Bill 17 Update and Request for Member Input from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough January 5, 2018

Bill 17 Update and Request for Member Input from ALIGN E.D. Rhonda Barraclough  January 5, 2018

Happy New Year.  As you can see by the note below Bruce and I will be meeting with the Ministry of Children Services and Ministry of ‘Labor on January 18th. I have been asked to capture any and all details that are at issue to forward them in advance to the Ministry of Labor.  As you can see by Rae- Ann’s note I have already made some suggestions early.  Can you please respond to me by the end of next week,
January 12 if you have any points to make about the following.  Please note this is relating to Children Services not FSCD.  If you are an FSCD agency please send your information along as well and I will send it on to that ministry as I have been talking to them as well. Especially the minimum wage issues.
Thank you everyone for your patience.  We are trying to work diligently with the different Ministries to resolve some of the issues and possibly get some funding into the system to address the OT issues.  I need as clear information as possible and within this next week.  P{lease send your comments to my email at RhondaB@alignab.ca

As mentioned before the break, we have arranged for a meeting on January 18th from 11:00-12:00, 12th floor boardroom at Sterling Place; a couple of the staff from Alberta Labour who were involved in the drafting of Bill 17 will be at the meeting and our hope is that they will be able to answer any of the outstanding questions.  This meeting will also be an opportunity to highlight other potential solutions that may address some of the concerns raised by your agencies.

Before then, though, we are also trying to quantify the dollar impacts of recent government policy changes, and have 2 requests along those lines that I am hoping you might be able to provide us some clarifying info on, before the end of next week if possible (recognizing you are on holidays!):

1)      I am wondering if you are able to confirm the total OT impacts with new averaging provisions for your agencies.   I know you provided us with an analysis several weeks ago, but this was before the new provisions were known and I wasn’t sure if the document you provided me was the total for all of your agencies, or a sampling of them. Although you indicated that the new provisions don’t address some of the concerns you have, it wasn’t clear if they indeed give your agencies any relief from the OT impacts.

I am mindful that the full impact will not be known until there is a more in-depth conversation with Alberta Labour regarding the family support and outreach workers but we would appreciate any analysis you can do on this in the meantime.

2)      We would also appreciate confirmation that the minimum wage expectations set out in Bill 17 will not create additional pressure for your agencies. I know you said this was not a significant concern, but if there are anticipated impacts that you feel you want to clarify, this will be helpful for us.

Finally, in order for the staff from Alberta Labour to be prepared for this meeting, I will provide them with a recap of the impacts/suggestions previously identified by ALIGN – recap below.

  1. Currently for Health there is a coordinated homecare regulation that allows flexibility for staff who work in home and have to be available for their clients.  If this type of regulation could include Children Services so family support/ outreach workers could be considered like homecare workers then that would  alleviate the flexible schedule and what will become a decrease of services for families because under the Bill 17 rules, agencies will not be able to meet all family needs if they go over the allocated hours allowed to be worked.

One agency is doing the following: I’ve given my  CSD staff a daily window to work within and flex their time accordingly. For example they can work anywhere between 8 am and 8 pm (the schedule) but not exceed the labor standards of 12 hours a day, 6 days a week and 144 hours over a 4 week period.  This still limits the family when they may truly need the staff but it’s what the agency can do.  The risk is the family doesn’t get what they need.  The actual hours are set between the staff and the families/individual, they are not on a fixed schedule as we can’t dictate when the families are available. We work with many families/individuals who cannot meet during regular business hours.

  1.  Under  Bill 17 there is a section 74 that allows for schedules and agreements.  Possibly ALIGN as an association could get a variance for group care/ 24 hour operations.  What is not clear is what if you are not a member of ALIGN, how does that actually work?
  2. The costs of the statutory holidays are also quite significant.  All wage employees, regardless if they work or normally would have worked on the Stat are eligible for a cash payment after each Stat holiday; the cash payment is 5% of their earnings in the four weeks prior to the Stat.   Many agencies have casual or part time employees who did not receive this before and this is significant for some agencies.

If there are additional items that should brought to the attention of Alberta Labour prior to the meeting, please drop me a line and we will forward the information

See All Correspondence Regarding ALIGN and Bill 17

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