Pay Administration during Labour Disruptions

This document provides guidance on the recovery of overpayments resulting from unauthorized absences due to strike activity. The procedures apply to members of a bargaining unit that is in a legal strike position, as well as members of other bargaining units who support the labour disruption.

The Financial Administration Act (Section 155(3))requires that salary overpayments be recovered in full from the first available funds payable to the employee. For the recovery of overpayments resulting from strike activity, the Treasury Board Secretariat is authorizing departments to recover the lesser of 4 days’ pay or the actual number of strike days to be recovered, per pay period until recovery action is completed. The recovery is based on the employee’s assigned hours of work, that is 4 days @ 7.5 hours which equals to 30 hours or if the employee works a compressed day of 8.33, the total recovery is 33.32 hours. Departments may be required to temporarily stop certain voluntary deductions (such as credit union deductions) to ensure that the 4 day recovery can be effected in full. Every effort should be made to ensure that negative entitlements do not result when regular pay is processed.

Pay Procedures

Employees belonging to bargaining units that are in a legal strike position will continue to be paid normally until strike activity takes place.

In the event of labour disruptions, the following procedures for handling the pay of striking employees will apply:

  • Pay cheques and direct deposit payments will continue to be produced and issued to striking employees on the regular payday.
  • Salary overpayments due to strike activity during any pay period will be recovered from the regular pay for a subsequent pay period. As specified above, the recovery rate is the lesser of 4 days’ pay or the actual number of strike days. In the event that an overpayment remains, the balance will be recovered from subsequent pay period(s).
  • In this regard, it is essential that managers record the dates of withdrawn services for each employee. Absences due to strike activity are considered to be non-pensionable service, and departments must maintain official records. As well, some allowances such as bilingual bonus will have to be recovered if employees fail to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Depending on the nature and extent of strike activities, and the availability of pay processing personnel in departments, agencies and PWGSC pay offices, Treasury Board Secretariat (in co-operation with PWGSC) may invoke special procedures regarding the processing of pay transactions during a labour disruption. Should this take place, details would be provided through a further communication.

Dues Check-off

Treasury Board Secretariat will inform Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) whether and when to cease dues check-off for affected bargaining units.

The Public Service Staff Relations Act (Section 52.1) requires that employees occupying designated positions continue to pay union dues while the bargaining unit is in a legal strike position. Departmental compensation advisors are reminded to ensure that the exclusion code of the master employee record (MER) reflects 15 for employees who occupy designated positions.

Compressed Work Week and Shift Work

The following provides guidance on the procedures that should be followed for employees working either a compressed work week or shift work and who are participating in strike activity.

Pay for absences due to strike activity is to be recovered for the regularly scheduled hours of work. The employee’s scheduled hours of work must not be reverted to the normal hours of work during the labour disruptions.

Example 1 - Compressed Work Week

An employee whose normal hours of work are 37.5 hours from Monday to Friday and who is working a compressed work week of 8.33 hours per day with every second Friday off, should have all days of strike activity for which s/he is scheduled to work and does not, reported as 8.33 hours per day and not 7.5 hours per day. Should the employee participate in strike activity on the second Friday, no recovery action is to be taken, as this is the employee’s normally scheduled day of rest.

Example 2 - Shift Work

A shift work employee whose scheduled hours of work are 12 hours per day and whose normal hours of work under the relevant collective agreement are 8 hours per day, should have all days of strike activity for which s/he is scheduled to work and does not, reported as 12 hours per day and not 8 hours per day. Should the employee participate in strike activity on his/her scheduled days of rest, no recovery action is to be taken.

Departmental Compensation and Staff Relations managers should direct any questions that they may have to their corporate Compensation officials who, if need be, can contact the Pay Administration Section.

Original signed by:

Reginald A. Giekes
A/Director
Pay Administration Section
Management Policy and Labour Relations

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