# 2015-326 - Rent Ceiling Increase, Separation Expense (SE)

Rent Ceiling Increase, Separation Expense (SE)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–03–29

The grievor argued that the separation expense (SE) rental allowance he received for a furnished apartment in Regina, Saskatchewan (SK), was below market value. As redress, he requested a review of the rent ceiling allowance for Regina and an increase that would be representative of the real market value. In addition, the grievor requested reimbursement of his out-of-pocket monthly difference in rental expenses for the duration of his posting to Regina.

The Initial Authority (IA) found that in accordance with Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 208.997, Treasury Board (TB) had authorized a maximum monthly rental allowance for members entitled to SE in the amount of $1,090 for any location not specifically listed, such as Regina. The IA found that the Director Compensation and Benefits Administration (DCBA) did not have the authority to approve any form of financial relief under SE nor did it have the authority to modify the rates established under the purview of TB.

The Committee agreed with the IA's determination and found that the grievor was entitled to the maximum monthly rental allowance of $1,090 per month, set out in CBI 208.997. As such, the Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

Nonetheless, the Committee reiterated its view that the SE rate of $1,090, first promulgated in 2003, significantly underestimated the true costs of SE faced by CAF members today. The Committee also noted that the CDS had explicitly directed, in a previous grievance, that the monthly SE rate for unlisted locations be revised and updated and stated its disappointment with the evolution of the rent ceiling issue in what appeared to be a complete disregard for the CDS direction.

FA Decision Summary

The Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Authority (DGCFGA), as the FA, agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievance be denied. The DGCFGA agreed that the current rent ceiling in Regina is extremely inadequate, to the point where he did not believe it was currently advisable for CAF members to proceed to Regina on IR without first being thoroughly informed of the likelihood of significant out-of-pocket expenses. However, the authority to approve new rent ceiling rates lies with TB; the DGCFGA has already engaged the Director General Compensation and Benefits in this regard, and he expects that revision of the current SE rates are now a priority in the discussions with TB.

Page details

Date modified: