Travel Policy

Revised April 2019

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 – Introduction
2 – Administration
3 – Insurance
4 – Transportation
5 – Travelers with disabilities
6 – Illness, injury and death while in travel status
7 – Accommodation
8 – Meals, incidentals and other expenses
9 – Family care while in travel status
10 Extended period in travel status
11 – Travel outside Canada
12 – Appendices

1 – INTRODUCTION

1.1 Policy Statement

It is the policy of the PSAC to ensure consistent and fair treatment of all individuals who are required to travel on authorized PSAC business.

The provisions contained in this policy are mandatory.  These provisions provide for the reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred while travelling on PSAC business.

Unionized facilities, suppliers and services must be used whenever available and possible.

All travel, including exceptions, requires pre-authorization.  The entitlements of the traveller will be determined in accordance with the provisions of this policy.  The responsibility for the PSAC Travel Policy belongs with the PSAC Branch Directors and the AEC Officers.

This policy is subject to a review immediately following the PSAC National Convention or as determined by the Alliance Executive Committee (AEC).  Any changes to the PSAC Travel Policy require approval by the AEC. 

1.2 Application

1.2.1 This policy applies to all individuals who are required to travel on authorized PSAC business unless specifically stated otherwise within the policy.

1.2.2 Enquiries concerning the application and interpretation of this travel policy to a particular travel situation can be directed to the appropriate PSAC Branch Directors, Coordinators or to the Convention, Conferences and Project Officer at FelixG@psac-afpc.com.

1.3 Definitions

Alliance Executive Committee (AEC) - is composed of the National President, the National Executive Vice President and the Regional Executive Vice Presidents.

Approval - means the person authorizing the travel expense claim.

Business travel – means all travel authorized by the PSAC, and is used in reference to the circumstances under which the expenses prescribed in this policy may be paid or reimbursed from PSAC funds.

Commercial accommodation – means hotel or motel type of accommodation or a similar commercial establishment that provides lodging at an established rate.

Continuous travel –   Period of uninterrupted travel between the traveller’s initial point of departure and the final destination.

Dependent child - means an employee’s or spouse’s biological, legally adopted, under Aboriginal customs or stepchild who is unmarried, unemployed, dependent and under the age of 21 if not in full time attendance at an educational institution, otherwise under the age of 25 or no age limit if the dependent child has a permanent disability.

Economy – means the standard class of air travel, including special discount fares.  It excludes first class and business/executive class or equivalents. 

Exceptions – means unusual circumstances or special needs that have not been covered in this policy.  The AEC, and/or the Branch Directors and/or the Section/Regional Coordinator have the authority to approve exceptions and make individual decisions that are not covered in this policy.

Headquarters area – means an area surrounding the workplace having a radius of 16 kilometres, centered on the workplace.

Incidental expenses – includes such items as gratuities (excluding those for use of taxi services), internet, laundry, dry cleaning, bottled water, phone calls home, grass cutting, snow removal, home security check, plant watering, mail services, pet care, telecommunications hook-ups and service, shipping of some personal effects, and other personal supplies and services, the costs of which can be attributed to a period in travel status, but for which no other reimbursement or allowance is provided under this policy.

Kilometric allowance – means the rate as indicated in Appendix A based on province of registration, payable for all authorized travel by motor vehicle.

Maximum Allowed for Driving means the amount paid to a traveller when he/she chooses to travel by privately owned motor vehicle for distances over 300 kms one way, when commercial air or rail transportation is available.  The amount paid will be the kilometric distance at the applicable rate specified in Appendix A, up to the maximum of $700 (round trip).

Meal allowance – means the rates for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as indicated on Appendix A.

Member Expense Portal (MEP) – website which allows members to submit their PSAC travel expense claims electronically (located on the PSAC Member Portal website). 

Non-commercial accommodation and private non-commercial accommodation – means a private dwelling owned or rented by an acquaintance or relative with whom the traveller does not normally reside, campsites, or other accommodation where incidental expenses are minimal.

POMV - means Privately Owned Motor Vehicle.

PSAC – means the Public Service Alliance of Canada. 

Receipt – means an original document or carbon copy or certified true copy showing the amount of expenditure, itemized where possible, the date and indicating proof of payment.

Reasonable expenses – means the specific, itemized expenses incurred, based on receipts, excluding alcoholic beverages, up to the amount determined by the PSAC to be justifiable under the circumstances.

Spouse means a person to whom an employee or member is legally married, or a person with whom an employee or member is cohabiting and who has been identified to the PSAC as the employee's spouse regardless of sex.

Travel Loyalty Program or Frequent Flyer points - means benefits offered by the travel industry for business or personal use.

Traveller – is used in this policy to designate both PSAC employees and members who travel on authorized PSAC business.

Travel status – means absence from the traveller's headquarters area on PSAC business travel.

WE Travel Service – is currently the unionized travel agent company that is utilized by the PSAC.  

Workplace – is the location at or from which a traveller ordinarily performs the duties of his or her position and, in the case of a traveller whose duties are of an itinerant nature, the actual building to which the traveller returns to prepare and/or submit reports, etc., and where other administrative matters pertaining to the traveller's employment are conducted.

2 – ADMINISTRATION

2.1 Authorization

2.1.1 It is the PSAC’s responsibility to determine, when, where, by whom and by what means of travel will be undertaken and to select the mode and class of transportation and the accommodation to be used, subject to the provisions of this policy. All travel must be pre-authorized.

