# 2013-066 - Allowances and Benefits, Canadian Forces Severance Pay (CFSP), Promotion

Allowances and Benefits, Canadian Forces Severance Pay (CFSP), Promotion

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2013–10–23

The grievor was promoted to substantive Sergeant (Sgt) in December 2005 and, in July 2010, was promoted to the rank of acting lacking Warrant Officer (WO) because he was missing his Intermediate Leadership Qualification (ILQ) course. In June 2012, after completing the course, the grievor was promoted to the rank of substantive WO.

In March 2012, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) announced the termination of the severance pay benefit, whereby members would receive Payment in Lieu of Severance for their eligible time. The calculation of the payment was based on a member's substantive rank. As it applied to the grievor, this meant that his almost two years of service as an acting lacking WO, was discounted.

The grievor submitted a grievance stating that it was unfair that it took the CAF six years to provide him with the required training for his substantive promotion to WO. He alleged that this is a systemic problem, that there is a tremendous backlog for the courses and, that CAF members have no control over when it is offered or when they can attend. He also noted that the training delay directly and unfairly affected the calculation of his Payment in Lieu of Severance in that he received less compensation than he would have received had he been a substantive WO. As remedy, the grievor requested that his substantive rank be backdated to the 2010 original date of his promotion to acting lacking WO and that his severance benefit be re-calculated.

The Initial Authority, the Director General Military Careers, rejected the grievance on the basis that it had been submitted outside the required time limit. The Initial Authority concluded that the grievor's training commenced on 30 January 2012 and that he had six months from that date to complain that he received the training too late. Since the grievance was filed in November 2012, the Initial Authority found that it had been submitted beyond the six-month time limit and refused to consider it. However, the Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Authority recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), in the interests of justice, accept and review the grievance; the Committee agreed with this decision.

The Committee found that the delay in loading the grievor on his ILQ course was fully attributable to the CAF and that the delay was unreasonable. The Committee found that the grievor should have been given the opportunity to complete the course as a Sgt.

The Committee also found that, as a consequence of this unreasonable training delay, the grievor received his Payment in Lieu of Severance benefit at the rank of substantive Sgt rather than WO, causing him to suffer unfair financial harm. The Committee recommended that the CDS grant the grievance by waiving the requirement for the grievor to have completed the ILQ course prior to being promoted to substantive WO effective 14 July 2010, and that the Payment in Lieu of Severance benefit be recalculated accordingly.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2014–07–22

The FA did not agree with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be upheld. First, the FA did not agree with the timelines used to demonstrate that the CAF were neglectful in not providing the grievor with the ILQ in a timely manner. Given the priorities to consider as per Canadian Forces Military Personnel Instruction 04/08 and also, the prerequisites for a promotion, before being placed on a course priority list, the FA was satisfied that the grievor was treated within the established guidelines. The FA found that there was no reason to waive the rank requirement or to backdate the grievor's subtantive WO rank to the date he was awarded A/L status. As for the payment in lieu of severance benefit, the FA determined that the grievor had other options at his disposal: ultimately, it was his decision to cash it out, and the CAF bear no responsibility for the alleged financial loss he incurred.

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