Labour Disruptions (strike)

December 2021

Table of Contents

  1. Terms and conditions of employment
  2. Pay Procedures
  3. Compressed Work Week and Shift Work
  4. Deductions and benefits
  5. Emergency Salary Advance

1. Terms and conditions of employment

When a bargaining unit is in a lawful strike position, the collective agreement has expired and section 107 of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA) (continuation in force of terms and conditions) no longer applies, the practice has been to continue the terms and conditions of employment of the expired agreement.

Only the Treasury Board, under the authority of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) is empowered to determine the terms and conditions of employment that will apply and may continue the provisions of the expired agreement, modify them, or set different terms and conditions of employment.

Following is guidance on pay procedures resulting from absences due to strike activity. The procedures apply to members of a bargaining unit that are 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)) and Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employmentrequires 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 TBS is authorizing departments to recover the actual number of strike days, per pay period until recovery action is completed. .

2. Pay Procedures

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.

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:

  • Absence due to strike activity during any pay period will be recovered from the regular pay for a subsequent pay period as long as the leave without pay transaction is processed in a timely manner.
  • It is essential that managers record the dates and timing of withdrawn services for each employee and that departments maintain official records.

Salary overpayments due to strike activity during any pay period will be recovered in full from the first available funds payable to the employee. During a strike, it is very important to track employee’s attendance. This is the main reason to maintain strike logs thus ensuring that the employees pay is adjusted accordingly.

Some allowances such as bilingualism bonus may need to be recovered if employees fail to meet the eligibility criteria.

3. 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 deducted from 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.

3.1 Examples

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 deduction 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 and deducted 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 deduction action is to be taken for that day of rest.

4. Deductions and benefits

4.1 Dues check-off

As per the relevant collective agreement, the Employer will, as a condition of employment, deduct an amount equal to the monthly membership dues from the monthly pay of all employees. Where an employee does not have sufficient earnings in respect of any month to permit deductions as per the provision of the collective agreement, the Employer shall not be obligated to make such deductions from subsequent salary.

4.2 Superannuation

Time absent from work without pay due to strike activity is not considered as pensionable service and contributions will not be made.

4.3 Supplementary Death Benefit

Deductions will be made if there are sufficient earnings in the month.

Where there are insufficient earnings and a deduction cannot be made, coverage will be maintained and deficiencies will be collected from future earnings. If death occurs during the strike, any outstanding contributions will be collected from the Supplementary Death Benefit payment.

4.4 Disability and Health Insurance

Coverage will continue for the period in respect of which deductions have been made. All other circumstances pertaining to disability insurance will be subject to special instructions to be issued by TBS depending upon the length of the strike.

Remittances may be delayed beyond normal dates to take into account adjustments that have been made to the pay of employees involved in labour disputes.

4.5 Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive

Pursuant to the Isolated Posts and Government Housing Directive an amount equal to the period that an employee was on strike shall be deducted from the allowances.

4.6 Foreign Service Directives

Notwithstanding the provisions of the TB policy on strikes, the Foreign Service Directives (FSD) with the exception of FSD 56 - Foreign Service Incentive Allowances and FSD 58 - Post Differential Allowance shall continue to apply in a legal strike situation.

4.7 Canada and Quebec Pension Plans

Canada and Quebec Pension Plan deductions are based on actual earnings. Deductions should continue to be made to the extent that there are earnings.

4.8 Pay Increments

Absences due to strike activity do not affect an employee’s increment date.

4.9 Continuous service and continuous employment

Absences due to strike activity do not affect an employee’s continuous service or continuous employment dates.

4.10 Other benefits

Generally, the rule is that other benefits (if applicable) cease for employees on strike.

5. Emergency Salary Advance

As per the Directive on Terms and Conditions of Employment, an emergency salary advance is to be issued only for time worked in a pay period but for which no salary payment was received through the normal processing of the pay. Therefore, employees cannot request an emergency salary advance for the strike time (i.e. time not worked) that is deducted from the employee’s pay.

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