Message from the President

Dear Members,

I hope all of you are doing well and enjoying the warm and sunny Spring days. As many of us continue to adjust to the reality of the Hybrid Workplace as enacted by the Treasury Board Secretariat in the Common hybrid work model for the Federal Public Service, it’s important to take some time for self care and mental health. Many resources are available to you including PSPC’s Employee and Organization Assistance Program (EOAP), professionals you can access through your benefits as well as other community resources.

I would like to thank all members that attended our Virtual Lunch & Learn with the President of the Institute, Jennifer Carr that joined us live from the picket line. It was a great session where we engaged on various topics including return to office, collective bargaining and many more. Thanks to all that participated.

I would also like to welcome Jacob Holmer who was appointed member of the NR PSCP Sub-Group. Jacob is filling a position left vacant by our colleague Santino Cicciarella that accepted a deployment in another Department in the Atlantic Region. On behalf of the Executive, I would link to thank Santino for his services and wish him the best of luck.

As I’m sure many of you have noticed, there are still many issues with the ongoing return to office. Feedback from members we have received include difficulty to book adequate work points or even accessing the booking system, lack of availability of meeting rooms, long delays to obtain building passes and many more. Many of the workspaces available to members are not modernized and certainly not conducive to collaboration. Our Consultation Team keeps raising these ongoing issues to PSPC Management, and we will continue to do so. Unfortunately, PSPC Senior Management has been focused on providing workspace to enable a minimum of 2 days per week rather than providing work spaces of good quality. Please continue to raise any issues that occur in the workplace or related to return to office to your manager and inform us as well through the form available on our website.

Many of you have certainly followed the recent developments with the strike of our brothers and sisters at the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and ensuing tentative deal. Our Union stood in solidarity with those members and I thank all of you that joined a picket line to support our colleagues. The gains made by the Alliance will most certainly have a strong influence on the outcome of our negotiations. Our NR Bargaining Team as well as the Central Bargaining Team continue their hard work, make sure to check regularly the website and you inbox for updates.

The Sub-Group will be organizing a Spring Social Event for all members at The Bridge Public House in Overbrook on June 6. I hope to see many of you there, drinks and appetizers will be offered as well as door prizes. We will also welcome many distinguished guests. Make sure to check your inbox and register to secure your spot.

I hope everyone has a great Summer and is able to take some vacations. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for any questions, concerns, or suggestions. I would love to hear from you.

In Solidarity,

Charles Nellis (he/him), CEP, PMP, LEED Green Associate                                                                                                                    
(613) 793-4099


Update on the Return to Office

After nearly 3 years of working from home due to the pandemic, the Treasury Board and some public sector employers are implementing plans to return to the workplace.

Know your rights about returning to the office.

The Treasury Board has announced their plan to roll out a one-size-fits-all approach to return federal public servants to their offices for 2-3 days per week starting in January 2023. This news comes despite previous commitments to continue consulting with unions and implement tailored plans for each department. 

While some of us, like the nurses we represent, never stopped heading into their workplaces, tens of thousands of others have been working safely and productively from home for almost 3 years.

We strongly disagree with a one-size-fits-all approach that has no evidence to support it, puts our members’ health and safety at risk, and undermines employee productivity which negatively impacts the services Canadians rely on. 

We support the principle of “presence with purpose”:  being at the office when justified by operational needs. We continue to advocate for what was promised: a hybrid-by-design approach that considers employees’ unique circumstances and job requirements. 

We want this government to stop barrelling toward an unnecessary confrontation and negotiate telework with us, at the bargaining table, where this issue belongs.

To this end, your Union has filed:

  • 6 freeze complaints against the Treasury Board and 1 against the CRA. 
  • 1 bad faith bargaining complaint against the CRA on behalf of our Audit Financial and Scientific Group members.
  • 7 policy grievances on the grounds that the RTO Directive was an unreasonable exercise of management rights, will have an adverse impact on many disadvantaged groups, and was made without giving employees reasonable notice. 
  • A major media push to put pressure on the government and rally public support through extensive media coverage. We have been pleased to see our messaging amplified by CBCCTV, and the Ottawa Citizen. 

