Update on decisions made by National Board of Directors on dues

Fix Phoenix

Dear Brothers and Sisters and Friends,

At its October meeting, your PSAC National Board of Directors made a decision about the special dues levy that members have been paying to ensure the health of the PSAC Staff Pension Plan.

There will be no impact on the amount of dues that members are currently paying.  Members will continue to pay an average of $2.45 per month in a special dues levy– the same amount now being collected.  Instead of being set aside to use for the PSAC Staff Pension Fund – which is healthy – it will be used to meet our operating costs until we get the Union dues that we are owed. Because of Phoenix, we can’t tell the Employer to stop collecting the amount of the Special Dues Levy, without putting our members’ pay at further risk.

At the 2012 PSAC Triennial Convention, delegates voted to put this special levy in place to ensure the solvency of the PSAC Staff Pension Plan. Because of your contributions, we now have about $30 million set aside for this purpose. The PSAC Staff Pension Plan was evaluated again in August and we believe the $30 million that has been set aside offers enough stability to weather a future storm.  

Normally, the National Board of Directors would be able to make a decision to stop the special dues levy.  However, as we all painfully know, the Phoenix pay system makes this anything but a normal time.

We know that many members have suffered because of Phoenix. We have focussed our energy on helping members whose pay has been affected, as well as supporting our members who work with the Phoenix pay system and are under tremendous stress.

Over the coming months, we will be putting even more pressure on the Employer to pay our members properly and to compensate them for all the pain and suffering that has been caused. 

Just as Phoenix means that many of our members have been paid wrongly or not at all, it also means that many of the Union dues being collected are wrong or missing entirely.

Quite simply, for the last eighteen months, we have not been able to change the amount of dues that members pay, issue refunds, or collect additional dues owed to the union. We are working on a solution and intend to go after the Employer for every penny of missing dues.  We have demanded an advance from the government on the dues that are owed to the union.

In the meantime, our union is suffering from the real and substantial drop in revenues.

The PSAC budget passed at the 2015 Convention mandated that: “a fall of 2% or greater of revenue – or the equivalent of $1.5 million – will trigger a Special Levy to the General Fund.  The exact amount of this Special Levy will be determined based on the amount needed to maintain total revenue at the budgeted amount.”

By the end of this year PSAC will be short about $6 million in missing dues.  Our revenue is almost 7% less than what we have budgeted.

If we apply the Budget as mandated by Convention, we would be implementing a special levy that is higher than the levy for the PSAC Staff Pension Plan. The National Board of Directors will not implement a higher dues rate.

The dues we are collecting for the levy will be separately tracked, monitored, and reported on. Delegates at the PSAC Convention in May 2018 will determine the PSAC dues rate for the future.

We want to thank you so much for your activism and support through the Phoenix disaster.  Please know that we are working every day to bring your voices to the Employer.  We will not rest until every wrong done by Phoenix and this Employer is righted.

In solidarity,

Robyn Benson

National President, PSAC

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October 27, 2017
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