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The latest economic increase developments

Update on the implementation of economic increases

(November 22, 2022)

 

The information provided below is for executives in organizations served by the Public Service Pay Center. Other organizations may be at different stages and the numbers reported below are not inclusive of the advancement of these organizations. 

APEX continues to advocate on behalf of the executive community with respect to the implementation of the latest economic increases. In earlier updates, we shared with you timelines for the three phases of implementation established by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and the Treasury Board Secretariat, as well as information with respect to the automation of the first phase, for a majority of executives.

The automated pay rate update has allowed 62% of active executives to receive an increase on a go-forward basis in a more timely manner than anticipated. This number is slightly lower than the original 75% projections, primarily due to the fact that many executive salaries were already updated as a result of manual pay rate changes that had been completed through the processing of other pay transactions on their account. EX accounts were also excluded from automated pay rate update due to any of the following factors: employment by separate agencies with incompatible conditions of employment, executives subject to salary maintenance or salary protection, and other complex pay scenarios.

Current executives who have not yet received a pay rate update can conclude that their account was subject to an exclusion condition. The accounts that could not be included, will be subject to a manual revision prior to implementing the new pay rate. The Public Service Pay Centre’s commitment is to have all current EX accounts at the new rate of pay on a go forward basis no later than March 31, 2023.

Some executives have noticed that the Pay Centre has created economic increase tickets with a bring forward (BF) date of summer 2024. PSPC has confirmed that it is simply an administrative measure to monitor the work to be done.

The Pay Centre has committed to issue all retroactive payments by March 31, 2024, and has assured us that the process is well underway. In fact, the Pay Centre is ahead of initial projections, and is positioned favourably to conclude the implementation prior to the deadline. Additionally, PSPC has recently completed the pay actions associated with the last round of bargaining, freeing up capacity to focus on EX pay implementation.

In the meantime, APEX continues to advocate for changes on how increases to executive compensation are determined, to ensure a fair, impartial, transparent and timely process.

Previous updates

Update on the implementation of economic increases

(August 29, 2022)

 

APEX has advocated on behalf of the executive community with respect to the implementation of the latest economic increases. In an earlier update, we shared with you timelines for the three phases, as established by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS).

Today, we are happy to report that PSPC has made great strides in automating part of the process and that the implementation of the new salary rates will take place earlier than anticipated for over 5,000 of the Public Service Pay Centre’s executive client population (approximately 75%).

The executive accounts suitable for the automated pay rate update will begin to be paid at the revised rate in the next 4 to 6 weeks. Revised rates of pay will begin to appear as of the September 14, 2022 paycheque and roll out over the next two paycheques. Executives will be able to review their pay stub in MyGCpay to determine if they have received a revised rate. To ensure accuracy, all accounts will undergo a future manual review and the salary rate applied may be further amended.

Executives who have complex accounts will have to be excluded from this automated process. This may include executives with more complicated pay scenarios such as salary maintenance, salary protection, or a change in classification and level, or circumstances that could result in an overpayment. These complex accounts will be subject to manual update done concurrently with the manual review phase of automated accounts.

As previously announced, the processing of performance pay for the 2021-2022 cycle remains a priority. TBS has informed us that the executive performance pay cycle for the core public administration is on track and even well ahead of schedule as compared to last year.

The retroactive payment and manual review of accounts are planned to begin in 2023 as announced. The Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer and the Public Service Pay Centre continue to look at all options to complete the executive salary revisions as accurately, effectively, and quickly as possible and appreciate your continued patience and understanding.

APEX thanks PSPC, TBS, the compensation community and all those involved for positively responding to our request to accelerate the economic increase implementation and doing so with success.

We will continue to update you on further progress.

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) and the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) have indicated that the implementation of retroactive increases for executives would be done in three phases:

Phase 1: 2021–22 performance pay cycle

As the performance pay cycle had begun at the time of the announcement, they determined that the process would be completed based on the old pay scales. They indicated the cycle is expected to be completed by the end of December 2022.

Phase 2: Implementation of new salary rates

The new salary rates will be applied on a go-forward basis once the performance pay cycle is completed. This is expected to begin in fall 2022 and be done no later than March 31, 2023.

