The Letter of Expectation: What Does it Mean?

Rob-Jones-Y010-President-2016

The fact finding meeting is over; you may never hear about the issue again, or the employer notifies you that they have come to a conclusion and you’re called for a follow up meeting.

During the meeting your supervisor reads out loud and presents a letter of expectation (LOE);  welcome to the performance management stream and the right of the employer to reaffirm the roles, responsibilities and accountability of your position within public service in Yukon.

Firstly, a letter of expectation is not discipline.  While it may feel like discipline (and trust me I know this feeling, having been through this process), it is not intended to be, nor is it a disciplinary action. 

A properly formatted letter of expectation should clearly outline the issues the employer has identified that need to be rectified, the changes they would like to see, the timeline for this change and the support and resources for assisting with process.

What happens after I receive this letter?

This is a shared responsibility; you as a public servant have been advised of your employment expectations and you should seek to meet the mark. It will feel like there is extra scrutiny on you and this is natural and actually accurate, but not in the “I’m gonna get you” way. 

After an LOE is delivered the employer is watching you, not to note your failure but to ensure your success.  It is incumbent on the employer to assist you in meeting the requirements of your position and the expectations that have been outlined. 

YTG (the employer) needs to provide access to support and resources to ensure you are successful.  Bear in mind  you are a big part of this success and it is incumbent on you to meet the requirements of your job contract with YTG. As the cliché goes it takes two to tango and for the most part you are the lead in the dance.

 How long does the LOE stay in my file?

As letters of expectation are not discipline they are not part of your file.  When it comes to your “file” you only have one and this is held at the Public Service Commission (you can make an appointment to see your file with PSC if you would like to review your public service employment file).  

Your LOE will be held by your supervisor and will not be in your “file” but will be kept for reference for the timeline provided in the letter.  An LOE will be deemed complete at your next PPP (Personal Performance Plan) provided the issues have been resolved and have not continued.  Now, if the behavior in the letter continues, this can open up the disciplinary stream (which I will cover in another post).  But we all know that this won’t be an issue……..right?

 A few other details….

 Letters of expectation do not always come from fact finding meetings. Employment behaviors can be noted and dealt with outside of fact finding meetings and delivered at the discretion of the employer.

  • Union representation is not required at the presentation of an LOE as they are not disciplinary, however, it is recommended by YTG that if it will be of benefit to the employee YEU representation can be in attendance.
  • As always, if there are questions or concerns call the YEU office at 667 2331 or call me directly at 334 4331, remembering there is a timeline for issues of approximately 20 days, so call early and get the answers.

 Yours in solidarity,

Rob Jones

rob jones

President, YEU Local Y010

 

 

Shop Steward Round Table Reboot!

YEU toolboxYou raised your hand, you were elected…. now what? At YEU, our Shop Stewards & Local Executive members are very important. In fact, without a strong and well educated volunteer base we would have a hard time keeping up with our large and diverse membership.

Our staff and Executive are working hard to ensure we offer the right training modules to our volunteers and workplace advocates. In order for you to feel confident that you are representing the membership and union well, you need a strong basis in facts, a thorough understanding of your Collective Agreement and the mentorship of experienced union staff.

With those needs in mind, we are planning a half day brainstorm session for all our Stewards and elected workplace advocates. No matter whether you are the sole employee rep in a workplace of 6 or a seasoned Steward with 300 employees in your department – we need you. All stewards from all employers and workplaces are encouraged to attend this Shop Steward Round Table session.

SAVE the DATE! 
Thursday January 22, 2014
9:00 am ‘til Noon OR 2:00 pm ‘til 5:00 pm.

Both Round Table sessions are the same, so plan to attend only one. You will be required to bring in your approved leave form in order to attend. Please call Josh at 667-2331 or complete the form below to pre-register for either the morning or afternoon session.

We want to hear what you have to say; bring us your concerns and your Steward questions. Let us know what stands between you and full engagement as an employee rep. Our goal is to build up our Steward network, ensuring you get the training and support you need!

CLC Pacific Winter School 2015

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Submit your application for CLC Pacific’s legendary Winter School union training today!  

YEU invites our activists to apply for Labour training offered by the Canadian Labour Congress at Harrison Hot Springs each year. We have created a short list of eligible courses which will be considered for our Yukon applicants.  Please note that the courses listed below are the only courses which the Education Committee will consider for approval.

Are you interested in attending training at Harrison?  Want to know who is eligible to participate?

  • Have you been active in your Local, your Union or your workplace as a union representative or activist?
  • Are you a member of your Local Executive?
  • Are you a member of a PSAC North Regional Committee?
  • Are you a YEU Shop Steward?
  • Are you a Confidential Advisor or Union Counsellor?

If you can answer yes to any of the above questions, you are eligible to apply.

We have some expectations of those who are sent to Winter School for training, as the cost of travel, tuition and loss of salary comes from member dues. Our responsibility to those members means we expect trainees to participate in union activities and help share what they have learned while away.  A letter outlining what you’ve learned and how you intend to put that learning into practice upon your return is a requirement of the process.

