For several years, the Phoenix payroll system has been incorrectly collecting membership dues from nearly 150,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Thousands of federal public service workers have been overpaying or underpaying union dues.
Last month, several government departments sent letters informing PSAC members that the government will finally be in a position to fix these Phoenix errors. PSAC members will see the correct dues amount on their November 14th paycheque.
Correcting Membership Dues
PSAC has a long-established system to determine the correct dues for each of its members. Every month, the union sends the government a file that lists changes, adjustments and corrections to dues amounts to be implemented by the pay system.
The Phoenix pay system has been unable to process this file since March 2016, resulting in the inaccurate collection of membership dues for the majority of our members. This has affected thousands of workers, and particularly those that have undergone significant changes like being promoted, changing positions, going on parental leave, or retiring.
For several weeks, PSAC has been reaching out to members to inform them of the upcoming changes to their paycheques. Letters are being mailed or emailed to members with details about their specific dues’ situation. PSAC has also answered thousands of online inquiries about individual membership dues cases.
What will happen November 14?
PSAC members should see the correct membership dues amount on this paycheque, and then members will find themselves in one of the following situations:
If you have overpaid your membership dues and are owed a refund, the amount should be returned to you within 1 to 2 paycheques. It may take more than one month for the refund to be issued in its entirety. PSAC will refund the total amount owed as a result of errors in the Phoenix pay system.
If you have been underpaying membership dues and are in arrears, PSAC will recover the funds in small payments that will take place over several paycheques. We will only recover the equivalent of 1 years’ value of union dues and we do not collect this in one large lump sum. The most you will pay in any month is twice your correct monthly dues rate. For most of our members who owe less than $300, this shouldn’t take more than 2 to 3 months.
If you are a member who should have stopped or started paying dues since the implementation of Phoenix in March 2016, the implementation of these changesmay not affect you. Members who are in this situation should read through our most frequently asked questions for more information.
PSAC will consider longer repayment schedules for members who are facing financial difficulty. Members are encouraged to inform us of any financial hardship immediately so that we can inform the government of a change to your repayment schedule as soon as possible. You can do this by filling in this form.
Our priority remains getting our members paid correctly and that includes making sure the employer makes the proper deductions every pay day. You can learn more about what PSAC has been doing to support our members through Phoenix, and to push the government to pay public sector workers correctly, every pay day at hereforcanada.ca/learn-more