Rescinded [2011-03-01] - Union Dues Check-Off

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The deduction and remittance of union dues to certified bargaining agents provides an effective and efficient means of sustaining financial support for Public Service unions while reserving to employees the right not to join such unions.

Through collective bargaining, the Treasury Board as employer has agreed:

  • to deduct union dues from the salaries of employees who are members of bargaining units; and
  • to remit such dues to the appropriate certified bargaining agent.


This chapter applies to all employees of organizations listed in Part I of Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) who are members of a bargaining unit that a certified bargaining agent (union) represents, regardless of whether the employee is a member of such union.

"Employee" as defined in the PSSRA means a person employed in the Public Service other than:

  1. a person appointed by the Governor in Council under an Act of Parliament to a statutory position described in that Act;
  2. a person locally engaged outside Canada;
  3. a person whose compensation for the performance of the regular duties of the position or office of the person consists of fees of office, or is related to the revenue of the office in which the person is employed;
  4. a person not ordinarily required to work more than one-third of the normal period for persons doing similar work;
  5. a person who is a member or special constable of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or who is employed by that Force under terms and conditions substantially the same as those of a member thereof;
  6. an employee of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service who is not within the operational category described as administrative support;
  7. a person employed on a casual or temporary basis, unless the person has been so employed for a period of six months or more;
  8. a person employed by or under the Public Service Staff Relations Board (PSSRB); or
  9. a person employed in a managerial or confidential capacity, which means any person who:
    1. is employed in a position confidential to the Governor General, a minister of the Crown, a judge of the Supreme Court of Canada or the Federal Court, the deputy head of a department or the chief executive officer of any other portion of the Public Service;
    2. is employed as a legal officer in the department of Justice; or
    3. is employed in the Public Service and, in connection with an application for certification of a bargaining agent for a bargaining unit, is designated by the Board, or, in any case where a bargaining agent for a bargaining unit has been certified by the Board, is designated in prescribed manner by the employer or by the Board on objection thereto by the bargaining agent, to be a person:
      1. who has executive duties and responsibilities in relation to the development and administration of government programs;
      2. whose duties include those of a personnel administrator or who has duties that cause that person to be directly involved in the process of collective bargaining on behalf of the employer;
      3. who is required by reason of the duties and responsibilities of that person to deal formally on behalf of the employer with a grievance presented in accordance with the grievance process provided for by this Act;
      4. who is employed in a position confidential to any person described in subparagraph (i), (ii) or (iii) or paragraph (b); or
      5. who, although not otherwise described in subparagraph (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv), should not, in the opinion of the Board, be included in a bargaining unit by reason of the duties and responsibilities of the person to the employer.


1. General

Departments must deduct union dues from all employees unless they are:

  • excluded from a bargaining unit under the PSSRA;
  • exempt from paying dues because of religious affiliation in accordance with the specific provisions of the collective agreement; or
  • in an occupational group that is not represented by a union.

The unrepresented groups are:

  • Executive (EX)
  • University Teaching (UT)
  • Senior Management (SM)
  • Organizations & Methods (OM)
  • Personnel Administration (PE)
  • Administrative Trainee (AT)

Deductions must be made from the last cheque of the month provided that sufficient earnings exist after deduction of statutory and mandatory amounts.

2. Exemption

Currently all collective agreements (except the Air Traffic Control agreement) provide an exemption to employees who are members of a religious organization whose doctrine prevents them from contributing financially to an employee organization.

To apply for this exemption an employee must submit an application (see Appendix A) to the employing department or agency.

Departments and agencies must submit such applications to the Staff Relations Division, Treasury Board Secretariat which will approve or reject them.

3. Starting deductions

3.1. Initial appointments

Departments and agencies must deduct dues for the first complete calendar month of employment (except for the Meteorology bargaining unit, for which dues start for the month of appointment).

For term appointees, dues are to be deducted from the first day of the month following the month in which the employee has completed six months of employment without a break of more than five days.

Deductions for appointees to bargaining units represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) must be started at a specified flat rate. Subsequently, Supply and Services Canada (SSC) revises this rate on instruction by PSAC.

Departments must use pay input documents (DSS 2517T OR DSS 2549) to authorize deductions.

Departments are required to complete and distribute PSAC Payroll identification form (PSAC 26 RO2-89: Appendix B) for all appointments that initiate or maintain the employee as a member of a bargaining unit represented by PSAC.

