Here’s what we know about federal workers pay during the PSAC strike

As tens of thousands of federal public servants spend an eighth day on the picket line, their union says it could be another two weeks before they see reductions in their pay.

More than 155,000 federal workers began strike action on April 19 to back demands for a new contract. Now, many striking employees and the public have questions about how pay will be administered during the strike.

Federal workers are paid two weeks in arrears. Wednesday is pay day for federal workers, and the pay covers the period March 30 to April 12. looks at the information from the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the federal government on employees’ pay during the strike.

Strike pay

The Public Service Alliance of Canada says members are expected to attend a picket line for a minimum of four hours per day to qualify for strike pay.

Members who usually work 20 hours or more each week will receive the following strike pay:

  • Ontario and all provinces: $75 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $375
  • Yukon: $103.20 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $516
  • Northwest Territories: $117.35 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $586.75
  • Nunavut: $141 per day, for a maximum per calendar week of $705.

Some PSAC components and locals may also choose to top-up members’ strike pay. 

First day of strike pay

PSAC says strike pay will begin to be delivered on Wednesday.

The first payment will cover the first three days of the strike: April 19, 20 and 21.

E-transfers will reach members in the first days as they are automatic, while physical cheques will take a few more days to print and distribute. 

The union says strike pay is not considered taxable income.

Pay during the strike

In a statement dated April 23, the Public Service Alliance of Canada said PSAC members on strike would see their first reductions in pay starting on their May 10 or later pay periods.

The union says based on past precedents and expert advice from its members, they don’t anticipate any complications due to the Phoenix pay system.

“Based on past experience, members will most likely continue to receive pay from the employer while on strike and have pay deducted only after the strike concludes and leave without pay requests are submitted and processed,” PSAC says in the section about pay during a strike.

“These leave requests are no more likely to be affected by Phoenix than any other leave submission throughout the year.”

In the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ sections of PSAC’s website, dated April 16, PSAC told its members, “Interruptions in pay would be unlikely, although it is possible.”

“If we take strike action, past practice shows that the employer would likely recover wages paid during the strike after a settlement is reached,” the union said.

“Members will enter any time missed due to job action in their departmental PeopleSoft upon return to office using the appropriate time code.”

What the federal government says

Public Services and Procurement Canada says employees in a legal strike position who participate in strike action will be considered as being on leave without pay.

Leave without pay related to strike actions 5 days or less will be submitted directly into the pay system by the excluded manager, and will be reflected on an upcoming paycheque, the government says.

“For departments serviced by the Pay Centre, LWOP for a strike period that is greater than 5 consecutive days will be submitted by the departmental Human Resources sector for onwards transmission to the Pay Centre for processing,” the government says on its website.

“For departments not serviced by the Pay Centre, the entry will be completed by the designated departmental Compensation Advisor as per their internal process.”

Treasury Board President Mona Fortier told reporters on Parliament Hill that striking employees will not see the pay on their next paycheque.

“If somebody strikes, the person doesn’t get paid by the government because they’re no longer offering their services, and we respect the strike I have to repeat, but it is important to know that they will see that on their next paycheck, which if I’m not mistaken, will be on May 10,” Fortier said.

Essential workers pay

Pay for the approximately 47,000 workers deemed essential will continue.

“Bi-weekly pay continues to be issued to employees whose positions are deemed essential or who are not in a legal strike position or continue working,” Public Services and Procurement Canada says.

“While there may be some processing delays and increased wait times in call centres, Pay Centre and Client Contact Centre will work to minimize impacts to service standards and answer client enquiries and calls in a timely manner.”

With files from CTV News Senior Digital Parliamentary Reporter Rachel Aiello

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