UCTE met with Transport Canada to clarify issues around severance pay further to the signing of the last Technical Services Collective Agreement. Please find below a summary of that meeting.
Delivery of Packages
When asked about the inconsistent delivery of severance packages, the employer stated that packages were delivered on January 15, 2014 at the employee’s address which appeared on the employer’s system. As per the Collective Agreement, the employer had three (3) months as of the date of signing of the Collective Agreement to send the packages.
Note: if you have not yet received your package, call your pay and compensation advisor as the severance packages are dealt with on a priority basis.
Extension of Timeframe
Given the poor delivery of the packages, we requested that the deadline of April 17, 2014 be extended. The employer refused because this deadline is stipulated in the Collective Agreement under Article 64.06.
Calculation of Severance
The employer knowingly and readily admitted that they were using the wrong pay scale (General vs. with Terminable Allowance) for some of our members. Their excuse was that it was a challenge to base calculations on different modes. The employer also stressed that the numbers were mere estimates and that it should not be a barrier to complete the CRA forms. On the issue of the CRA forms, it was confirmed to us that a transfer can be “up to” a specific amount.
The employer indicated that they are putting together an e-mail to be sent to all concerned Transport Canada employees this upcoming week to clarify some of the issues. Topics that will be included in this email are:
• remind employees that the severance packages were based on estimates;
• confirm that no extension to the timeframe will be given;
• clarify the CRA form which includes informing members to ask for the maximum amount;
• confirm that no new estimates will be provided due to all the upcoming pay revisions;
• include the formula so employees can calculate their own severance payment.
Because our members received their severance packages at various dates and also in light of on-going discussions, we have asked for the deadline to file grievances to be extended. We are waiting for the employer’s confirmation.
However, please keep in mind that as things stand now, the earliest deadline to file a grievance would be February 19, 2014. This safe calculation is based on the date on which the packages were delivered (January 15, 2014 + 25 working days). The deadline to file a grievance will vary depending on the date on which you have received your package.
Here is some suggested basic grievance wording:
“I grieve that the employer is in violation of Article 64 (Severance Pay) of my Collective Agreement.”
“That the employer provide me with accurate information regarding the amount to which I am entitled to at the rate of pay of my substantive position;
To be made whole.”