ARCHIVE - HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - RESPONDING TO CHANGE AND NEED
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In this section, we endorse CSC's Strategic Plan for Human Resource Management. We highlight a set of recommendations that respond to discussions that took place with frontline staff and for the basis of initiatives that should be undertaken by CSC to further the strategic priorities outlined in the Plan. The following chart provides a summary of the recommendations made by the Panel.
The Panel reviewed CSC's Strategic Plan for Human Resource Management 2007–10 and the results of the Public Service Employee Survey (2005). The Panel recognizes the main priorities of the strategy—strengthening human resource management practices, tools and capacity; enhancing an effective representative work force; learning training and development to meet future business needs, improving workplace health, and promoting effective and responsive labour relations. The Panel asks that CSC align these priorities and their initiatives with the Panel's observations and recommendations.
The Strategic Plan for Human Resource Management identifies CSC's commitment to strengthening management practices to ensure that there is a robust and effective organization able to deliver on its key operational priorities and other activities in a costeffective manner, and that this is done in a way that is consistent with public service values that are essential to a healthy workplace and to the confidence and trust of Canadians. The Panel endorses the strategic plan.
Discussions with frontline staff across the country identified particular concerns that the Panel believes CSC should recognize.
As expressed by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) union:
For years now we have heard that a cultural change is needed at CSC. That better relationship and respect needs to be developed between the different groups who operate in the penitentiaries. Although we hear the words, in fact, very little has been done and our members unfortunately continue to find themselves in very uncomfortable situations and fear complaining or raising concerns for fear of reprisals, which in an penitentiary environment can have serious consequences.54
And the Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE):
Work conditions at both the institutional and community levels are continually evolving. CSC has acknowledged the need for ongoing employee training. Yet, when it comes time to replace words with action, promises and commitments repeatedly disappear. There is a pervasive viewpoint among USGE members that training opportunities are overwhelmingly weighted towards the managerial cadre…55
These echoed concerns expressed in the Public Service Employee Survey (2005). In particular, the Panel notes that staff continue to feel that the quality of their work suffers because of four specific concerns: (i) priorities are constantly changing; (ii) organization structures are constantly changing; (iii) decision-making/approval process are cumbersome; and (iv) staff are being asked to do significantly more with fewer resources. Furthermore, staff continued to express concerns about the inability to take the initiative in their jobs, dissatisfaction with their career progress, and inadequate training to do their jobs.
The Panel notes with some alarm the significant reality facing CSC: more than 40% of its staff could leave within the next three years, with a significant percentage coming from the senior management ranks.
As we travelled across the country, the Panel noted instances where it was apparent that policies were not being fully implemented. Particular examples include security procedures at the principal entrances to penitentiaries, searching, cell effects. The Panel therefore strongly suggests that CSC ensures full compliance with its policies. There is a requirement for CSC to maintain high level of quality assurance to ensure what it is mandated to do in policy is actually being done. This will require the strengthening of its internal monitoring procedures.
The Panel suggests that CSC review its strategic priorities and the continuing concerns of frontline staff to describe how the following seven priorities will be examined in the context of the Panel's recommendations:
- a staff recruitment and retention, and training and development plan that responds to industry standards;
- a succession plan that maintains knowledgeable, trained frontline, middle and senior management levels;
- a governance structure that supports more integrated functional support structures nationally, and strengthened decision-making at the frontline;
- a collaborative approach to working with the unions to resolve frontline issues and concerns, consistent with the Public Service Renewal and the Public Service Labour Relations Act;
- a knowledge-based organization that focuses on maintaining core competencies and developing enhanced capabilities to manage a changing offender population and the complex operational requirements associated with federal corrections;
- a team-oriented organization that effectively brings interdisciplinary staff together in the effective and safe management of offenders in their transition from life inside the walls to life outside the walls as law-abiding citizens; and
- appropriate levels of funding to ensure its human resource function can provide timely and effective service to the organization, particularly at the penitentiary and community levels.
- CSC must focus on being a knowledge-based organization through the development and training of all staff to meet the unique skill requirements of their jobs and the management requirements associated with the risk and needs of a changing offender population. This should occur in the context of Public Service Renewal and in accordance with industry standards.
- The Panel recommends that particular emphasis, be placed on horizontal career development, by allowing, through flexible classification and staffing processes (in accordance with the Public Service Modernization Act), the deployment of professional staff between and among penitentiaries, the community and regional and national offices. The goal should be to provide strong, effective and consistent leadership that focuses on resolving issues at the lowest level of management.
- The Panel recommends that CSC review its current strategies for recruitment and retention of all staff, while focusing on ensuring
- appropriate cultural representation, particularly representation of Aboriginal People, including Elders, Aboriginal Liaison Officers in penitentiaries and the community, and staff in women's penitentiaries, in the context of the recommendations of Glube;
- professionals to support mental health delivery programs and treatment in CSC penitentiaries, regional mental health facilities (including dedicated correctional officers) and the community;
- the creation of an integrated security intelligence function; and
- program and case management staff that can effectively respond to operational requirements posed by the introduction of 'earned parole'; staff to respond to the development of an enhanced and integrated employability/ employment model.
- The Panel recommends that CSC review the operational requirements associated with the management of proposed structured populations and consider approaches to build inter-disciplinary teams—correctional officers, parole officers, mental health professionals, program and employment specialists, interfaith staff—to maximize the participation of offenders in their correctional plans and prepare them for gradual transition to an offence-free reintegration in the community.
- The Panel recommends that CSC have the appropriate level of funding to ensure its human resource function can provide timely and effective services to the organization, particularly at the penitentiary levels.
- The Panel supports the collaborative approach and the requirement for adequate resources to support initiatives that are being taken by CSC management and the Unions to resolve frontline issues, consistent with the Public Service Modernization Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
- The Panel recommends that CSC consider a governance structure that 'flattens' the management structure in order to create more integrated functional support structures, nationally, strengthen decision-making at the frontline, and respond to the full set of recommendations proposed by the Panel.
- The Panel recommends that CSC ensures a quality assurance process is in place to monitor compliance with CSC policies.
54 "Presentation to CSC Review Panel, Safer Communities," PIPSC, August 8, 2007, page 2.
55 "USGE Submission to the CSC Review Panel," USGE, June 4, 2007, page 8.
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