We know this hasty order has created a logistical nightmare of the government’s own making. We’ve heard hundreds of stories of offices that feel more like construction sites, employees forced to work from cafeterias, or teams taking video calls from different floors of the same building.¸

Regardless of how you feel about your return, the employer has an obligation to ensure you have everything you need to do your job and to do it safely. 

Know your rights about returning to the office.

Help us advocate for good labour practices. If you’re having challenges with returning to the office or if your accommodation request has been denied, let us know.

We won't stop fighting against the federal government's "one-size-fits-all" rule.  They promised a hybrid-by-design plan – and we are going to push them to deliver on this promise. 

Please see our frequently asked questions for more information. 

As Return to Office Mandate came fully into effect in PSPC as of March 31, 2023 we are still noticing many issues in terms of the readiness and availability of space, functionality of the booking system, compliance with Occupational Health & Safety Legislation and many more. We have also noticed wide disparities in terms of flexibility offered to employees in this return to office between departments, branches and even teams. We continue to advocate for a Return to Office that rests of the four pillars developed by PISPC, the workplace should be:

  • Safe. While many restrictions have been relaxed, COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. It’s the employer’s responsibility to prioritize your health and safety at work. Members returning to their workplaces must have the rules and tools needed to keep them healthy and safe.
  • Flexible. Most PIPSC members don’t want to return to the workplace full-time. We have proven that we can be equally productive working remotely. The flexibility to work remotely is critical to many who have care responsibilities, different working styles, and other reasons.
  • Fair. Hybrid and telework arrangements must be provided equitably, respect member preferences, and be approved without bias or unreasonable criteria. Accessibility and accommodations need to be considered. Our group executives and consultation teams are working to ensure the unique challenges of your job are considered in the plans being developed by the Treasury Board and other employers.
  • Clear. Any formal return to workplace policies must be provided in writing, and need to clearly articulate expectations. They must also define the procedures for accommodation requests.

Like most of our members, PIPSC is in favour of a Return to Office. However, presence in the office should come with a purpose and the Employer should be able to offer proper accommodations to all employees required to report to the office and meet all Occupation Health & Safety requirements, this is currently not the case. We encourage all members that are experiencing issues while attending the workplace or feel unsafe to contact a Steward, you can find contact information at the end of the Newsletter.

NR Group News

Collective Bargaining Update

The scheduled meeting with Treasury Board planned on March 14 & 15, 2023 was cancelled at the last minute due to sickness of the Treasury Board Negotiator. Since then, that negotiator has resigned.  

The NR Bargaining Team is waiting for Treasury Board to appoint a new negotiator and is ready to return to the table.

Please check your email or PIPSC NR webpage regularly for updates.

NR Group Elections

The Engineering, Architecture and Land Survey (NR) election committee has verified the results for the 2022 elections. 531 ballots were cast in the election. The following candidates have been elected to the NR executive, and will take office immediately:

  • John Eng – NCR Representative (2-year term)
  • David A. Young – NCR Representative (2-year term)
  • Lynn Mayes – NCR Representative (2-year term)
  • Gary R. Corbett – NCR Representative (2-year term)
  • Kimberly Hradecky – NRC Representative (1-year term)
  • Dale Hudson – Atlantic Representative (2-year term)
  • Pierre G. Richard – Quebec Representative (2-year term)
  • Rong (Sunny) Wang – BC/Yukon Representative (2-year term)

Congratulations to the newly elected executive committee members and a big thanks to all the nominees. Our group relies on the contributions of volunteers to advance the interests of members like you.

PIPSC Resources & News

Phoenix Pay System – Recovery of Overpayments

In the fall of 2021, the recovery process for Phoenix overpayments was launched for employees who the Public Service Pay Centre believed were overpaid by the Phoenix pay system in 2016 and onwards.

Employees were sent overpayment letters and were given 4 weeks to respond by accepting or challenging the amount or the validity of the overpayment. Failure to respond would result in the recovery of the stated overpayment.

