# 2014-206 - Foreign Service Directives (FSD), Military Foreign Service Regulations (MFSR), Post Index (PI), Post...

Foreign Service Directives (FSD), Military Foreign Service Regulations (MFSR), Post Index (PI), Post Living Allowance (PLA)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–02–05

The grievor contested an adjustment of the Post Index (PI) rate made while she was serving at a foreign post outside Canada resulting in a substantial reduction to her monthly PI allowance. The PI rate was reduced following triennial shopping habit surveys which identified that CAF members stationed at the foreign post had access to a United States Commissary. The grievor contended that such access should not have been reflected in the PI rate given the distance and cost associated with travelling to the Commissary. The grievor also disputed the use of Commissary pricing data from a different foreign post, arguing that it was not a fair comparison because the cost of travel to that Commissary was significantly lower than at her post.

The Initial Authority (IA) concluded that the PI rate calculations were based on a methodology approved by the National Joint Council (NJC) Committee on Foreign Service Directives (FSD) and as such, the matter was not within the jurisdiction of the CAF grievance process. The IA denied the grievance.

The Committee consulted a Subject Matter Expert (SME) from Statistics Canada to determine the precise method by which the PI rate is calculated. The Committee accepted the SME's explanation that the PI rate is calculated using raw data from the triennial surveys and thus is directly influenced by each CAF member's self-reported usage of the Commissary. Accordingly, any impact that travel distance and costs may have on the PI rate is captured by the CAF members' shopping habits. That is to say, if it is too time-consuming or expensive to shop at the Commissary, CAF members will choose not to, and this fact will be reflected in the triennial surveys.

The Committee applied the same reasoning to the grievor's concern over using pricing data from a United States Commissary at a different foreign post. The Committee noted that there was no evidence that the actual price of goods differed between the two Commissaries. The Committee found it reasonable that the CAF used the pricing data from the foreign post in question under the circumstances, and concluded that the grievor had not suffered any prejudice as a result.

Finally, the Committee acknowledged that the methodology for the PI rate calculation remains outside the jurisdiction of the CAF grievance process, but found that it was applied in a fair and reasonable manner to the grievor. Accordingly, the Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–01–28

The CDS did not agree with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied. The CDS was of the view that the grievor's barriers to access to American facilities and the lack of choice to revoke access to such establishments were not fully considered in the circumstances. Considering the time needed to commute to the closest American base, the grievor deserved a more liberal definition of "access". As the CDS found that the impact of over 1000$ per month was not justified, he directed that the grievor's PI rate be retroactively adjusted.

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