2.1.2 Personal travel can be booked through the PSAC Travel Agency but must be charged to a personal credit card.

2.1.3 Individuals travelling on PSAC business are entitled to transportation and accommodation that is comfortable and of good quality.  Allowance, rates, reimbursements and conditions of payment shall be sufficient to meet reasonable, legitimate expenses that are necessarily incurred as a result of the requirement to travel.

2.1.4 It is the responsibility of the person authorizing travel and the traveller to be familiar with this policy. Any questions regarding the application of this policy should be reviewed with the person authorizing the travel.

2.1.5 As a general rule, on a normal working day, travel is to commence from the traveller’s headquarters area.

2.1.6 For travel of distances over 100 km, car rental or when using commercial transportation and/or when overnight accommodation is required, a PSAC Travel Authorization and Requisition for Advance shall be completed by the PSAC staff arranging the travel.

2.1.7 Should a change in itinerary on route occur or if emergency travel is required, where pre-authorization is not possible, approval will be in accordance with the PSAC Travel Policy.

2.1.8 Where travel is continuous in nature, the authorization may be provided monthly. Example: unusual circumstances such as short term relocation.

2.1.9 Approval of all changes from the pre-authorized travel arrangements, such as adjustments to itinerary, changes in mode of transportation, revisions to work schedules that affect, for example, weekend travel home, and alterations to overnight accommodation arrangements should be obtained in advance.

2.1.10 An explanatory note concerning items not pre-authorized or changes to pre-authorized items should be included with the expense claim or a notation made on the claim.

2.2 Responsibilities

2.2.1 The PSAC:

  • determines whether travel is necessary;
  • ensures that this policy is available to all PSAC travellers; 
  • ensures that the selection and reservation of appropriate arrangements (transportation, accommodation, advances, etc.) are consistent with the provisions of this policy.
  • pre-authorizes travel on the applicable form; and
  • verifies and approves travel expense claims.

2.2.2 The traveller is responsible for:  

  • being familiar with the PSAC Travel Policy;
  • obtaining authorization prior to travel;
  • submitting fully completed travel expense claims with necessary supporting documentation, original receipts and explanations of changes as required;  
  • submitting travel expense claims within 90 working days after completion of the travel.
  • the safeguarding of travel advances and funds provided.

2.3 PSAC Travel Agent

2.3.1 Travel agent contact information:

Voyages W. E. Travel 
25-A York Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1N 5S7
Tel.: 613-232-9908 or Toll free:  888-676-7747 (Ottawa)
Fax : 613-232-9931
E-mail ottawa@wetravel.net
web page: www.wetravel.net

Reservation Office Hours:
Monday through Friday - 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST

800-663-4703 (Vancouver)
(Vancouver office may only be contacted outside Ottawa regular hours)

Group Reservations (10 or more travellers)

If you have 10 or more people attending meetings, or different meetings of smaller numbers in the same city, please ensure you register your group event with W.E. Travel to obtain any available discounts.  

24 HOUR EMERGENCY TRAVEL CENTRE: 1-800-787-6030

2.3.2 A client profile form is necessary for each frequent traveller in order to save time when making their bookings. Individuals who occasionally travel on authorized PSAC business do not need a profile.  If a travel profile is not completed, the Travel Agent will request the information directly from the traveller, for example, seating preferences, special service requests, frequent travel program information, etc.

Please note personal credit card information may be requested as economy air and train fares only may be charged to the PSAC’s account. The travel agent requires the traveller’s credit card number to guarantee hotel reservations or for charging personal travel.  The card name, number and expiration date are required.  All information is kept confidential and is protected under the Travel Agent’s privacy policy.

2.4 Travel problems and complaints

2.4.1 All problems and complaints should be fully documented in writing and sent by email to the PSAC Convention, Conferences and Project Officer at FelixG@psac-afpc.com.

To assist the PSAC and the Travel Agent in responding to queries, the following information should be included:

  • Date of reservation and name of PSAC contact who made reservation
  • Name of travel agent who made reservation
  • Travel Agent Itinerary
  • Clearly outline the details of the situation
  • Ask for a response in writing

2.5 Travel advances

2.5.1 Travellers on PSAC business shall, upon request be provided with a travel advance to cover travel expenses not paid directly by the PSAC.

2.6 Gifts, hospitality and other benefits

2.6.1 Coupons, vouchers or other benefits such as accommodation, which are received due to delays, can be used by the traveller.  Claims should not be made for any such benefits that have been provided free of charge to the traveller.  The appropriate explanations should be written on the expense claim or an accompanying document. 

2.6.2 While on PSAC official business travel, travellers can collect and redeem benefits from Travel Loyalty Program(s) (TLP) also known as Frequent Flyer Points.  These benefits are for personal use and cannot be redeemed for cash value towards PSAC business travel.

2.7 PSAC Travel Authorization and Requisition for Advance-Internal form (for PSAC use only)

2.7.1 The PSAC Travel Authorization and Requisition for Advance is for internal use only and must be completed by PSAC staff. The form contains the following information:

  •  the travel authorization number and budgetary codes;
  •  the purpose and duration of the trip;
  •  the location to be visited;
  •  the dates and times of arrival and departure;
  •  any pre-paid transportation, meals or accommodation;
  •  the modes and classes of transportation authorized;
  •  vehicle rental authorization, including vehicle size;
  •  the amount of the travel advance authorized;
  •  the types of accommodation, locations and daily rate; 
  •  other projected expenses involved, e.g., weekend travel home; and, any special arrangements.

2.8 Receipts

2.8.1 If claims are submitted via the Member Expense Portal (MEP), receipts are not required unless selected for audit upon submission. Receipts must be retained by the traveller for a period of 2 years after the activity in case of future audits by the PSAC.