Phase 3: Retroactive payments

The third phase will cover the processing of retroactive payments. It is set to begin in 2023. As per the usual process, priority will be given to active executives, followed by retired executives and then employees who acted in executive positions during the retroactive periods. This phase is expected to be completed by March 31, 2024.

 

APEX has expressed concerns with these timelines to TBS and PSPC. The delays are due in large part to the limitations of Phoenix. Calculations are unique to each individual and require the attention of a compensation advisor. Generic automation is a challenge.

APEX continues to engage PSPC and TBS in discussions on how to reduce those timelines. We have now been assured that timelines for pay adjustments on a go-forward basis and for retroactive payments are based on worst-case scenario for the most difficult and complex cases. PSPC continues to explore options to shorten timelines. We believe that for most executives the adjustment on a go-forward basis will proceed shortly after the performance pay cycle has been completed, earlier than March 31, 2023. We are also confident that for the majority of standard noncomplex cases, retroactive payments will be paid earlier than March 31, 2024.

Smaller organizations should be able to proceed faster, and timelines could vary for organizations not served by the Public Service Pay Centre.

TBS, PSPC and APEX have developed FAQs on the implementation of the economic increases. We will provide you with regular updates on progress, until the implementation has been fully completed.

APEX is happy to report that increases to base pay have been approved. They are aligned with those recently negotiated through collective bargaining:

  • 2.8% effective April 1, 2018
  • 2.2% effective April 1, 2019
  • 1.5% effective April 1, 2020
  • 1.5% effective April 1, 2021

Rates of pay are now available online. The comparison of maximum salaries for EXs and feeder groups and the comparative sampling of salary and pension increases have been amended.

APEX is concerned with the timelines announced by TBS and PSPC for the implementation of economic increases. We will continue to work with central agencies to identify ways to reduce those timelines and will keep the executive community informed of progress.

We continue to advocate on your behalf for a new process to ensure timely, fair and impartial compensation for Public Service executives.

FAQs, including information on timelines and processes, are in development and will be posted on our site as soon as available.

Wednesday April 12th, 2022

 

Dear Minister Fortier,

I recently wrote to you advocating on behalf of all executives of the federal public service inquiring about the delay in providing economic increases.  I also raised the issue of salary inversions with feeder groups that the executives are facing, and the negative impact this is having on the executive cadre.  Finally, I encouraged you to create and implement a new independent committee that will ensure compensation for executives is addressed in a manner that is fair, impartial, and timely in the future.

Given these concerns are shared by the vast majority of executives, I thought it important and appropriate to request a meeting with you to discuss these issues and to see if APEX can be of assistance in their resolution.

The executive community has patiently waited in line as the government provided increases to other executive equivalent groups and completed the last round of bargaining.   And while they waited, these executives worked tirelessly to implement government decisions to manage the impact of the pandemic, keep the public safe and ensure Canadians had the proper support they needed.  Data shows unequivocally that most did so at the detriment of their health. Though the executives felt forgotten, and some even disrespected, their pride in the work they do to serve Canadians and their devotion remained very high.  As this government works to implement its agenda seen in the recent Budget, the executive community will be there to support the government, as always. But at what cost.

I have been informed that my recent message to you has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office.  I believe that is a step in the right direction.  APEX is an association that advocates on behalf of all executives, and as such I find it incumbent upon myself to share the message of our 7,900 executives with you. These executives, most Deputy Heads and even Central Agencies would agree that it is now time to address executive compensation.

I look forward to our discussion and hope it will be of assistance to you as you move forward in addressing these issues.

Respectfully,

 

Carl Trottier
Chief Executive Officer
APEX

Photo of Carl Trottier

Wednesday March 30th, 2022

 

Dear Minister Fortier,

I am writing to you as Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX). APEX’s primary role is to advocate on behalf of all executives (7,900) in the federal public service.  We also support the executive community and the public service through Centers of Excellence on leadership, health and wellness, and total compensation, as well as offer professional and career development, and confidential advisory services for executives.

Recently, the rates of pay for all Commissioned Officers at the RCMP were increased retroactively. I’d like to congratulate you on addressing this issue. The Commissioned Officers are considered comparable and equivalent to executives of the public service. Therefore, it came as a surprise that the Commissioned Officers’ pay rates and pay inversion with the Non-Commissioned Officers were addressed by Treasury Board without addressing the long overdue pay increases for the 7,900 executives of the public service. The rates of pay for executives (EX occupational group) has not been adjusted since its last increase in 2017.  It will be 5 years in April. Yet, salaries of other executive equivalent groups have been updated up to 2021, notably the Law Management (LC), Medicine (MD-MOF and MD-MSP), and now Commissioned Officers. This is not to mention the loss of purchasing power that these executives have suffered as the cost of living increased, especially since the pandemic.

APEX’s Executive Work and Health Study has been cited by Clerks of the Privy Council for the past 25 years and is recognized by the scientific community and internationally as a benchmark on executive health. The information comes from surveys to all executives, the most recent in 2021. Results show that executive pride (88%) and dedication (74%) to the work they perform in delivering results for Canadians has come at a cost, with now a staggering number (75%) suffering from burnout. Over and above their regular mandate, executives delivered on the certification, procurement and distribution of vaccines and other health supplies; developed, implemented, and distributed emergency response benefits; ensured the safety of our borders and supply chains; organized an election during a pandemic; while responding to the call for action on anti-racism, equity and inclusion; and more recently have tirelessly worked in support of the Ukraine crisis, all while taking care of their virtual teams’ mental health; and so much more.

In addition, 69% of survey respondents describe experiencing an imbalance between the level of effort needed and the reward and recognition they receive for the work performed. The delay in adjusting economic increases is interpreted as disrespectful and acts as a major contributing factor to the effort/reward imbalance.

Salary inversion is also a significant problem. At least ten feeder groups to the executive cadre earn more than the executive entry levels, creating pay inversions and dissuading an increasing number of non-executives from joining the executive ranks. This is not sustainable, and over time will weaken the public service leadership by making it increasingly difficult to hire the best and the brightest in support of delivering this government’s programs and agenda.  Levels of frustration beyond what has ever been seen before in the executive community are being measured. A record number of executives are asking APEX how to be demoted out of the executive cadre, stating pay inversion and disrespect by the employer as the main causes.

Currently, there is no set process to adjust compensation for executives in the public service. In 2015, the former Stephenson Advisory Committee on Senior Level Retention and Compensation which provided the President of the Treasury Board with timely recommendations on economic increases for executives was disbanded and no mechanism was implemented to replace it. I encourage you to create and implement a new independent committee that will ensure compensation for executives is addressed in a manner that is fair, impartial, and timely. As the advocate of executives in the public service, APEX should have an advisory role to this committee and ensure the voice of all executives are heard.

Based on our advocacy mandate, the request to adjust the economic increases in the near future and create an independent committee come to you through the amplified voices of 7,900 executives. As the President of Treasury Board and Employer, your action is gravely needed to address these issues.

APEX desires to continue to work collaboratively with TBS-OCHRO, to assist in facilitating the government’s decisions on executive economic increases that are long overdue, and to ultimately work together towards a fair, impartial and timely compensation system for all executives in the future.

Should you seek more information about the issues facing the executive cadre, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Respectfully,

Carl Trottier
Chief Executive Officer
APEX

Photo of Carl Trottier

Icon of an email being sent to Government of Canada from APEX, dated April 12, 2022
APEX CEO requests meeting with Minister to discuss executive compensation
April 12, 2022
Image of a LinkedIn post Carl Trottier posted about Burnout within the executive cadre
APEX CEO comments on LinkedIn about the Policy Options' article
April 8, 2022
Picture of article in Policy Options
"Some public service executives ‘burned out’ by crisis management" - April 7, 2022
Icon of an email being sent to Government of Canada from APEX, dated March 30, 2022
APEX CEO's email to the President of Treasury Board - Rates of Pay for the EX Group
March 30th, 2022
Image of Executive Work and Health Survey
Click the image to read the synopsis of the Executive Work and Health Survey
APEX 2020-21 Advisory Services for Executives Annual Report
Click the image to read the ASE 2020-21 Annual Report

APEX continues to advocate on economic increases and compensation for executives.

Click here for more information and resources regarding compensation and the economic increase.

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