Despite strong calls from unions to be more lenient, gradual restrictions on the use of leave with pay under Code 699 during the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely impacted some of the hardest hit federal public service employees.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease in March 2020 forced the sheltering in place of non-essential federal public service employees. The sudden need for thousands of employees to telework led to a chaotic transition. Thousands called for improved communications, coordination and planning.
The Phoenix HR & Pay System will be remembered as the costliest IT blunder in federal government history. Since its adoption, CAPE has dealt with hundreds of complaints from members who reported being underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.
The transfer of RCMP Civilian Members to the federal public service was planned for May 21, 2020. Many RCMP ESS and TRL employees, also CAPE members, opposed it, fearing that their transfer from a functional pay system to the Phoenix pay system would put their pay and leave at risk.
In response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Parliament rapidly moved its meetings online. The lack of proper technical infrastructure and poor practice caused several interpreters, CAPE TR members, to be injured on the job. This also affected their ability to effectively champion Canada’s two official languages.