Executive Compensation

On May 10, 2018, the Government of Canada has approved economic increases for executives and other senior leaders whose compensation is linked to that of executives for the four-year period from 2014 to 2018, as well as an additional annual personal leave day effective April 1, 2018. These changes are tied to recent settlements reached with unionized employees through the collective bargaining process.

Specific compensation changes, which executives can expect to receive once salary revisions for the majority of represented employees of the core public administration have been actioned in the pay system include:

  • Increasing base pay by 0.75% for 2014-2015 and 0.75% for 2015-2016; and
  • Increasing base pay by 1.25% for 2016-2017 and 1.25% for 2017-2018 and providing a wage adjustment of 1.0% for 2016-2017.

Note: These adjustments apply to the core public administration (CPA). Executives employed by separate employers should consult with their Human Resources Department.

Executives also gain entitlement to an additional day (7.5 hours) of personal leave.

The Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX) has been monitoring the progress of collective bargaining in the federal public service for the purpose of tracking and reporting on the impact that settlements are having on groups that have traditionally been the primary feeder groups for executive vacancies. All of the traditional feeder groups have recently benefited from multi-year base salary increases.

It should be noted that the Advisory Committee on Senior Level Retention and Compensation formerly provided independent advice to the government on setting EX Group rates of pay, in part based on external benchmarking of total executive compensation (base salary, at-risk pay, pension, benefits) against equivalent positions in the Canadian labour market. Such benchmarking was last undertaken publicly in 2010.

While this increase in EX Group base salaries is welcomed, APEX continues to advocate for an arm`s length process for advice on executive compensation and an independent benchmarking of total compensation.

The following chart confirms the impact of the May 10, 2018 decision to increase EX Group base salaries versus the current maximum salaries of the main feeder groups.

The new rates of pay for the EX Group can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/treasury-board-secretariat/services/pay/rates-pay/rates-pay-unrepresented-senior-excluded-employees.html#Toc476385558

The following table provides an overview of how executive salaries have changed over time, in comparison to other groups.

* Largest Public Service Union
** Largest feeder group for Executives


  • Increases include economic adjustments, the restructuring of salary ranges, market adjustments and Terminable Allowances.
  • Includes compensation for the elimination of severance pay for voluntary reasons of 0.25% in 2011-12 and 0.5% in 2013-14, a 2% increase for the maximum rate of pay for FS-2, FS-3 and FS-4 effective July 1, 2016 and dropping step 1 of the FS-1 rate of pay and adding a 4% step for the FS-1.
  • Student rates of pay increased by 1.25% on May 1, 2017.

Sources: Treasury Board and Union websites