Member Resources News

Operational requirements

As a Local President, I often hear members say that their leave was denied for operational reasons (requirements).  There are circumstances when operational requirements are legitimate reasons for decisions made by management but those special circumstances are not encountered often.

Member Resources

Violence in the Workplace – The Definition May Surprise You

My message to everyone who reads this message is “Spread the word”.  Our membership is not huge but the number of cases that we manage and that meet the criteria is shocking.

People suffering abuse through the day go home at night incredibly stressed and they lose precious family time because their quality of life is compromised by a situation that they feel is out of their control.  Some people attempt to avoid confrontation through sick leave but eventually they return or they lose their jobs and – worse yet – the situation hasn’t changed one iota.  Some may think that it’s not a reasonable response, but it is very difficult to reason with fear.

Consultations with the union are 100% confidential and nothing happens unless you say it needs to happen.

Most remedies do not involve grievances.

At least learn what your options are.  You may be surprised.

Events Hot Topics – workplace issues Member Resources

Bullying in the Workplace

Our Union of Environment Workers Component President Todd Panas has championed the cause of a respectful workplace and he has launched and anti-bullying campaign vigorously.  The following information needs to be read and understood.  Employees have rights and those rights need to be understood in every workplace.

If you are a victim of bullying in the workplace, talk to your union advocate – there is hope and support available.

Member Resources Mental Health

Workplace Stress

Managers can be open to the concept of flexible hours and to temporarily reassigning work when they see symptoms of stress.  Additionally, they can encourage an open dialogue about the employee’s needs and attempt to work with the employee through a difficult time.  Many stress-related circumstances are temporary in nature.

Member Resources

Pension and You

Important information for members who are retiring and for members joining the Public Service.

APSAR (Association of Public Service Retirees

Mental Health

Mental Health Tips and Symptoms

If you ever wanted enough information about mental illness to recognize symptoms and get tips on how to interact comfortably, this site is for you:


Member Resources

Disability Insurance – Step by Step

Disability Insurance: Information for PSAC Members

Do you need help with a Disability Insurance (DI) Claim?

• Often problems related to DI claims can be prevented through counselling provided by your departmental or agency human resources office. You should get most of your information from them.

• The PSAC as your union tries to help our members understand the complexities of the Disability Insurance Plan. We also explain who does what in the union, and how to contact them.

• PSAC represents members with DI claims. You do not have to pay union dues while off work on DI.

• The Disability Insurance (DI) Group Policy No. 12500-G between Treasury Board as policy holder and Sun Life explains what is covered. Information is available on the Treasury Board website.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions on the key areas where members have difficulties getting benefits.

Member Resources

Duty to Accommodate

Return-to-work situations where the employee has requested relocation

In return-to-work situations, it is important to note that the obligation to accommodate is neither unlimited nor one sided.

An employer is able to terminate based on undue hardship. Nevertheless, the responsibility for the employer to create and maintain a respectful workplace remains, and a return-to-work must be accommodated as far as reasonably possible.

Employees cannot insist that they be removed from the department and appointed to a substantive position in another department but they can insist that the hardships they faced – which forced them to leave their work or which are forcing them to contemplate “flight” – are resolved by the employer.

Obligations of the Employer

The employer is obliged to provide a respectful, harassment-free work environment, and to remove obstacles to a successful return to work.

The employer is obliged to examine the possibility of adjusting the occupational requirements of the work to facilitate the employee’s return to work, or to make serious efforts to find the employee alternative work. The employer may not refuse to help the employee return to his or her job unless it can be demonstrated that the changes to the occupational requirements would themselves cause undue hardship.

The employer is obliged to provide assistance in resume preparation and referrals to available positions in other departments, should that be the chosen option of the employee.

The employer is not obliged to appoint an employee to a position in another department.

Obligations of the Employee

For his or her part, the employee must be receptive and open-minded to the efforts being made by the employer to achieve a successful return-to-work, either in the substantive position or in another position within the department.

Role of the Union

The union can assure their members of support and guidance when issues develop in a workplace that force a member to consider going on sick leave as a remedy and we can help with the return-to-work transition.

It is very important that members contact their local representative early. Remember that Labor Relations represents management, and the union represents the membership.



New Joint Learning Program Workshop on Mental Health in the Workplace

The Joint Learning Program (JLP) announces that a new workshop on Mental Health in the Workplace is now available to union members and their managers of the core public administration.

• Request a workshop in your workplace

This workshop reflects the joint commitment of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the other participating unions to build awareness about mental health. It recognizes that inclusive and healthy workplaces require proactive approaches that engage all members of the workforce. This workshop is one of seven joint learning initiatives to improve workplace relations.

The purpose of this two-day workshop is to raise awareness about mental health in the workplace and to equip individual employees with the knowledge and skills they need to proactively and effectively support a psychologically safe and healthy workplace.

A one-day agenda is also available. The purpose of this one-day workshop is to raise awareness about mental health in the workplace and the factors required to effectively support a psychologically safe and healthy workplace

Member Resources News

Leave with Income Averaging (Special Working Arrangement)

There are times when an employee needs a few weeks (up to 3 months) in order to deal with a life situation. The Public Service Alliance of Canada recognizes the possibility of that need, and the following Leave With Pay (Income Averaging) may be helpful:

This option will mean a reduced salary but not an elimination of salary and may prove very useful .