699 leave: PSAC files additional policy grievances, human rights complaint

PSAC has filed policy grievances with Treasury Board, CFIA and other agencies for restricting the use of 699 leave for members who are unable to work because of the pandemic. These grievances are in addition to two 699 policy grievances that were filed against Treasury Board in October.

Treasury Board and other agencies changed their guidelines around the use of 699 leave — leave with pay for other reasons — in November, forcing federal public service workers to exhaust all of their paid leave before they can use 699 leave.

The changes disproportionately impact marginalized groups who have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, including women, racialized employees, workers with disabilities and public service workers with family obligations.

Parents who need to pull their sick kids out of school or daycare, or workers caring for elderly loved ones are now expected to use up their vacation and sick leave because of circumstances out of their control. And recent lockdowns in provinces across the country have made the crisis for workers even more difficult.

This violates both our members’ collective agreements and workers’ rights under the Canadian Human Rights Act. PSAC will also be filing a human rights complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Workers have a right to use 699 leave because we negotiated it into their collective agreements; it cannot be taken away arbitrarily by managers. Treasury Board’s changes are out of touch with the public health crisis facing Canadians and impacts the well-being of public service workers.

PSAC is committed to ensuring that all our members, and especially women, caregivers, racialized workers and workers with disabilities, continue to have the necessary support and leave with pay they need during the pandemic.



January 8, 2021