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Collective agreement implementation timelines: pay increases and retroactive pay

From: Public Services and Procurement Canada

Find information on timelines for the Government of Canada to implement pay increases and retroactive pay following the 2018 collective agreements renewal. Details below apply to most new collective agreements.

In fall 2019, the Government of Canada began processing the signed agreements from the 2018 round of collective bargaining. The following information applies only to this round of collective agreements between the Government of Canada and its employees. It does not apply to agreements from the 2014 round of negotiations.

If the collective agreement for your group has been signed, you can also find specific details about how it will be put into effect in the memorandum of understanding included with your collective agreement.

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Pay increases

When we update your pay rate in Phoenix, your new biweekly rate will appear on your Phoenix pay stub under “Pay Rate.”

You will be paid at the new rate on pay stubs going forward. Past pay stubs from the retroactive period (see below) will not be changed.

Retroactive payments

Your new collective agreement will apply retroactively to a date in 2018. The exact date varies according to:

  • which collective agreement you are covered by
  • when your old agreement expired

There is a period of time where your new rate of pay will apply but you were paid at your old rate. This is called the retroactive period. It starts when your old collective agreement expired. It ends the day before your new salary takes effect in the pay system. We owe you the difference between your old and new rates of pay for the retroactive period. We will pay you this amount in one or more retroactive payments.

For example, if your last collective agreement expired June 14, 2018, and your rate of pay is updated on November 7, 2019, your retroactive period is from June 15, 2018, to November 6, 2019.

Once your retroactive pay is processed, you will be able to find a detailed breakdown of one or more retroactive payments in the Compensation Web Applications. Find it by following: Main Menu > Self Service > Payroll and Compensation > CBA Retro Payment

Your initial retroactive payment is an automated process in Phoenix. It is based on your pay history information available in Phoenix at the time that the system takes a “snapshot” of your account. This means that the automated process might not reflect late transactions entered after the date the snapshot is taken. These will be dealt with at a later date.


We are using a new process to enter this round of collective agreements into the pay system. Compensation advisors will not need to do as much manual update work as in the last round of collective agreements. This will help ensure that you receive your salary update and retroactive payment on time.

For each collective agreement, we negotiated a specific timeline of when the agreements would be entered into Phoenix. This timeline determines how long before employees would see the changes on their paycheques. In most cases, these timelines are longer than usual. The timeline depends on the specific agreement. Typically, you should receive your new salary rate and lump sum retroactive payments within 180 days after the signing of the collective agreement.

If your file is more complex, a compensation advisor may need to update your file manually. If this is the case for you, we will inform you. The timeline for this work is negotiated along with each collective agreement. In most cases, we will pay any money owed within the 560-day timeline agreed to by the employer and the union.

Compensation for timelines

The memorandum of understanding on collective agreement implementation negotiated during the 2018 round of negotiations provides for a lump sum payment to recognize that the implementation deadline is longer than usual. For details, refer to the memorandum of understanding appended to your new collective agreement.

If your pay file requires more time beyond the 180-day deadline, you could receive additional payments. Details depend on specific negotiations. In most cases, if you have not received your retroactive pay by the deadline, you will receive an additional $50. This amount does not count toward your pension. If this applies to you, you will receive another $50 for every additional 90 days your collective agreement is not reflected in your pay.

Please note that these amounts are treated as income and are taxed.

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