Tag Archives: phoenix

PSAC and Treasury Board sign PA, TC and Phoenix deals

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PSAC and Treasury Board today signed new collective agreements for the Program and Administrative (PA) and Technical Services (TC) groups that were ratified by members on September 29. The two bargaining units account for over 80,000 federal public service workers. PSAC and Treasury Board also signed the Phoenix damages agreement reached this summer.

Separately, the parties signed the protocol agreement on the negotiation of working conditions for civilian members in the RCMP who are slated to be deemed into PSAC bargaining units.

Please see the following page on the PSAC website for more detailed information.

Deal reached for Phoenix damages, PA group and common issues

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In a victory for federal public service workers who have gone above and beyond to support Canadians during this pandemic, PSAC has reached a tentative agreement that provides fair wages, no concessions, and improved working conditions for the 70,000 members of the PA group, and Treasury Board common issues.

Alongside these successful talks, PSAC has also secured proper compensation for Phoenix damages to be paid to PSAC members for the pain and suffering caused by the broken pay system.

Phoenix damages

PSAC successfully negotiated a Phoenix damages settlement that is significantly better than the employer’s deal with other federal bargaining agents. Last year, PSAC rejected the government’s meagre offer of 5 days of cashable leave, which was too little and would have rewarded those who earn more while punishing workers who make less. The current agreement provides PSAC members with a fair and equitable lump sum payment of $2,500.

Unlike the tentative deal for Treasury Board bargaining that must be voted on by PSAC members in the near future, the Phoenix damages agreement required ratification by the PSAC National Board of Directors. The Board voted unanimously in favour of the offer on July 3, 2020.

Please read the following update which provides greater detail on the general Phoenix compensation portion of the settlement, as well as the expansion of the claims process for out-of-pocket expenses and for those who suffered major losses because of Phoenix.

PA Group settlement

The PSAC bargaining team successfully secured fair wage increases averaging at 2.11% per year.

PA group members would receive the following wage increases:

2018 2019 2020
2.8% 2.2% 1.35%

In addition to those wage increases, the following group-specific wage adjustments and allowances were also secured: ​

  • Improved retention allowance expanded for all employees working in compensation operations to $3,500 per year
  • A new $3,000 annual allowance for armed Fishery Officers
  • A new Primary Responsibility Allowance of $2,000 per year for parole officers and parole officer supervisors or Parole Officer Managers at Correctional Services Canada (CSC)

Other improvements to the PA collective agreement include: ​

  • Increase in maternity related reassignment or leave qualification from 52 to 78 weeks following the birth of a child
  • Several leave improvements including for a person who stands in place of a relative for:
    • Leave without pay for the care of the family
    • Bereavement leave
    • Leave with pay for family-related responsibilities
  • A new leave provision for members elected to union leadership
  • An increase in meal allowance for overtime from $10 to $12
  • New language to clarify that  the Employer shall provide an unpaid meal break of a minimum of thirty (30) minutes per full working day, normally at the mid-point of the working day
  • Renewal and update of a memorandum of understanding on a Joint Study on the Work Environment for Employees Working in Call Centres
  • New provision that provides call centre employees with training on crisis intervention and coping
  • Increases to funding for the Joint Learning Program, including a pilot study on health and safety training
  • Language that explicitly provides breaks for nursing employees (to nurse or express breast milk)
  • Memorandum of understanding for a Joint Study on employee support mechanisms for employees who in the course of their duties are exposed to explicit and disturbing material, and/or potentially threatening situations
  • Joint committee to review the use of Indigenous languages in the federal public service, examine Indigenous language skills in the performance of employee duties and consider the advantages that Indigenous language speakers bring to the public service
  • Memorandum of understanding regarding Occupational Group Structure (OGS) review

Common issues settlement

Alongside negotiations for the PA group, PSAC bargaining teams for the TC, EB and SV groups also joined talks to reach a settlement for Treasury Board issues common to all groups. Some of the key improvements include:

