# 2015-127 - Allowances and Benefits, Pay and Benefits, Sea Duty Allowance (SDA)

Allowances and Benefits, Pay and Benefits, Sea Duty Allowance (SDA)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–07–27

The grievor, a Resource Management (RMS) Clerk, was posted to a position which was not designated as a sea-going position for the purpose of Sea Duty Allowance (SDA). However, other Clerks in similar positions with the same qualifications were in receipt of the SDA. The grievor requested one standard for all Clerks in the unit and requested to be paid SDA backdated to her change of strength date to the unit. It was brought to the unit Commander's attention that SDA was not being paid in accordance with regulations. As a result, a review of all positions receiving SDA within the unit was conducted and a number of positions, including three RMS Clerk positions, were un-designated for the purposes of SDA.

The unit Commander, acting as Initial Authority (IA), acknowledged that over a number of years, the formal list of designated positions in the unit was not reviewed for accuracy, and deviations from policy had occurred. He stated that, as a result of the review, none of the RMS Clerk positions met the SDA policy requirements to be eligible for SDA. Therefore, the IA granted the grievor's request for redress with respect to having one standard for all Clerks. However, the IA denied the grievor's request for payment of SDA given that her position was not designated to receive the benefit.

The Committee reviewed Compensation and Benefit Instructions 205.35 – Sea Duty Allowance, which states that to be eligible for the benefit, a CAF member must be posted to a ship or serving in a seagoing position designated by the Chief of the Defense Staff or his delegate. None of these conditions applied to the grievor's position and she was therefore not entitled to receive SDA in accordance with the policy.

The Committee noted that while other Clerks may have received SDA in error, this was irrelevant for the determination of this grievance. The Committee highlighted that, in the past, it had found that in the case of a policy misinterpretation, where a CAF member had benefited from a mistake, the error did not create an entitlement for another CAF member. Therefore, the Committee found that SDA could not be retroactively paid to the grievor on the basis that it was paid in error to other peers over a period of time.

The Committee recommended to the CDS that the grievance be denied.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–10–29

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied.

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