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Feds start claims process under Phoenix damages agreement with Public Service Alliance of Canada

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 @ 9:41 AM | By Amanda Jerome

On Nov. 16, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat announced that Canada has “launched a claims process to compensate current and former employees represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) who experienced severe personal or financial impacts as a result of issues with the Phoenix pay system.”

“We are determined to provide fair compensation to all current and former employees who experienced Phoenix pay issues, particularly those who experienced mental and emotional stress or financial losses because of the pay system,” said Mona Fortier, president of the Treasury Board.

“Today’s launch is another important step in providing this compensation, and we will continue to work closely with PSAC to implement the remaining element of this damages agreement by the end of the year,” she added.

According to a government release, on Oct. 23, 2020, Canada “signed an agreement with PSAC for damages incurred by the Phoenix pay system and the late implementation of the 2014 collective agreements.”

This agreement with PSAC, the release explained, “applies to approximately 175,000 current and 45,000 former employees represented by PSAC and paid through the Phoenix pay system.”

“It also extends to the estates of deceased employees,” the release added.

The release also noted that there are “measures in the agreement to help those who had financial costs and lost investment income, and who faced severe personal and financial impacts. The agreement also includes general damages compensation for current and former PSAC employees.”

“The Government of Canada is working on a new, streamlined single-application claims process to be launched in December 2021 for former public servants to file claims for general damages compensation,” the release added.

According to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s announcement, claims for “severe personal or financial impacts could include financial costs and lost investment income, mental anguish or other personal impacts related to Phoenix pay issues.”

“Employees who took sick leave or other types of paid or unpaid leave because of an illness stemming from pay issues may also be eligible to apply for compensation through this process,” the statement explained.

“This claims process reflects elements of the Phoenix damages agreement signed with PSAC in October 2020, and complements existing claims processes for out-of-pocket expenses and financial costs, which continue to be available to public servants including those represented by other bargaining agents,” the statement added.

The announcement noted that the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is “also working in collaboration with PSAC to launch a claims process in December 2021 for former employees to receive general damages compensation for stress, aggravation, pain, and suffering, and for the late implementation of the 2014 collective agreements.”

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