Student Rates of Pay for 2019

Date: 

To: Heads of Human Resources, Directors/Chiefs of Labour Relations and Compensation, Public Service Pay Centre, Miramichi

Subject: Student Rates of Pay

Student rates of pay will be restructured for the 2019 summer employment season (starting in May 2019), to provide more flexibility to managers to attract talented students, and to better recognize recent increases in provincial/territorial minimum wages.

With recent increases in provincial/territorial minimum wages, the bottom end of the federal student wage scale is now below minimum wages in many jurisdictions. More generally, rising student wages have made federal student employment programs less attractive for many students.

Moreover, federal student rates of pay are significantly below those of the starting salaries for occupations in which they could be expected to obtain employment. Departments are reminded that the hiring of students should be through one of the approved student programs, and other staffing vehicles such as casual should be used on an exceptional basis (e.g., a student awaiting graduation prior to bridging).

A new minimum national pay for secondary and post-secondary school students will be established to match the current highest provincial/territorial (Alberta) minimum wage rate. New pay steps will also be added to the top of student pay scales, to provide managers more flexibility to attract students where there are shortages.

Only existing students whose current rate of pay is below the new minimum rate of pay will see an automatic adjustment to their salary on .

Managers will continue to have discretion where to place both existing and newly-hired students on the pay scale, as long as the rates are applied consistently and respect managers’ financial obligations.

Existing guidance remains in force that movement of more than one incremental step should only occur in limited circumstances. Consequently, there will be circumstances in which new-hires are paid the same rate as returning students.

Student wages costs will continue to be managed within departmental budgets.

The new rates of pay and guidelines for their application are available online.

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: Interpretations@tbs-sct.gc.ca.

Original signed by
Zia Proulx 
Senior Director
Compensation and Collective Bargaining Management
Compensation and Labour Relations
Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer

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