Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and Ministry of Indigenous Affairs MERC Minutes

In attendance: 


*Bierman (Co-Chair) Jeremy (Jake) Rouse Jessica O’Donnell Jeremy Verdiel

Kathleen Demareski, OPS Negotiator


For the Employer: Donna Walton (Co-Chair) Laura Aitchison

Carly Jones (Minutes) Brian Locke Stephanie Maragna

Administrative Items:

Approval of Agenda 

Agenda was approved.

Standing Items:

1.  Strategic Planning Process (SPP) Disclosure 

The Employer advised that there are no updates.

2.  Employee Engagement

Refer to Item 15.

3.  Inclusion/Accessibility/Diversity

The Employer advised that the Ministry is partnering with TBS to put “R” in READI.

4.  Fixed Term Position Conversion/Seasonal Employee Statistics

Reports were provided to OPSEU.

Business Arising:

5.  Classification/Compensation Discussions

  1. Class Standards

Action Item: Defer to next meeting.

b)     Fair compensation/classification for members including Resource Technicians and special cases that were submitted by Conservation Officers and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers

Action Item: Defer to next meeting.

6.  Future of Work in the OPS

The Parties agreed that the feasibility review as per Appendix 42 will start with the IRM position in the Regional Operational Division (ROD).

Action Item: The Parties to develop the scope of work by the next MERC meeting (September 2023).

7.  Discussion on Organization Charts and Maintenance of InfoGO

No updates are available at this time.

Action Item: Parties to provide updates as available.

8.  Seasonal employees rights and entitlements AFFES

The Parties have agreed to establish a MERC subcommittee to discuss the following, including but not limited to:

  1. Seasonal Employee Rights and Entitlements
  2. Retention of AFFES skillset
  3. Compressed Work Agreements 

Action Item: The Parties to decide on who will sit on the subcommittee.

9.  Intern positions classified under the Admin category vs the Tech category

OPSEU provided the Employer with examples of the Intern positions.

Action Item: The Employer to follow-up when information is available.

10.  Unified Pay Equity Project (PIQ)

The Parties agree that selected employees are permitted 3 hours of paid time to complete the Position Information Questionnaire (PIQ).

11.  MERC Terms of Reference

The Employer advised that a draft Terms of Reference will be sent to OPSEU by June 30, 2023.

Action Item: OPSEU to provide comments as applicable.

12.  Statement of Issue re Biologist positions in Regional Operations Division (ROD)

The A/Director, Southern Region attended MERC to provide responses to OPSEU’s questions.

OPSEU advised that they will be forwarding this matter to the Deputy Minister.

13.  Appendix UN 6c) – Schedule A

Action Item: The Employer to follow-up by next meeting.

New Business: 

14.  MNRF Critical Injury Protocol

The Employer advised that the protocol is located on the Ministry website. As per the MNRF Critical Injury Protocol, critical injuries involving OPSEU-represented employees will be shared with the MNRF MERC Co-Chair.

Action Item: The Union will advise of any issues as they arise. Item to be removed form the agenda.

15.  MNRF Bush Meal Business Practice

OPSEU advised that there have been questions about what a bush meal is.

Action Item: The Employer to advise OPSEU when clarifying information is available.

16.  ROD Survey Results 

OPSEU requested the Southern Region Innovation Team Survey results.

17.  Next Meeting Dates

The next meeting is scheduled for September 28, 2023.

Originally Approved on June 22, 2023

For the Union                                   Christopher Bierman                       Date

Originally Approved on June 22, 2023

For the Ministry                                Donna Walton                                  Date