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Canada: Ottawa Wants to Claw Back Two Weeks Pay from Public Servants
Source: nationalpost.com
Source Date: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Country: Canada
Created: Jun 17, 2013

The Conservative government is proposing to claw back 4% of the public service payroll from its employees as part of its sweeping plan to modernize its pay system and bring it in line with the private sector.
 
Public Works and Government Services Canada, the federal paymaster and receiver-general, wants to recover two weeks pay from every public servant’s pay cheque for the next year beginning Jan. 1. All new hires will start on the new system when they begin work and would have the first two weeks of their pay withheld.
 
Employees will get a full, regular pay cheque for the first payday in 2014, but the next 24 payments would be reduced until the equivalent of two weeks is collected. Employees would get a one-time reduction in taxable income less the two weeks and when they leave, quit or retire will get their withheld two-week payment.

This proposed “pay in arrears” plan has triggered a blowback from unions, which want to see a business case for the change, resent they weren’t consulted, and are prepared to legally challenge the proposal if the government proceeds.
 
“They are using a new word with us. They ‘engage’ us now, not ‘consult’ us. Consultation is sitting down and listening to my opinion and taking that into consideration, They are moving from that to the new phrase ‘engage,’” said Chris Aylward, vice president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
 
A spokesperson for Treasury Board President Tony Clement said no decision has been made on the plan, but unions say they have been briefed on the proposal by Public Works and some have even publicly posted their objections on their websites.

(By Kathryn May)

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