Audio clips from WFA Telephone Town Hall

The PSAC Prairie Region hosted a special Work Force Adjustment Telephone Town Hall held for all Prairies members on April 19, 2012.

Of the more than 6,500 people who answered the call live (not including answering machines, no answer, or no connection), 88 per cent (or over 5,700) participated in a portion or all of the 1 hour and 13 minute call.

A total of 149 questions were asked, 18 of which we were able to answer live on the call. We also received 70 advance questions and 60 follow-up questions from members, submitted through our online form. We are currently in the process of sorting and answering these questions, and will post responses as they are prepared.

The audio from the event is posted below in four parts so that any members who weren’t able to connect to the call can still benefit from the discussion.

In this clip:

  • Jeffrey Vallis, Regional Political Communications Officer, introduces the call.
  • Robyn Benson, Regional Executive Vice-President, gives an overview of what’s happening with federal government cuts. (01:07)
  • Member poll: “We want to get a sense of who’s on the call tonight and how many of you have been affected by the cuts to public services, so far.” Results: received an affected letter (12%); received a surplus letter (2%); haven’t yet received a letter, but are anticipating one in the coming weeks (6%); haven’t received a letter (80%) (02:34)
  • Howie West, Work Reorganization Officer, gives a brief overview about the WFA process before taking questions. (03:05)

In this clip:

  • Alison Pilon, Work Force Adjustment Officer, gives an overview of what WFA tools and resources are available to members on the PSAC website.

Howie and Alison field questions from Prairies members, including:

  • “Is there an age limit for people who would be willing to be an alternate?” (03:23)
  • “We’ve (Parks) been given the option for voluntary layoffs. If I’m 55-59 and decide to stay on to see if i’m affected, will the pension waiver for early departure still be in effect should I lose my job down the road?” (04:22)
  • “Have you got any numbers for Canada Revenue Agency as to the amount of people that are affected at this time? (06.25)
  • “I’m not an affected employee, but I have a position available and wish to alternate. The transition support measures, are they based on the opting employee, or are they based on the years of the alternative employee? (07:19)
  • “Is there some kind of a deadline that Treasury Board has legislated that our department has to have the first stage roll out?” (08:06)
  • “I’m a term employee with Parks Canada and when my term is up, as I understand if they delete a similar position in a different park, that person has the option to apply where I work.” (09.46)
  • “Does a reasonable job offer mean within the geographical area that I’m living in, or can it be outside of the geographic area?” (11:23)

In this clip:

Howie and Alison field questions from Prairies members, including:

  • “What is the ‘extra bonus’ and how can we try to get our members everything we can when they’re affected for their own future for?”
  • “I belong to Shared Services and April 1, 95% of our accounts moved to the centralized office, leaving us with very little to do. Nobody in our department will lose their job and there will be no work force adjustment. But we’re sitting with nothing to do, so would WFA not be in place?” (02:50)
  • “If I’m declared a surplus employee, I’ll have my 35 years of service, but I’m still just 53. So does the pension waiver apply to me? I have my years of service, but not the age.” (05:30)
  • “Other than the school having to be a registered school, what are the restrictions to what courses I can take with the education allowance option?” (08:36)
  • “CRA has difference classifications than the rest of the public service. How does that work for someone who would be affected by WFA, and CRA had jobs for them?” (10:58)

In this clip:

Howie and Alison field questions from Prairies members, including:

  • “If any of us were interested in becoming an alternate and perhaps switching with an opting employee, how would we be made aware of how to make those types of matches?”
  • “I’m an affected employee. Can I go on care and nurturing leave and only receive my surplus letter when I come back from care and nurturing?” (06:38)
  • “As this whole WFA process continues to evolve, are you going to continue to offer the membership with these kinds of opportunities to hear what’s going on?” (07:54)
  • Robyn Benson, Regional Executive Vice-President, wraps up the call and gives her final thoughts on the telephone town hall and the next steps moving forward. (09:23)