Dear Colleagues,

As we move into our next budget year, McGill is launching a new Workforce Planning Initiative.

This initiative has two objectives: to ensure McGill complies with provincial government rules that require us, along with other publicly funded institutions, to reduce by voluntary attrition the size of our administrative and support staff, and – most important – to support our various units in this process so they can continue to meet their goals.

The first component of the program, the “1 for 2” attrition program, will be in effect for at least two years, starting today, May 1. Under this program, there will be only one replacement for every two voluntary departures – by retirement or resignation – from McGill’s administrative and support staff.

For both the 2013 and 2014 fiscal years, the Workforce Planning Initiative will provide us with substantial savings that will allow us to continue to work toward our strategic academic and research priorities.

The Initiative may well bring changes in the way we work and in the work we do, as we move to find new ways to operate the University as efficiently and effectively as possible.

As the Initiative proceeds, when an employee leaves the University voluntarily, the unit for which that individual worked will retain only 50 per cent of the salary attached to the position. We expect that over the course of this year, the attrition program will generate sufficient budget savings to spare us what would otherwise have been significant budget cuts across the University.

Starting today, McGill is also launching the developmental component of the Workforce Planning Initiative: a University-wide program, to be phased in gradually, that will in the short term focus on providing enhanced support for managers in planning for staff changes, dealing with staff reductions and identifying ways to accomplish work more effectively and efficiently.

Over the longer term, this program will help unit heads and managers plan effectively for their future workforce requirements.  Changes in demographics and society, both inside and outside McGill, are creating pressing needs: preserving organizational memory, addressing current and emerging gaps in the skills we need, ensuring cross-training and, ultimately, identifying better ways of operating that can enable units and Faculties to meet new and existing demands.

With change comes opportunity. For some employees, it might mean the chance to improve skills, or the possibility of shifting to a different job that is a better fit with existing skill sets and career aspirations. For managers, it is a chance to make sure work is addressed in the best way possible, perhaps even dispensing with some tasks that are no longer relevant or particularly useful.

Human Resources will partner in this effort, providing planning tools and training to support units across the University. Other services will be available upon request for units that are undergoing large-scale changes or that experience very high staff turnover.

For further information about this program, we invite you to speak with your unit’s HR Advisor or visit

Thank you for your support of this important program.

Michael Di Grappa

Vice-Principal (Administration and Finance)

May 1st, 2012