While some members have received an overpayment letter accurately representing an overpayment amount, many have faced numerous issues with the process. PIPSC has filed policy grievances due to the employer’s approach to recovering overpayments. The policy grievances challenge the coercive manner in which the recovery of overpayments is being done. Examples of this include the employer’s failure to provide employees with accurate information or repayment options for the alleged incurred overpayments.

Some members may have received an overpayment letter for recovery of payments more than 6 years ago. Overpayments made more than 6 years ago are past the statutory limitation period for recovery. If this applies to you, please contact our Phoenix Help Team by filling out our Phoenix Pay Help Form. Our team will provide you with next steps including instructions on how to file a grievance.

If you have mistakenly received an overpayment letter or received an inaccurate overpayment letter, please review our FAQs. You can find instructions on how to respond to an overpayment letter and guidance on next steps. 

In the case that a compensation advisor fails to provide you with any details helping you understand your overpayment or reasonable repayment options, we will assist you with the next steps, including filing a grievance.

PIPSC remains available to support all members in resolving their Phoenix pay issues and continues to advocate for the Employer to ensure that all employees are paid on time and accurately. Paying employees for the work they perform is one of the most fundamental elements of Employer-Employee Relationship and it’s appalling that this has yet to be fixed.

Central Bargaining Table

The PIPSC Central Table Bargaining Team held the second meeting with Treasury Board representatives February 28 to March 2, 2023. The Central Table negotiations aim is to bargain common language to be integrated into group collective agreements, ensuring consistency and fairness, while Group tables negotiate specific language around pay and working conditions for each of the occupational groups represented by PIPSC.

Over three days of meetings, discussions ranged between principles and specific elements of both PIPSC and TBS proposals. Your team brought in experts, legal precedent and member experiences gathered from your bargaining survey responses, your e-mails and your conversations with team members. We argued to protect your hard-fought rights, integrate best practices from other agreements and embed common sense and procedural fairness into your contract. Discussions with the employer were fulsome and we turned our minds to the potential effects of every change proposed by the employer. You can learn more about the Core Issues discussed at Central Bargaining here.

We held the employer’s feet to the fire on embedding fair language in your collective agreement around telework and work location, pushed for better recourse around errors in overpayment recovery, and aimed to ensure that the scope of contract language is inclusive of all members. Green initiatives and their connections to meaningful consultation and adequate workplace facilities also sparked significant discussion.

We are experiencing some momentum in discussions but much remains to do in our fight for you.

Review of 2023 Federal Budget

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) welcomes Federal Budget 2023 as a significant step forward in our effort to protect public services from the government’s over-reliance on outsourcing. The budget also makes progress on tax fairness and takes important steps in making life more affordable for Canadians. 

"We celebrate the government’s decision to find $7.1 billion in savings through a cap on expenditures on outsourcing and consulting fees, not at the expense of public services Canadians rely on," said PIPSC President Jenn Carr. "By capping outsourcing, the government is ensuring the quality and stability of the services we provide to Canadians." You can read the op Ed Jennifer Carr wrote in the Ottawa Citizen.

The budget also includes steps towards tax fairness, including a minimum tax for the highest income earners who have been able to evade their income tax obligations until now. The tax fairness initiatives will raise an additional $11.6 billion in government revenue, which will be reinvested in programs benefiting Canadians.

"By addressing tax fairness, the government is making it possible to fund essential programs, like a dental care program that will provide coverage to 9 million Canadian kids and seniors, and direct support for 11 million Canadian families dealing with cost of living increases," added Carr. 

Moreover, PIPSC welcomes the budget's investments in clean energy, a critical component in the fight against climate change. But we note that public science funding is still lagging. 

"This budget demonstrates what can be achieved when parties in Parliament work together and listen to feedback from unions like ours, ultimately delivering results for Canadians," said Carr.

PIPSC notes that the budget falls short in addressing the issue of public service salaries and leaves unanswered questions about how it plans to find more savings through another Strategic Policy Review. 

"Public service workers have faced a pay cut as their wages have not kept up with the cost of living, and this is something we are ready to fight for at the negotiation table,” said Carr. “We worked hard to ensure that the strategic review focused on where the government should cut - outsourcing. We’ll do the same again.” 

