We are currently moving our web services and information to Canada.ca.

The Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website will remain available until this move is complete.

Glossary of terms and definitions

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Purpose

Many words and phrases used in this volume have a special meaning in the context of personnel management and pay administration in the Public Service. This chapter defines the most frequently used words and phrases.

Terms and definitions

Abandonment of a position (abandon de poste)
means the voluntary and unauthorized absence from duty for a period of one week or more (PSEA section 27 repealed 1992);
acting appointment (nomination intérimaire)
means the temporary performance of duties of another position. This applies if the performance of those duties would have constituted a promotion had the employee been appointed to the position (PSER 2000);
acting assignment (affectation intérimaire)
means a situation where an employee is required to perform temporarily the duties of a higher classification level for at least the qualifying period specified in the collective agreement or the terms and conditions of employment applicable to the employee's substantive level;
acting pay (rémunération d'intérim)
means the pay an employee receives when required to perform the duties of a higher classification level for a temporary period provided the employee meets the minimum qualifying period;
allowance (indemnité)
means the compensation payable in respect of a position, or in respect of some of the positions in a group, by reason of duties of a special nature, or, a compensation for duties that an employee is required to perform in addition to the duties of the employee's position;
annual rate (taux annuel)
means the rate of pay authorized for one calendar year;
appointment document (document de nomination)
see certificate of appointment;
arbitral award (décision arbitrale)
means an award made by the Public Service Staff Relations Board or an arbitrator dealing only with terms and conditions of employment that could not be settled by collective bargaining;
assimilation (assimilation)
see removal from holding;
attainable maximum rate of pay (taux de rémunération maximal accessible)
means the rate achievable for fully satisfactory performance in the case of levels covered by a performance pay plan or the maximum salary rate in the case of all other groups and levels;
bargaining agent (agent négociateur)
means an employee organization that has been certified by the Public Service Staff Relations Board as a bargaining agent for a bargaining unit, provided that certification has not been revoked;
bargaining unit (unité de négociation)
means a group of two (2) or more employees determined in accordance with the Public Service Staff Relations Act to constitute a unit of employees appropriate for collective bargaining;
barrier (barrière)
means a point in a scale of rates beyond which progression is contingent upon meeting specified standards of proficiency and performance;
Buchmann decision (décision Buchmann)
means the grievance filed by the CCRA employee regarding the rate of pay he received on promotion. The employee was promoted during the retroactive period and when the revised rates were implemented his salary was adjusted in accordance with the Lajoie decision. This treatment accorded him a lesser rate than a recalculation, and he filed a grievance. (PSSRB file # 166-34-30637 dated January 31, 2002.);
cash gratuity (gratification en espèces)
means a lump sum payment made to an employee on termination of employment that recognizes that person's service to the employer;
casual employee (employé occasionnel)
means
  • a person employed on a casual basis pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) 21.2; or
  • any other person employed for a specified period pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) unless the term of employment is for a period of three (3) months or more, or the person has been employed for a period of three (3) months or more with no break in employment in excess of five (5) working days;
casual status (situation d'employé occasionnel)
see casual employee;
certificate of appointment (certificat de nomination)
means the:
  1. instrument required by the Public Service Employment Act, which is completed on the appointment of an employee to a position in the Public Service;
  2. letter of offer in acting situations
classification (classification)
means the occupational group, sub-group (where applicable) and level assigned to a position;
collective agreement (convention collective)
means an agreement in writing entered into under the Public Service Staff Relations Act between the employer and a bargaining agent and containing provisions covering terms and conditions of employment and related matters;
compensation days (journées de rémunération)
means the days in a pay period other than the designated days of rest;
compensation plan (régime de rémunération)
means the terms and conditions of employment for those employed in a managerial or confidential capacity and therefore not subject to the collective agreement for their group and level;
contiguous (contigu)
means adjoining, near;
continuous employment (emploi continu)
means one (1) or more periods of service in the Public Service, as defined in the P.S.S.A., with allowable breaks only as provided for in the terms and conditions of employment applicable to the employee;
continuous service (service continu)
means an unbroken period of Public Service employment. Continuous service is broken when employment ceases between two (2) periods of Public Service employment for at least one (1) compensation day;
conversion (transposition)
means a situation in which a new group and/or level is established or a new classification plan and/or pay structure is introduced for an established group;
daily rate (taux journalier)
means the weekly rate of pay divided by the number of days in the standard work week (5);
day of rest (jour de repos)
means:
  1. for a full-time employee a day, other than a holiday on which an employee is not ordinarily required to perform the duties of his or her position other than by reason of being on leave of absence;
