2013 Follow-up regarding National Monthly rate of Separation Expense (SE)

Topic

2013 Follow-up regarding National Monthly rate of Separation Expense (SE)

Case number

Description

The Committee has received its second case where a member on SE was given an amount over $1,500 per month to be later informed that he should only have received the national monthly rate of $1,090.  In the previous case (2012-002), the Committee had explained that article 209.997 of the Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) provided a formula for determining the maximum SE amount payable to Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members on Imposed Restriction for lodging, meals, incidentals, and parking. The Committee noted that in October 2008, the DCBA had issued an “Aide-Memoire” purporting to set a maximum monthly ceiling on SE entitlements at a national rate of $1,090 for all locations “not otherwise specified”.

The Committee found that the elements of the DCBA “Aide-Memoire” that were not consistent with the CBI should not have been relied on by the CAF to administer SE benefits.  The Committee had therefore recommended that an audit be done for the grievor and all members entitled to SE at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) in question, who were similarly affected by the improper imposition of the maximum monthly SE rate promulgated in the DCBA “Aide-Memoire.”

The CDS agreed that the monthly SE rate for unlisted locations had not been revised since 2003 and needed to be updated to reflect the increased costs of accommodations. The CDS directed DGCB to update the unlisted monthly SE accommodation; the CDS did not address the Committee's systemic recommendation that the SE be re-calculated for all members at the CFB in question.  As a result, the Committee received a second grievance relating to the same issue, same time frame and same CFB.  The Committee noted that it was very likely that there were other members in a similar situation with recovery action ongoing or, at this late date, likely complete.  Therefore, the Committee was of the view that an added emphasis was required to successfully resolve this matter for all affected members, once and for all.

Moreover, the Committee sought an update from the DGCB staff as to the CDS’s direction to update the national rate and was advised that, due to TB negotiations being a Cabinet Confidence, DGCB could not acknowledge whether such a review was underway.

Recommendation

The Committee recommended that the CDS direct the DGCB to conclude their SE rate review without any further delay.

The Committee also recommended that an audit be conducted of any cases similar to the grievor’s and that they be administered and resolved in accordance with the CDS decision in the precedent case.

Final Authority Decision

Pending

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