Bill 17 – Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act

Update August 1, 2018

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Employment Standards in Alberta – Averaging Agreements Aug 29, 2018    1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Employment Standards in Alberta – Hours of Work and Pay Aug 30, 2018    10:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Employment Standards in Alberta – General Holidays, General Holiday Pay and Vacations Sep 11, 2018 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Overview of Alberta’s Employment Standards Code Sep 27, 2018   1:30 PM to 2:30 PM

Update July 19, 2018 Bill 17/Budget 2018/2o19 

Dear ALIGN Members:

Once again I am asking for information on your financial situation and how Bill 17 has impacted you. The Ministry of Children Services has been asking about the pressure points and where they may need to focus their allocation from the budget. In order to advocate on your behalf in the right direction I need help from you.

As you are all aware there was an allocation of money in the Children Services Budget for contracted agencies.  On budget day we were told the amount and the way it will be distributed would be announced later.

Now we have been asked by government for some information that will allow them to focus the allocation of money.    They are trying to determine the most impact for the dollars and wonder what is needed most at this time.  They are specifically interested in Bill 17 impacts.

I have been asked to survey you again.  I will do that with a reminder that “no information equals – no problem”.  So I really encourage you to answer the questions as silence also means things are all ok.  If you cannot answer or feel that you have negligible impacts please just send me a quick note saying that.

Questions:

  1. What sector do you provide most of your services in? Contract foster care; group care; EI; kinship care, family support, youth work
  2. Now that we are 6 months into this year can you tell us what impact the statutory holiday pay has had? What did you pay out in 2017 vs 2018?
  3. Can you tell the difference in your Overtime costs? 2017 vs. 2018?  What is it?
  4. Have you made different agreements with your staff to offset payout costs to staff for overtime? For example some agencies no longer allow taking time off, they  will only pay out overtime
  5. What other drivers are your financial pressures a result of?
  6. How are you managing the financial pressures? Have you closed services or deceased services?

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, if you have any questions, please send me an email

Please fill in the questions and send them back to me, Rhondab@alignab.ca I need to have them back by August. 1, 2018.

Sincerely

Rhonda Barraclough

Executive Director, ALIGN

Update June 12, 2018  Caregiver Employment Standards Exceptions

E.D. Rhonda Barraclough
In May, Bruce and I attended a meeting  with the Deputy Minister Jeff Parr of Minister of Labour, DM Darlene Bowsema of Children Services , DM Shannon Marchand of Community and Support Services, and some of their senior staff.  At that  meeting we were told that the Caregivers Regulation will apply in all cases of residential care/24 hour operation and crisis support – like CSD workers or contract foster care agencies with emergent situations.   Below is a link to a flow chart that will help make those decisions as to when it is appropriate or not to use this regulation for your staffing models.

AM I A CAREGIVER ? is now available on Alberta Labour Standards Website: Caregivers – Employment Standards Exceptions
There are special provisions to the rules outlined in the Employment Standards Code for home care and residential care employees.

This tool reflects the standards for caregivers that have been in place for several years. These rules were not amended by the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act and it is my hope that by sharing this tool we may be able to address any confusion going forward. To assist in clarifying their application for employers in your sector,  I encourage you to share with your association members and sector colleagues
Lenore Neudorf, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategy and Policy Labour, Government of Alberta June 11, 2018Update Regarding Bill 17 – E.D. Rhonda Barraclough June 7, 2018

 

Update June 6, 2018

Alberta Health and Safety News June 2018
The following new bulletins will help guide you through the new legislative requirements. Lots of new information and resources!

Update May 17, 2018

New ALIGN OHS related training and resources spring 2018

ALIGN Training 2018 – Roadmap to Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems for ALIGN Members

ALIGN & AASP: Roadmap to COR Power Point Presentation

ALIGN OHS Training Grant Memo Spring 2018pdf

Alberta Government

Alberta Government News Release: New rules mean safer workplaces May 28, 2018

New Resources Spring 2018

Alberta Labour in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has developed a free introductory course for Alberta residents to help committee co-chairs and representatives

Learn about changes to Alberta’s OHS Act through interactive webinars.