  2. for a part-time employee a day on which an employee is not ordinarily required to work other than by reason of being on leave of absence. Two (2) days of rest per week shall be designated for each part-time employee. This does not include non-scheduled working days;
death (décès)
means an involuntary or a voluntary cessation of life;
demotion (rétrogradation)
means the appointment of an employee because of incompetence or incapacity, to a position that has a lower maximum rate of pay than the maximum rate of pay applicable to the employee's former position;
discharge (congédiement)
means the involuntary termination of employment by reason of breaches of discipline or misconduct;
employee (employé)
means a person, as defined in the Public Service Staff Relations Act;
employee in casual status (employé en situation d'employé occasionnel)
means a person employed for a specified period in a department or agency listed in Part I, Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) until he or she has been so employed for a period of three (3) months with no break in employment in excess of five (5) working days;
employee not in casual status (employé n'étant pas en situation d'employé occasionnel)
means a person who has been employed for a specified period in a department or agency listed in Part I, Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA) for a period of three (3) months or more with no break in employment in excess of five (5) working days;
end of specified term (fin d'une nomination à durée déterminée)
means the termination of employment at the end of a specified period for which an employee was hired (PSEA 25);
entitlements (rétributions)
means the benefits applicable to an employee for services rendered;
equalization adjustment (rajustement paritaire)
means an annual allowance forming part of salary that is paid to persons of an occupational group to increase their rate of pay. It recognizes that these positions require comparable skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions in comparison to their counterparts of another occupational group found under the same employer whose rate of pay is higher;
excluded position (poste exclu)
means those positions as identified by the employer pursuant to the PSSRA as not being represented by a bargaining agent due to the nature of the duties of the position. This would include positions in the executive group, of the Treasury Board, employees responsible for providing advice on staff relations, staffing or classification matters, etc.;
executive (cadre de direction)
means a person classified in the Executive Group and employed in Schedule I, Part I Service of the PSSRA. This definition encompasses those at the EX-1 to EX-5 and GX levels inclusive;
extra duty pay (rémunération pour services supplémentaires)
means the compensation payable for performing special or additional duties (see allowance);
geographic area (région géographique)
see headquarters area;
green circle (poste sous-évalué)
means the term used when action is taken as a result of a classification action. The employee's position is converted to a group or level with a higher maximum rate of pay. Note: A term no longer used:
headquarters area (région du lieu d'affectation)
means as per the Travel Directive, spans an area of 16 kms from the assigned workplace using the most direct, safe and practical road;
higher classification level (niveau de classification supérieur)
means the maximum rate of pay of the position to which the employee is assigned to temporarily perform the duties, which is greater than the maximum rate of pay of the substantive position. For example, difference of $1.00 or more for annual rates and $0.01 or more for hourly rates;
higher level (niveau supérieur)
see higher classification level;
holding rate (taux maintenu)
means the rate of pay applicable to an employee when, as a result of a reclassification to a group and level with a lower maximum rate of pay, there is no rate of pay equal to or greater than the employee's rate of pay in the former group and level;
holiday (jour férié)
means the 24 hour period beginning at 00:00 hours of a day designated to be a holiday;
home department (ministère d'attache)
means the department granting the leave without pay;
home position (poste d'attache)
means the position occupied by the employee with the home department;
host department (ministère d'accueil)
means the department appointing the employee for a specified period;
host position (poste d'accueil)
means the position occupied by the employee with the host department;
hourly rate (of pay) (taux (de rémunération) horaire)
means the annual rate for the occupational group and level divided by 52.176, then divided by the standard number of hours in the work week, or the hourly rate specified for the occupational group and level;
immediately prior service(service antérieur immédiat)
means in the context of continuous employment and service, a period of employment occurring before the present employment with allowable breaks;
implementation period (période de mise en oeuvre)
means the
  1. period of 90 calendar days beginning on the day immediately following the date of signing for collective agreement;
  2. period of 90 calendar days beginning on the date the award is rendered for an arbitral award;
increment (augmentation)
means where there are intermediate steps, a progression from one step to the next higher step in any range of pay rates;
indeterminate employee (employé nommé pour une période indéterminée)
means a person appointed for an indefinite period;
involuntary termination (cessation d'emploi involontaire)
means an involuntary termination of an employee's services because the employee failed to be appointed to a position during the period of leave of absence priority (PSEA 30(4));
Lajoie decision (décision Lajoie)
means the grievance filed by an employee regarding the recalculations of rates of pay during the retroactive period that resulted in a Federal Court decision specifying how the recalculations were to be done. The effective date is July 27, 1999. (Federal Court of Appeal Decision number 149N.R.223 dated 1992.);
lay-off (mise en disponibilité)
means the involuntary termination of an employee's services because of the discontinuance of a function or because of a lack of work; (PSEA 29(1));
letter of authorization (lettre d'autorisation)
