USJE’s response to CSC’s update on the Correctional Services Special Duty Allowance issues

June 19, 2020

On June 5th, 2020 USJE posted an update on our website as we felt our members deserved one regardless if the news was negative or positive.

On June 15th, 2020 Correctional Services Canada (CSC) posted the following update on their “Hub”:

National:

Continuing commitments

  • PSPC and CSC continue to work on finding options for expediting resolution and payment of outstanding Correctional Services Special Duty Allowance (CSSDA) entitlements. At this current time, the complex nature of the processing work requires case-by-case manual file interventions in the majority of cases over multiple pay periods.
  • We continue to make every effort to take action on financial hardship cases (that may include CSSDA) through our internal Pay Services Unit (PSU) resources.*

*USJE does not agree with the statement regarding efforts being made to “take action” on financial hardship cases that may include the Correctional Services Special Duty Allowance (CSSDA). USJE’s Labour Relations Officer assigned to Phoenix can attest to many struggles trying to assist members to get a priority payment.


Processing challenges / options explored**

  • The limited numbers and transaction processing skills of the PSU team are not sufficient to offer a timely solution for managing all of these outstanding cases because of the number of issues in the inventory.
    • While we urgently want to get these outstanding earnings paid, we need to ensure that our commitment and use of resources does not create other vulnerabilities that could re-open pay processing risks we have resolved and/or are managing, or create new backlog inventory in doing so.
    • We understand that employees have been waiting a long time for these payments and that is the primary reason why we continue to work collectively on options to increase our efforts in resolving these long-standing issues.

**USJE has suggested that resources that were writing to employees to recover advances before an employee received three correct pay cheques be reassigned to assist with providing priority payments.


  • One of the other main obstacles is the complexity of the manual case-by-case interventions required in the processing of these types of retroactive corrective actions.
    • PSPC has been working on some system changes for managing the administration of these types of challenges and we are hoping these planned changes for the fall 2020 may offer new opportunity to leverage the same approach on these backlog CSSDA matters.
  • We are continuing to explore (and pilot) other possibilities to get these owed earnings paid to affected employees. ***

***USJE has advised CSC that enough is enough.USJE expects CSC to provide some form of payment to employees immediately as a show of good faith.


Pay Action Requests (PAR) Requirements****

  • We are creating an inventory of all outstanding CSSDA entitlements through a new pay roll report based on Phoenix data which will allow us to more effectively verify this element of earnings (paid/ owing) for every entitled employee.
  • Consequently, there is no need to create any further PARs to document your CSSDA entitlement issues or changes in your entitlements because we will be auditing the outstanding payments of these allowances through this tool when the file retro work is undertaken.

****It is true that PARs are not required for CSSDA pay issues. USJE has confirmed this with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)/Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) escalation team.


Expectations

  • Based on our current capacity, the complexity of the work and the available processing options for these entitlements, we do not anticipate that we will have the overall CSSDA allowance issues and retro-pay resolved before the end of this calendar year.

We realize these annual entitlements, in some cases, have remained unpaid since the implementation of the new system and they represent a significant amount of owed earnings for our employees. We want to assure you we are doing all we can with our PSPC partners to find a solution.


USJE’s Final Comments

USJE does not find it acceptable that employees continue to not be properly paid for their allowances. We have taken the issue to the PSAC National President to address with Treasury Board.

As stated above, USJE expects CSC to provide some form of payment to employees immediately as a show of good faith.

If you require further clarification regarding CSSDA or any other Phoenix related pay issue please go to the Phoenix section of our website where you can complete an Authorization form to send with your question to the dedicated USJE Phoenix email.