Stop the taxation of Phoenix damages

30905 News Local 30905 - Edmonton

Saying that PSAC members have been through a lot due to the Phoenix pay system fiasco would be a gross understatement. Now, to add insult to injury, on the 5th anniversary of the Phoenix disaster, the federal government plans to shamelessly short-change thousands of PSAC members by taxing their compensation for years of pay problems.

This move is a violation of the language PSAC negotiated into the Phoenix compensation agreement and is completely unacceptable. I know PSAC members are frustrated and this move defies comprehension.

The taxation of Phoenix general damages needs to stop. Tell Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Minister Anita Anand that Phoenix general damages shouldn’t be taxed. Send a letter now.

If you have already sent a letter, please call your MP. March 3 is our deadline to get the federal government to reverse course. The way we can do that is by working together to apply pressure from all sides.

As we move into the last week of Black History Month, I want to acknowledge the profound contributions of black workers in building Canada’s economy and in pushing the labour movement to where it is today. Check out some of those remarkable people, historical and current

Additionally, PSAC has prepared a series of materials to accompany those on the front lines of protests and those battling racism in their workplaces. You can download them here.

I am also thrilled to share that PSAC’s online education program has been launched! Our program offers union training at your own pace and time in both official languages. The current courses are “Welcome to Your Union, PSAC” and “Precarious Work – a Union Issue.” Check them out here.

In Solidarity,


The Liberal government has shamelessly chosen the fifth anniversary of the Phoenix pay system disaster to short-change thousands of PSAC members on their compensation for years of pay problems.

Even though PSAC is in the process of working with the CRA to review the taxability of Phoenix damages, rather than waiting just a few more days, the federal government has confirmed that it intends to ignore these efforts and issue the up to $2,500 for our members, on March 3 – with taxes deducted.

The government still has time to do the right thing. General damages should not be taxed, so we’re calling on key ministers to immediately intervene to fix this before payments are issued.

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It’s a slap in the face to the tens of thousands of PSAC members who suffered years of pay problems, and then worked non-stop during this pandemic to deliver aid and benefits to millions of Canadians in crisis. And it’s a betrayal to those same PSAC members who agreed to a $2,500 Phoenix settlement reached for “stress, aggravation, and pain and suffering” – compensation for which is normally not taxed.

We will pursue every legal route to secure the full compensation that our members are entitled to. This includes tax challenges that would retroactively see our members reimbursed should the payments be issued as planned on the March 3, but our goal remains to avoid any time consuming and complex tax disputes for our members.

Phoenix short-changed PSAC members for years – the last thing they deserve is for the government to short-change them yet again.

In solidarity,
Chris Aylward
PSAC National President

PS: We will continue to work to resolve this problem and updates will follow in the coming days — you will be the first to hear an update via email, website, or our social media channels.