means the document issued by the Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat, which authorizes the new pay rates for unrepresented groups, certain non-Management Category senior excluded classifications and the executive group;
letter of understanding (lettre d'accord)
means the instrument signed by the employer and bargaining agents during the life of an agreement. It usually contains an amendment to a clause, a deletion of a clause or an addition to an article;
lower classification level (niveau de classification inférieur)
means the maximum rate of pay of the position to which the employee is assigned to perform the duties, which is less than the maximum rate of pay of the previous substantive position (i.e. difference of $1.00 or more for annual rates and $0.01 or more for hourly rates);
lower level (niveau inférieur)
see lower classification level;
lowest pay increment (plus faible augmentation (de l'échelle de rémunération))
means the smallest of the differences between intermediate steps for the occupational group and level for which there is more than one rate of pay, or the lowest pay increment specified within the collective agreement, pay plans or specific terms and conditions of employment for the occupational group and level for which there is an annual salary range with only a minimum and a maximum rates of pay;
lump-sum payment (paiement en une somme globale)
means the one-time payment of an employee's entitlement;
memorandum of agreement (protocole d'accord)
means the agreement in writing between the employer and a bargaining agent containing the newly-negotiated provisions governing conditions of employment, rates of pay, hours of work, etc., dated and signed by the parties. Memoranda of Agreement can also be used in other staff relations matters, such as grievance adjudication;
multiple conversion (transposition multiple)
means the repeated conversion of one or more positions as a result of significant changes to the duties during the period between the effective conversion date and the time the conversion of the position in a group is authorized by the Treasury Board Secretariat;
non-salary terms and conditions (conditions d'emploi non salariales)
means the articles in the collective agreement, pay plan or terms and conditions of employment that are not related to the remuneration that an employee receives for the performance of the duties of the position. This would include but is not limited to leave, severance pay, allowances, check-off, hours of work, overtime, etc.;
non-scheduled working day (journée de travail non prévue à l'horaire)
means the day for which an employee is neither assigned nor regularly scheduled to work;
occupational category (catégorie professionnelle)
means any of the following categories of employees:
  • management;
  • scientific and professional;
  • technical;
  • administrative and foreign service;
  • administrative support;
  • operational;
one rate of pay (un taux de rémunération)
means those occupational groups and levels such as GL, GS, HP, HS, etc. having authorized hourly rates of pay with no intermediate steps in the occupational group and level;
overtime (heures supplémentaires
means
  1. for a full-time employee s the time worked by an employee in excess of that employee's standard daily or weekly hours of work or of the hours of work prescribed by the deputy head for that employee but not including time worked on a holiday;
  2. for a part-time employee the time worked by an employee in excess of the standard daily or weekly hours of work established for a full-time employee of the occupational group and level of the employee, but does not include time worked on a holiday;
overtime compensation (rémunération des heures supplémentaires)
means the payment for authorized work performed in excess of the normal hours of work or on the normal days of rest;
Part I Service (service prévu à la partie I)
means the portion of the Public Service specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA);
Part II Service (service prévu à la partie II)
means employment with any of the separate employers listed in Schedule I, Part II of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA);
part-time employee (employé à temps partiel)
means a person employed to work less than the normallyscheduled daily or weekly hours of work established for a full-time employee of the same occupational group and level;
part-time worker (travailleur à temps partiel)
means a person appointed under the Regulations Respecting Part-Time Work in the Public Service who is not ordinarily required to work more than one-third of the normal scheduled daily or weekly hours of work established for persons doing similar work;
pay increment date (date d'augmentation (d'échelon))
means the calendar day on which a pay increment is due. Common increment dates are the anniversary date, the Monday following the increment period, and to a much lesser degree, a quarterly date such as January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1;
pay increment period (période d'augmentation d'échelon)
means the period of time that must be completed before an increment can be paid. Common pay increment periods are 26 and 52 weeks, six (6) and 12, months, semi-annual and annual;
performance pay (rémunération au rendement)
means the appointment of an employee to a position for which a performance pay range has been established with the individual progressing through the salary range by a series of variable increases related to the employee's assessed level of performance;
position (poste)
means the aggregation of duties and responsibilities which are, or can be, discharged by one individual at a particular location in an organizational structure;
probationary period (stage)
means the period from the date of appointment of a person from outside the Public Service, to the Public Service until the end of such period as the Public Service Commission shall establish by regulation for that employee, or any class of employees of which that employee is a member. The probationary period is not terminated by any appointment or deployment of the employee made during this period. The deputy head may, at any time during the probationary period of an employee, give notice to the employee that the deputy head intends to reject the employee for cause at the end of such notice period, and the employee ceases to be an employee;

