As you may know, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) filed a partially successful CRA claim in February 2024 where $1,500 of their $2,500 Phoenix damages settlement they received in 2021 is now considered non-taxable (opens in new tab). 

After learning of this decision, ACFO-ACAF sought an outside legal opinion on how the decision would impact the CT Community. The opinion concluded late last week that, similar to our initial assessment, the ACFO-ACAF Phoenix damages settlement is indeed a taxable benefit due to opting for vacation days (that members could request to cash out) rather than cash. 

While we acknowledge that this news may be a disappointment to members, it’s important to remember that, in most cases, the ACFO-ACAF settlement is valued at more than the $1,500 awarded to PSAC members. As you may remember, the deal signed in 2019 provided two (2) days of annual leave for anyone who worked in the public service in 2016-17 and additional one (1) day of annual leave for those employed in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, for a total of five (5) days for those employed since Phoenix was deployed, regardless of if or how they were affected by Phoenix. The vast majority of ACFO-ACAF members received five (5) vacation days because of the settlement. 

We are also in the process of negotiating a second round of Phoenix damages with the employer, though we do not have further information or a timeline we can share at this time. Rest assured that ACFO-ACAF remains committed to advocating for fair resolutions amidst the continued challenges experienced beyond 2020 with the Phoenix pay system.