3.2. Subsequent appointments to bargaining unit positions

Departments must treat persons initially appointed to excluded or unrepresented positions who are subsequently appointed to bargaining unit positions, as initial appointees.

3.3. De-exclusion (managerial or confidential duties)

When a person's duties change so that he or she is no longer employed in a managerial or confidential capacity, departments must start deduction of union dues on the first day of the second month following:

  • the agreement of the Treasury Board and the union; or
  • notification of the determination made by the PSSRB if the Treasury Board and the union disagree.

4. Changing deductions

4.1. Subsequent appointments (promotions, demotions, transfers) to bargaining unit positions

Appointments that result in a change in union representation require the Department to stop the previous dues deductions and start the new ones, and complete the Notice of Change of Union Affiliation (TBC/CTC 340-8: Appendix B).

Where there is a change in bargaining agent only, Departments must change dues deductions on the first day of the month following:

  • the effective date of the appointment; or
  • the issue date of the Report on Staffing Transaction (ROST), whichever is later.

Appointments which do not result in a change in union representation do not require any departmental action.

In such cases, changes of dues deductions for individual employees will be authorized by the relevant union by direct correspondence with the relevant pay office.

4.2. Revision of dues structure

Bargaining agents must inform Staff Relations Division, Treasury Board Secretariat, of general dues increases.

SSC will initiate such changes on notification by Staff Relations Division, Treasury Board Secretariat, on the date specified.

Treasury Board Secretariat will inform departments and agencies.

5. Stopping deductions

5.1. Termination

Departments must deduct dues for the month in which the termination occurs provided sufficient earnings remain after deductions.

Departments must deduct dues arrears being collected at termination in full, provided sufficient funds exist from earnings (not superannuation income or refunds of contributions).

Departments must request payment from the former employee of dues arrears outstanding after termination if so requested by the union, and must notify the Staff Relations Division of Treasury Board Secretariat with full details if payment is not made.

5.2. Non-employee status (i.e., for reasons other than managerial or confidential exclusion status).

Examples: appointment to non-employee status such as Governor in Council appointment, term, part-time less than one third (1/3) normal hours.

Departments will cease dues deductions on the first day of the month following:

  • the effective date of the appointment or
  • the issue date of the ROST or other appointment document,

whichever is later.

5.3. Exclusion (i.e., because of managerial or confidential duties):

5.3.1 An employee becomes excluded in his or her own position.

Departments must stop dues deductions on the first day of the second month following the date of the agreement by the union or the decision by the PSSRB. Treasury Board informs departments and agencies by TBS/SCT 340-13 (Rev. 1990.08) See Appendix B.

5.3.2 An employee is appointed to succeed an excluded person.

Departments must stop dues deductions on the first day of the second month following the issue date of Form A, Valid Transaction Report. (For explanation see Chapter 2 under Process).

6. Acting assignment

For a bargaining unit employee who is placed on an acting assignment to:

  • replace another bargaining unit employee, departments shall deduct dues as if the assignment were an appointment;
  • replace an employee in an unrepresented group, departments shall terminate dues deductions on the first day of the month following the effective date of the assignment;
  • replace an employee excluded because of managerial or confidential status, departments must terminate dues deductions on the first day of the second month following notification to the PSSRB. (Form A, Valid Transaction Report).

If the employee is excluded, departments shall stop dues on the first day of the second month following the date of the agreement by the union or the decision of the PSSRB.

If the acting assignment is completed before input to the pay system has been made (i.e., closed period), no change in dues shall be made.

7. Special assignment pay plan (SAPP)

A bargaining unit employee who accepts a SAPP appointment remains subject to the provisions of the collective agreement, including dues deduction. However, should the employee be:

  • appointed so that he or she no longer meets the PSSRA definition of employee; or
  • proposed and ultimately agreed or decided to be a person performing managerial or confidential duties,

that employee will cease dues deductions in the same manner as all other appointments in these circumstances.

8. Multiple employment

The employer has a contractual obligation to deduct dues for all positions held by an employee. When one person fills two or more positions that are represented by the same bargaining agent, departments and agencies should seek the union's agreement to make only one deduction.

9. Part-time employment

Departments must deduct the full monthly dues amount for all unions except the PSAC. The PSAC prorates dues according to the ratio of the employee's assigned hours to the normal full-time hours. Departments and agencies must start dues at the standard monthly rate. PSAC will calculate the appropriate rate and inform SSC.

