2018 Conciliation Award
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2018 Conciliation Award

Summary of Main Elements following the Conciliation Award and Prior Bargaining

• The term of the agreement is 4 years, from May 10, 2014 to May 9, 2018

• Pay rates will increase for all levels as follows:

Effective May 10, 2014 - 1.25% salary increase
Effective May 10, 2015 - 1.25% salary increase
Effective May 10, 2016 - 1.00% (wage adjustment)
Effective May 10, 2016 - 1.25% salary increase
Effective May 10, 2017 - 1.25% salary increase

• Step-brother and step-sister will be added to Bereavement Leave With Pay.

• Grandchildren will be added to Leave Without Pay for the Care of Immediate Family.

• Gender identity and gender expression will be added to the No Discrimination clause.

• The following will be added to 21.06

Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement:  

a. where leave without pay for a period in excess of three (3) months is granted to a lawyer for reasons other than illness, the total period of leave granted shall be deducted from “continuous employment” for the purpose of calculating severance pay and from “service” for the purpose of calculating vacation leave;

b. time spent on such leave which is for a period of more than three (3) months shall not be counted for pay increment purposes.

• The following changes will be made to 19.13 Leave With Pay for Family-Related Responsibilities

(a) For the purpose of this clause, family is defined as spouse (or common-law partner resident with the lawyer), children (including foster children, children of legal or common-law partner), parents (including stepparents or foster parents), father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, grandparents of the lawyer, grandchild, or any relative permanently residing in the lawyer´s household or with whom the lawyer permanently resides or any relative for whom the employee has duty of care, irrespective of whether they reside with employee.

• The following, on Standby Duty, will be added to the collective agreement, article 13.02:

(e) Where the Employer requires a lawyer to be available on standby during off duty, the lawyer shall be compensated at the rate of one-half (1/2) hour leave with pay for each four (4) hour period or part thereof for which the lawyer is required to be on standby duty.
(f) A lawyer required by the Employer to be on standby duty shall be available during his or her period of standby at a known telephone number and be available to return for duty as quickly as possible if called.
(g) In requiring lawyers for standby, the Employer will endeavor to provide for the equitable distribution of standby duties.
(h) No standby compensation leave shall be granted if a lawyer is unable to report for duty when required.
(i) Leave under this Article can be carried over but must be used by the end of the next fiscal year.

• The new provisions will come into force 120 days (November 7, 2018) after the Binding Conciliation decision, dated July 10, 2018.
Q 1 - Are our annual increases cumulative?
Yes, they are year-over-year.  The actual increase after all the adjustments is 6.145% over four years.
Q 2 - How do I calculate the retroactive pay I will receive?
We have created a pay calculator to help you calculate the amount you will be receiving.  If you know your anniversary date, you can manually calculate the amount of retroactive pay you will receive by following the steps and examples set out in Appendix A.  The LP Annual Rates of Pay can be accessed here.

Q 3 - Will retroactive pay apply to prior performance pay amounts I received?
Yes, please refer to Appendix A referred to in the prior question.  You will see how performance pay is considered in the calculation of retroactive pay adjustments.

As soon as the pay calculator is ready, we will send you an update to assist you in your calculations.

Q 4 - Is performance pay pensionable?
Yes, please refer to article 12.1 of Appendix B of your collective agreement which confirms that performance awards are included as salary for pension purposes.
Q 5 - Is interest payable on our retroactive pay?
Q 6 - Will retroactive adjustments be made to maternity or parental leave allowances received during the last 4 years?
Yes. If you received maternity or parental allowances, these will be adjusted retroactively.
Q 7 - Will former employees be paid?
All employees, current and former, are entitled to adjustments for the period that they were employed. Former employees should ensure that the Employer has their current banking and contact information.  You can refer to the following link at https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/services-paye-pay-services/paye-information-pay/vie-life/change-info-eng.html#wb-cont[/url]  to determine how to update your information.  Further inquiries regarding the updating of your information should be directed to the Pay Centre or to your former department to the extent that it is not serviced by the Pay Centre.
Q 8 - If I worked for more than one agency over the 4-year period, who is responsible for my pay adjustments?
We have asked Treasury Board for confirmation on whether you will be receiving different cheques if you worked for multiple departments over the 4-year period. Once we receive their response we will update this FAQ.
Q 9 - Will income tax be deducted from my retro pay?
Yes. The total amount to be deducted for federal and provincial income tax is determined by tax tables established by the Canada Revenue Agency and/or Revenu Québec that apply to the province or territory where you work.
Q 10 - Can I choose to receive my retro pay in January for taxation purposes?
No, you cannot choose to receive your pay in a different tax year.  

However, a number of you have asked if the conciliation award could be treated by the CRA as a "qualifying retroactive lump sum payment (QRLSP)" whereby parts of the award can be considered as having been earned in tax years other than 2018.

