This agreement applies to all public service employees who are or have been members of the PO group or any other group represented by the signatory unions. Civilian Members are not paid by Phoenix and are not covered by this agreement.
1. What is being awarded?
As a starting point, up to five days of leave are being awarded to every employee (2 days for employees who worked at least one day in 2016-17, 1 day for 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 respectively). Note: For the PO group, 1 day of leave is equal to 7.5 hours.
In addition, we have also created an expedited process for resolving more serious damages cases and expanded what is eligible for reimbursement.
2. Does this mean I won’t get the pay I am owed due to Phoenix?
You will still receive any outstanding amounts owed to you that you have not received due to Phoenix.
3. I wasn’t affected directly by Phoenix, does this agreement apply to me?
Yes. Broadly speaking, this agreement contains three tiers of damages. The first-tier, which provides additional days of leave, applies to every public servant who worked at least one day in a position represented by one of the signatory unions since 2016. The second-tier extends the Phoenix-related expenses eligible for reimbursement for those who were directly affected and the third-tier deals with additional damages for those who faced hardship.
4. Which period do these damages cover?
The agreement covers damages for the following four fiscal years: 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.
5. Does this mean I won’t be eligible for other damages?
No. In fact, the agreement creates a faster, dedicated process for resolving individual claims. This agreement does not close off the possibility of negotiating further compensation at the bargaining table or further negotiations outside of collective bargaining should they be warranted.
6. How long will it take for the leave days to be added to my leave bank?
The Employer has committed to fully implementing the agreement within 150 days of signing. The 5th day of leave is to be credited within 150 days of the end of the 2020 fiscal year-end.
As employees who have retired or left the public service need to apply for a cash-out, this process may take longer.
7. What if another union negotiates a better settlement?
In the highly unlikely event that another union secures improvements to this deal, the Employer has committed to making those same improvements to this deal.
8. I have retired or left the public service. Am I eligible?
In order to qualify for each fiscal year’s worth of leave, an employee needed only to be employed for one day in that fiscal year(s), whether or not they were on leave, assignment or otherwise not active.
For example, if your last day with the federal public service was September 1, 2018, you will get four days of leave credited to your leave bank (for the 2016-17, 2017-2018 and 2018-19 fiscal years) if you began working with the federal public service before March 30, 2016.
These days are subject to any applicable statutory deductions and are non-pensionable.
9. How was five days of leave reached as appropriate compensation?
The five days of leave were reached as an attempt to address the immense frustration caused to employees and as a product of negotiation with the employer. Leave was chosen instead of a monetary form of compensation, as it is a tangible benefit that is both flexible and easily administered without having to further bog down the Phoenix pay system.
10. What are the criteria to use the leave days? It is the same as vacation days?
All of the criteria are the same as the annual leave provisions in your collective agreement.
11. Can I cash out the leave days?
These additional days are treated the same as annual leave and are subject to the same cash-out provisions in your collective agreement.
12. Can we expect more leave days in the future seeing how Phoenix issues will continue?
Further negotiations will take place later in this fiscal year if Phoenix is still affecting members. For as long as there are Phoenix issues, we will seek damages and compensation through all appropriate channels.
13. I have incurred direct expenditures due to Phoenix, what should I do?
You can complete a Claim Form for Additional Financial Expenses Incurred Because of Phoenix Pay System Errors here:
You may also contact your Steward or Regional Chairperson for assistance.
14. I had to use sick leave because of stress related to Phoenix, am I eligible for compensation?
The agreement allows for the reimbursement of sick leave for members who took sick leave because of Phoenix. There is no threshold for this reimbursement.
15. I was severely impacted by Phoenix, do I have another recourse for more damages?
Employees will be able to file claims and the employer will engage in a detailed review of these claims. A threshold of $1,500 will apply, in some cases. It’s also important to recognize this is not a deductible amount; if an arbitrator ultimately rules that you are eligible for $5,000 in compensation, you will get all $5,000.
There is no threshold for sick leave reimbursements or reimbursement of out of pocket expenses.
16. How does this Phoenix damages agreement affect collective bargaining?
The collective bargaining process is not affected. This is a partial grievance settlement not a collective agreement.
17. How did CUPE 104 come to agree to this?
The National Joint Council bargaining agents agreed to engage in these discussions with the employer nearly two years ago in an attempt to resolve a number of policy grievances and complaints filed by bargaining agents. The settlement is a result of negotiations at that table and the Bargaining Agent heads have come to agree with the settlement.
CUPE 104 was invited to sign this agreement late last week. Our Executive fully reviewed the agreement, discussed it with the bargaining agent representatives on the committee, ensured it was reviewed by lawyers, and unanimously agreed to sign the agreement.
18. What happens if there is a change in government as a result of the upcoming election?
A change in government will not change the Employer’s responsibility to honor the agreement.