 2005 which has not been backfilled supporting the rationale that a part time assignment can be deleted. The union stated that a grievance had been filed as a temporary employee had been utilized improperly; a part time employee had been moved to Don Mills from Scarborough D without proper canvassing of employees. Management stated that this situation had been addressed and corrected, however, it involved another one of the part time assignments. The union expressed concerns as in the past a customer had been sorting and picking up their mails. Management replied that when this was discovered corrective action had been taken. The union stated that full time assignment holders regularly took two hours for lunch and were not required to work their scheduled hours contributing to issues at this workplace. Management stated that correction had occurred; all employees were working their scheduled hours of duty. The issue of the meal period has been discussed and corrected, instances are dealt with when discovered. The union inquired as to the notation on the information provided them reflecting re-alignment of box processing hours to mail volumes. Management responded that this information would be provided, however there was no prior information for comparisons. However the assignment not been staffed and service maintained supports the ability to delete the assignment. Management stated that the duties involved primarily box sortation; there were some pre-sort duties, generally box sortation completed by 10:00 to 11:00 A.M., business completed by 9:00 A.M.

Hours are rarely extended. The part time relief assignment performs duties at Scar. D and Don Mills, there are 2 full time relief clerks. The union inquired whether the Wicket Utilization report was involved for Don Mills, which it was not. The union inquired whether full time employees performed box sortation; the reply was on an exceptional basis.

Markham Industrial Place

Presently there are 5 full time assignments, and 1 part time assignment, the proposal to delete 1 full time assignment, and create 1 additional part time assignment. This proposal is scheduled for June 27, 2006 when a full time employee intends to retire. It has been determined that not all full time assignments are required based on workflow and observations. It is acknowledged that retail employees have commenced temporary GD mail delivery to customers that previously was performed by Delivery employees. To alleviate this increase, rates will be assigned to delivery employees. The union stated that there was more to this than that, Delivery staff were utilizing too many hours, that is why the change. The union stated that customers were lined up to the door recently with the changes implemented. The union also expressed concerns that there was a lot of work being performed at this location, there will be work not preformed if these changes are implemented. Management stated that workloads would off set, there is no requirement to maintain 1 of the 10:00 to 1800 hours assignments. Service standards can be maintained with the increase of 1 part time assignment working 1400 to 1800 hours daily. The union stated that the 2 part time assignments should be combined; alternatively a split shift is feasible. The union also stated that part time employees couldn’t perform wicket duties; they can only be utilized under the provisions outlined in article 12:02. It is prohibited to delete a full time assignment and create a part time wicket assignment. Management stated that part time employees could perform duties on the counter; our position is that this is permissible under article 12:02. Deletion of a full time assignment and the creation of a part time assignment in a grade 9 and up office were allowed. In response to the union’s inquiry this was confirmed as discussed with national representatives including G. Boller and C. Gladu. The union inquired as to determination of requirements, did they include peak periods, the Wicket Utilization report, staffing profile, volumes, and number of boxes, workflow and RTO. Management stated that the determination of staffing requirements was based on local knowledge of the operation, of those managing the stores, known peak periods, and the information provided. It is acknowledged that the Wicket Utilization report is a tool only, it is useful but does not capture all the activities performed by the clerk, including up selling and discussions with the customer. The report was reviewed, identifying the peak periods. This report represented the month of November, a busy period; however, indication that staff adjustment is warranted. The union stated that they acknowledge the information provided, however, much of what has been discussed is the manager’s review/assessment of the operation. It is the union’s responsibility to represent their members, additional information is required and in instances where this has been provided the union has not disputed management’s actions. However, here they are at a complete disadvantage, additional information is required. Management stated that all available information has been shared, the knowledge of the operation sound and supportable. The union stated that the data is insufficient, management are not present at all times, part time employees under the collective agreement are to perform duties outside the normal operating hours and to support the operation. It appears that the Corporation has been trying for some time to downsize the operation whatever the cost. When this issue is placed before a third party clerks will testify as to the duties performed. Management stated that no local representatives present have stated that the proposals put forward are not feasible. The union stated that in other locations review was not supported, in two instances the reviews were conducted over two days, boxes had not been installed; proper information not complied. The union believed that the reductions were to meet reduction targets. Management stated that the profiles were based on observations done over the past years, it is not cut at all costs, where opportunities arise to adjust, this is done based on realistic observations and information. There was a blip with respect to changing workloads at Markham Industrial Place, however this has settled. The union believed that these profiles include the use of employees on modified duties to supplement the operation.

