The employer has just issued the communication to APS employees concerning this year’s salary review information. The document originated from People and Culture sent by email.
APS has been involved in a continuous, long-standing protest over some of the negative consequences contained in the applications of the CBC/Radio-Canada’s compensation policy. The publication of this latest communication provides the opportunity to summarize the situation for the benefit of our members.
The memo gives the impression that APS negotiated a 1.5% increase for APS employees: « The budget for APS-represented employees, as negotiated in the collective agreement, is 1.5%... » However, the language of the contract is different as the 1.5% stands as a minimum. : « The value of the annual salary review budget will be no less than 1.5%... » - (Appendix « G » paragraph 1 of the agreement).
The communique also gives an erroneous impression that the salary progression available to employees over and above normal increases is only controlled by Managers. It states that the Managers have the option to grant those increases: « Managers may recommend an increase from the growth budget, on a priority basis, for employees whose salaries are below the midpoint of their pay band, and who are performing well in their role. » Although this is true, the memo is silent on the automatic progression available to all employees. Again the collective agreement states a different obligation where the managers have no role to play: « Employees with sustained performance will progress to the midpoint of the Reference Zone…by the start of the 8th year ». - (Appendix « G » paragraph 3). This means that any employee in that situation will reach the midpoint salary on an automatic basis with no intervention intended by any manager.
The memo also gives a distorted impression of the review process in cases of disagreement with a performance evaluation. Employees protesting the evaluation given by their managers can indeed write their comments on the form, but the system erases the opposition from the employee when the box is finally checked by the employee or automatically without the employee’s will by July 5th. As a matter of fact, there is no obligation for an employee to check the box, « I agree with the Content and Rating ». Discontent employees, then need to reach their union representatives to file a grievance if required. This is not explained in the memo, and it should be. A negative mark in your record has many consequences on top of a lower salary increase. Mainly it will prevent you from reaching the midpoint mark at the beginning of the eight years of service as well as counting as a factor in cases of selecting employees who have to be cut in cases of job suppression. The whole aspect of disagreements with the results of a manager’s rating is erased from the memo by avoiding mentioning the recourse to the grievance procedure available to all the employees who are discontent about an unfair rating.
The memo about salary increases raises yet another problem. It prevents the employee from disagreeing with his or her increase by hiding the new salary bands before the meeting each employee needs to have his or her manager before June 21st. The memo mentions the new bands will only be unveiled by June 24. This is another twist the Corporation is taking to prevent employees from expressing their disagreement by hiding important information about their salary review.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF SALARY BAND INCREASES
The question of problems related to salary increases will be on the top of the APS agenda in the upcoming National Joint Committee meeting to be held on June 26, 2019, in Montreal; not only because of the flaws contained in this latest memo from the employer but also for the growing flow of discontent related to the application of increases to the salary bands. For the third year in a row, the employer is moving up the salary bands to catch up with the market. But in CBC/Radio-Canada’s case, those increases do not apply to the employees. Unlike other policies elsewhere in other organizations, an increase in salary bands is not intended to reach the employees. The bands go up because CBC has neglected to keep up with the job market, but the employees are left in the cold with the same salaries growing only by the size of their annual performance reviews. The only exception to that situation happens at the eight-year mark of an employee’s service record where the obligation to reach the midpoint level occurs. The accumulation of band increases leaves employees with the ridiculous hope of dropping under the midpoint in order to receive the same increases as their colleagues located under the midpoint of their bands.
Despite strong protests to provide a balanced approach to all employees, the CBC is still applying the same rule: no market adjustment available to their employees. The end result is that the grid increases contained in the salary matrix demotivate the employees. The larger amounts are only available to a minority. APS is having second thoughts about the whole system as a result. For sure the question will be on the table for the next round of negotiations. Will APS members wish to continue in the same direction, or will they opt for a system that provides the same amount of increase to all employees, including market adjustments?