PSPC has now (as of June 2019) issued the QRLSP forms to AJC members. The CRA will accept the unsigned form as issued by the employer. The Collections and Verification Branch informed PSPC that it was acceptable to print "Issued by Pay Administration Branch - PSPC" in the attestation box of the T1198. It is our understanding that this is what was done on the forms provided to our members.

CRA staff have cautioned that the tax treatment may not result in gains.  Although the amounts will be taxed as income earned in prior years, interest is payable on the amounts commencing with the year they were deemed to have been earned. Therefore, any favorable tax treatment may be offset or outweighed entirely by interest amounts owing. We can however confirm that the CRA will only apply the special tax calculation when it is advantageous to the individual.

Q 11 - Can I have my retro pay deposited directly into an RRSP?
No, the Employer will not transfer retroactive payments directly into an RRSP account.
Q 12 - When can I expect to receive my retroactive pay adjustment relating to the 2014 - 2018 increases?
For those who do not have outstanding pay problems, we are advised that PSPC has targeted the August 22, 2018 payroll for issuing of retroactive pay adjustments.  For all those who have outstanding pay issues, we are advised that these are to be rectified before your retroactive pay adjustments are finalized.  This therefore means that those of you with outstanding pay issues should expect to receive your retroactive pay adjustments after August 22 but within 120 days of the issuance of conciliation award.
Q 13 - How long did other employees have to wait to receive their increases?
Other unions have agreed to timeframes anywhere from 120 to 270 days.
Q 14 - Is TB going to meet the deadline?
Phoenix has affected the Employer´s ability to fully complete retro pay on time for some of the other bargaining agents.  However, our group is small and our pay is very straightforward compared to other groups.  We have early indications from Treasury Board that satisfy us that they are working hard to meet the deadline for our group.
Q 15 - Is there any recourse if the Employer does not implement in 120 days?
Our recourse for failing to comply with the deadline is to file an unfair labour practice complaint before the FPSLREB and to ask for a hearing.
Q 16 - Is the decision of the conciliator final?
According to section 182 of the FPSLRA, both parties chose an eligible person for final and binding determination by whatever process the Employer and the bargaining agent agree to.
Q 17 - Is there a process by which we can challenge the conciliator´s decision?
Yes. We can file an application for judicial review (JR) within 6 months of the release of the decision.
Q18 - Would filing for judicial review delay the implementation of the award?
An application for JR does not stay the award.  Nor does it alleviate the Employer's obligation to comply with the provisions including making retroactive payments.
Q 19 - How does the AJC´s financial award compare with other bargaining units in the federal public service?
In terms of financial adjustments, most other collective agreements saw the same 1.25% increase a year for four years.

The wage adjustments varied widely. Actuaries saw the highest adjustment, up to 20.72%.  Firefighters also did well, with a 15% market adjustment.  Most professional groups received more modest adjustments, with doctors receiving 4% professors 3% and accountants 1%.  A large portion of the civil service received wage adjustments of 1% or even 0.5%.

Q 20 - Does the new agreement address the issue of stand-by duty?
Yes. The conciliator added language to the collective agreement, article 13.02 (for complete additions, please see language in the Summary).
Q 21 - Does the new award cover time called back to duty while on standby?
No. LPs called in to work will continue to receive their standby leave but are not eligible for separate call-back leave.
Q 22 - Has performance pay changed?
There is no change to performance pay.
Q 23 - On a new appointment, does the date on which an LP is eligible to receive a new pay increment change?
This has not changed.  If you were appointed to your current position before March 31, 2013, your anniversary date is May 10 (if you are an LP1 you will have an additional date 6 months later).  However, if you were appointed to your current position after March 31, 2013, your hiring date is your anniversary date for pay purposes.
Q 24 - Will the AJC hold interactive information sessions?
Yes, there will be interactive sessions for regular members in good standing. Details will follow.
Q 25 - When does the agreement expire?
The agreement is already expired - it expired on May 9, 2018.  As we have filed a new Notice to Bargain, the terms and conditions of this agreement shall continue until we have a new agreement.
Q 26 - Will I be consulted on the next round of bargaining?
Yes.  As took place in previous rounds, input will be sought from all regular members in good standing.  We will be finalizing our call for input shortly.

If you have not signed up to be a member, you will not have a say.  To sign up, click here.

Q 27 - If I have a question that is not covered above, who do I contact?
If after reading the collective agreement and the FAQs you still have questions regarding the application of the new collective agreement, feel free to contact the AJC at admin@ajc-ajj.ca .  Please be sure to mark “collective agreement” in your subject heading.  A member of our labour relations staff will contact you as soon as possible.

For questions regarding the tax implications, please contact your tax advisor or the Canada Revenue Agency.

Q28 - How does the Pay Centre calculate my hourly rate of pay?
For information on how the Pay Centre calculates your rate of pay, please visit  https://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/services-paye-pay-services/paye-information-pay/paye-talon-stub-pay-eng.html .
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