Updated May 10, 2019
Yes. Broadly speaking, this agreement contains three tiers of damages. The first tier, which provides additional days of leave, applies to every public servant who worked at least one day in a position represented by one of the signatory unions since 2016. The second tier extends the Phoenix-related expenses eligible for reimbursement for those who were directly affected and the third tier deals with additional damages for those who faced hardship.
You will still receive any outstanding amounts owed to you that you may not have received due to Phoenix.
No. In fact, the agreement creates a faster, dedicated process for resolving individual claims. It’s also important to note that the agreement does not close off the possibility of negotiating further compensation at the bargaining table or further negotiations outside of collective bargaining should they be warranted.
As a start, up to five days of leave are being awarded to every employee (2 days for employees who worked at least one day in 2016-17, 1 day for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively). In addition to resolving some of the damages contained in our group policy grievance, we have also created an expedited process for resolving more serious damages cases and expanded what is eligible for reimbursement.
There were several reasons. Firstly, the process of negotiating an agreement involved multiple parties with a variety of interests. Second, the scope of the problem accelerated over the duration of these talks. Finally, these negotiations were intertwined with collective bargaining, which lengthened the process of Phoenix negotiations.
The agreement covers damages for the following four fiscal years: 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.
ACFO-ACAF, along with the Association of Justice Council (AJC), the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) currently serve on this committee on behalf of all public service unions. The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) served on this committee for two years.
In the highly unlikely event that another union secures improvements to this deal, the employer has committed to making those same improvements to this deal.
The five days of leave were reached as an attempt to address the immense frustration caused to employees and as a product of negotiation with the employer. Leave was chosen instead of a monetary form of compensation, as it is a tangible benefit that is both flexible and easily administered without having to further bog down the Phoenix pay system.
In order to qualify for each fiscal year’s worth of leave, an employee needed only be employed for one day in that fiscal year(s), whether or not they were on paid/unpaid leave, assignment or otherwise not active. For example, if you were hired to the federal public service on September 1, 2017, and have been employed since then, you will get three days of leave credited to your leave bank (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 fiscal years).
To qualify for each year’s leave, you only need to have been employed one day in that fiscal year. You will receive the compensatory leave for each of the four years in which you were employed for one day.
These additional days are treated the same as annual leave and are subject to the same cash-out provisions in your collective agreement.
The employer has committed to fully implementing the agreement by November 12, 2019. Any days for which you qualify from 2016-17 to 2018-19 will be added to your leave bank by November 12, 2019. If you qualify for the additional day of leave for 2019-20, it will be added to your leave bank within 150 days of the end of the 2019-20 fiscal year (August 28, 2020).
All of the criteria are the same as the annual leave provisions in your collective agreement. The days do not expire, and if you have exceeded 35 days in your leave bank, the automatic cash-out provision of leave credits has been suspended and has been for several years since Phoenix’s implementation.
The same criteria outlined in Question 8 apply to retired or new employees to the public service, where retirees will have their additional days automatically cashed out. These days are subject to any applicable statutory deductions and are non-pensionable.
If you are retiring soon, whether you will receive the days credited to your leave bank or whether your days will be cashed out will depend on your retirement date. If you’d like further clarity on your specific case, please contact email@example.com.
If you were not a member of ACFO-ACAF or any other signing union included in the agreement for at least one day during a fiscal year since 2016-17, you will not receive the leave days in question for that year.
Yes, if you are an indeterminate FI in the core federal public service and are not paying union dues to ACFO-ACAF in error due to Phoenix, as long as you have a letter of offer showing your FI status, you will be credited with the appropriate amount of leave based on your start date. You will not be penalized due to a Phoenix error.
Further negotiations will take place later in this fiscal year if Phoenix is still affecting members. For as long as there are Phoenix issues, we will seek damages and compensation through all appropriate channels.
You can complete a Claim Form for Additional Financial Expenses Incurred Because of Phoenix Pay System Errors here: https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/pay/claim-form-expenses-incurred-phoenix-errors.html. You may also contact ACFO-ACAF Labour Relations for assistance.
There is no minimum threshold for out-of-pocket expense reimbursement. More details on eligible expenses will follow soon.
The agreement allows for the reimbursement of sick leave for members who took such leave because of Phoenix. There is no threshold for this reimbursement.
Employees will be able to file claims and the employer will engage in a detailed review of these claims. While a threshold of $1,500 will apply, this threshold is lower than the value of the leave each member will receive as compensation. It’s also important to recognize this is not a deductible amount; if an arbitrator ultimately rules that you are eligible for $5,000 in damages, you will get all $5,000.
The collective bargaining process is not affected. This is a partial grievance settlement and not a collective agreement.
This agreement only resolves what is dealt with within this framework. If you’re still owed pay or if you have any outstanding damages claims above and beyond this agreement, your grievance will proceed. If you have a grievance outstanding, please contact your Labour Relations Advisor, as we will manage open grievances on a case-by-case basis.