Essential Services - May 2008


TO: Heads, Compensation and Labour Relations

The purpose of this bulletin is to advise you that Section 132 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA) requires the employer to continue to deduct union dues from the pay of employees who occupy positions providing essential services during a strike of their bargaining unit. In order to do this, departments have to ensure that the collective bargaining status codes for incumbents of positions identified as essential are accurate in the pay system.

The Essential Services identification process has been ongoing for the following bargaining units and all departments involved have been notified:

Canadian Autoworkers
  • Radio Operations
National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers Union of Canada
  • Air Traffic Control
Canadian Federal Pilots Association
  • Aircraft Operations
Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada
  • Non-Supervisory Printing Services
Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada
  • Computer Systems
Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers
  • Foreign Service
Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Program and Administrative Services
  • Frontière/Border Services
  • Operational Services

To facilitate compliance with the PSLRA, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) has notified Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to automatically convert all employee records of the above-noted bargaining units bearing collective bargaining status code 15 to code 10. This will ensure that only those employees who are actually occupying a position essential to the safety or security of the public will be identified as such, once the process is completed.

The PSLRA (ss-125) states that essential services agreements (ESAs) remain in force until parties agree there are no employees occupying positions providing essential services in the bargaining unit. Sub-section 126(1) further requires parties to formally seek amendments to ESAs. As such, once the essential services agreements have been signed, departments will apply code 15 to all employees occupying positions listed in the ESA. In the future, departments will only be required to change the collective bargaining status codes as and if amendments occur to the ESA.

Each Departmental Labour Relations section will inform their Pay Administration section, once employees occupying those positions are officially notified of this status. At that time, the Pay Administration section must process pay transactions to change the collective bargaining status code for these employees to 15 – essential services. This includes positions that are essential as “alternate” or on a “conditional basis”.

It is important that Departmental Labour Relations sections provide information to Pay Administration sections on the incumbents of positions identified as essential, in a timely manner to ensure compliance with the requirement of the PSLRA and to allow enough time to process the required pay transactions.

NOTE: Departmental Labour Relations sections will confirm when these pay transactions can be processed.

Departmental Compensation and Labour Relations managers should direct any questions to their appropriate corporate officials who, if need be, can contact the Pay Administration section.

This announcement is available on the TBS Web site at: Human Resources Information Notices

Original signed by

Sylvie Joseph
Acting Director,
Project Management, Internal Service Transformation and Pay Administration
Labour Relations and Compensation Operation

Page details

Date modified: