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DND Civilians supervising CAF members [Merged]

gunner26

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Here's a new one I heard from out west.  In the terms of reference for a civilian employee it includes 'supervision of orderly room staff'.  I thought it was odd that a civilian would be put in charge of an orderly room of CF members.  I seemed to recall seeing a CFAO on the matter; that DND civilian employees weren't to be place in charge of CF members, but can't seem to find it now.  I would think that this invites having issues with command authority and discipline.
 

gcclarke

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It's only contractors that can't be put in charge of military personnel. Public Servants can be. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to have any military personnel working for any of the ADMs (Mat, CS Fin, IM, etc).
 

gunner26

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Thanks for the prompt reply.  I didn't realize that Public Servants managed military pers in the ADMs.  So how does that work with chain of command, disciplinary issues, etc?  Is there a military 'backstop' that handles code of service discipline issues or are the Public Servant managers delegated the authority to bring a member up on charges.  I know that sounds kind of extreme for an office environment.  I confess  I have limited experience dealing the Public Servant / CF member relationship.
 

armyvern

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It's not just the ADMs.

I've worked for civ supervisors (and writing my PERs) and had civ supervisors working for me (them writing PERs and me writing their Civ PRRs) while serving in an Army Unit. You'll also find the same sits on Air and Naval bases.

Obviously, this is more common in "purple" units of all three environments, but certainly isn't uncommon.
 

NCRCrow

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Agree with AV. This is very common in the EW community of Canada and our 5 eyes partners.
 

exgunnertdo

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My boss is a civilian (a PG-05, which I am told is the equivalent to a Major).  And if you go up high enough, I work for Dan Ross, who is ADM(Mat), a civilian.  There are several military officers in between my boss and Mr. Ross.

He writes my PER, but there are varying opinions as to who signs it.  He signed it one year and the LCol signed it another year.  Some will say that a civi can't sign a military PER.  My reading of CFPAS says he can, but whatever.

In our case, my CO is military, and I would imagine that, as an officer, most of the challenging issues (ie discipline etc) if they came up, would be dealt with by the CO.  Less formal stuff - counselling, PDRs, and so on would be handled by my boss, more formal stuff, up to the CO.

For example - my CO signed my TOS recently, which would be the CO regardless, not the immediate supervisor.

You think we're bad for rank stuff - you should see the unions fighting over who should work for whom!!!  We've had to re-work our entire org chart, because PIPSC (union) said that an ENG-05 can't work for a LCol and an ENG-04 can't work for a PG-05 or a Major.  Our org chart is now one deep and a mile wide, cause we have so many engineers, and they all have to work for the Col (or something).  They seem very very comfortable with the concept of rank and Chain of Command  ::)

 

Edward Campbell

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When I last served, a good many years ago, now, my direct subordinates were a mix of military officers (LCol and Maj) and civilians (same level). My direct boss was a civilian, his direct boss was military and that august gentleman had another military officer -the top dog - above him. My little orderly room admin team was, likewise a mix of civilian and military - a civilian was in charge but my personal clerk (secretary) was a military NCO. (One, in the late '80s/early '90s, was a wonderful gal named Murphy: smart, hard working and funny - she regularly deflated me when I needed it. The others, a few names, here or there, escape me, were all good people, too. One was a bit thick, but very attractive, but we (one of my very senior NCOs, actually) traded her away to a more gullible senior officer so all was well in the end.)

Edit to add: My PERs were written and signed by my civilian boss and I wrote and signed both military and civilian PERs. My civilian subordinates wrote and signed PERs for officers and NCOs. One advantage: most of my civilians were ex-military; only a couple were career civil servants.
 

gcclarke

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My direct supervisor is a civilian, his direct supervisor is a civilian, his direct supervisor is a civilian, her direct supervisor is a civilian, his direct supervisor is a civilian, his direct supervisor is a civilian, his direct supervisor is a civilian, and his direct supervisor is the GG. Mind you, of those civilians, two of them are former military.

Anyways, I certainly hope that civilians can sign PERs, as the closest military guy we've got who could do it is this one Major, and he frankly has nothing to do whatsoever with my chain of command. Heck, I forgot his name for a bit the other day. But yes, the majority of functions that would normally need to be carried out by a "CO" are done by our civilian project manager. An ENG-05 or ENG-06 I think, former Major.

But yeah, the Information Management Group's reputation for being a rather civilianized organization seems mostly well-founded.
 

armyvern

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gcclarke said:
Anyways, I certainly hope that civilians can sign PERs, ...

Well, my PERs that they've signed at a few points in my career certainly haven't been 'tossed' either ...

For the earlier poster within the CoC that believes civilian supervisors can NOT sign PERs ...

CFPAS Website

Is there a requirement for at least one of Section 4, 5 or 6 to be completed by a military member?

No. A member's chain of command may be comprised entirely of civilians, in which case it is not recommended that a military member be artificially inserted purely for PER purposes.
 
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stellarpanther

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Hopefully someone can explain this better as I've heard conflicting info on this topic.  We were recently told that a particular civilian (AS something) holds the equivalency of a Captain and that as such we need to talk to, treat her and respect her as such.  While I'm normally respectful to everyone equally regardless of rank, I recall a conversation years ago that said it had more eating in the mess and staying in quarters which isn't normally done anyway my them.  Can someone elaborate on this?
 

mariomike

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stellarpanther said:
We were recently told that a particular civilian (AS something) holds the equivalency of a Captain and that as such we need to talk to, treat her and respect her as such. 