For claims submitted in hard copy form, original receipts must accompany the claim in order to be processed.

2.8.2 If a traveller is claiming return taxi, toll or ferry fares, he/she should submit a receipt for the return portion. However, one receipt is sufficient proof of payment, if the traveller attaches a receipt to his/her claim and indicates on the expense claim form that the amount being claimed is the fare times two (e.g. $25 x 2 = $50).  Should the receipt for the return fare be in excess of the amount reimbursed an additional claim may be submitted for the additional amount of the return fare.

2.8.3 The only expenses for which receipts are not required are as follows:

  • meal allowances (unless otherwise specified);
  • incidental expense allowances;
  • taxis utilized for which the cost is $10.00 or less;
  • kilometric allowance;
  • parking meters or tolls.

2.9 Overpayments

2.9.1 The PSAC is required to recover all overpayments made to travellers. 

2.10 Travel beginning or ending at workplace

2.10.1 When a period in travel status begins or ends at the workplace, the traveller may incur extra travel costs on the first and/or last day because the regular workplace/home commuting pattern is disrupted.  Accordingly, the traveller shall be reimbursed for reasonable transportation costs incurred between the residence and the workplace.

2.11 Travel within the headquarters area

2.11.1 When a traveller is authorized to proceed on PSAC business within the headquarters area, other than the workplace, during their regular work day, the cost of taxi or transportation shall be paid at the PSAC kilometric rate found in Appendix A for the most direct route between the travellers’ workplace and the meeting location.

Necessary parking charges may also be reimbursed.

2.11.2 When a traveller is authorized to proceed on PSAC business within the headquarters area, other than the workplace, on a non-working day, the cost of taxi or transportation shall be paid at the PSAC kilometric rate found in Appendix A for the most direct route between the travellers’ residence and the meeting location.

Necessary parking charges may also be reimbursed.

2.11.3 When the PSAC requests that a traveller bring a privately owned motor vehicle to the workplace, or to travel to a destination within the headquarters area, and the traveller has demonstrated to the PSAC that a privately owned motor vehicle is not the traveller's normal mode of transportation to the workplace, the traveller may be reimbursed at the kilometric rate specified in Appendix A. Such reimbursement will be based on the most direct road route between the residence and the workplace/destination.

Necessary parking charges may also be reimbursed.

2.12 Rest Periods

2.12.1 To alleviate fatigue caused by time-zone changes or overnight travel, a suitable rest period of up to 10 hours may be allowed between the time the traveller arrives at the destination (home, hotel, event site) and the time the traveller is required to report for work. 

3 – INSURANCE

3.1 Insurance plans and compensation

3.1.1 In the event that a traveller is injured or dies while travelling on

PSAC business, the traveller or, where applicable, the traveller's dependants may be provided with additional protection, subject to the terms and conditions of the following authorities. Coverage will be provided if injuries are sustained while traveling to union activities or as a result of participation to Union activities which include attending conferences, meetings, demonstrations. 

  • Chubb Insurance Company of Canada - Accident Insurance
  • Diners Club International Travel Insurance - for travel charged to the PSAC’s Diners Club Corporate Card (W.E. Travel)

3.2 Travel outside Canada - Insurance

3.2.1 When travelling outside Canada, the cost of additional health insurance, such as that offered by private insurance companies (if not already provided by the Employer) is required.  Travellers are advised to confirm with their insurance agent that they are adequately insured. If not covered, the cost for the minimum required insurance will be reimbursed by the PSAC.

Any additional coverage purchased by the traveller beyond what is required will not be reimbursed.

3.3 Car rental insurance

3.3.1 It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure that sufficient insurance coverage is included for the entire period that a car is rented for PSAC business.

3.3.2 Travellers should verify with their own personal automobile insurance provider or credit card company before renting a vehicle to ensure adequate third-party liability, personal injury and damage to property coverage. If none is available, then optional additional coverage for rental will be required and the cost will be reimbursed by the PSAC.

3.4 Privately Owned Motor Vehicles Insurance

3.4.1   Travellers are responsible for ensuring sufficient insurance coverage at all times for their privately owned motor vehicles when used for PSAC travel. 

Privately owned vehicles travel shall have at least the minimum provincial/territorial/state/country insurance coverage of liability and physical damage.

3.4.2 The PSAC is not responsible for reimbursing deductible amounts related to insurance coverage. The PSAC assumes no financial responsibility for privately owned motor vehicles other than paying the authorized kilometric rate or the maximum allowed for driving rate (depending on the authorization).

3.4.3 Travellers should ensure that their insurance covers any other PSAC travellers in the car.

4 – TRANSPORTATION

4.1 Commercial transportation

4.1.1 The selection of the mode and class of commercial transportation is made by the PSAC on the basis of cost, convenience, duration, safety and practicality.   The PSAC may authorize alternate arrangements for specific events (example: Convention, Conferences, etc.) for these reasons.

4.1.2 Commercial air transportation is the normal method of travel for distances in excess of 300 km (one way) for the reasons cited in Section 4.1.1.  When travel by commercial air carrier or by train presents significant inconvenience, or is not deemed practical by the PSAC, in terms of overall costs, the use of a privately owned motor vehicle (POMV) may be authorized. (See Section 4.6. for guidelines on use of POMV)

4.1.3 Trips of less than 300 kilometres (one way) are not normally authorized via commercial air transportation.  Instead commercial ground transportation (i.e.: train) should be considered where it is available, convenient and more economical. 

