From the PIPSC website
Treasury Board has implemented a new Performance Management Directive. By April 1, 2014, each employee in the core public administration will have a new Performance Agreement with three to six work objectives drafted for the upcoming year. The Directive has come with much hyperbole and negative insinuations about civil servants’ performance. Unions were NOT consulted on this Directive.
Performance management is not new. Consistent, fair and helpful evaluations, which are consistent across the core public service, are not problematic. However, Treasury Board’s Directive, as is, does not meet these objectives. Some of the problems include,
- The rating scales are confusing and unclear,
- Work objectives as well as employee “behaviours” are evaluated, meaning that misconduct can be dealt with by performance absent normal protections,
- Performance Agreements may be accessed by a broad range of individuals, outside employees’ immediate chain of command,
- The Directive contemplates the withholding of a pay increment as an appropriate response to poor performance. This contravenes collective agreements,
- Performance Improvement Plans are mandatory for low performing employees regardless of the reason for poor performance (e.g. personal problems now remedied),
- Managers are required to take only an insufficient amount of training on performance management before they are permitted to set objectives for and evaluate employees, and
- Lack of accountability in the structure for poor managers and the impact of poor management.
The time line for implementing the Directive is tight. Managers are to be trained by March 31, 2014 via on-line certification (a maximum 1.5 hours course). Review Panels were to be established in September 2013. The first performance management discussions with employees under the new Directive will take place between January and March 2014. The first performance management agreements are to be in place by April 2014.
In order to prepare for the April 1, 2014 roll-out, Treasury Board has been moving quickly to create supporting tools, guides, templates, etc. A number of these have been posted on Treasury Board’s Performance Management website. The Performance Agreement Template has also been posted on this website. Objectives will be employee specific, but core competencies (behaviours) are deemed universal. Allthough these documents are still subject to review, the main substance within is unlikely to change.
In addition to the mandatory online training course, Treasury Board has developed a full day (six module) voluntary training for managers and supervisors and is in the process of developing a half day voluntary course for employees. Each department will decide for itself whether, how and when to offer the courses.