Port Hope

There were 4 full time assignments, 1 vacated March 20, 2006, the proposal to delete this assignment and create 1 part time assignment. This is based on volumes, observations, a volume count of box mail, and the fact that the town is not growing, householder mail consisting on an average of one set. The union stated that if the position is not required then why was a recent transfer-out delayed. There are duties not reflected in the wicket Utilization report, customers come from Cobourg, as the service is preferred in Port Hope. The union disagreed that a part time employee could perform wicket duties. A recent death in the family of one employee resulted in fellow employees not being able to attend funeral services in order to maintain service standards. This is a small town, it is a successful operation, and there are security and safety concerns with only one employee on duty. Management stated that the proposal provides for two employees on the counter. The denial to transfer early was the result of a prime vacation period, if the part time assignment had been in place, there would not have been an issue. The union was advised that relief is considered built into this office. If circumstances arise, additional hours can be allotted. The union stated that the part and full time staff’s vacation is separate; there is a possibility that their vacations will be at the same time. Management stated that an overlap of vacations possible, no determination could be made at this time; however, staffing profiles must be based on fifty-two weeks. The union referenced an employee’s accounting of a regular day’s work, including, Admail duties, customer pick-up of Hold mail, looking up postal codes for customers, RPO calls, look up of new postal codes, box holder’s loss of keys, lengthy discussions with customers to explain delivery issues, E-Bay mailings, CMB issues. The information provided at this consultation does not include these necessary duties. Management stated that these proposals reflect and include the SERVE model, practicing best behaviors, up selling, and going the extra mile for our customers. The union maintained its position that circumstances will arise where counter service will not be provided the customer, part time employees are to be utilized under article 39:05 and 39:07 only. These matters have been raised nationally. Management stated that the review of the operation was reasonable, the processing hours clearly indicated the workload, the local union representative reviewing data for a one-week period. The union believed that the utilization of clerks reflecting usage of 40% does not include all activates. The union inquired whether revenues were considered in determining the staffing profile. Management started that customer flow, ROSS, types of services sought by customers, transaction types, observations and revenue were factors considered in determining a staffing profile, no one factor is the criteria. The union raised a concern if a RPO was to be closed and the impact on the counter. Management stated that if a RPO were to close, another would be sought. The union expressed its contention that the part time adjustment from full time was inappropriate.

Bolton

The union stated that Bolton, and other locations reflect the corporate blueprint history to reduce staff. Presently there are 4 full time assignments and 2 part time assignments. The proposal is to delete 1 full time present long-term absence as of May 1, 2006. This assignment has not been backfilled; there has been a substantial decrease in workload, and low ROSS usage. 1 part time assignment will be created; deleting what is referred to as trapped hours. The union stated that the closure of a RPO increased the workload, it is recognized that the movement of work to Brampton North impacted workload previously. Management stated that there is only one RPO; the agreement was that adjustment to staff would only be implemented upon natural opportunities. This retirement is a natural opportunity. The call for program remains, there is no intention to eliminate, service still being provided on Saturdays. The trapped hours are identified by the observations of the manager. ROSS provides assistance only, there are two clerks on the counter, and utilization is only at 45%, allowing for other activities. The union expressed concerns with respect to growth, management replying that the creation of a part time assignment provides assistance. Management stated that the proposed assignment would be scheduled from 1100 to 1500 hours, the union stating that this would trigger a bid. There is a full rotation of duties every two weeks involving the Lead Hand, three full time employees and three part time employees. The union inquired if all four full time rotated, the reply was that this is correct. Relief is built in and designated. There is also a part time relief that will be designated. The union requested to be present as normal to discuss the changes to be implemented, management agreeing. The union reiterated its concerns with not receiving all facts and figures to support the changes contemplated, as well as the opinion of part time assignments in retail. The union inquired if these observations were being conducted throughout all of Ontario, management stating that they are in the GTA, this is the only area we can speak to. The union stated that a similar exercise in Huron division was unsuccessful. Discussion transpired with respect to the utilization time periods of ROSS activities. The union stated that in future they would like to see additional data when changes as these are contemplated. The union maintains that there is no recognition of other activities. It was confirmed that there was no workload involving passports in the postal units identified, student loans in Port Hope averaging one every two weeks, Bolton, one every two to three weeks, Scarborough D, five per week. The union wished the minutes to reflect that all activities are not captured; this includes the selling of coins, transactions that do not involve ROSS, culling of stock, providing service to our customers. The union reserves its rights and courses of action to the raised concerns. Management replied that the proposed changes were reviewed to determine staff requirements, all information available being provided.

Bidding

Scar. D

-No change to full time assignments

-Deletion of part time assignment, bidding to commence May 1, 2006, five employees for

Four assignments, results to be communicated to M. Duquette

-Monthly bid of May 15, 2006 will be coordinated with delivery results

-No displacement until the article 13:18 bid results

Don Mills

-Bid to commence May 1, 2006, one employee in CLDP, loss of seniority for bidding

-Implementation for May 8, 2006, can participate in article 13:18 bid

Markham Industrial Place

-Retirement scheduled for June 27, 2006, bid to commence May 2, 2006 for implementation June 27, 2006

-Retirement four employees for four assignments

-One part time to be posted for May 15, 2006, utilize transfer list as of April 14, 2006

-The part time assignment newly created to be posted on article 13:18 posting

Port hope

-Newly created part time assignment to utilize transfers on file as of March 10, 2006

-Union requests copy of transfer list

-Staffing action under article 13 to include employee transfer who will participate in article 13:18 bid

Bolton

-No changes to full time assignment

-Transfer list to utilize transfers on file as of April 14, 2006

-Union requests copy of transfer list