4.1.4 All commercial air and train transportation, are to be booked using the travel agency chosen by the PSAC and charged to the PSAC Corporate Credit Card unless otherwise authorized.

4.1.5 When commercial transportation by air or train is authorized, the PSAC Travel Agent will provide the traveller with the necessary prepaid electronic tickets.

4.1.6 When commercial transportation other than by air or train is authorized and used, the traveller shall be reimbursed actual and reasonable transportation costs based on receipts. Pre-approval is required.

4.1.7 Any penalty costs incurred as a result of changes or cancellations made by the traveller for personal reasons after tickets have been issued will be paid by the traveller, except in cases where penalty costs are the result of unusual circumstances or emergency situations beyond the control of the traveller. Such changes and exceptions require the authorization of the responsible signing authority.

4.2 Commercial air travel

4.2.1 All reservations for commercial air travel must be booked through the PSAC Travel Agent and charged to the PSAC Corporate Credit Card.  Air transportation should be used for distances in excess of 300 km (one way). 

4.2.2 If access to the PSAC Travel Agent is unavailable or, where it is not possible to use the services of the PSAC Travel Agent, a traveller will be reimbursed the actual and reasonable unionized commercial air transportation costs based on receipts.  In these circumstances tickets should be purchased directly from the carrier rather than through a travel agent.  Pre-approval is required and must be obtained for such travel.

4.2.3 The standard for air travel is the most economical class including advanced seating assignment and the reimbursement of one (1) baggage fee for each direction of travel (if not only already included in cost of ticket) on unionized carriers

4.2.4 Reimbursement of transportation costs for airfare and accommodation to an alternate location for personal reasons will not be reimbursed. However, it will be considered if it is more effective and pre-authorized.

4.2.5 Business/Executive Class air travel may be authorized in exceptional circumstances and where continuous air travel exceeds 9 hours. The National President, National Executive Vice-President and Branch Directors will have the responsibility for approval of all business/executive class travel based on the recommendations from the Coordinator. Supporting documents for deviations may be required.

4.3 Train

4.3.1 All rail travel is to be booked using the travel agency chosen by PSAC and charged to the PSAC Corporate Credit Card.

4.3.2 If access to the PSAC Travel Agent is unavailable or, where it is not possible to use the services of the PSAC Travel Agent, a traveller will be reimbursed the actual and reasonable unionized commercial rail transportation costs based on receipts.  In these circumstances tickets should be purchased directly from the carrier rather than through a travel agent.  Pre-approval is required and must be obtained for such travel.

4.3.3 When rail travel is authorized it should normally be by economy class, however, business class travel may be authorized in certain circumstances based on the approval of the appropriate signing authority.

4.4 Taxi

4.4.1 Unionized taxi services may be used when other more economical alternatives such as local transit or airport shuttle service are unavailable or impractical.

4.4.2 All claims for taxi fares in excess of $10.00 (one way) require a receipt. 

4.4.3 While in travel status taxi fares shall be reimbursed to and from the carrier’s terminal to the traveller’s permanent residence or place of work.

4.5 Car rentals  

4.5.1 Rental vehicles may be pre-authorized where this mode of travel is economical and practical.  The traveller is responsible for providing the reasons for the rental and the cost savings.

4.5.2 Travellers should use the PSAC Travel Agent for reservations and rentals.  The PSAC Travel Agent reserves cars with unionized companies whenever possible and at preferred rates.  Only the authorized traveller should be registered as the driver on the car rental agreement.

4.5.3 An intermediate vehicle is the usual standard.   Higher vehicle categories may be pre-authorized where the bulk or weight of the goods to be transported, or an extenuating circumstance warrants the authorization of a higher vehicle category (such as unsafe road conditions or if two or more passengers have been authorized to travel together).

4.5.4 In an emergency, where the Travel Agent cannot book car rentals, travellers should deal directly with unionized car rental companies wherever possible.

4.5.5 If the rental charges are higher than those obtained by the PSAC Travel

Agent an explanation should be provided on the travel claim. Drop-off charges will be authorized where it is cost beneficial and should be pre-authorized.

4.5.6 The traveller is required to provide a credit card for all car rental reservations and at the time of pickup at the car rental location.

4.5.7 Insurance - See Section 3.3, Car Rental insurance.

4.5.8 Gasoline expenses will be reimbursed by the PSAC with receipts. Travellers are required to use the most direct routes and claim for distances driven while on PSAC business travel (from the authorized point of departure to the destination and return and any other distances driven on PSAC business at the destination).

4.6 Privately Owned Motor Vehicle (POMV)

4.6.1 When a traveller is pre-authorized to proceed on PSAC business, travel between home and a carrier's terminal, taking into consideration the necessary luggage involved, shall be by the most economical and practical means. Use of private vehicles shall be reimbursed at the PSAC kilometric rate (see Appendix A) for the portions driven by the traveller, plus parking charges where it is cost-effective to leave a private vehicle at the public carrier's terminal during the period of absence. 

4.6.2 Travellers who are beginning or ending a period in travel status and are authorized to drive a privately owned motor vehicle to and from the carrier's terminal, such as an airport, shall be reimbursed the kilometric rate specified up to the distance between their home and the carrier's terminal. 

4.6.3 Travellers may use their own vehicles for trips where the distance does not exceed 300 kilometres one way. The PSAC may authorize alternate arrangements for specific events (such as Convention and Conferences, etc.), where commercial transportation such as train would be the approved mode of transportation and use of POMV would be up to the most economical train fare. (See Section 4.1.1)

4.6.4 When commercial transportation is not available or practical, a privately owned motor vehicle, may be authorized where this method is practical and economical.  Payments in excess of those normally incurred such as road, ferry, bridge, tunnel tolls and parking charges shall be reimbursed based upon receipts.  When a privately owned motor vehicle is the approved method of travel, claims for taxi fares are not normally authorized.

