Master Agreement Between the Government of the Province of Alberta and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
The Employer will make a reasonable effort to effect reduction in the work force through attrition and redeployment possibilities prior to and during the position abolishment process.
For purposes of this Article the following definitions shall apply:
“seniority” – the length of continuous employment with the Employer from the most recent date of hire.
“similar Employees" – two (2) or more permanent Employees performing the same or similar functions within a department, classification, and geographic location.
“geographic location” – includes:
any point within and up to 25 kilometres outside of the municipality in which the Employee’s office or primary place of work is located;
if the terms of the Employee’s employment require the Employee to work daily or near daily more than 25 kilometres outside of the municipality referred to in (i), any point within that assigned area; or
for any Employee who does not have an office or primary place of work, the geographic area in which the Employee is required by the terms of their employment to carry out their assigned duties.
In the event of anticipated position abolishment(s), the Employer will minimize the impact on Permanent Employees by cancelling contracts for employment agency personnel, cancelling individual contracts of employment and replacing ongoing Wage and Temporary Employees, performing the same or similar work in the same department, classification and geographic location.
When similar Employees are to have their position abolished, the Employing Department shall abolish the positions of such Employees in reverse order of seniority, providing those retained are capable and qualified to perform the work remaining to be done. To achieve the preceding, adjustments in the workforce may need to occur through redeployment. Redeployed Employees will be provided the typical on-the-job training required for the position.
(a) The Employing Department will notify the Union twenty-four (24) hours in advance of any formal position abolishment notice being provided to Employees. Included in this notice, the Employer will provide the Union with a seniority list. The seniority list will have details including names, most recent date of hire, department, classification and geographic location of all the similar Employees impacted or potentially impacted by the abolishment.
(b) The Employing Department shall give a Permanent Employee at least one hundred and twenty (120) days prior written notice that the Employee's position is to be abolished. The Employing Department will provide a copy of the written notice to the Union.
(c) During the twenty-eight (28) day period after providing the above notices, the Employer will consult with the Union. This consultation will include the anticipated scope, impact, timing and transitional arrangements related to position reductions, including redeployment options and the Employee's election for a Separation Payment for Restructuring (SPR) as outlined in Clause 15.05. Employees shall make their election for SPR within this twenty-eight (28) day period.
An Employee may accept a SPR in lieu of the provisions of Clauses 15.06 to 15.16. The SPR will not be available for Employees for whom the Employer has arranged ongoing employment within the general service or with any other Employer.
The SPR will be available for Permanent Employees with at least one (1) year of continuous employment with the Employer. Eligible Employees will be entitled to receive the SPR at their regular rate of pay according to the schedule below
SCHEDULE – SEPARATION PAYMENT
Full Years of
Separation Pay – Weeks of Pay
at Regular Rate of Pay
Where the Employee has made an election to accept SPR, the election shall not be altered without the agreement of the Employee and the Deputy Minister. Separation shall occur at a time selected by the Deputy Minister.
Employees accepting the SPR are required to sign a SPR Termination Agreement using the form in Letter of Understanding #2.
If concerns arise with respect to the SPR, they shall be addressed by representatives of the Parties and not by way of the grievance procedure.
A permanent Employee who has more than one (1) year of continuous employment immediately preceding the notice of position abolishment, and who has not resigned in writing or retired, pursuant to Clause 15.06, shall be entitled to the rights set out in the following clauses.
