# 2017-020 - Posting status and move at public expenses for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members attending Basic Occupational Training , Relocation Benefits

Posting status and move at public expenses for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members attending Basic Occupational Training , Relocation Benefits

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2017–04–25

The grievor submitted that he should be entitled to relocation of his dependants, household goods and effects ((D) HG&E) at public expense while on basic occupational training for over one year.

The Initial Authority (IA) found that in order for the grievor to be eligible for a paid move under Compensation and Benefits Instruction (CBI) 208.82, it was implied that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) must consider the move to be in the public interest. As the grievor was not trade qualified, the IA found that authorization to move his (D) HG&E at public expense was not in the public interest. The IA concluded that the grievor had been treated in accordance with Treasury Board approved policy and denied the grievance.

The Committee found the IA's interpretation of “public interest” to be very restrictive as it failed to take into consideration the interests of the grievor. The Committee found that in 2016 a long-standing practice of allowing such moves was ceased despite any apparent command involvement in the decision. The Committee determined that a Training Authority (TA), through its relevant Basic Training List manager, had the delegated authority (from the CDS to the Chief of Military Personnel to the TA) to determine that a move at public expense was in the interest of the public and the CAF member when required training was longer than one year. Furthermore, this was in no way contrary to the intent or the letter of the CBI.

The Committee recommended that the grievor's posting be amended from Prohibited to Restricted, that the restriction be lifted, and that he be compensated for the move of his (D) HG&E in accordance with CBI 208.82. The Committee also made a systemic recommendation that clear direction be issued to TA to ensure the move policy was applied consistently and equitably at all training establishments.

FA Decision Summary

The CDS agreed with most of the Committee’s findings, and its recommendation that the grievance be granted. The CDS reviewed the eligibility and entitlement criteria to determine if the grievor could have moved his dependants at public expenses as per CBI 208.82. Following his analysis, the CDS found that a 15-month posting to be the appropriate benchmark in determining a timeframe for “temporarily”; beyond that, which is the case for the grievor, a member should be allowed a cost move if the dependants were never moved at public expense to the new place of duty. As for the prohibition of movement of dependants in the “public interest”, the CDS stated that how the CAF treats its service members and cares for the welfare of families are of concern to the public. The CDS found that the Basic Training List management team's attempts to deal with the recognized quality of life issues were incomplete. The intent of the CAF policies is to avoid domestic hardship as much as possible, and improve quality of life. The CDS believes that the CAF must develop a more flexible, equitable and affordable compensation and benefit program. Therefore, the CDS found it appropriate to allow the grievor a cost move in the public interest, and directed that the Chief of Military Personnel, through the Director General Compensation and Benefits and the Director General Military Careers, take the appropriate steps to change the grievor’s posting status from “prohibited” to “restricted” and to arrange for his reimbursement of actual and reasonable expenses he incurred. The CDS also agreed with the Committee’s systemic recommendation that a review of the policy of posting CAF members while undergoing basic occupational training for more than a year be conducted. The CDS added that, unless otherwise directed by the Treasury Board, that new directions be given by the use of CBI, with interpretations that support the welfare of military families.  

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