  • A one-time payment of $500 in recognition of the extended collective agreement implementation deadline and an additional $50 for every subsequent 90-day delay
  • 10 days of paid domestic violence leave
  • Better language on return to work following a maternity or parental leave, giving more flexibility to parents who wish to change positions within the federal public service.
  • Improvements to parental leave pay
    • Updated language to match the new legislation including a new extended leave option and the sharing of parental leave
    • Expanded supplementary allowance for every week an employee is on extended or shared parental leave
    • Additional weeks for parents covered under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan, when both parents work in the public service.
  • New memorandum of understanding to explore the issues related to childcare in the public service
  • Updated and improved language to match the new legislation on compassionate care and caregiving leave
  • Better language to allow the use of employer facilities for union activities
  • New memorandum of understanding to protect certain working conditions of civilian members of the RCMP
  • New memorandum of understanding on mental health in the workplace to support the work of the Centre for Expertise on Mental Health
  • In the event of workforce adjustment, the education allowance has increased to $17,000
  • Deletion of Memorandum of Understanding on Supporting Employee Wellness. As a result, sick leave will remain untouched.

Full text and next steps

In the coming days when the final text and full details of the tentative agreement for the PA group and common issues are available, they will be shared with the membership. PA members will shortly thereafter be invited to participate in online ratification votes. Details about the votes will be shared as soon as possible.

The PSAC bargaining team unanimously recommends the ratification of the tentative agreement.

To ensure that you receive all updates and can participate in the ratification process, please ensure that you have either updated your contact information on PSAC’s member portal, or that you create an account if you have not done so already.

Other PSAC bargaining groups

Bargaining dates for the SV group will be announced in the weeks to come. Negotiations for the EB, TC and Canada Revenue Agency groups will resume next week.

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.

Phoenix: Recovery of salary overpayments during the COVID-19 pandemic

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In our regular communication with the government, we have received the following notice regarding the recovery of salary overpayments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How will the recovery of salary overpayments be addressed during the Covid-19 pandemic?

In light of the current pandemic situation, the Pay Centre is temporarily suspending the overpayment recovery plans for all new overpayments that, effective March 23, 2020, meet the criteria for repayment under the “Recovery over an extended period as a result of the implementation of Phoenix” flexibilities provision outlined in the Directive on the Terms and Conditions of Employment. This operational measure will allow the Pay Centre to prioritize pay transactions to employees.

The Pay Centre will continue informing employees of any new overpayment. However, overpayments that fall under the flexibilities outlined in the Information Bulletin: Additional Flexibilities with regards to the recovery overpayments, Emergency Salary Advances and priority payments will be suspended until further notice.  This covers overpayments, emergency salary advances and priority payments received by employees due to issues arising as a direct result of Phoenix. An employee can still choose to repay their new overpayment in the manner that best meets their situation. Employees will need to advise the Pay Centre accordingly.

The recovery of overpayments will continue for the recovery of amounts owing arising from routine pay transactions, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • overpayments of less than 10% of an employee’s gross bi-weekly pay;
  • periods of leave without pay of 5 days or less;
  • overdrawn leave (vacation/sick) upon termination of employment (for reasons other than incapacity/illness and layoff);
  • cancellation of a leave with income averaging agreement by the employee, where the leave has been taken;
  • amounts advanced on behalf of employees for union dues;
  • maternity/parental allowance, where the employee has not fulfilled their obligation as set out in their collective agreement or terms and conditions of employment; and
  • amounts owed to public service health insurance plans, pension, supplementary death benefit or disability/long-term disability due to periods of leave without pay.

The recovery will also continue for overpayments associated with the termination of employment, end-of-term or casual contracts without further extension or renewal (from first available funds).

Note that the recovery plan will continue for employees who already have repayment plans in place as agreed upon. However, these plans can be modified should employees experience financial hardship; employees in such positions should contact the Client Contact Centre at 1-855-686-4729 or complete a Phoenix feedback form to request a more flexible arrangement.

Departments and agencies which are not serviced by the Pay Centre may also wish to temporarily suspend the collection of new overpayments covered by the flexibilities. They may also make available the option to modify repayment plans where employees may be experiencing hardship consistent with the Directive on the Terms and Conditions of Employment.

The original version of this article was first posted on the PSAC website.