4.6.5 A traveller may request to travel by POMV to suit his or her own convenience; if pre-authorized the cost should not exceed the Maximum Allowed for Driving rate found in Section 4.8.

4.6.6 In the interest of safe driving, travellers should not normally be expected to drive more than:

  • 250 kilometres after having worked a full day; 
  • 350 kilometres after having worked one-half day; or
  • 500 kilometres on any day when the traveller has not worked.

These guidelines apply only under the following circumstances:

  1. If commercial transportation is not available.
  2. If the use of a privately owned motor vehicle has been deemed to be the most practical method of transportation by the PSAC.
  3. If the PSAC requests that a traveller uses a privately owned motor vehicle.

For travellers who choose to use their privately owned motor vehicle to suit their own convenience, guidelines found under Section 4.8 (Maximum Allowed for Driving) shall apply.

4.6.7 The PSAC determines the kilometric allowance rates for PSAC travellers. 

The kilometric allowance rates are subject to PSAC review and authorization.  PSAC kilometric rates can be found in Appendix A.   The kilometric allowance rate payable is the rate applicable to the province or territory where the vehicle is registered. 

4.6.8 Travellers are required to use the most direct routes and claim for distances driven while on PSAC business travel (from the authorized point of departure to the destination and return and any other distances driven on PSAC business at the destination).

4.6.9 Insurance - See Section 3.4, Privately Owned Motor Vehicles-Insurance

4.7 Traveller as a passenger in a private vehicle

4.7.1 Travellers may arrange to have another person drive them to, or pick them up from a public carrier’s terminal.  In either case, the amount claimable must be based on the most direct road route and each round trip cost claimed cannot exceed the one-way taxi fare to and from the carrier’s terminal.  Kilometric rates can be found in Appendix A. 

4.7.2 When a traveller is authorized to travel as a passenger in a private vehicle to his or her destination, where the driver is not eligible to claim a kilometric allowance, the authorized traveller is entitled to reimbursement of the kilometric rate (see Appendix A) or the Maximum Allowed for Driving (See Section 4.8), depending on the situation.

4.7.3 When a traveller is authorized to travel as a passenger in a private vehicle to his or her destination, where the driver is also an authorized traveller who is eligible to claim a kilometric allowance (see Appendix A) or the Maximum Allowed for Driving (Section 4.8), only one individual is entitled to claim reimbursement for use of the private vehicle.

4.7.4 Insurance - See Section 3.4, Privately Owned Motor Vehicle - Insurance.

4.8 Maximum Allowed for Driving

4.8.1 A traveller who chooses to use his/her privately owned motor vehicle to suit his/her own convenience for distances of more than 300 km, one way, will be reimbursed for kilometric distance at the applicable rate plus parking, up to a maximum of $700 (round trip).

4.8.2 The traveller authorized to travel by private vehicle shall be entitled to claim expenses, salary entitlement and meals in accordance with rates specified in Appendix A for the period of the absence that would have been necessary had commercial transportation been used.

4.9 Parking

4.9.1 Self-parking costs will be reimbursed upon presentation of an original receipt, where the use of a vehicle has been approved.  Valet parking charges are not reimbursed unless the hotel or venue prohibits guests from parking their own vehicles.

5 – TRAVELLERS WITH DISABILITIES

Where a traveller with a disability incurs additional expenses related to the accommodation of that disability, the PSAC will reimburse these expenses provided they are reasonable and pre-authorized. Receipts are required.

6 – ILLNESS, INJURY AND DEATH WHILE IN TRAVEL STATUS

6.1 Illness and injury while in travel status

6.1.1 Payment for the use of a suitable conveyance, such as an ambulance or taxi, shall be authorized where a traveller becomes ill or is injured while on duty or while in travel status and the nature of the illness or injury requires that the traveller be transported to a medical treatment facility, from the accommodation occupied while in travel status.

6.1.2 A traveller shall be reimbursed the necessary expenses incurred as a result of illness or accident occurring while in travel status, to the extent that the expenses were additional to those which might have been incurred had the traveller not been absent from home, and which were not otherwise payable to the traveller under an insurance policy, or other authority.

6.1.3 A traveller who becomes ill or is injured while in a foreign country will, where practical, be provided with a justifiable, accountable advance when incurring sizeable medical expenses.  Such advances would subsequently be repaid to the PSAC under the traveller's private insurance plans, or other authority. See Section 3.2 Travel outside Canada – Insurance.

6.1.4 When a traveller's condition resulting from illness or injury while in travel status warrants the presence of the next-of-kin or a representative of the family, actual and reasonable travel expenses in accordance with this policy may be reimbursed, subject to the PSAC National President's approval

6.2 Death while in travel status

6.2.1 If a traveller dies while in travel status, the PSAC shall authorize the payment of necessary expenses that are additional to those which might have been incurred had the death occurred in the headquarters area.  Included in the expenses payable under this article are: 

  • at the place where death occurred: ambulance, hearse, embalming, outside crate (but not the cost of a coffin) and any other services or items required by local health laws, and
  • transportation of the remains to the headquarters area or, if desired by the survivors, to another location, up to the cost of transportation to the headquarters area. Costs for an escort over and above the costs included in transporting the remains are payable only when law requires the attendance of an escort.

