1. Some have said that the purpose of Quebec’s Bill 100, which helps implement the 2010 provincial budget, is to cut spending at the management and executive levels. What levels of personnel are affected by this Bill’s guidelines?
Bill 100 includes a range of measures aimed at returning to a balanced budget for Quebec in 2013-2014 and reducing the province’s debt. One of the measures curbs government spending by asking universities and other public institutions to make an effort to downsize their management and administrative personnel, mainly through attrition.
2. Who is affected by this initiative?
Administrative and support staff in M category positions and positions in the MUNACA bargaining unit.
3. It has been said Bill 100 does not require cuts to support staff, only to management and executive staff. Is this true?
Bill 100 specifies that cuts must be made to management and administrative staff via attrition and that the reduction must continue until the end of fiscal year 2014. Bill 100 guidelines further specify that cuts must be made to management and administrative staff and list specifically:
- Managers (cadres), supervisors (gérants), coordinators, professionals and office staff (secretaries, agents, technicians, etc.)
Front line student services positions are not targeted by the guidelines.
4. The University has said that in the past five years, administrative and supportstaff at McGill has increased but there have been statements to the contrary. What are the facts?
Over the past 5 years, overall administrative and support staff at McGill have grown by 10.7%.
5. Could I be moved to another job as part of an internal reorganization even if I am happy where I am?
Yes, this is a possibility; all reorganizations will be carried out in accordance with existing collective agreements and policies.
6. Am I at risk of being terminated through the WFP initiative?
The focus of this initiative is about reducing staff head count by replacing one out of two people through attrition, which means those who leave the University based on retirement or because they leave voluntarily.
7. How can I focus on career aspirations with fewer people remaining to do the work of those who have left?
Workforce Planning is also about planning for future needs. This can be viewed as an opportunity to acquire new skills and to review career aspirations and opportunities with your supervisor. It’s important for you to discuss where you see yourself in a few years based on your experience, your skillsets and competencies and departmental needs and priorities. Organizational Development can support, through coaching and training, staff who are willing to invest time and energy in developing their skills and knowledge to better support their career aspirations.
8. People are already working hard. Is there a perception that we are overstaffed?
No, this is really an issue of making the most of limited resources. The point is to take this opportunity to examine more closely the work being done, to streamline processes and even eliminate tasks that don’t add any value. Nobody wants to be in a position of doing redundant work if there is little or no contribution to the unit’s and ultimately the University’s goals and objectives.
9. How many people will lose their jobs at McGill because of this Workforce Planning initiative?
We expect to close approximately 100 vacated positions per year over the next two years through this program. This will be done through attrition, meaning those who leave due to retirement or because they have left the University on a voluntary basis.
10. As a manager, can I redeploy people within the department without triggering a 50% budget pull-back?
Yes you can. This measure applies only to staff leaving the University.
11. If an employee accepts another position within the University, will the unit still lose 50% of the salary budget?
No, this program only applies to departures from the University.
12. How will I know when the budget has been deducted from our unit?
Once the Office of the Budget is notified by HR of an employee’s departure from the University, a permanent budget equal to 50% of the departing employee’s annual salary will be recaptured and an email notification will be sent to the Finance Officer of the faculty or major unit.
13. If I am encouraging a retirement through a one-time payout, will I still lose 50% of the permanent salary budget?
Yes, a permanent budget equal to 50% of the departing employee’s annual salary will be pulled back by the Office of the Budget; however, a temporary allocation equal to 50% of the retirement settlement will be provided to the unit to cover that share of the payout.
In very rare instances, where either reorganization or budget cuts in other areas are not possible, a business case template can be filled out and sent to Jeff Ives, Director, Office of the Budget. The OB will gather some supporting data of the unit making the request and forward the business case either to the Provost or the Vice-Principal, Administration and Finance for a ruling. You will be notified of the decision after the process is complete. To access the business case template, click here.
15. Are positions providing direct services to students exempt from the program? We are aware of the importance of positions which have a high level of direct student contact and are focused primarily on supporting students in matters related to their studies at the University and their overall academic success. We are committed to ensuring that the level and quality of service to students do not decline as we go through this process. However, all units have an obligation to look for opportunities to improve efficiency and effectiveness and student services functions are no exception. As such, under WFP all units are required to review their structure and operations when a staff departure occurs. Should an area wish to request an exemption, the process is outlined in FAQ # 14
16. Will my unit have salary budget pulled back if a casual employee leaves the University?
No, this program will not impact casual employee departures.
17. If a services and trades person leaves the University, will budget be recaptured?
No, this program only applies to positions in the M category and positions in the MUNACA bargaining unit.
18. Will budget be pulled back if an employee goes on Long-Term Disability (LTD)?
Positions occupied by employees who have been on Long Term Disability (LTD) for 2.5 years will be considered “vacated” positions for purposes of this program and 50% of the salary budget will be pulled back once the staff member has been on LTD for 2.5 years. This is the point at which units are normally able to hire a permanent replacement for the employee on LTD.
19. If my unit has an open position that is not filled on May 1, 2012, will I lose 50% of the salary budget?
No, the trigger for budget recapture is the departure of an employee from the University (except in cases noted above).
20. Will salary budget be pulled back if an M employee on contract leaves the University prior to the contract end date or at the contract end date? No, salary budget will not be pulled back if the position was truly a one-time position of short duration. The general rule of thumb applied to determine “short duration” has been a position that is required for a period of less than or equal to 3 years.
21. How will I be able to recognize the budget transactions in the Budget Module related to this program?
Budgets recaptured as a result of the Workforce Planning initiative will be identified by a unique identifier code (transaction type WFPL). A Crystal report template that specifically identifies these budget transactions will be available at http://www.mcgill.ca/financialservices/reporting/budget/maintenance/.
22. Why doesn't this Workforce Planning initiative apply to professors?
Over the past decade, the University has pursued a deliberate plan to increase the size of its professoriate, in line with our academic objectives and priorities. In addition, the provisions of Bill 100 only apply to administrative and support staff.
23. Will my research budget be affected by administrative and support staff departures?
No, this program only applies to operating budgets. The Office of the Budget will only pull back funds linked with the operating budget.
24. Once we're through the two-year period, can we start hiring again?
You can actually continue hiring throughout this period albeit at a reduced rate. The 50% pull-back is meant to capture savings.
25. Is there a hiring freeze on at McGill?
No, this would be counter to the plan put in place, which allows some flexibility in hiring albeit at a reduced rate.
26. As a manager, who do I turn to if I need to find an internal replacement for an employee who has left the University?
You should speak with the HR Advisor or Direct Services Representative in your faculty or unit. They are best positioned to deal with these situations and can help you through this process.
27. If my colleague, who does basically the same work I do, resigns or retires, does that mean I'll have twice as much work to do?
Workforce planning entails more than simply replacing one out of two job vacancies: it allows managers and their teams to examine current processes, streamline processes where possible and even eliminate processes that don’t add value. For example, “we do this because we have always done this” should be questioned and a decision made on the validity of the process. The result of this exercise is to eliminate meaningless tasks and to focus on what work really needs to be done in view of the University’s objectives and priorities.
28. If I have ideas about how work could be better accomplished, who can I speak to?
In your unit you can speak with your immediate supervisor who should be receptive to your idea, and who should encourage innovative solutions to the way the work is done and how it can be streamlined to be done more effectively. On a more global scale within the university please send suggestions to workforceplanning [at] mcgill [dot] ca.