OHS Publications Online Store contains OHS bulletins, fact sheets, manuals and other health and safety documents for workers, employers and prime contractors.

Do you need a joint work site health and safety committee or representative on multiple work sites?

Alberta Government Health and Safety eNews Special Edition 2018
As you know, last fall the Government of Alberta made important changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. These changes provide Albertans with the same rights that Canadians across the province already had ,and were the first significant updates in decades. On June 1, those changes will come into force. If you have questions, go to Ask An Expert or call the Contact Centre toll-free at 1-866-415-8690.

Posted April 17, 2018

Letter from ALIGN bill 17-april 2018

Hi all,

We have not provided an update since March and feel it necessary to do so.  We were fairly optimistic that we had an agreement with the Ministry of Labour as to how to provide some flexibility for the 24/7 operations and the crisis driven intervention work.  Under Bill 17 if the agencies are to work as defined in the legislation it would decrease the ability for staff to flex their time and the agencies would have to put restrictions on work schedules due to the overtime costs, and that is not in the best interest of the families those agencies are contracted to serve. At this time our optimism is waning.

We have been waiting for a response from the Ministry of Labour (since March) and to date we have not received one.  The staff has been changed there as well so it is frustrating to figure out who is doing what.  Our partners in the Ministry of Children Services are just as frustrated.

We recognize that this delay is likely increasing your overtime costs or alternatively decreasing service.  We also remind you that there have been no variances or regulation changes made therefore by the letter of the law you should be complying with what it says.  If this is creating a hardship to your agency or your families, we encourage you to speak with your contract managers and us.  Send us a note as we are sending the example to the Ministry of CS and Labour so they are aware of the challenges.

Bruce and I are I meeting with the Deputy Minister to speak with her about this issue.

I terms of funding.  We are trying to figure out what the budget has to offer agencies and for what.  This will take some time.

In order to assess and advocate accurately we will be sending out a request for further information with respect to the impacts of Bill 17.  WE STRONGLY URGE YOU TO RESPOND. We will be asking – what is your cost of statutory pay this year over last year for the first quarter of the year?  What is your actual cost of overtime last year and this year for the first quarter?  Did you have any increases in your contract?  Did you discuss the added costs of Bill 17 with your contract manager?  If so, what was the outcome of that discussion?

It is really important that you send us the information we are asking for.  It is difficult to discuss these issues without real information and numbers, as we are constantly asked for them.

If you have any questions please email me Rhondab@alignab.ca or call 780 233.5459


Letter from ALIGN E.D. Regarding Bill 17 Update March 5, 2018

Hi all,

We met again with the Ministry of Labor folks and are on a slightly altered path.  For all the residential programs, they have agreed that everyone fits under the Caregivers regulation.  As many of you had pointed out this is what people were using prior to the legislation changes.  I have asked that the Ministry write that clearly within the employment standards fact sheets or in some other clear way.

For the outreach/crisis driven work the primary rationale for the changes would be to allow the sector to respond appropriately to emergency/crisis situations that fall outside of the predictable work day.  The following proposal is to amend the Employment Standards Regulation to:

  • define a category of employment in relation to the provision of “individual and family support services” as funded by the Ministries of Children Services and Community and Social Services in relation to fulfilling requirements of program –specific legislation (legislation to be identified e.g. Family Support for Children’s with Disabilities Act);
  • Establish a daily overtime threshold of 12 hours in a day;
  • Propose of 176 hours in a 4 week period before overtime entitlements are calculated;  and
  •  Provide an exemption from requirements of the Code around “notice of work times” including notification of schedule changes (section 17 of the Code)  to enable scheduling of work within parameters approved by the employer (this supports the ability for employers and employees to structure work schedules suited to the clients/families they are providing care to

Note that:

  • The employer will need to keep records of when staff do work
  • No special rules are proposed for general holidays.
  • No special rules are proposed for averaging agreements since the changes above will have the effect of allowing employers and employees to manage their hours of work within the month (in effect allowing averaging).