Deadline to apply is Thursday December 11, 2014

How to Apply:

DO NOT APPLY DIRECTLY TO CLC PACIFIC. WE DO NOT USE THEIR ONLINE REGISTRATION PROCESS! (this is VERY important! (If you apply directly using their online forms we will not be able to review your application for approval.)

Please complete

1. THIS YEU EDUCATION APPLICATION FORM linked here for printing 

and return it to YEU by Thursday December 11th with the

2. CLC WINTER SCHOOL PAPER APPLICATION FORM linked here for printing.

Return both to Yukon Employees’ Union by mail, by hand, by fax to 667-6521 or by email to contact@yeu.ca .

Schedule of courses  HERE  (Each course takes the full week; please select  your first and second choices.)

Week 1 ~ January 18 – 23
Week 2 ~ January 25 – 30
Week 3 ~ February 1 – 6
Week 4 ~ February 10 – 13 (Professional Development Week; runs Tuesday to Friday)
Week 5 ~ February 15 – 20

Eligible Courses:

Collective Bargaining Level 1: This course develops a solid understanding of the bargaining process and the factors that affect collective bargaining. The course provides opportunities to practice preparing for and negotiating parts of a collective agreement. The course covers a working knowledge of the laws and rules that structure the bargaining process. This course will be of interest to new bargaining committee members and local union officers. You may want to bring a calculator for this course.

Facing Management: This course offers an opportunity to learn new skills, tactics, and strategies for unions to use in joint labour-management committees. This is a perfect course for newer activists that want to learn more about union-management relations, traditional and modern management theories and systems, and the history of work organization. Communication skills, group dynamics training, and conflict resolution skills will be emphasized. The course offers hands-on practice sessions in skill-building techniques so that you will be as comfortable in the boardroom as you are at a union meeting.

Bullying and Harassment: Responsibility for bullying in the workplace is shared between workers, the employer, and the union.  This course will explore different approaches and tools to address bullying in the workplace, from education programs, legislation, workplace policies and procedure, grievances, and other means within the collective agreement language like labour management committees.  The course will also explore the relationship and differences between legislation covering bullying and harassment.  We will also look at what the rest of Canada is doing on the topic of bullying and pull examples and lessons from their experiences.  Finally, we will review the new BC Legislation put out by WorkSafe and the implications of this language for OHS Committees and WorkSafe WCB claims.

Parliamentary Procedure and Public Speaking: This is a two-part course. Parliamentary Procedure covers how to run a meeting effectively, the duties of a chairperson and secretary, and how rules of order can provide a democratic and fair process to get the business of the union accomplished. Public Speaking covers how to speak persuasively to various groups and how different formats are used to speak at convention, debates, and impromptu gatherings.

Return to Work: This course is designed to equip participants with tools and strategies for successful work reintegration outcomes.  Participants will explore leading research and learn the principles of good work reintegration practices and the duty to accommodate.  The course has a strong focus on the analysis and interpretation of human rights obligations and particularly the duty to accommodate.  Barriers to successful work reintegration are addressed with a focus on attitudinal barriers and their elimination using the social model of disability and therapeutic return to work principles.  An in-depth comparison, between older methods of disability management and the newer, progressive disability prevention model, is presented and participants learn about the paradigm shift from management to prevention.

Steward Training Level 1: The steward is often the main point of contact between the union, its members, management, and the larger labour movement. This course builds the skills, confidence, and knowledge a steward needs to represent their members. Participants will learn the roles and responsibilities of their position as stewards, the handling of grievances and complaints, problem-solving skills, protecting contractual provisions in the collective agreement, and current issues for stewards.

Steward Training Level 2: This course is for chief stewards, business and assistant business managers, local officers, and stewards with considerable experience handling grievances. You will practice more advanced grievance handling skills using real life case studies and role plays. Participants will discuss discipline grievances, harassment, drug and alcohol issues, and different styles of management. The course will deal with procedures before the process of arbitration. Knowledge of the first stages of the grievance process will be assumed. (Steward Training Level 1 is a pre-requisite)

Successful Meetings: Parliamentary Procedure: This course focuses on the nuts and bolts of how to run union meetings at the local level.  Not only will you learn the basics of Parliamentary Procedure but we’ll also discuss how to make committees and other small groups work more effectively.  We’ll also explore new meeting formats and how to use our time in meetings to get tasks done.

Transforming Conflict into Union Activism: Transforming Conflict into Union Activism approaches conflict in a novel way.  It recognizes that conflict isn’t always negative but that it is the outcome of the conflict that is negative or positive.  The course will teach participants how to listen to people involved in a conflict, get to the root causes of a conflict, and how to coach people involved in a conflict to identify shared interests.  Participants will learn how to use those shared interests to help people involved in a conflict find solutions and turn the conflict and shared interests into union activism.

Union Activism for a Green Economy: The labour movement wants a prosperous green future for ourselves, our members, and our families.  This new and innovative course examines how we can work together within the labour movement and with our social justice partners to advance economic and environmental initiatives that provide good, greener jobs in both the public and private sector.  We will develop strategies to work in coalition with environmental groups and examine new negotiating challenges being faced at the bargaining table around climate change and the developing green economy.