7 – ACCOMMODATION

7.1 Reimbursement and standards

7.1.1 It is the responsibility of the PSAC to select accommodation for travellers.  The traveller shall be reimbursed for actual and reasonable expenses for commercial unionized accommodation.  Receipts are required for payments in commercial accommodation.

Unless work-related reasons require the use of specific accommodation, a traveller's request for other unionized commercial or non-commercial accommodation shall be considered in advance by the PSAC.

7.1.2 It is the responsibility of the traveller to identify himself or herself as a PSAC traveller in order to ensure the most economical and unionized rate for commercial accommodation (if one is available).

7.1.3 A list of commercial unionized accommodation in Canada is available in Appendix C.

7.1.4 All hotel accommodations are to be booked using the PSAC travel agency and charged to the personal credit card of the traveller. If the traveller does not have a personal credit card, the traveller should contact the PSAC staff responsible for the activity who will assist with the guarantee of the reservation. Traveller is then responsible for the payment of hotel expenses (unless part of a contracted room block) and is reimbursed for room and tax charges through the travel expense claim (traveller is responsible for any personal or incidental expenses that they may have charged to their room).

  1. When the traveller chooses alternate commercial accommodation from that

designated by the PSAC, the hotel must be unionized. The PSAC will pay the alternate hotel cost up to the maximum of the cost of authorized accommodation.

7.1.6 Travellers attending an activity on the PSAC’s behalf, where the host venue is not unionized, may be authorized to reserve accommodation at this venue, provided that alternate, reasonable, practical and unionized accommodation is not available. A brief explanation will be required as well as a Branch Director’s or AEC Officer’s approval.

7.2 Cancellations, guaranteed reservations and hotel overcharges

7.2.1 When travel plans change and the accommodation will not be required; the traveller shall ensure that reservations are cancelled through the PSAC Travel Agent or directly with the commercial establishment(s).  Proof of cancellation should be obtained (i.e., cancellation number and agent's name).

7.2.2 It is the responsibility of the traveller to cancel reservations to avoid “no-show” charges. When circumstances beyond the traveller’s control prevent the traveller from cancelling the reservation, the “no-show” charges may be reimbursed by PSAC.

7.2.3 It is the traveller's responsibility to question the commercial establishment when the rate charged is in excess of the negotiated rates or as quoted by the PSAC Travel Agent.

7.3 Private non-commercial accommodation

7.3.1 Although travellers generally stay in commercial accommodation, the

PSAC will authorize a traveller to make arrangements for private, non-commercial accommodation.  A traveller who makes such arrangements shall be reimbursed an amount in accordance with the PSAC Travel Policy (see Appendix A), for each night this accommodation is occupied in Canada or abroad (US$ in the United States).   The total cost of the private, non-commercial accommodation rate plus appropriate and economical local ground transportation should not exceed the commercial accommodation costs that would otherwise have been authorized.

7.4 Accommodation within headquarters area 

7.4.1 Reimbursement for overnight accommodation within a traveller's

headquarters area shall be authorized in certain circumstances subject to prior approval.  Examples may include accommodation for such purposes as in-residence conferences, meetings, training courses and collective bargaining sessions that require travellers to remain on-site.

8 – MEALS, INCIDENTALS AND OTHER EXPENSES

The PSAC sets the meal allowance rates which are subject to PSAC review and authorization. The PSAC meal allowance rates can be found in Appendix A. 

8.1 General

8.1.1 The meal allowance rates contained in this policy are based on the consumption of meals in restaurants and are directed at travellers who are in travel status away from the vicinity of their headquarters area.

8.1.2 Breakfast can be claimed if traveller leaves home before 8 a.m. Dinner can be claimed if traveller arrives home after 6 p.m.

8.1.3 Meal allowance rates for locations in Canada and the continental United States are found in Appendix A.  To ensure that these rates remain adequate, they will be reviewed and, if warranted, adjusted based on changes in costs.

8.1.4 For each day or part day in travel status where overnight accommodation is authorized, a traveller shall be paid a meal allowance for each breakfast, lunch and dinner when applicable.

8.1.5 For each day that the traveller is out of the office on PSAC business, the appropriate meal allowances will be paid.  No additional amount may be claimed for meals, or for gratuities associated with meals. Receipts are not required.

8.2 Meals provided

8.2.1 When a full meal is provided by the PSAC as part of catering for meetings, conferences and other activities, the traveller shall not claim, nor be reimbursed the meal allowance. However, travellers may claim meal allowances even when full meals have been provided as part of the accommodation rate or as part of the commercial carrier’s ticket price.

(“Full meal” in 8.2.1 does not refer to snacks or light refreshments provided as part of a morning break for example (such as a muffin and coffee) or to a welcome reception which is not intended to replace a meal).

8.3 Incidentals

8.3.1 The PSAC determines the incidental expense allowance rate which are subject to PSAC review and authorization. The PSAC meal allowance rates can be found in Appendix A.

8.3.2 When overnight accommodation is authorized and used, a traveller shall be paid an incidental expense allowance that covers a number of miscellaneous expenses, including the cost of gratuities, for each day or part day in travel status as follows:

  • when a traveller visits locations in Canada and the United States on the same day, the incidental expense allowance paid shall be that for the location where the day commences;
  • for extended periods in travel status of two months or more, the incidental expense allowance is included as part of the appropriate meal allowance rate and hence, are not reimbursed separately.
  • The incidental expense allowance is not paid where, for example, a late-night flight arrives in the traveller's headquarters area after midnight).