See also, Reply #5,

exgunnertdo said:
My boss is a civilian (a PG-05, which I am told is the equivalent to a Major). 

gcclarke said:
It's only contractors that can't be put in charge of military personnel.
 

Remius

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stellarpanther said:
Hopefully someone can explain this better as I've heard conflicting info on this topic.  We were recently told that a particular civilian (AS something) holds the equivalency of a Captain and that as such we need to talk to, treat her and respect her as such.  While I'm normally respectful to everyone equally regardless of rank, I recall a conversation years ago that said it had more eating in the mess and staying in quarters which isn't normally done anyway my them.  Can someone elaborate on this?

I really hate these conversations. 

First off civilian PS classifications are not ranks.  You could have a manager who is an AS 06 and an AS 06 who is a specialist who works in some hidy hole with no one reporting to them. 

There are positions which are supervisory.  I.e managers, directors, team leads etc.  If you report to them then they are technically your boss.  PS supervisors don’t hold queen’s commissions so no you don’t salute them.  In no other department in the PS have I seen anyone below the Director level be adressed as sir or come to attention for. 

When I was at ADM Mat I explained to someone that while an Engineer Captain could pretty much fill in for a civilian engineer it was very likely that a civilian engineer could never fill in for an Engineer Captain.

Similar.  But never equivalent.  military pers are expected to do way more and have a higher standard to live up to than is expected of a civilians PS.
 

Navy_Pete

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stellarpanther said:
Hopefully someone can explain this better as I've heard conflicting info on this topic.  We were recently told that a particular civilian (AS something) holds the equivalency of a Captain and that as such we need to talk to, treat her and respect her as such.  While I'm normally respectful to everyone equally regardless of rank, I recall a conversation years ago that said it had more eating in the mess and staying in quarters which isn't normally done anyway my them.  Can someone elaborate on this?

Can I ask what the context is?  There is no specific equivalency, and as long as you are polite, shouldn't really matter. (but for functional comparisons would compare the AS6s do work comparable to a Sgt/WO,  depending on the spot, it's like an office manager or personal secretary).

The only time I've ever seen it be looked at is when they are doing some kind of field visit (ie sailing for trials).  That can get complicated, but generally more a practical consideration for spreading people around the ship so everyone can get fed during the meal hours.

Other than that, never seen any issues with civilians eating in whatever mess is most convenient. Some people tend to get pretty full of themselves, so the whole thing can be a bit awkward.  Had to have a conversation with a civilian supervisor about why he couldn't give me an order.
 

mariomike

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"...civilian (AS something) holds the equivalency of a Captain..."

Navy_Pete said:
Can I ask what the context is? 

Rates of pay?

 

Navy_Pete

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mariomike said:
"...civilian (AS something) holds the equivalency of a Captain..."

Rates of pay?

That's a messy one; I was acting for an Eng-5 as a two ringer and still the lowest paid one in the section (as a Lt(N)).  The civilians at the same level on the org chart doing similar work were paid about 15% more, without the fun of any of the additional military duties. The folks at the level below me were pretty senior so were at comparable pay or higher. Same thing happens on ship when you add in the sea pay and related various levels from time on ship for the hard sea trades.
 
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stellarpanther

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Navy_Pete said:
Can I ask what the context is?  There is no specific equivalency, and as long as you are polite, shouldn't really matter. (but for functional comparisons would compare the AS6s do work comparable to a Sgt/WO,  depending on the spot, it's like an office manager or personal secretary).

The only time I've ever seen it be looked at is when they are doing some kind of field visit (ie sailing for trials).  That can get complicated, but generally more a practical consideration for spreading people around the ship so everyone can get fed during the meal hours.

Other than that, never seen any issues with civilians eating in whatever mess is most convenient. Some people tend to get pretty full of themselves, so the whole thing can be a bit awkward.  Had to have a conversation with a civilian supervisor about why he couldn't give me an order.

I didn't hear the comment as I was out of the office but apparently someone was a little sarcastic with her and everyone was told that her position is similar to a Captain and we need to watch our tone as it is the same as speaking to a Captain.  Something like that.
 
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stellarpanther

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I certainly agree that everyone should be polite but I don't think it's the same as talking to a captain.
 

SupersonicMax

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Civilians may be supervisors of military pers.  AS-5 would likely be equivalent to Captain.
 

Jarnhamar

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SupersonicMax said:
Civilians may be supervisors of military pers.  AS-5 would likely be equivalent to Captain.

Does that mean military members can be charged for insubordination if they're insubordinate to their civilian supervisor?
 

Ostrozac

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Jarnhamar said:
Does that mean military members can be charged for insubordination if they're insubordinate to their civilian supervisor?

No, the National Defence Act is pretty clear that insubordinate behaviour is only possible in relation to an officer or non-commissioned member authorized to issue orders. Civil servants and contractors wouldn't meet the definition of 'superior officer' as defined in the NDA, which is required for the offense of 'insubordinate behaviour'.
 
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