Labour Disruptions (strike)

October 2004

Table of Contents

  1. Terms and conditions of employment
  2. Pay Procedures
  3. Compressed Work Week and Shift Work
  4. Deductions and benefits
  5. Terminations while participating in strike activity

1. Terms and conditions of employment

When a lawful strike occurs, the collective agreement affecting the employees in the bargaining group has expired. The terms and conditions of employment of employees in the bargaining unit, who continue to work, will be governed by those set out in the Public Service Terms and Conditions of Employment Regulations or such other regulations as the TBS may prescribe under the Financial Administration Act.

The Personnel-Pay Input Manual (PPIM) Chapter 6 - Work Disruption Plan outlines the plans and procedures for handling pay cheques for employees who are engaged in work stoppage activities. The TBS and PWGSC will issue notices to all departments by e-mail and through the pay system of procedures to follow while a strike is on.

Following is guidance on the recovery of overpayments resulting from unauthorized 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)) 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 TBS is authorizing departments to recover the lesser of four (4) days' pay or the actual number of strike days, per pay period until recovery action is completed. Departments may be required to temporarily stop certain voluntary deductions (such as credit union deductions) to ensure that the four (4) day recovery can be made in full. Every effort should be made to ensure that negative entitlements do not result when regular pay is processed.

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:

  • The TBS will inform PWGSC whether and when to cease dues check-off for affected bargaining units.
  • 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 four (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 and departments maintain official records. As well, some allowances such as bilingualism bonus and terminable allowances 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 paying offices, TBS (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.

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 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.

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 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.

4. Deductions and benefits

4.1 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 PWGSC master employee record (MER) reflects 15 for employees who occupy designated positions.

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 there shall be deducted from the allowances an amount equal to the period that an employee was on strike.

4.6 Foreign Service Terms and Conditions of Employment Directive

Notwithstanding the provisions of the TBS policy on strikes, the Foreign Service Terms and Conditions of Employment Directive with the exception of Directive 56 (Foreign Service Incentive Allowances) and Directive 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 stike 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 cease for employees on strike.

5. Terminations while participating in strike activity

Employees who decide to terminate their employment with the Public Service should advise their manager in writing. Once approved by the manager, the resignation notice is forwarded to the departmental personnel office where the necessary action is taken to close and finalize the employee's pay account.

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