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Hill Life & People

No Phoenix civil suits for public servants, but unions filing loads of grievances

By Emily Haws      

Federal unionized public servants have to stick the the grievance process if they want to seek damages linked to the Phoenix pay system.

Hundreds of public servants represented by a number of unions gathered outside the Prime Minister's Office on Oct. 12, to show their unhappiness with the government's handling of the Phoenix payroll system issues. Unionized public servants cannot file a class-action lawsuit against the government, meaning grievances are their only option. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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If you’ve wondered why federal public servants have not filed a class-action lawsuit against the government over the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system, it’s because they can’t. Section 236 of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, which governs the rules between the federal government and its employees, says unionized workers are not allowed to individually pursue civil action against the employer. Under the heading No Right of Action, section 236 reads, “The right of an employee to seek

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