8.4 Per Diem (flat rate)

8.4.1 A reasonable per diem flat rate may be paid in lieu of meal and incidental expense allowances, kilometric distances, parking, and taxi.  The amount of per diem and the items to be included are authorized by the PSAC for each event. 

8.5 Telephone calls

8.5.1 A traveller on travel status within Canada and the continental United States shall be reimbursed the extra costs incurred for local and long-distance telephone calls for PSAC business. Any surcharges (i.e.: if calling from a hotel), will be reimbursed. Receipts are required.

8.5.2 For each night a traveller remains in overnight travel status they shall be reimbursed the cost of one ten (10) minute long distance call. Related service charges shall form part of the cost of the call.

8.6 Excess luggage and other related expenses

8.6.1 A traveller shall be reimbursed costs incurred in transporting PSAC-owned equipment or materials at excess luggage rates, if the PSAC determines that it is necessary for the equipment or materials are to be taken on the trip. Receipts are required.

8.6.2 Excess luggage rates for personal items will not be reimbursed.

8.6.3 A traveller who is in travel status for 10 nights or more may be reimbursed the excess luggage rates. Receipts are required.

8.6.4 Travellers shall be entitled to reimbursement of the cost to cover repairs to or replacement of lost or damaged luggage while travelling, except where such coverage is provided by the airline carrier. Where coverage is not provided, travellers will require pre-approval from the PSAC prior to incurring the expense and may be required to submit a statement from the carrier.

9 - FAMILY CARE WHILE IN TRAVEL STATUS

9.1.   PSAC Family Care Policy

Objective

The PSAC fully recognizes that family is not solely defined as consisting of “mother and father with children” and may take several forms including, but not limited to: single parents, same-sex parents, dependant relatives residing in the household.

The objective of this policy is to remove one of the barriers which prevent members from participating in union activities.

The Family Care Policy (FCP) is intended to assist the member in covering additional fees incurred as a direct result of attending an authorized PSAC activity.

To achieve a maximum amount of flexibility, every effort will be made to provide on-site child care where Early Childhood Educated (ECE) or certified caregivers are available for hire.  When on-site childcare is provided, caregivers will be made available for evening sessions that form part of the schedule of events.

Eligibility

Where the member is the sole caregiver at the time of the authorized union activity, the FCP will cover costs for care during the day outside normal work/school/daycare hours. Family care costs that would have ordinarily been incurred during work hours had the member been at his/her place of work are not covered.

The FCP shall not cover cost for care provided by a spouse/partner, former spouse/partner with custody rights or a relative residing in the household. 

Members are entitled to claim fees related to the care of the following family members who reside on a full or part-time basis with the member:

  1. child under 18 years of age;
  2. a person with a disability;
  3. an adult, who is a dependant, requiring care.

How to Claim

Original receipts must be attached to Family Care expense claims if submitted in hard copy form.  If claims are submitted via the Member Expense Portal (MEP), receipts are not required unless care was provided by licensed agency/attendant or if selected for audit upon submission. Receipts must be retained by the member for a period of 2 years after the activity in case of future audits by the PSAC.

Receipts must include the following information:

  • Caregiver’s full name
  • Caregiver’s full address
  • Caregiver’s telephone number
  • Caregiver’s license number (if applicable)
  • Detailed dates and hours when the care was provided for each individual family member
  • Amount charged
  • Caregiver’s signature

Reimbursement of Fees

  1. Where the care is provided by someone other than a licensed agency/caregiver or the spouse/partner, former spouse/partner with custody rights.
    1. the actual amount up to a maximum of $15 per hour, up to a maximum rate of $100 (for each 24-hour period) for the first family member;
    2. the actual amount up to a maximum of $15 per hour, up to a maximum rate of $70 (for each 24-hour period) for each additional family member.

A “24-hour period” is defined as care provided between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 7:29 a.m. (the following day).

  1. If care is provided by a licensed agency/attendant, the actual fees will be reimbursed.
  2. Where an on-site child care program is provided at the PSAC activity:
    1. increased shared accommodation costs will be covered;
    2. and where a dinner does not form part of the program, an allowance  of $25 per child, per day may be reimbursed. (Reimbursement will be based on participant’s approved travel schedule).

Pre-Approved Exceptions

Upon request, consideration will be given to special needs or unusual circumstances resulting in costs which exceed the above rates and expenses allowable.  Detailed information must be provided in advance for pre-approval.

10 - EXTENDED PERIODS IN TRAVEL STATUS

10.1 General

10.1.1 This section of the policy applies to PSAC staff on short term assignments in different location from home or to members on union business (i.e.: negotiating teams) over several weeks.

10.2 Weekend travel home

10.2.1 A traveller who is in travel status that extends through or beyond a weekend is eligible for weekend travel home provisions subject to pre-authorization and the provisions contained in this policy. Weekend travel home is intended to remove the hardship of absence from home.

Authorization will be based on the following criteria:

  1. work schedule permits the traveller to be absent; and
  2. appropriate private or public transportation is available, and its use is both practical and reasonable.

10.2.2 Provided that the requisite criteria are met, a traveller in travel status who returns home over a weekend shall be reimbursed actual transportation costs up to an amount not exceeding the cost of maintaining the traveller in travel status (i.e., accommodation, meals and incidental expense allowances, telephone calls home).

10.2.3 When a traveller is in travel status for a period of more than thirty (30) consecutive days where travel home every weekend is impractical (due to distance), provided that the traveller is in continuous travel status, the traveller may return home on average every third weekend.

The traveller will be reimbursed the most economical return airfare, the necessary ground transportation to and from the carrier’s terminal and applicable meals. Meals and incidentals at weekend destination (i.e.: home) will not be reimbursed.

