Two years late, federal government implements collective agreements

After unrelenting pressure, including legal action by PSAC, the government has finally completed the implementation of past collective agreements for all Treasury Board (TB) workers.

Some PA, SV, TC and EB workers have been waiting since November 11, 2017 to receive their salary adjustments. Many public service workers did not see any retroactive pay until September this year – more than two years after Treasury Board and PSAC signed the last collective agreement in the summer of 2017.

The union initially gave all employers an extended grace period for collective agreement implementation, doubling the usual timeframe from 75 to 150 days. However, Treasury Board took a total of 810 days to give public servants their outstanding retroactive pay.

Some government workers are still waiting on their outstanding pay. As of last month, the implementation of collective agreements for Parks Canada workers was 68% partially complete, while Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) workers was 84% partially complete. The government is blaming the Phoenix pay system for the delays in salary adjustments and retroactive pay.

PSAC filed several complaints with the Federal Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board on behalf of each of its affected bargaining units when the government failed to meet the reasonable 150-day deadline. Early last year, the Board declared the federal government had broken the law.

PSAC is seeking damages on the delay related to retroactive payments. Further PSAC is demanding in the current round of negotiations a penalty clause to compensate members in the future should the employer fail to provide retroactive pay on time again.

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October 29, 2019