Should you file a Phoenix Grievance?

October 24, 2016

While the government has announced that employees who have incurred financial expenses because of pay problems may submit a claim, USGE is still encouraging members who have been financially impacted by Phoenix to file a grievance as well, so as to protect their rights.

For those members who would like to file a Phoenix-related grievance, USGE recommends that upon filing their individual grievance that they have it held in abeyance until the government has finalized all of the Phoenix issues. If members are not reimbursed for all of their losses, then their grievance can be reactivated through the grievance process of their respective collective agreement.

To file a Phoenix-related grievance, it will be extremely important that members have all the necessary documentation to argue the losses that they have suffered. The documents include, but are not limited to: pay stubs, work records, receipts, bank statements indicating overdraft or other charges or penalties, credit card statements, letters from landlords indicating areas which will demonstrate:

  • What payments should have been made, in what amounts, and on what dates;
  • When payments were made, in what amounts, and when they were made;
  • How specifically the delay contributed to financial difficulties such as interest charges or penalties;
  • Employees efforts to seek priority payments from their departments must also be included in the documentation, with evidence of requests and evidence of any refusals.
  • For those citing the No Discrimination Article, the grievance documentation should establish clearly how the employer’s failure to pay on time and accurately is related to one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination.

Suggested Grievance wording:

  • I grieve that the employer has violated the Pay Administration Article (e.g. 65.02(a) in the PA Agreement), Appendix A-1 (or relevant pay appendix), and any and all other relevant articles of the Collective Agreement, related legislation, and policy including but not limited to the TBS Pay Administration Policy by failing to pay me accurately, on-time, or by repeatedly failing to pay me accurately and on-time for the work I have performed, as per the employer’s usual practice (i.e. bi-weekly, by direct deposit).
  • I grieve that the employer has failed to resolve my compensation issues by failing to pay me properly for the work I have performed.

If the employer’s failure impacts members in a group protected under the CHRA:

NOTE: Discrimination is an action or a decision that treats a person or a group negatively for reasons such as their race, age, gender, disability, etc. These specific reasons are known as “grounds of discrimination” and are listed under the No Discrimination clause of each Collective Agreement. Only grievances alleging discrimination because of one of the enumerated grounds contained in the No Discrimination clause may be referred to arbitration. By way of example, in order to substantiate a discrimination grievance regarding issues with pay, you will need to show that the reason you did not receive your pay was because of your race, age, gender or any of the other grounds enumerated in the No Discrimination clause.

  • The employer has violated the No Discrimination Article of the Collective Agreement and related policy and legislation including but not limited to the Canadian Human Rights Act by discriminating against me by the improper provision of pay and/or by failing to accommodate me on the basis of my disability.

Corrective Action:

  • I request that the employer compensate me immediately as per the Pay Administration Article (e.g. 65.02(a) in the PA Agreement), Appendix A-1 (or relevant pay appendix), and any and all other relevant articles of the Collective Agreement, related legislation, and policy.
  • I request immediate payment of any and all outstanding compensation that I am entitled to.
  • I request compensation for any losses suffered as a result of the employer’s actions or inactions.
  • I request payment of damages caused by the employer’s actions or inactions.
  • That I be treated with the full intent of my collective agreement , related legislation, and policy and that full redress be granted so that I be made whole.
  • I request any other redress deemed appropriate by an adjudicator.

For those claiming discrimination only:

  • I request damages pursuant to subsection 53(1) and 53(3) of the Canadian Human Rights Act.

For more information about filing a Phoenix-related, or other, grievance, please contact your Shop Steward or Local President.