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April 9th, 2018
April 9th, 2018

Quebec Class Action

On April 10, 2017, a Quebec City based law firm (Sarailis Avocat) applied to certify a class action against the Government of Canada in relation to Phoenix.  The action seeks compensation for the employees affected by the implementation of the Phoenix pay system starting in February 2016.

The law firm bringing this class action attempted to have all federal public servants certified as a class, but the Government objected under section 236  of the Federal Public Service Labour Relations Act (The "PSLRA"), which governs the rules between the federal government and its employees.

Section 236 of the FPSLRA says unionized workers are not allowed to pursue civil action against the employer.  Specifically, it reads "[t]he right of an employee to seek redress by way of grievance for any dispute relating to his or her terms or conditions of employment is in lieu of any right of action that the employee may have in relation to any act or omission giving rise to the dispute."

The law firm argued that Phoenix was so unusual that the Court should disregard the legislation.  Their application was heard on March 19th, 2018 in the Superior Court, district of Quebec City and the judgement was rendered this morning. (link)

The Court did not accept the law firm's arguments and held that any federal government employees who fall under Part 2 of the PSLRA are not able to partake in the class action.  This includes all of the members of the AJC.

On behalf of our members and in close collaboration with the other bargaining agents, the AJC has used every available mechanism to put pressure on the Government. As you know, our President co-chairs the UMCC Subcommittee on Damages and for the past 14 months has been tirelessly negotiating an agreement for the payment of damages to employees for the undue stress and hardships caused by the Phoenix pay system.

We will continue to keep members informed on any updates in these negotiations as well as the class action.

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