# 2016-178 - Amendment to Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 208.849 - Posting Allowance, for clarification purposes, Definition of Career Status – Posting Allowance, Posting Allowance (PA)

Amendment to Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 208.849 - Posting Allowance, for clarification purposes, Definition of Career Status – Posting Allowance, Posting Allowance (PA)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–12–28

The grievor transferred from the Reserve Force (Res F) to the Regular Force (Reg F) and had accumulated almost three years of previous full time paid service (PFTPS). Given that he was untrained in his military occupation (MOC) for his first two postings, he did not receive the Posting Allowance (PA).

The only issue in dispute was whether the grievor met the requirement of having reached “career status” as required by Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) Section 8, article 208.849 – Posting Allowance. The grievor contended the CBI states that career status is “as defined by the Minister”; however the instruction does not clarify that definition. He noted that the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP) clearly describes career status as being attained by a member who is transferring from the Res F to the Reg F upon completion of three years of service, including PFTPS in the Res F. He acknowledged that the CF IRP does not apply to his postings, but the definition and intent should.

The Acting Director General Compensation and Benefits, acting as the Initial Authority (IA), denied the grievance. He noted that CBI 208 Section 9, CF IRP does not apply to the grievor's circumstances given he was untrained before both postings in question. He stated that, in accordance with Section 8, a member must have reached career status “as defined by the Minister” to be eligible for the PA. The IA referred to CANFORGEN 031/97 wherein the Minister approved revisions to the PA entitlement and stated that career status is attained for Reg F members upon three years of completed service from the date of enrollment, or for officers, the earliest date of attainment of their MOC qualification, whichever comes earlier. It was the IA's view that neither applied to the grievor's situation when he was posted, and he was therefore not entitled to the PA.

The Committee agreed that CBI 208, Section 8 applied to the grievor's circumstances, and that the grievor had to satisfy the requirements of having reached career status “as defined by the Minister.” Upon reviewing the CANFORGEN which the CAF relied upon, the Committee found that it indicates the revision to the PA policy approved by the Minister was limited to the situation of CAF members who “are MOC qualified but who have not served three years of service”, which was not the grievor's situation. In contrast, the portion of the CANFORGEN being applied to the grievor's situation by the IA established when career status is attained for CAF members who are not qualified in their current MOC, but do have three years of service. There is no evidence in the CANFORGEN that the Minister approved this portion of the policy. As a result, the Committee found that there is no Ministerial definition of career status, and the only definition of ‘career status' was that found in the CF IRP.

Upon review of the purpose of the PA as set out in CBI 208, the Committee noted that the intention in establishing the PA was to compensate for the turbulence associated with relocation. The Committee found that for the purposes of CBI 208.849, re-enrolling members should be considered to have attained career status if they are MOC qualified, or if they have completed three years of service including PFTPS.

The Committee found that, given the grievor had completed more than three years of PFTPS of combined Res F and Reg F service before being posted, he had met the requirements for attaining career status. As a result, the Committee recommended that the grievor be entitled to, and reimbursed for the PA for both postings.

FA Decision Summary

The FA disagreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation, and the FA did not grant redress.

The FA did agree with the Committee that the Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI), rather than the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program, applied to the grievor's moves.

However, the FA found that the Ministerial definition of career status is set out in Canadian Forces General Message 031/97. The FA found, based on that definition, that the grievor had not attained career status and, accordingly, was not entitled to a Posting Allowance in relation to the moves at issue.

Regarding the Committee's systemic recommendations, the FA confirmed that the Director General Compensation and Benefits (DGCB) is undertaking a review of the Posting Allowance and preparing a Treasury Board submission. The FA noted his request to the DGCB that, in the context of this review, consideration be given to moving the Posting Allowance provision out of Section 8 of CBI 208, to avoid confusion regarding its application, and harmonizing the definition of career status throughout the CBI.

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