10. Leave without pay

Departments must not deduct union dues for complete months during which an employee is on leave without pay. Departments must deduct union dues for the month in which the employee returns from leave without pay provided earnings sufficient for the full amount of dues exist. (See Pay administration volume, Chapter 10, Pay administration – General, for priority in making deductions from pay.)

11. Arrears

Departments must collect dues owed but not paid by deducting an amount equivalent to the current monthly rate of dues until the full amount owing is collected.

For employees who are members of bargaining units represented by the PSAC, arrears subject to collection are limited to one year's dues.

12. Refund of dues

To correct deductions made in error, departments and agencies must submit pay input forms to the SSC pay office. However, when PSAC is involved, departments and agencies must submit a request for refund form (DSS-MAS 2595 (10.88): Appendix B) to the PSAC with a specific description of the transaction(s) creating the refund request.

If the PSAC agrees, the department and agencies submit pay input forms to SSC. If the PSAC disagrees, departments and agencies must consult Staff Relations Division, Treasury Board Secretariat.

13. Union insurance premiums

Unions are authorized to start, change and stop insurance premiums for their members by input to SSC.

When union insurance premiums are deducted separately from union dues, departments and agencies must stop, and start (if appropriate) deductions for union insurance when they change deductions from one union to another or when they stop dues deductions.

Requests for refunds of insurance premiums are strictly a matter between the employee and the union.

Employees are responsible for maintaining insurance coverage whenever union dues cease to be deducted.


Treasury Board Secretariat

TBS is responsible for:

  • informing departments and agencies and SSC about general changes to dues;
  • approving or rejecting requests for exemption on religious grounds; and
  • administering the policy and coordinating the activities as the agent of the employer.

Departments and agencies

Departments and agencies are responsible for:

  • starting and stopping dues deductions;
  • changing dues deductions when there is a change in bargaining unit;
  • completing and distributing required forms; and
  • instituting collection of arrears and overpayment refunds.

Supply and Services Canada

SSC is responsible for:

  • implementing departmental deduction instructions;
  • remitting deductions and lists of deductees to bargaining agents;
  • implementing general increases on notification by Treasury Board Secretariat; and
  • changing individual dues calculated by bargaining agents.

Bargaining agents

Bargaining agents are responsible for:

  • informing Treasury Board Secretariat about general changes in dues;
  • calculating and informing SSC about individual dues to be deducted; and

(PSAC only) authorizing refunds.


Enquiries should be addressed to:

Assistant Secretary
Staff Relations Division
Personnel Policy Branch
Treasury Board Secretariat

Appendix A

Department of ___________


Objection on grounds of conscience

to dues check-off

Province/Territory In the matter of an agreement between the __________ Treasury Board and the (bargaining agent) County

covering employees in the (group)

I, ____________ of ________________________________

(name and initials, please print) (city, town)

county of ________, ________ province/territory of ________,

make oath and say as follows:

1. That I am a member of _______________________,

________________________________________ (name of religious organization)

2. That the doctrine of the said _______________ (name of religious organization)

is such that as a matter of conscience I am unable to make a financial contribution to an employee organization.

That I shall make contributions to

________________________(name of charitable organization)

______ equal to the dues I would be subject to under the terms of the agreement to

______ which this affidavit refers.

SWORN before me at ______________________

__________________ (city) _____________________(signature of employee)

in the county of __________________________________

this________ day of ________ 19__

_____________________________ signature and office of

_____________________________ representative of religious

_____________________________ organization)

_____________________________ (a commissioner for taking oaths, or notary public)

__________________ (Income tax Act registration number)

Appendix B

Relevant Forms
Title of FormNo. of FormIssued byAvailable fromPhone No./ Fax No
PSAC payrollPSAC 26 R02-89PSACTBS613-952-2982
identification   613-957-4190
Bargaining Unit Identification – Notice of change TBS/SCT 340-51TBSSSC613-957-1097
New designations for exclusions agreed to or objected to/by bargaining agentsTBS/SCT 340-13
(Rev. 8.90)
Application for the refund of PSAC duesDSS-MAS 2595 (Rev. 10.88)SSC"Decentralized forms" 
   printed on request; contact your forms management or purchasing services.