An Employee whose position is declared abolished and for whom the Employer has not arranged continuing other employment in the Alberta Public Service or with any successor employer, or with any employer under the Public Service Employee Relations Act or with any other Crown agency (including Boards, Corporations, Agencies and Commissions), during the one hundred and twenty (120) day notice period shall be eligible for placement as follows:
during the first two (2) weeks of the written notice period, the department shall fill all available comparable positions in the same general functional area in order of seniority exclusively of those Employees whose position have been declared abolished, provided that the Employee(s) who received notice of abolishment are capable and qualified of performing the required work. The Employer shall undertake to notify those Employees of all such available positions;
where no alternative position is available to the Employee of each abolished position under (a), the Employer shall fill all available comparable positions in the same general functional area throughout the Public Service in order of seniority exclusively of such Employees, provided that the Employee(s) who received notice of abolishment are capable and qualified of performing the required work;
where notice of abolishment(s) has been issued, no new Employees will be hired to vacant positions until Employees who have received abolishment notice have been considered to determine if they are capable and qualified of performing the work of the vacant position(s);
When available comparable positions are filled, pursuant to Clause 15.08(a) or (b), the Deputy Head of the Department in which the available position is located, shall fill the position from amongst those Employees, provided that at least one of the Employees has the ability to perform the duties and to assume the responsibilities of the available position(s) or has the potential for job training that will enable the Employee to perform the duties and to assume the responsibilities of the available position within a reasonable time period. Employees shall be eligible for available positions in order of their seniority.
Where no alternative position is found for one (1) or more Employee(s) under Clause 15.08 and the written notice period has expired for such Employee(s), said Employee(s) may be released from the Public Service.
Employee(s) released from the Public Service shall be vested with the right to be recalled in order of their seniority to be appointed to the first available comparable position at the same or lower classification within the same geographical location for which they are capable and qualified to perform the work. Such vesting will last one (1) year, commencing with the day following the release of the Employee(s). The Employer shall undertake to notify those Employees of all such available positions. During the first one hundred and eighty (180) days of the vesting period an Employee shall be eligible to continue to be covered in the Government Employees' Prescription Drug Plan, the Government Group Dental Plan, the Government Employees' Group Extended Medical Benefits Plan and the Government Group Life Insurance Plan. The Employer and Employee premium contributions for these benefits, if applicable, shall continue during the one hundred and eighty (180) days.
If a permanent Employee is released from the Public Service pursuant to Clause 15.09, and there is a Wage Employee employed in the same geographic location, performing the same or similar functions within the same classification, the released Employee may be offered such wage employment, provided the released Employee is capable and qualified to perform the available work. If the released Employee accepts such wage employment, the Employee becomes a Wage Employee and the displaced Wage Employee will be immediately released from the Public Service. An Employee who accepts wage employment pursuant to this Clause shall have the vested rights set out in Clause 15.09 continue to apply for the full one (1) year period.
Under the application of this Article, an Employee placed into a position which has a maximum salary rate less than the salary rate the Employee was receiving upon the date of position abolishment shall have the Employee’s salary rate maintained over-range, exclusive of any salary modifier, until such time as the negotiated maximum salary rate for the new position equals or surpasses the Employee’s existing salary rate.
An Employee who accepts a position with a lower maximum salary pursuant to Clause 15.11, shall have the vested rights set out in Clause 15.09 continue to apply for the one (1) year period.
An Employee who refuses without good and satisfactory reason to accept an alternative permanent position in the same general functional area, with the same or a higher maximum salary as the position the Employee was in upon position abolishment, shall forfeit all vested rights pursuant to Clause 15.09.
All reasonable associated expenses involving relocation, job training pursuant to Clause 15.08(d), or appointments pursuant to Clause 15.08, shall be paid by the Employing Department in accordance with the Travel, Meal and Hospitality Directive and the Public Service Relocation and Employment Expenses Regulation.
During the period of notice of position abolishment pursuant to Clause 15.04, the Employer will allow the affected Employee a reasonable amount of time off with pay to be interviewed by prospective employers outside the Public Service.
At the end of the vesting period, an Employee who was released from the Public Service pursuant to this Article and who is no longer employed in the Public Service in any capacity may be eligible for severance pay in the amount of one and one-half (1 1/2) weeks' pay for each full year of continuous employment to a maximum of twenty-five (25) weeks' pay. Employees who at the end of the vesting period are still employed in the Public Service in some capacity other than a permanent position, shall be eligible for the severance provisions set out in this Clause when such non-permanent employment terminates. Severance pay will not be paid to an Employee who was dismissed, resigned, retired, or who refused an alternate position at no loss in salary.
Notwithstanding other provisions of this Article, an Employee who is released from the Public Service may choose to waive the Employee's vested right under Clause 15.08 and elect to receive severance pay at the time the Employee is released that the Employee would have been eligible to receive under Clause 15.15.