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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Bruce Monkhouse

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The process of the grievance system is severely flawed IMO. It appears in a vast majority of cases that I’ve become aware of just a stall tactic to cause the aggrieved member to just lose interest.
There's no time limits?? Only speaking for the Ontario Govt system, since that's what I know, there are time limits to each stage/step. Failure to meet these time constraints usually ends up costing management $$$$ or, if the fault of the griever, having it go no further.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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I believe it's 120 days for the initial authority (CO) to make a decision but if the grevior isn't happy and wants it to go to the final authority (CDS) there's no time limit.
So the head of the organization that the griever is grieving gets to be the last word*, and has no time limit?? In the words of the Church Lady "how convenient".

* I'm absolutely flabbergasted at that part. I can't even conceive it still being that way , we are in the 21st century, aren't we?
 

daftandbarmy

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So the head of the organization that the griever is grieving gets to be the last word*, and has no time limit?? In the words of the Church Lady "how convenient".

* I'm absolutely flabbergasted at that part. I can't even conceive it still being that way , we are in the 21st century, aren't we?

Yes, of course we are ;)

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Jarnhamar

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So the head of the organization that the griever is grieving gets to be the last word*, and has no time limit?? In the words of the Church Lady "how convenient".

* I'm absolutely flabbergasted at that part. I can't even conceive it still being that way , we are in the 21st century, aren't we?
Makes ya wonder how many grievances involving sexual misconduct our longest running CDS had come across his desk eh?
 

Halifax Tar

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So the head of the organization that the griever is grieving gets to be the last word*, and has no time limit?? In the words of the Church Lady "how convenient".

* I'm absolutely flabbergasted at that part. I can't even conceive it still being that way , we are in the 21st century, aren't we?

And people on here wonder why the JRs have lost faith in our leadership.
 

Eye In The Sky

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I believe it's 120 days for the initial authority (CO) to make a decision but if the grevior isn't happy and wants it to go to the final authority (CDS) there's no time limit.

The IA isn’t always the CO; often the decision grieved is a CO/Cmdt level one.

Worse, though, is the IA can openly ignore the timelines, ask for extensions, or just simply do nothing and there is no recourse for the grievor, except to direct the IA to forward to the FA (CDS or authorized delegate, DGCFGA, for determination. The FA has no timeline to determine what so ever.

This also denies the grievor the initial level of review. That is a separate issue.

Guess what happens when the IA completely fails to do their duty?

If you guessed SWEET FUCK ALL, you’re on the money!
 

Eye In The Sky

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So the head of the organization that the griever is grieving gets to be the last word*, and has no time limit?? In the words of the Church Lady "how convenient".

* I'm absolutely flabbergasted at that part. I can't even conceive it still being that way , we are in the 21st century, aren't we?

It gets better!

If a CAF member is unhappy with the actions of the IA, let's say, or doesn't even want to employ the grievance system period. and does something like go to the Ombudsman...they can find themselves at the receiving end of admin/disciplinary actions.

DAOD 5047-1, Office of the Ombudsman

Failure to Comply​

4.3 Evidence or a complaint that this DAOD, including Annex A, may have been breached shall be reported to the applicable commanding officer or manager who will assess the requirement for further investigation, including a police investigation.

4.4 Failure by a CAF member or DND employee to comply with this DAOD, including Annex A, may result in administrative and disciplinary action.


Annex A

Existing Mechanisms​

13. (1) Except in compelling circumstances, the Ombudsman shall not deal with a complaint if the complainant has not, within the applicable time limit, first availed himself or herself of one or more of the following existing mechanisms available to the complainant

(a) the CF redress of grievance process;


Timelines:

  • the grievor has 3 months to submit their grievance "after the day on which the grievor knew or ought reasonably to have known of the decision, act or omission in respect of which the grievance is submitted".
  • the Initial Authority has 4 months after the day the grievanc is received to consider/determine the grievance (this is a SHALL in the QR & O....reality is...the IAs can ignore this at will and with no consequences)
  • the FA, either the CDS or DGCFGA, has no timeline to adhere to. Not that they REALLY matter in any case...

In my 3-year long grievance...it was about 2 years for the IA decision. The IA analyst was seriously hoping I would just say "forward to the FA"...which I refused. During this time, my wife contacted and was in communications with the MND, then Mr MacKay. He directed an internal investigation, which trickled it's way down and was eventually responded to by the same POS Staff Officers at the Air Staff who were the problem, who assured that "all was well and IAW with policy". Of course, it was not.

It is a utterly broken system. I have no problem educating anyone who stands up for it.
 
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Takeniteasy

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I remember when I tried to hold the CoC to account regarding timelines for the IAs response and kept the email that was sent by the CEFCOM Capt who was tasked with the file. I submitted the grievance in March 2012 and believe the IAs responsibility at that time was a 60 day response. After 4 months of no response I pushed back and the email I received from CEFCOM in late July 2012 stated:

"I understand your frustration with the system, let me try to explain. The position of grievance officer here at CEFCOM has been empty since July 2011. I was asked to to fill the position part time in April 2012 until a new incumbent was named or posted in, which was expected in July 2012. I have been doing my full time job, Honours and Awards, as well as managing the grievances...Unfortunately there will again be a delay until approximately October 2012 due to the transformation of CANOSCOM... All to say I was directed to request an extension until 1 December 2012 "...

With that I requested it to go to final authority knowing the outcome already. I received the decision in Feb 2014 2 years after submission.

One of the outcomes I requested was for more education and awareness around sexual misconduct issues and barriers faced those who have to use administrative measures when addressing the conduct. Unfortunately the grievance was denied but Lawson did state that I displayed courage in addressing the matter. Yes "courage" needed in addressing misconduct from those I worked with!

Now the CAF is under a third review of its administrative and leadership competencies and I have always known that there are and were many in the ranks who were trying to address these concerns in real time and at many levels. The paternalistic and ego centric attitudinal barriers are plenty in rank based environments and I have nothing but empathy for those in the junior ranks who try to come forward knowing the challenges I faced as a WO and one who did a lot for the CAF and its members.

Nothing like being told you need to know your place! The CAF lost a pretty good 40 year old WO in 2012 and I lost a career I rather enjoyed and exceled at.
 

Navy_Pete

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While grievances are important, I would probably very seriously consider quitting if I got that kind of job as a posting, as it would be simply soul destroying (and mine is pretty battered at this point some days). Having to work on grievances with no actual authority to fix anything would turn me into a raging alcoholic.

There never seems to be a shortage of policy wonks thought coming up with 'streamlined business processes' though (that turn a 4 step process into 6), so sounds like they would be well employed here. It would kick through the backlog, and then prevent them from further bog down exisiting jobs by 'improving' them.
 

Eye In The Sky

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While grievances are important, I would probably very seriously consider quitting if I got that kind of job as a posting, as it would be simply soul destroying (and mine is pretty battered at this point some days). Having to work on grievances with no actual authority to fix anything would turn me into a raging alcoholic.

The ability to positively influence decision-makers in an unbiased, ethical manner would be a pretty powerful position at this point for any teething Jnr SO at this point in our org's history...IMO.

Those folks, if they exist, will be the Snr, General and Flag officers we need to stay the course a decade plus down the road.
 

dapaterson

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The posting cycle is part of the problem; with the wave of a career manager's hand, someone is posted into a position to be the CAF expert on (fill in the blank). That constant churn destroys institutional knowledge, and delays responses to grievances. Grievances are frequently edge cases, that require expertise in a number of intersecting areas to adequately interpret and address. Lacking the knowledge base, you get delays.
 

Navy_Pete

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The ability to positively influence decision-makers in an unbiased, ethical manner would be a pretty powerful position at this point for any teething Jnr SO at this point in our org's history...IMO.

Those folks, if they exist, will be the Snr, General and Flag officers we need to stay the course a decade plus down the road.
This is the same CDS that just kicked the Jr. SOs in the teeth to pull up their socks by their bootstraps for a leadership failing for not fixing the various crises so not confident there would be any influencing of decision makers.. A few of them are complete lunactics that just want a briefing note that aligns with their per-conceived decision, so it's really luck of the draw sometimes in who is in the chain of command..

Would being able to actually sort out peoples grievances be awesome? Absolutely! Do I have any confidence that you could? Nope. Especially not when a lot of times it's TBS or other policy that is imposed on DND that is totally outside our authority (the obvious ones with the housing prices come to mind).

If I'm going to have to do meaningless paperwork I'd like there to be something done in the end, other than having a file marked closed. At least with the ludicrous hoops on equipment support eventually something gets bought, manuals get updated etc. I don't have the emotional dettachment not to take a grievance type job home with me so wouldn't be able to deal with watching people get screwed continually and not do anything about it, other than write a detailed, unbiased analysis that gets disregarded.
 

The Bread Guy

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More on "who's handling what?" from The Canadian Press ...
While military police are working to transfer sexual misconduct investigations to civilian authorities, the Canadian Armed Forces’ top prosecutor says he expects nearly 30 cases in which charges have already been laid will proceed to court martial.
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Retired Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour called in October for the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service to transfer criminal investigations involving allegations of sexual misconduct to civilian authorities unless they were close to completion.

(...)

In an exclusive interview with The Canadian Press, Col. Dylan Kerr, the director of military prosecutions, said military police are now in discussions with civilian counterparts about handing over investigations.


As a result, he said: “We are not anticipating any new charges of sexual assault of Criminal Code offences of a sexual nature that fall into (Arbour’s) recommendation to be laid in the military justice system. So there’s kind of a stop valve there.”

Yet Arbour’s recommendation did not mention cases where charges have already been laid, and Kerr said there are 29 such files that he expects will continue to be handled by the military justice system ...
 

OldSolduer

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I'll say this again in this forum: I spent a good number of years in the CAF and from the earliest point we were taught to be ethical, fair, provide good leadership and just be all round decent people. It seems this standard has gone by the way side.
 

Good2Golf

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I'll say this again in this forum: I spent a good number of years in the CAF and from the earliest point we were taught to be ethical, fair, provide good leadership and just be all round decent people. It seems this standard has gone by the way side.
When the performance evaluation, summary discipline and grievance systems can be personally manipulated by superiors with little control to stop it, you have an issue…sadly. The “Initial Authority says no and the CDS can sit on it forever” aspect of the grievance system is perhaps the worst.
 

daftandbarmy

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While grievances are important, I would probably very seriously consider quitting if I got that kind of job as a posting, as it would be simply soul destroying (and mine is pretty battered at this point some days). Having to work on grievances with no actual authority to fix anything would turn me into a raging alcoholic.

There never seems to be a shortage of policy wonks thought coming up with 'streamlined business processes' though (that turn a 4 step process into 6), so sounds like they would be well employed here. It would kick through the backlog, and then prevent them from further bog down exisiting jobs by 'improving' them.

I've worked with other government departments that are responsible for managing various types of appeals, audits and ombudsperson type responsibilities.

I'm frequently told it's one of the most fulfilling careers a public servant can have. Righting various wrongs is a privilege, even if your 'success rate' isn't always 100%.

As a consultant who specializes in process improvement, these are also usually quite successful projects because the people really know their stuff, are passionate and committed, and never usually require some kind of expensive IT fix to see dramatic improvements. Which is one reason why we probably need to see some of our best people posted to these positions.
 
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