Information for Members on the Performance Management Initiative: A Local Perspective

The Union of Environment Workers Local 70713 recently put together some information for their members around the new Performance Management Program. This information is geared for TB members, but applies equally to all federal government workers - we are republishing it as a resource for members in BC.

Performance Management Program – What is it?

The Performance Management initiative has been advertised as a tool for managers to use in order to establish realistic expectations for employees – expectations that are to be defined, measurable and achievable.

Employee’s Role in Performance Management:

Signing your performance evaluation

An important point that is often misunderstood is this:  signing the performance evaluation does not mean that the employee agrees with the evaluation – it means that they have read the agreement.

Performance management is a shared responsibility

It is important to understand that performance management is a shared responsibility between the manager/supervisor and the employee.  Both parties have their respective roles to play and guidelines to follow.  Your union Local is here to provide information and guidance to members as they navigate their way through this new program.

It is important to note that Union/Management relationships need not be adversarial unless one side or the other wishes the relationship to be and that is not the circumstance in our Local.

Leave Management 

Sporadic and chronic absenteeism is a symptom (generally speaking) of a problem that is either rooted in personal trauma or a medical condition.  Both situations are manageable in the early stages.

Life happens and almost everyone goes through a difficult personal situation at least once.  Stress and anxiety that is severe or prolonged can have a very serious effect on performance, attendance and evaluations if no one is aware of the burden that’s being carried around.

  • Talk to your union representative and/or manager/supervisor: The union representative should be aware of the consequences of the symptoms and should engage the member in an open and honest dialogue that does not need to include details.  Once the problem is identified, a referral to EAP is a good first step and so is an honest conversation with the manager/supervisor so that a temporary accommodation can be made.  The accommodation [S1] could be flexible hours of work, reduced workload or a change in responsibilities or even a temporary absence from the workplace in order for the member to regroup and refresh.  All of that is possible but early stages are better so that you don’t add financial stress to the existing burden.

  • Address the problem early on: Sporadic absences until sick leave banks are diminished are not the answer to a need for an ongoing medical accommodation.  There is almost no medical need that cannot be accommodated in the workplace but, again, the union representative needs to be aware of the situation as early as possible in order to facilitate a healthier work atmosphere.

If you feel that a personal situation may be affecting your work performance, it is critical to address it early – involve your doctor, union representative and manager/supervisor before an evaluation has occurred. In this way your union representative can more easily assist in arranging accommodation for your situation, rather than attempting to defend your credibility after the fact.

Duty to Accommodate

The Employer has a duty to accommodate both the temporary and long-term needs of their employees.  In all circumstances, your medical doctor should be involved at the outset and treatment be part of the go-forward plan.

Bottom Line – Advice to Members:

  • Read the Employee’s kit on performance management.

  • Engage your union if you have questions or believe that you may experience issues with this program – be open and honest.

  • Don’t run away from a problem – it solves nothing and you may end up in a serious career dilemma on top of financial hardship within a year

…and finally

  • You are not alone. Talk to your Local Executive or contact your PSAC Regional Office for advice and support.