PIPSC remains committed to working with the government and advocating for the needs of public service professionals and the Canadians they serve.

Updates to Public Service Healthcare Plan (PSHCP)

On August 3 2022, the Partners Committee of the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) issued a joint recommendation to accept a proposed overhaul to the plan’s benefits and coverage. This marks the completion of nearly 4 years of consultations with the Treasury Board on updates to the plan. 

Plan changes will be implemented on July 1, 2023.

This updated plan sees money directed away from inflated drug costs and excessive pharmacy fees, and directed towards the things that make a difference to you and your health. 

New limits on dispensing fees, filling frequency, and certain high-cost drugs have allowed the plan to greatly expand the coverage you requested. By being smart in where and how you choose to fill your medication, you can save significantly on your co-pay and avoid exceeding plan limits. You can learn more about the change by watching this Webinar or consulting the FAQs.

In addition to the changes in coverage, Canada Life will be the new service provider for the Public Service Healthcare Plan (PSHCP). In order to maintain coverage and avoid delays, all members must also complete and maintain their positive enrolment with Canada Life to ensure no delays in processing and reimbursement of their claims starting July 1, 2023. This process is similar to the positive enrolment that members completed with Sun Life, in which they provided information on themselves and their eligible dependants. Members must also provide consent for Canada Life’s use of this personal information to process their PSHCP benefits. If a member does not complete positive enrolment by June 30, 2023, claims will not be processed by Canada Life until their positive enrolment is completed. More information can be found here.

PIPSC will be organizing some additional webinars to explain to upcoming changes in the coming weeks. Make sure to monitor your inbox where you will receive an invitation to register.


ServicePlus is your member benefits program where you can take advantage of preferential rates, discounts and savings on a variety of products and services available exclusively to members such insurance, retail, travel services, medical services, entertainment and many more. As you prepare your Summer vacations, make sure to check out what benefits and discounts you could take advantage of! Make sure to check the website often as new partners and promotions appear regularly.

Legacy Foundation Scholarships

Do you have children or grandchildren that will be entering their first year of post-secondary education in Fall 2023 in a full-time post-secondary program at an educational institution (including cégep) in Canada or outside Canada? If that’s the case, make sur they apply to the Legacy Foundation Scholarship. The application deadline is June 30, 2023.

You can also support the future generation of public service professionals by doing a donation to the Legacy Foundation.

Update your Contact Information

Have you recently moved or changed your phone number? Or just unsure if we have the most recent contact information? If so, please ensure to Update your Contact Information. If you receive communication from PIPSC on a professional email address, please consider to change it to your personal email. Our emails are often blocked by the employer’s email system.

If you have colleagues that are currently not a member of PIPSC or new employees within your team, please make sure to share this link to sign up with them. New employees are not automatically members of PIPSC, they must sign up.

More PISPC News

Stay current on the latest News & Issues that is of concern to PIPSC visiting this web page.

Upcoming Sub-Group Events

You Sub-Group Executive is very excited to present of series of events this coming year, both virtual and in person. Separate invitations will be sent by email for each of them, please ensure to check your inbox and register.

We need your help!

We always need help to organize events and conduct other initiatives for the Sub-Group. Members can also attend our monthly Executive Meetings as observers. If this is of interest to you, please reach out to

We are also always looking for Stewards to join our team to support members. We are especially looking for Stewards that come from equity seeking groups including women, visual minorities, persons with disabilities, Indigenous individuals, and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community. If this is of interest to you, please consult this link and don’t hesitate to reach to a fellow Steward to get a better understanding of the role and determine if it suits you.

We are also in need of volunteers to become members of local Occupational Health & Safety Committees as PIPSC Representatives. This is a great way to become more familiar with an important aspect of the workplace and contribute to improve the safety of the workplace in collaboration with management. Please note that you can only become a member of the Committee of your official place of work. Training is available and offered by the Department. Please reach out to if interested.

Your Feedback

If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact anyone on the sub-group executive. We also look forward to your suggestions for lunch-and-learns, or any other type of event that would benefit the members of our sub-group.

If your question is of a personal nature, please contact one of our stewards NR Group Stewards | The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (