Performance Management
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1 - What is a Performance Agreement?
It is a form that was prepared by Treasury Board following the implementation of its Directive on Performance Management.   This form, as reported in our communique of March 25, 2014 was customized to ensure that the performance management principles contained in our collective agreement are respected.
2 - Must an LP sign the Performance Agreement form?
Although this form is referred to as a performance agreement, you will note in various sections of the form that your signature constitutes an acknowledgement only and not an agreement with the content.  The AJC recommends that LPs provide acknowledgements with or without comments, as LPs consider appropriate.
3 - Can performance objectives be imposed unilaterally by management?
Yes provided management rights are exercised reasonably and in compliance with the collective agreement.  Performance objectives are not collectively bargained and management has general discretion in the managing of its staff┤s performance.  It is understood that management is held to certain policies and ethical standards including those in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service.  
4 - What if I disagree with the performance objectives?
All employees are entitled to engage their direct supervisors and/or managers in a discussion on the appropriateness and reasonableness of the performance objectives.  Consideration should be given to the reasonableness of the objectives and whether they are reasonably attainable having regard to current circumstances, i.e. staffing and workload challenges, management support, changes in priority, accommodation requirements, collective agreement entitlements, and the like.

All employees are free to make note of their objections in the performance agreement, where appropriate or in an email.
5 - What happens if my informal attempt to have my performance objectives modified fail?
There may be a range of options that you might want to consider.  Advice may be sought from the AJC in order for you to better scope out your options.  This course of action may range from requesting that the AJC intervene on your behalf at a more senior management level to considering formal channels to challenge the objectives.  

Where you are unable to receive satisfaction with your supervisor regarding the reasonableness of a performance objective, a member of our labour relations staff can provide you with an impartial assessment on whether the performance objective that you object to constitutes an unreasonable objective or a violation of the collective agreement, having regard to the circumstances.

Please be reminded that management has a significant level of discretion and that performance objectives are not directly covered within the scope of the AJC/TB collective agreement.  There may therefore be limits in terms of the AJC's role in such circumstances.  

For more information on this regarding your specific circumstances, we encourage you to contact us at admin@ajc-ajj.com and include a completed copy of our Incident Form.

6 - Where can I get more information about performance objectives?
In addition to the Directive outlined above, Treasury Board has various links relating to its Performance Management Program in addition to an Employee's Kit.  
7 - What support from management am I entitled to in order to help me achieve my performance objectives?
What to expect from your manager or supervisor is clearly outlined in the Employee's Kit.  In addition, you may refer to the Manager's and Supervisor's Guide.

If for whatever reason, you feel unsupported and are being required to do work outside the scope of your job description due to reasons beyond your control that could have an impact on your ability to meet the performance objectives that were set for you, we encourage you to have a frank discussion with your supervisor and to document any and all instances that have essentially impaired your ability to meet certain objectives.  

This will be relevant and useful to you in the event you are called upon to defend a failure to meet your objectives particularly where any discussions related to a request to reconsider your objectives have failed.  

Examples of situations that could result in your inability to fulfill your obligations may relate to a shortage of support staff and resulting failure to provide you with the administrative support you require to meet your objectives.  In such situations, you may have had to assume administrative tasks that are not normally expected of LPs. Other examples might include the failure to meet minimum certain productivity levels for reasons that fall beyond your control, such as work distribution, client demand, lack of administrative support, competing professional obligations, and  the exercise of legitimate leave entitlements.  
8 - How do I address the situation where my objectives are unlikely going to be met due to reasons beyond my control?
The AJC also encourages you to have a timely and frank discussion with your supervisor (to be documented) regarding any and all instances that have essentially impaired or are likely to impair your ability to meet certain objectives so that you may formally request a revision to your performance objectives in accordance with the principles set out in the Manager's and Supervisor's Guide.    
9 - What happens if I disagree with my performance assessment?
Article 23 of the AJC Collective Agreement allows you to present counter-arguments (in writing) to the applicable manager and/or committee responsible for the assessment.   In so doing, you may request that the comments you consider baseless be stricken from the assessment.  Alternatively, you may request that your counter-arguments be placed into your personnel file so that these are read in conjunction with the employer┤s assessment.  

Where you have facts to support that the assessment lacks foundation and is based on malicious intent, you may complete an Incident Form and forward it to admin@ajc-ajj.com in order to request the AJC's support in the filing of an individual grievance.  The grievance support request process is set out in greater detail in our Policy Governing Union Representation Services.

Anyone with questions regarding any of the above can contact the AJC offices.

* 10 - DOJ recently introduced a 1400 minimum hours of legal services target. What is the AJC's position on this?
The issue of minimum targets and their use to evaluate the performance of AJC members has been the cause of much concern. A policy grievance and unfair labour practice complaint were filed on April 17 2015 and June 12 2014, respectively.  The main concerns leading to the filing of these complaints related to the fact that there had been a lack of understanding regarding the practical implications of this change, and in particular a lack of appreciation regarding the impact this new “target” would have on our members' performance evaluations.   For months, our members have been left guessing how this change to their performance agreement would impact them.  

As the PSLREB dates approached, the parties agreed to participate in mediation.  The mediation meetings occurred a couple of months after the 2015-2016 evaluation cycle ended and after the conduct of a survey by AJC on the actual and perceived impact of the new minimum-hours target.  To our pleasant surprise, as reported by DOJ and corroborated by the AJC's survey results, no member received a negative “does not meet” rating on the sole basis of not having met the minimum hours of legal services.  

The enclosed joint messaging captures the essence of our agreement and provides all members with the assurances that billable targets are only one of the many factors taken into account in the evaluation process and that failure to meet such targets will not be the sole reason that employees will receive a “does not meet” evaluation.

Please note that the AJC and DOJ have agreed to meet next year to review the second year of implementation of the minimum targets.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the AJC at admin@ajc-ajj.com .
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