The proposal of a 176 hour threshold for determining overtime entitlements over a four week period better aligns with the 44 hour per week threshold in place for most employers in other industries

There are some expectations of who has to support this direction and we need to get those in writing.  Once that has been completed then there is a formal approval cycle that this request has to go through.

Again if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN Association E.D RhondaB@alignab.ca



ALIGN E.D. Correspondence to Members Regaridng Bill 17 Feb 26 2018

Executive Directors:

Bruce and I have been working away with the Ministry of Labor to address some of the urgent needs of the sector as a result of Bill 17.  Essentially there needs to be a variance or regulation change in order for the 24/7 operations and the crisis/ flexible family intervention driven services to be able to manage within legal work agreements.

We have come to a place now where we need to have a letter of support from the Association.  The Board of Directors have been briefed and are in support of a letter written on behalf of ALIGN to go forward to continue this work.  It essentially will support the following:

  • The variance or regulation will create a category of employees defined as those funded by the Ministries of Children’s Services or Community and Social Services to deliver individual and family support services in relation to the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act, and the Persons for Developmental Disabilities Act. ( this includes residential/group care; specialized services; family intervention and therapeutic crisis type workers);
  • Establish a daily overtime threshold of 12 hours per day and 184 hours in a four week (no weekly threshold) for this group and exempt those from the requirements of Section 17 of the ES Code (Notice of Work Times) The exemption from Section 17 will allow employees to schedule their own hours within the work month with employer approval. A work month means a calendar month or a period of time from a specific day in a month to the same day in the following month as established by the consistent practice of the employer. (This is inclusive of those job categories above.  It provides for flexible scheduling and for 24/7 day week operation.  Please note this replaces any other regulation you may have been working with prior like the caregivers regulation.  It is different but essentially makes similar hours of work possible)

Once support for these 2 areas is received from the Associations and the unions.  Then the Ministry of Labor will move forward to the Minister to ask for a variance or regulation for our sector.   Once that is agreed to there will need to be some work on employee engagement and agreement.  How that is to be done is still not determined.

If you have any questions or concerns about this please let us know as soon as possible.  The letter going forward will be written and sent by the end of this week.

Sincerely,

Rhonda Barraclough Executive Director  RhondaB@alignab.ca   780.233.5459 9 cell


February 12, 2018 Correspondence Letter From ALIGN E.D. re: Bill 17
ALIGN Letter to Premier Re Bill 17 February 12 2018

Dear members,

By now you are aware that we have been advocating in support of the impacts of Bill 17. I want to give just a quick update.
We have been working in 2 areas:

1. Financially- we have been advocating that there needs to be increases in contracts for, at the very least, the holiday/vacation pay increases that agencies have to incur as a result of the new legislation. We have shown both Ministries (CS & CSS) a sampling of the costs from those of you that sent them in. We have also shown the costs of overtime as they stood in December. Many of you have probably rearranged your staffing models and worked with your staff to manage the costs associated in this area. We have made it very clear that in those areas where overtime is not avoidable the costs are extremely high.

2. Variance or regulation changes to Bill 17 – In order to make changes we have to show that there is a business driver for change and then be able to make a case for that change along with some solutions about how to make it. The government made it clear that any variance/regulation would need to be sought out by the Association on behalf of the agencies or by agencies themselves. They preferred that we do it collectively. As a result ALIGN and ACDS are working together to achieve one or the other.

We have made a business case that we need a variance/regulation change that covers the crisis nature of the work and the 24/7 operations (group homes, crisis nursery, family support workers, specialized 1:1 workers as examples). We have made a suggestion that a regulation or variance similar to the section 9 caregiver regulation that health currently has would be helpful. In principle there is agreement. We are awaiting a draft.

We are also seeking a definition of scheduled work – as we have explained why having a schedule is not how many service delivery sites providing service to families/ individuals when and where they need it. You can then develop your work site agreements based on this.

The other area we still need direction on is the live-in 24-hour shifts. We are asking about them and if they can be accommodated in this regulation/variance.

