Response from Veterans Review and Appeal Board
9 November 2017
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
85 Sparks Street
Dear Mr. Wernick:
I am writing in response to your recent letter requesting information on actions taken and planned by the Veterans Review and Appeal Board to help stabilize the pay system and ensure employees are paid accurately and on time.
As a micro-organization, the Board receives corporate services—including pay services—from the larger department in its portfolio, Veterans Affairs Canada. As such, I have nothing to report; the actions reported by Veterans Affairs Canada apply equally to the Board’s employees.
I would like to take this opportunity to list some of the pay issues encountered by Board employees since Phoenix was implemented:
- Employees receiving no pay, underpayments, or overpayments
- Priority payments being recovered before employees received their owed-salary
- Final pay and vacation payouts (for employees who left the Board and GIC appointees whose terms have lapsed) delayed up to six months
- Employees paid at the wrong increment/rate
- Cancelled paychecks
- Delays/absence of reclassification retroactive payments
- Delays/absence of acting and overtime pay
- Delays in Leave With Income Averaging (LIA) deductions
- Union dues not being taken when they should, and vice-versa
- Employees returning from leave not being contacted regarding payback of pension and medical amounts owing
- Lengthy delays for Members (GIC appointees) to receive their compensation packages
As I’m sure you understand, these issues have had serious impacts on people. They have also had an effect on employees’ career decisions, e.g. employees unwilling to take on acting assignments for fear of encountering pay issues.
I have made the resolution of individual pay problems a top priority in my organization. I—and the Board’s senior management—have communicated frequently with staff, encouraging them to report any problems as soon as they are apparent. We have also communicated frequently with Veterans Affairs Canada and Public Services and Procurement Canada about individual and systemic issues.
I will continue to make pay a top priority for the Board and ensure that staff are informed about any progress in this regard. It is my sincere hope that pay issues will be resolved as quickly as possible.
Cc: Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate
Minister of National Defence
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