Government of Canada and public service unions finalize agreement to compensate federal employees impacted by the Phoenix pay system

Press release from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat 

June 13, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

Today, the Government of Canada and 15 public service unions finalized a joint agreement to compensate more than 146,000 current and former employees who may have been impacted by the Phoenix pay system.

This agreement, first announced last month as a tentative deal, was co-developed by unions and the federal government, and provides compensation for fiscal years 2016-17 to 2019-20. It includes up to 5 days total of additional annual leave for employees and a cash pay-out of this leave for former employees and the estates of deceased employees who submit a claim.

Additional compensation, evaluated on a case-by-case basis, will be provided for those who experienced severe personal or financial hardship due to Phoenix and those who missed opportunities to earn interest on savings accounts or other financial and capital investments. Claims will also be accepted to reimburse sick leave taken due to Phoenix pay problems, among other issues. 

This agreement applies to employees, former employees and the estates of deceased employees represented by a bargaining agent in the core public administration. The government is open to extending this agreement to employees represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) at any time, should the union agree.

Separate agencies are expected to reach similar agreements shortly with their unions.

Employees can expect to see up to 4 days of additional annual leave that covers 2016-17 to 2018-19 added to their leave banks within 150 days. Employees will also receive an annual leave credit, up to 1 day, for fiscal year 2019-20. This will be added within 150 days of March 31, 2020. 

More information on when employees, former employees and the estates of deceased employees can submit a claim for the additional compensation outlined in this agreement will be shared in the coming months. The government aims to make this process as simple and streamlined as possible in collaboration with bargaining agents.


“The Government of Canada is committed to restoring and maintaining a respectful relationship with Canada’s world class public service. This includes negotiating fair and practical employee compensation for the toll that the Phoenix pay system has placed on their lives. Canada’s public servants deserve to be paid properly for their important work and we continue to take action on all fronts to resolve pay issues.”

-       The Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

“The UMCC Subcommittee on Phoenix Damages has worked diligently over the last 2 years to find a fair and practical framework to redress a variety of harms already experienced by hundreds of thousands of people.  While the recognition of damages does not diminish the right of workers to be paid what they are owed, nor does it repair the Phoenix pay system, it is a recognition of loss and I am pleased that settlement is now approved by the government and a majority of federal public service unions. "

-       Ursula Hendel, President of the Association of Justice Counsel

"Despite not getting paid properly, our members have come to work each and every day to give their best in service of the public. We can't erase the loss and suffering that Phoenix has caused for these dedicated public service professionals. It took a lot of hard work by the unions to obtain a fair settlement. The hard work was worth it, because with the commitments and the compensation enshrined in this settlement, the Treasury Board has taken important steps forward."

-       Debi Daviau, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

“We are pleased that the agreement is done and we can move forward. There is still plenty of work to do to stabilize Phoenix and ensure our members are paid everything they are owed but this ratification means our members will start receiving compensation for the damage that has occurred.”

-       Dany Richard, President of the Association of Canadian Financial Officers

Quick facts

The following public service unions have signed on to this agreement:

  • Association of Canadian Financial Officers,
  • Association of Justice Council,
  • Canadian Association of Professional Employees,
  • Canadian Federal Pilots Association,
  • Canadian Merchants Service Guild,
  • Canadian Military Colleges Faculty Association,
  • Canadian Union of Public Employees 104,
  • Federal Government Dockyard Trades and Labour Council (East),
  • Federal Government Dockyard Trades and Labour Council (West),
  • Federal Government Dockyard Chargehands Association,
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,
  • Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers,
  • Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada,
  • Unifor,
  • Union of Canadian Correctional Officers