Currently the Caregivers Regulation for overtime is hours over 12 in a day and 264 in a month. We are currently looking at overtime pay on hours over 12 in a day and between 184 and 200 (still to be determined) in a one month period, labor will not allow us to go to 264.  Most group homes currently work on a 12 week schedule. Knowing the maximum hours your residential/group care staff work in a month would be helpful. Concurrently we need to know know
which agencies have a Union and in their collective agreement what are the hours where overtime is paid.

What comes next is figuring out how we get general consensus from the staff. We need to have majority support. Which means that you as executive directors will need to talk to your staff once we have something for you to view and think about, then quickly talk with them, and somehow ( yet to be determined) we need to have assurance that staff are in agreement.

As we work with the Ministry of Labor and Ministries of Children Services and Community & Support Services, we have also written to the Minister of Finance and the Premier outlining the concerns with the legislation and the need for funding to cover these costs. View additional correspondence below.
This is ongoing work. I will update you as we make progress and when we need you to take some action.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me RhondaB@alignab.ca or call 780 233 5459.

Rhonda Barraclough


February 6, 2o18 Correspondence

Dear Premier Notley:

RE: Bill 17, Fair and Family-friendly Workplace Act and the human services sector

ALIGN Association of Community Services ( formerly AASCF) is a membership organization of agencies that contract to government through the Ministries of Children Services and Community and Support Services to provide services to vulnerable individuals, families and children involved within the human services sector. Bill 17 certainly is a renewed and revised standard for employers and for the most part truly is progressive.

We do want to draw to your attention that for agencies that provide contracted services (i.e. 24/7 services in residential care, 1:1 specialized services for high needs individuals; and for the family support workers who provide crisis work) this Legislation is prohibitive to their staff and we require variances to have staff available for those vulnerable Albertans. Hours of work averaging agreements are problematic as they require schedules that the employee must work and in the crisis driven nature of the work that is not feasible. We will be asking for variance in this to accommodate that time and to decrease the burden of overtime. We are currently working with the Ministry of Labour and the Ministries of Community Support Services and Children Services to see if we can get that variance. The reason this is important is because many people choose this line of work because it has been very flexible and fits with their family life, the restrictions in the legislation makes that more difficult for this helping profession as the agencies no longer can afford to accommodate staff in way they have before.

Unfortunately there was no consultation with the sector before the legislation was passed. As a result, it would be very helpful if there was a way to get an exemption to this part of the legislation now for 6 months while we work on the variances necessary so agencies are not outside of the law or having to pay huge amounts of funds in overtime to be compliant. As the legislation is written, the Ministries are not able to ask for the variances so it has been determined that the Associations (ALIGN and Alberta Council of Disabilities Services) must work towards these. This is not an easy task as we were not aware of these changes and challenges prior to January 1, 2018. We are only barely able to accommodate this work as there are many outstanding questions that the government needs to answer as we move forward. None of this is fast work and therefore the agencies are not in compliance. Read Full Letter to Premier Re Bill 17 February 2018

First Reference: Human Resources Advisor Special Report | Updated January 2018 Understanding Alberta’s updated employment and labour law By Yosie Saint-Cyr LL.B., Managing Editor, The Human Resources Advisor™

Alberta’s new Employment Standards Code came into effect Jan. 1, 2018. Products and services are available to help employers and employees learn the new rules:



Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN E.D. Communication With Rae-ann Lajeun January 16, 2018

ALIGN Impacts of Bill 17 Jan 2018 – revised-1 known and anticipated impacts for Child and Family Service agencies

.    As we discussed before most folks are in agreement that the Bill makes sense and is good for Albertans generally,  but there has been some unintended consequences for our sector.  There are some questions in this document that hopefully Labor can answer.  I have to say I keep hearing that people call one time and get and answer then call again for clarity and get a different answer so it has been extremely frustrating.  If they can provide answers to some of these questions it would be helpful.

To answer your earlier questions

  1. We have not heard issues with minimum wage – I have only heard from woods homes as its an issue for their driving program.  We will have compression issues down the road but hopefully by then contracts will have added compensation.  This is also not the case for disability services, they do have minimum wage concerns.
  2. The averaging agreements really don’t help with the overtime debt.  Because the agreements require a schedule and in Family Support there is no schedules or they cannot be open/broad enough and in a 24/7operation it will remain a need.  Therefore there  needs to be compensation in the contracts  some how, it is our hope that Children Services is figuring this into the budget and renewals of contracts:
  3. Compensation for holiday pay needs to be added to the contracts as there is no way to avoid those costs and the agencies don’t have it in their current contracts and that I will send examples separately.

Thanks for helping to make this a workable solution.  We look forward to our meeting on Thursday.


Bill 17 Update and Request for Member Input from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough  January 5, 2018
Happy New Year.  As you can see by the note below Bruce and I will be meeting with the Ministry of Children Services and Ministry of ‘Labor on January 18th. I have been asked to capture any and all details that are at issue to forward them in advance to the Ministry of Labor.  As you can see by Rae- Ann’s note I have already made some suggestions early.  Can you please respond to me by the end of next week,
January 12 if you have any points to make about the following.  Please note this is relating to Children Services not FSCD.  If you are an FSCD agency please send your information along as well and I will send it on to that ministry as I have been talking to them as well. Especially the minimum wage issues.
Thank you everyone for your patience.  We are trying to work diligently with the different Ministries to resolve some of the issues and possibly get some funding into the system to address the OT issues.  I need as clear information as possible and within this next week.  P{lease send your ocmments to my email at RhondaB@alignab.ca As mentioned before the break, we have arranged for a meeting on January 18th from 11:00-12:00, 12th floor boardroom at Sterling Place; a couple of the staff from Alberta Labour who were involved in the drafting of Bill 17 will be at the meeting and our hope is that they will be able to answer any of the outstanding questions.  This meeting will also be an opportunity to highlight other potential solutions that may address some of the concerns raised by your agencies.Before then, though, we are also trying to quantify the dollar impacts of recent government policy changes, and have 2 requests along those lines that I am hoping you might be able to provide us some clarifying info on, before the end of next week if possible (recognizing you are on holidays!):1)      I am wondering if you are able to confirm the total OT impacts with new averaging provisions for your agencies.   I know you provided us with an analysis several weeks ago, but this was before the new provisions were known and I wasn’t sure if the document you provided me was the total for all of your agencies, or a sampling of them. Although you indicated that the new provisions don’t address some of the concerns you have, it wasn’t clear if they indeed give your agencies any relief from the OT impacts.I am mindful that the full impact will not be known until there is a more in-depth conversation with Alberta Labour regarding the family support and outreach workers but we would appreciate any analysis you can do on this in the meantime.2)      We would also appreciate confirmation that the minimum wage expectations set out in Bill 17 will not create additional pressure for your agencies. I know you said this was not a significant concern, but if there are anticipated impacts that you feel you want to clarify, this will be helpful for us.Finally, in order for the staff from Alberta Labour to be prepared for this meeting, I will provide them with a recap of the impacts/suggestions previously identified by ALIGN – recap below.

  1. Currently for Health there is a coordinated homecare regulation that allows flexibility for staff who work in home and have to be available for their clients.  If this type of regulation could include Children Services so family support/ outreach workers could be considered like homecare workers then that would  alleviate the flexible schedule and what will become a decrease of services for families because under the Bill 17 rules, agencies will not be able to meet all family needs if they go over the allocated hours allowed to be worked.

One agency is doing the following: I’ve given my  CSD staff a daily window to work within and flex their time accordingly. For example they can work anywhere between 8 am and 8 pm (the schedule) but not exceed the labor standards of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and 144 hours over a 4 week period.  This still limits the family when they may truly need the staff but it’s what the agency can do.  The risk is the family doesn’t get what they need.  The actual hours are set between the staff and the families/individual, they are not on a fixed schedule as we can’t dictate when the families are available. We work with many families/individuals who cannot meet during regular business hours.

  1.  Under  Bill 17 there is a section 74 that allows for schedules and agreements.  Possibly ALIGN as an association could get a variance for group care/ 24 hour operations.  What is not clear is what if you are not a member of ALIGN, how does that actually work?
  2. The costs of the statutory holidays are also quite significant.  All wage employees, regardless if they work or normally would have worked on the Stat are eligible for a cash payment after each Stat holiday; the cash payment is 5% of their earnings in the four weeks prior to the Stat.   Many agencies have casual or part time employees who did not receive this before and this is significant for some agencies.

If there are additional items that should brought to the attention of Alberta Labour prior to the meeting, please drop me a line and we will forward the information


Compliance Bulletin – Employment Standards Code Changes in Alberta In Easy to Understand Language Posted January 8, 2018
Welcome to 2018 and Alberta’s revised Employment Standards! As you’re aware, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17) came into effect on January 1, 2018.  I thought you might appreciate a document that highlights the changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards in easy to understand language.   Feel free to share this with anyone that you think may benefit from the information
Kathy Anders CAIB, CRM | Account Executive Foster Park Brokers

CCVO Know the Code: Changes to Alberta’s Employment Standards Coming January 1 Dec 6, 2017
The updated Employment Standards Code comes into effect on January 1, 2018. As these changes are the first overhaul of the Code since 1988, updating organizational policies and practices have become an area of deliberate attention for nonprofit organizations that employ staff. Both nonprofit employers and employees will be significantly impacted by the changes. As an employer, you need to be aware of changes and update organizational policies and practices in accordance with the Code. The Employment Standards Code currently impacts the nonprofit sector more than the Labour Relations Code does and remains the focus of our work. Here are some of the most significant areas of change in the updated Code:…

Bill 17 Update from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough December 20, 2017
Dear ALIGN Members

Please review the information (see below) I received this morning (Dec 20, 2017) regarding Bill 17.Please send me any implication you see so that I can provide that information to the Ministry.

Rhonda Barraclough, ALIGN Association E.D.rhondab@alignab.ca

INFORMATION PERTAINING TO BILL 17 DECEMBER 20, 2017

As discussed, the Bill 17 draft regulations have been modified to include flexible work week provisions; hours of work can now be extended up to a maximum of two weeks.  Below is an example for your reference:

Example: Flexible Averaging Agreement – 10 hour daily overtime threshold, 2 week averaging period

In this example, the daily overtime threshold specified in the agreement is 10 hours per work day.

Scheduling Requirements:

ü  No more than 12 hours per day is scheduled and no more than an average of 44 hours per week is scheduled.

ü  All work days and the number of hours to be worked on each of those work days are identified in the schedule.

Overtime Requirements:|

ü  If the employee is asked or chooses to work longer daily hours, daily overtime could be payable where hours of work exceed 10 per work day.

ü  If the employee is asked or chooses to work more hours in the averaging period, averaging period overtime could be payable at the end of the averaging period for hours in excess of an average of 44 hours.

I hope this info is useful for you to share with the agencies in order for them to recalculate the OT impacts with new averaging provisions.  We would appreciate receiving this information as soon as realistically possible as we hope that the new flexibility will address some of the earlier concerns.

I also wanted to confirm that the minimum wage expectations set out in Bill 17 will not create additional pressure for your agencies. Earlier conversations indicated that this was not a pinch point but wanted to double check.

Thank you for your patience Rhonda and I look forward to receiving an update on the OT implications as well as confirmation of the minimum wage impacts.   I hope you get to enjoy some quality time over the holidays with your family and friends.

 

Updates on Bill 17 and request for ALIGN member agencies to submit banked OT hours and average salary November 2017.
Note: Related submission due by November 24, 2017Bill 17: Alberta’s Fair And Family Friendly Workplaces Act: the new labor code comes into effect January 1, 2018. There are many impacts on your agency and you need to be aware of those. The ALIGN Website has some information and the Ministry of Labor has more. One of largest effects for agencies and specifically anyone who works a 24 hour operation or flexible evening and on call hours will need to consider this:

• You will have to allow employees to take time off in lieu of receiving overtime pay at a rate of 1.5 hours for each hour of overtime worked, as opposed to the previous 1 hour for each hour of overtime.
• There are clear guidelines on how much someone can work in a specified period
• New types of unpaid leaves
• Changes to maternity leaves

There are many other changes your need to make sure you are aware for and are planning for.

Financially the biggest area will be the overtime. We are trying to advocate with the Ministries (CS & CSS) that banked time is a substantial cost and that the agencies cannot shoulder that cost. We have encouraged the Ministry to have a plan in place to compensate agencies for overtime and have explained how this is not just as simple as stopping overtime from happening especially in 24 hour operations and that due to contractual obligations they also can’t just increase the costs – therefore we believe there is a need for a compensation plan on the part of the Ministries.

To help paint a picture for the Deputy Minister of Children Services – Darlene Bouwsema, I need as many folks as possible to let us know their current bank overtime hours in a year and what the average salary for those employees is. I am making a graphic to show the Deputy Ministers. Darlene and Shannon Marchand the Deputy Ministry for Community and Support Services are meeting with the Ministry of Labor Deputy Ministry soon. We have also offered to arrange for them to meet with some of the CFO’s from the agencies and the Ministry to discuss impacts further. At this point we do not know if or when there may be answers. We would like to be able to send a further sample of the overtime impacts at this time because we can at least quantify that number.

ALIGN Members – Procurement Update November 20, 2017

Late last week there was an announcement that Campus Based Residential Care will be tendered shortly.  For those of you who provide that service please stay tuned as I am sure you will receive information soon.

I am told that there has been a procurement plan (5 year) placed before the Minister and at this point there is no permission to move forward with anything other than this one area.  I am aware that most of you have contracts that are set to expire on March 31, 2018.

The likelihood is that most of your contracts will be renewed at the same rates.  Some may be able to re-negotiate some terms but for the most part status quo may be the outcome.  I realize that this means no increases in any part of your operation for a long time.

Budget 2018 may not see any changes or increases.  We already have a hint of that with no increases to foster care rates.

As always we will continue to advocate for a plan and for hopeful injections to the wages if nothing else.  We need to have some clear information and in reality you need to be thinking about this already.  If you have NO increases to your contracts and you are aware of the Bill 17 impacts, what will you do in the new fiscal year- i.e.  Do you need to close beds, close programs, are you ok, decrease services and if so what?  It would be very helpful if you can let me know what you think you will need to do if there are no changes of any kind.

I would appreciate if you can let me know what you think will happen and if you have any other impacts starting to creep in, like increasing turnover rates, etc.   This information is very helpful as we strategize a plan to move forward.  If we can we will also make the information available to you so that you can go out and advocate on your or your sectors behalf as we suspect there will be a need for political action.  It is the politicians who are stopping things as treasury board.

Again we are trying to give concrete examples of the impacts of no procurement (negotiations or tenders) and Bill 17.  I need to have that picture from you to share at table with the Ministry officials and the politicians.

Thanks for sharing I look forward to your information and trying to see what we can do to move the financial pendulum.  If you could send me your story or information by November 30 I would appreciate it.

Rhonda Barraclough – ALIGN Executive Director RhondaB@alignab.ca


Correspondence from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough November 10, 2017 Re: Bill 17

By now you are fully aware that as of January 1, 2018 Bill 17 will come into effect.  The new Labor Standards will have an impact on all of you.

Thank you to those of you who were able to figure out your banked time .  We have been able to send that information  to the ministry as an example of the costs that you will incur.  The Deputy Ministers from Children Services and Community and Support Services are meeting with the Ministry of Labor soon.  We hope to hear from them about the issues soon.

I encourage you to make sure you are fully aware of the expectations of the new legislation and prepare for how it will affect your organization.  There are some strict rules about overtime and scheduling time that need to be adhered to and in some cases you will need to make new agreements with your staff, or  you may have to restrict staff flex time and you need to pay out overtime at a higher rate.

I encourage you to review the new legislation and ask questions to the Ministry of Labor.  If there is anything else we can do let me know.  I will keep you up dated as we hear more.

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