Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Pay Advocates

Heads of Human Resources, Directors/Chiefs of Labour Relations and Compensation

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is training some of their members as “Pay Advocates”, to provide assistance to affected employees experiencing pay issues related to Phoenix.

The Employer recognizes the valuable role these union representatives could play in helping members with pay issues, and encourages departments to take this into account.

This bulletin provides information on the collective agreement provisions applicable to these Pay Advocates, and on their roles and responsibilities.

Applicable Provisions of the Collective Agreements

The Employer interprets the following or similar language, which is included and applicable in PSAC collective agreements, as permitting Pay Advocates to assist other members in the resolution of their pay issues.

  1. A representative shall obtain the permission of his or her immediate supervisor before leaving his or her work to investigate employee complaints of an urgent nature, to meet with local management for the purpose of dealing with grievances and to attend meetings called by management. Such permission shall not be unreasonably withheld. Where practicable, the representative shall report back to his or her supervisor before resuming his or her normal duties.
  2. Where practicable, when management requests the presence of an Alliance representative at a meeting, such request will be communicated to the employee’s supervisor.
  3. An employee shall not suffer any loss of pay when permitted to leave his or her work under paragraph (a).

Roles and responsibilities of a Pay Advocate

The following identifies the typical activities of a Pay Advocate:

  • Attend training provided by the PSAC, and PSAC meetings related to the role of Pay Advocates;
  • Organise meetings with members to discuss Phoenix-related pay issues;
  • Provide assistance in accessing and completing required forms;
  • Identify and provide resources to help resolve pay issues;  and
  • Participate in employee grievance processes related to pay administration issues.

This bulletin does not cover general advocacy activities (such as discussions with members of parliament, or participating in or organizing publicly-focused Phoenix activities). Such activities remain subject to other collective agreement articles, when they occur within working hours.


The local union will provide each Deputy Head with a list outlining the names of the identified Pay Advocates within the department.

Deputy Heads are encouraged to be flexible with the use of employer premises for the purposes of meetings between members and their Pay Advocates for the purposes outlined above.

Departments are encouraged to communicate with Pay Advocates on internal and government-wide pay-related administration developments, so they are better positioned to inform members.

Pay Advocates are not informal Compensation Advisors, and as such they are not subject to the applicable recruitment and retention incentives.

Pay advocacy activities are not covered by any other clauses of the collective agreement. Moreover, the Employer is not authorizing “full-time paid union leave” to allow union representatives to focus on resolving pay issues.

All questions should be directed to your Departmental Corporate Labour Relations or Corporate Compensation Official who, if required will direct their questions to the Compensation and Labour Relations group at the following email address:

Baxter Williams
Executive Director
Strategic Compensation Management
Compensation and Labour Relations
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

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