USJE and PSAC have been receiving and responding to many requests for assistance as a result of overpayment recovery letters that members are receiving.
PSAC posted a couple of articles, one on April 13, 2022: psacunion.ca/phoenix-overpayment-letter-update ; and the second on June 30, 2022: psacunion.ca/phoenix-overpayment-letters-keep-eye-out.
In the April 13, 2022 article, PSAC provides recommendations on how to respond to the letters.
If you are responding to Annex B by selecting Option 2, USJE is recommending that you also include information such as provided in the following sample:
The alleged overpayment ($___) contains amounts ($____) that are outside of the limitation period provided for under the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act because I received the overpayment letter on (Insert date), but the overpayment is from (Insert date)(i.e. it is more than 6 years old). I believe that the Employer is statute-barred from collecting this overpayment, per my union PSAC’s information: psacunion.ca/phoenix-overpayment-letter-update.
Please provide me with a written confirmation of whether this debt will be deleted/adjusted from my pay file.
USJE’s labour relations officer assigned to the Phoenix portfolio has identified some patterns of concern:
- Some departments are sending their own recovery letters, and the format is inconsistent with the information provided by the Pay Centre recovery letters;
- Some departments are not even sending a letter. They are either sending a GC 214, some with prefilled information and some with nothing, or they are telling employees to complete a GC214 which is only available if you have access to the government websites;
- Some departments are responding incorrectly to our members when our members respond identifying statute-barred amounts;
- Many of the letters are missing the information regarding Flexible Recovery of Overpayments, nor are they providing the option for employees to benefit from the Flexible Recovery of Overpayments;
- Overpayment Recovery letters that do not list the amounts individually, but in a single paragraph with amounts that are not statute-barred.
This is completely unacceptable. USJE is of the opinion that the departments should focus their resources on fixing the issues impacting their employees and making sure their employees are paid properly for the work they perform.
If you have any questions regarding the information contained in this update please contact USJEPhoenix_PhenixSESJ@psac-afpc.com.