10.2.4 When the traveller plans to be away for the weekend from the travel location, the traveller is responsible for cancelling hotel arrangements at the travel location. 

10.2.5 Provided that the traveller is not required by the PSAC to remain at the duty travel location, a traveller may choose to spend the weekend at an alternate location. In order to be eligible for reimbursement, the traveller shall cancel charges for accommodation (and meals provided on-site) at the duty travel location, provide a receipt for alternate commercial accommodation and be eligible for reimbursement up to the amount that would have been incurred if the traveller had remained at the duty travel location.

10.3 Alternative to weekend travel home

10.3.1 As an alternative to weekend travel home by the PSAC authorized traveller, their spouse/dependant may be authorized to travel to the PSAC traveller’s assigned work location, provided that the provisions contained in the Travel Policy are met.

The transportation expenses (airfare and ground transportation) incurred by the spouse/dependant for a round trip to the traveller’s travel location will be reimbursed.  Such travel should be booked through the PSAC Travel Agent. Receipts are required, and the cost incurred by the other person for this round trip must be equal to or less than the round trip cost if the traveller had exercised the option of returning home.

The PSAC will only cover transportation costs for spouse/dependant and will not be responsible for any other expenses incurred by this individual.

10.4 Other extended travel periods

10.4.1 There are situations where the traveller is required to leave their headquarters area for a number of months to live in another community for reasons of training or work assignments.

10.4.2 When the period of stay at another location or at successive locations is two months or less, the traveller will be considered to be in travel status.

10.4.3 When the period of stay at another location or at successive locations is in excess of two months the traveller will be considered to be in extended travel status and appropriate arrangements will be made by the PSAC for suitable self-contained accommodation obtainable at weekly or monthly rental rates. 

10.4.4 For periods in extended travel status of two months or more, incidental expenses are reimbursed as part of the composite meal and incidental allowances rates (Per Diem).

11 – TRAVEL OUTSIDE CANADA

11.1 Scope

11.1.1 This section includes only those provisions that are unique to travel outside Canada and overseas travel. The general policy also applies to these travel situations except as outlined in this Section.

11.2 Approval

11.2.1 Approval of all travel outside Canada is delegated to the National President. 

11.3 Accommodation

11.3.1 All hotel accommodations outside Canada should be booked using the PSAC travel agency and charged to the personal credit card of the traveller. Government hotel directories shall also serve as a guide for the cost, location and selection of accommodation. Only those establishments that provide adequate accommodation at reasonable rates should be used.  Where accommodation is available at establishments that are not listed but offer more competitive rates, the use of such accommodation is encouraged. 

11.4 Meals

11.4.1 Daily meal allowances apply to each full day in travel status and recognize that travellers are often restricted to the vicinity of the major hotels and related higher restaurant meal costs.  The authorized rate is the established rate for the travel location and such rate has already been converted for Canadian currency rate.

11.4.2 Meals taken during part days in travel status are reimbursed in accordance with the individual meal rates as outlined in the international meal and incidental allowance rates in Appendix B.

11.4.3 Private, Government, Self-Contained, Non-Commercial accommodation

When a traveller occupies private, government, PSAC, non-commercial or self-contained accommodation while travelling on official PSAC business to a location abroad for which an authorized meal allowance has been established, an amount equal to 100 per cent of that allowance shall be paid. 

11.4.4 Unspecified Rates

Where no meal allowance has been established in a given country or where sudden changes in currency exchange rates or high inflationary trends may invalidate the specified meal allowance, actual and reasonable expenses shall be reimbursed.  

11.5 Incidentals

11.5.1 The incidental expense allowance paid shall be based on the foreign meal allowances as outlined in Appendix B, as appropriate, or actual and reasonable costs where no meal allowances are listed for a given country.  Incidentals are calculated based upon meal allowances paid for each day or part day in travel status where sleeping accommodation is authorized.  When incidentals are claimed, no additional amount may be claimed for gratuities.

11.6 Other expenses

11.6.1 A traveller on travel status outside Canada shall be reimbursed the costs incurred for local and long-distance telephone calls necessarily placed as a result of PSAC business.  Receipts are required for all calls placed while in this travel status.

11.6.2 The costs incurred in converting reasonable sums to foreign currencies and re-converting any unused balance to Canadian currency shall be reimbursed based on receipts.  Where such receipts are not attached to the travel claim, the average of the Bank of Canada currency exchange rates shall apply, based on a random sample of days in travel status selected by the PSAC.  However, where a traveller has not provided receipts for travel in a country where a recognized tourist rate of exchange exists, this rate shall be used as the basis for calculating the reimbursement of expenses.

11.6.3 Insurance - See Section 3.2, Travel outside Canada – Insurance.

11.6.4 Travellers shall be entitled to reimbursement of the cost to cover repairs to or replacement of lost or damaged luggage while travelling, except where such coverage is provided by the airline carrier. Where coverage is not provided, travellers will require pre-approval from the PSAC prior to incurring the expense and may be required to submit a statement from the carrier.

11.6.5 When a traveller is required to proceed outside Canada on authorized PSAC business, the PSAC shall reimburse costs for obtaining an appropriate official passport or visa, and any required inoculations, vaccinations, X-rays and certificates of health, at no expense to the traveller.  

12 – APPENDICES

APPENDIX APSAC Rates – Meals & incidental allowances and kilometric rates

APPENDIX BDaily meal rates at locations abroad

APPENDIX C – Unionized Hotels Directory in Canada - To come

Attachments: 
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June 19, 2019
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