FAQ: Phoenix damages settlement

See a full summary of our Phoenix damages agreement here. 

When will we receive our Phoenix damages compensation? 

Due to the work required to implement our new collective agreements and retroactive pay, we anticipate a delay, but the employer has committed to balancing these priorities in order process Phoenix damages as soon as possible. 

How will damages for current employees be paid?

We expect that the damages for current employees will be paid out automatically (the same way you receive retroactive payments).

I’m a retired PSAC member. Am I eligible for Phoenix compensation?

Yes. Former employees will be eligible to file a claim and will receive financial compensation equivalent to that of current employees.

In order to be eligible for financial compensation, an employee needed to be on strength for one day in the fiscal year to which a lump sum payment pertains. The term “on strength” refers to all employees employed in the core public administration, whether or not they are on leave, assignment or otherwise not active. 

I’m a former PSAC member and no longer work for the public service. Am I eligible? 

As a former employee, you’re eligible for financial compensation as long as you were an employee on strength for one day in the fiscal year to which a lump sum payment pertains.

The term “on strength” refers to all employees employed in the core public administration, whether or not they are on leave, assignment or otherwise not active. 

I was a term employee. Am I eligible?

You’re eligible for compensation as long as you were employed on a term for more than 3 months, and worked one full day during the fiscal year of the claim.

Are students and casual employees eligible for Phoenix compensation? 

Current and former students and casual employees aren’t eligible for Phoenix compensation because they do not belong to any of the unions covered by the Phoenix settlement.  

Students and casual employees are, however, part of an ongoing Phoenix class action in the Quebec Superior Court.  

What if I was a member of PIPSC or another bargaining agent before becoming a PSAC member and already received five days of leave as compensation under their agreement?

Employees can’t claim both the five days of paid leave negotiated by other unions as well as the $2,500 in damages negotiated by PSAC. If you’ve already received the paid leave with another bargaining agent, you won’t be eligible for the $2,500.  

But many of the other federal bargaining agents negotiated “catch up” clauses in their collective agreements, which may entitle their members to some of the difference between the five days of paid leave and PSAC’s $2,500 in damages, so you may want to reach out to your previous bargaining agent for more information. 

Will my Phoenix compensation be tax-free?

We believe that this compensation for pain and suffering should be tax free. However, we will have to await a formal ruling from the Canada Revenue Agency. We will communicate with members once a ruling is issued.

If we are still owed money because of Phoenix pay issues, does the Phoenix settlement nullify our right to pursue the money we are owed?

No, members who have already submitted claims for out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses due to Phoenix should continue with the claims process. The government will continue to process these claims as they are received and it will not impact your eligibility for the $2,500 of general damages.

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July 17, 2020