Using Modern Tools to Talk with your Members: Beginning with an internal union communications audit, this course will teach participants how to use a variety of communications tools in order to reach union members with the union’s message and culminate with a custom internal communications plan.  The course will take a look at websites, newsletter/bulletin design and writing skills, crafting effective emails, starting and managing email lists, and basic poster design.  Participants will also learn the basics of taking great photos and producing short, engaging videos to better communicate with their union members.

Women’s Health & Safety in the Workplace: All workers face health and safety issues at work – injuries, workplace hazards, disease, and stress. Many of these issues also have a gender dimension – they affect women’s bodies in particular ways. In this course, participants will discuss and learn abut how women’s health (including reproductive health) is affected by toxic workplace substances, the way work is often designed to fit men’s bodies, and workplace stresses such as violence and harassment. The program gives participants skills for assessing workplace hazards, and provides participants with key health and safety principles (hazard control, precautionary principles, right to refuse, right to know, and the right to participate). This program is geared to women who are health and safety committee members, and to all women who want to know more about how to make our workplaces and lives safer and healthier.

Women in Leadership: This course offers union women an opportunity to develop and enhance their leadership skills and knowledge in a variety of current and emerging labour issues. A major component of the course will cover communication and motivational skills that are important for women activists.

Young Workers in Action: This course is designed to give young union activists the skills they need to be effective in their workplace. The course will cover public speaking, how meetings are run, how to read your contract, grievance handling, and basic collective bargaining process. Participants are requested to bring a copy of their collective agreement.

Critical Incident Stress: Although we hope that incidents and accidents in the workplace never occur, quite often they do and the Union is challenged to help its’ members deal with the impacts and aftermath. This course develops an understanding of critical incident stress and how it can affect people. From there, the course helps unions develop a critical incident stress response system which can be implemented in the workplace. Participants will examine key elements of critical incident response systems, including a review of collective agreement language covering emergency responders and other workers. Finally, the course will look at what challenges exist within the health and WCB system which requires our advocacy action, to make change happen.

Candidate Development for Women: Are you a women who has been elected in your local union, provincial, or community organization? Are you looking to increase your support base and engage a wider audience? Have you run or considered running in a municipal, provincial, or federal campaign? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this course is for you!  This course is a next step for women leaders, designed to address the real challenges women candidates face and will introduce ways to balance the day to day challenges in the face of high stress campaigns. Bringing together leaders from various sectors, communities, and levels of government, participants will take away new ways of campaigning, strategic planning, and framing our message. By building on communication and presentation skills, participants will leave with tools to best communicate their message in on camera interviews, face to face debates, and with new media.

Campaigning in a Modern Era:  The evolution of campaign techniques is a continuous process.  From time to time it is imperative that we look at what has worked in the past and what has not.  This course will analyze the effectiveness of traditional campaign tactics.  Additionally, the course will look at new communication and organizing tactics implemented in Canada and other jurisdictions and offer an open discussion on how we can create modern, effective tools to help us win.

Contact YEU if you have any questions about your eligibility, the application process or any other query related to Winter School 2015.  Thank you!

 

Union Terminology… a Primer.

YEU toolboxHave you ever read an article in the newsletter or had a look through your Collective Agreement and wondered what some of the terms mean? Here is a brief summary of some of the more common terms.

  • Bargaining Unit: A group of employees with a clear and identifiable community who are represented by a single union, whether or not all members have signed  union cards.
  • Collective Agreement: A legally binding contract arrived at through negotiation covering wages, hours, and terms & condition of employment, rights of employees and processes for resolving disputes and issues during the contract’s term. If you are a YEU member, you can review your Collective Agreement here.
  • Collective Bargaining: A process where the Union and Employer make offers and counter offers regarding their employment relationship. The purpose is to create a mutually acceptable agreement and to execute a written contract.
  • Grievance: A complaint filed by an employee in connection with their job, pay or other aspects of their employment. A grievance may result from a violation of the Collective Agreement. Grievance Procedures as set out in the contract are followed, usually involving meetings between the employee (grievor) & management with union representation. A Shop Steward will meet with the grievor to discuss the problem and may attempt to reach a negotiated resolution prior to filing a grievance.
  • Rand: an unsigned member of a bargaining unit, accessing benefits of the Collective Agreement.
  • The Rand Formula ensures the payment of trade union dues is mandatory regardless of the worker’s union status. The Supreme Court of Canada introduced this formula in 1946 to ensure that no employee opts out of the union simply to avoid dues while reaping the benefits of collective bargaining, such as higher wages. Learn more about Justice Rand’s decision, and the creation of the Rand Formula.
  • Shop Steward: A Shop Steward, or Union Representative is a member of a bargaining unit elected by co-workers to act as a workplace liaison with the Union. A Shop Steward is trained to assist members at grievance meetings, attending to support the member. If you are interested in becoming a Steward, please contact your Chief Shop Steward or the YEU office for information.