UEW News

Phoenix and Membership Dues

The Phoenix pay system has been a disaster for our members. Members have been underpaid, overpaid and not paid at all.

Learn more about what the union has been doing to get this fixed.

Not deducting union dues correctly is one more way that Phoenix has failed public sector workers. You can help us push the government to pay public sector workers correctly, every pay day.

For several years, the Phoenix payroll system has been incorrectly collecting membership dues from nearly 150,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. Thousands of federal public service workers have been overpaying or underpaying union dues.

In November, the government will finally be in a position to fix these Phoenix errors, and PSAC members will see the correct dues amount on their paycheques moving forward.

A broken system

PSAC has a long-established system to determine the correct dues for each of its members. This information is updated monthly and sent to the government to be implemented, but due to Phoenix, the government has failed to process this information since March 2016.

This has affected thousands of workers, and particularly those that have undergone significant changes like members who have been promoted, changed positions, gone on parental leave, or retired.

A widespread problem

The Phoenix pay system’s failure to process membership dues correctly means that over 39,000 PSAC members are owed a refund. Current estimates state that nearly $2.6 million in membership dues will be refunded to our members.

Many more workers unfortunately, nearly 111,000, have been underpaying dues and will see recovery payments begin on November 14th. Thankfully, the majority of these workers owe less than $300 and PSAC has policies in place that ensure the amount will only be recovered in small payments over several pay periods. In addition, as a policy, PSAC does not retroactively collect more than 1 years’ worth of membership dues from their members - even if they owe more than this amount.

PSAC itself is owed nearly $20 million in membership dues needed to fund essential union services such as collective bargaining, legal representation, grievance support and training. We will not penalize our members for the government's mistake in launching Phoenix. We do not expect to be able to collect everything we are owed from our members. We will pursue all legal avenues to recover money owed to us by the government, that we cannot collect from members.

What does this mean for PSAC members?

The Phoenix pay system will apply membership dues adjustments this fall. Letters to members with details about their specific dues’ situation will be sent out by the end of November. On November 14th, PSAC members will see the correct membership dues amount on their paycheques, and then they will find themselves in one of two categories:

You have overpaid your membership dues and are owed a refund. PSAC will refund the total amount owed to you. You will receive the refund over 1 to 2 paycheques. Beginning in January 2019, your membership dues should be updated and collected at the new 2019 reduced rate.

You have been underpaying membership dues and are in arrears. PSAC will only recover up to 1 years’ worth of union dues and we will not collect this in one large lump sum. The rate of recovery is always equal to the monthly amount of union dues a member would normally pay. These relatively small recovery payments will take place over several pay periods. For most of our members who owe less than $300, this shouldn’t take more than 2 to 3 months.


If you have concerns regarding arrears owed, please fill in this form to request additional information.

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It's All About RESPECT

Starting SEPTEMBER 5, 2018, Fishery Officers from Ocean to Ocean to Ocean will be wearing this armband with the wording RESPECT US / RECLASSIFY US  1969  RESPECTEZ NOUS /  RECLASSIFIEZ NOUS


For years the Fishery Officers have more than justified to DFO Management and to Treasury Board the fact they are not properly classified in respect of the modern essence of their work. Recent actions by management have further alienated this group of people who serve Canadians by enforcing the commercial, recreational and habitat federal legislations that are designed to protect our fishery resources and our fishery related industries, communities and economic engine, for the future generations of Canadians.


The fight for proper classification has been ongoing for more than 25 years, including through the UCS exercise when it was made clear the Fishery Officers were severely under classified and underpaid. The current GT Classification Standard was written in 1969 and bears no meaningful resemblance to the work being currently done by the Fishery Officers.


In addition, articles in the current TC Collective Agreement, that specifically apply to GT employees, are being denied to Fishery Officers but are being paid to other GT employees at other Federal Departments.


These armbands are a strong but respectful indication of the frustration, disappointment and ire spreading from ocean to ocean to ocean amongst the Field Staff of the Conservation & Protection Branch, Fishery Officers, at Fisheries & Oceans Canada.  


These armbands are also a statement of support for the PSAC Bargaining Teams, specifically for the TC and PA Bargaining Teams as they try to demonstrate the pay inequities between people in the same classifications, doing essentially the same work, but being paid vastly different salaries.  


RESPECT!  Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value! 

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2018 UHEW Scholarships

The Union of Health and Environment Workers (UHEW) believes that everyone has the right to achieve his/her goals through education and hard work. In a world where technology and society are changing at a rapid pace, education is critical to remaining on top of issues and building a better future. With this in mind, UHEW is pleased to offer five scholarships:

  1. Two scholarships are awarded on scholastic achievement for $3,000 each and named the Tony Tilley Scholastic Award and the Mary Stewart Scholastic Award;
  2. One scholarship in the amount of $3,000 for a candidate entering into an apprenticeship program;
  3. One scholarship in the amount of $3,000 is awarded to a member returning to school on a full-time basis to further his or her education; and
  4. One Human Rights scholarship in the amount of $3,000 for a candidate struggling with a disability while striving for a higher education.

Please note the eligibility requirements as described in the Scholarship Awards Guidelines.

The UHEW Scholarships Application Form is attached.  You will note that the 2018 Essay Topic for all scholarships is  With respect to the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Winnipeg General Strike, what repercussions did this workers’ action have in shaping Canada’s workplace and the society today? ” 

The application form and guidelines are posted here.

The deadline for receipt of applications is July 31, 2018.

Should you have any questions concerning the above, please do not hesitate to communicate with the national office.

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