Treasury Board to stop collecting overpaymentsMarch 14, 2018
Treasury Board has indicated that it will temporarily stop collecting overpayments from public servants who aren’t getting paid accurately. Public service unions, including CAPE, have been very vocal on the issue of overpayment collection, which has all too often exacerbated our members’ pay problems.
The deal isn’t official yet, but Treasury Board says it will be working “with bargaining agents over the coming weeks to finalize details of how these new recovery processes will work”.
According to PSAC, the deal would ensure that the following criteria are met before the employer attempts to recoup overpaid funds:
underpayment situations are completely resolved
the employee has been paid correctly for three consecutive pay periods
the employer and employee agree on a repayment plan
It’s been our experience that the collection of overpayments has only added fuel to the fire. Part of the problem is that Phoenix is automatically tries to recover overpayments and pay advances on the first available paycheque. As a result, members who went unpaid and received emergency pay advances often saw their following paycheck evaporate, as Phoenix moved to recover that same advance.
“It was like playing a cruel game of whack-a-mole,” said CAPE President Greg Phillips. “On one hand, the employer is telling members to ask for pay advances, and on the other hand, Phoenix is working to recover that advance at the first opportunity.”
Phillips had raised the issue with senators during a February meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance, which had been leading its own investigation into the Phoenix fiasco.
“As long as they’re still collecting [overpayments], the problem will continue.” Phillips warned senators.
“Stop collecting overpayments for a period of time; put it off. That would alleviate a lot of hardships.”
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