Should an employee terminate employment and have a break in service, another probationary period is established for the new or subsequent appointment from outside the Public Service;

promotion (promotion)
means the appointment where the maximum pay rate for the new position exceeds that for the substantive position by:
  1. an amount equal to the lowest pay increment for the new position where there is a scale of rates; or
  2. an amount equal to four per cent (4%) of the maximum rate of the new position (where there is only one rate);
Public Service (Fonction Publique)
means the several positions in or under any department or portion of the executive government of Canada, including those in the Senate, the House of Commons of Canada, the Library of Parliament, and any board, commission, corporation or portion of the Public Service of Canada specified in Schedule I of the Public Service Superannuation Act (Part I, Section 3(1) of the P.S.S.A.);
Public Service for purposes of continuous/discontinuous service (fonction publique aux fins du service continu ou discontinu)
means employment in the Public Service as defined by the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA);
Public Service for the purposes of the PSSRA (fonction publique aux fins de la LRTFP)
means several positions in or under any department or other portion of the Public Service of Canada as specified from time to time in Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA);
Public Service for purposes of the PSTCER(fonction publique aux fins du RCEFP)
means the same definition as in the Public Service Superannuation Act (PSSA) (Fonction publique aux fins du RCEFP);
Public Service Terms and Conditions of Employment Regulations (PSTCER) (Règlement sur les conditions d'emploi dans la fonction publique (RCEFP))
means the regulation that apply to all employees in organizations listed in Schedule I of the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA), except for those employees classified in the Executive Group;
qualifying period (période d'admissibilité)
means the minimum temporary period required in the higher position in order to qualify for acting pay;
range of rates (fourchette des taux)
means the rates of pay from minimum to maximum, payable to employees in a given group and level as established by a collective agreement or pay plan;
reappointment (nouvelle nomination)
means the appointment to Part I Service within the allowable break periods specified in the PSTCER 3, when an employee has prior service in Part I Service or the Public Service (PSSA);
reclassification (reclassification)
means the change in the group and/or level of a position or positions resulting from a review or audit;
red circle (poste bloqué)
means the result of a classification action, the employee's position is reclassified or converted to a group or level with a lower attainable maximum rate of pay. The employee is paid a holding rate of pay (for example, continues to be paid the existing rate of pay), and is no longer entitled to economic increases, and if the range ceases to exist, would not be entitled to any future annual increments. The terms "red circle" and "holding rate of pay" ceased to apply to reclassification and conversions after December 14, 1981;
rehabilitation leave (congé de réadaptation)
means the benefit provided to Regular Force members who were serving on March 31, 1972, to provide them with a transitional period to adjust to the civilian environment after service in the Regular Force, as an alternative to severance pay. A member who enrolled in, re-enrolled in or transferred to the Regular Force after March 1, 1972, is not entitled to rehabilitation leave;
rejection during probation (renvoi en cours de stage)
means the termination of employment of an employee for cause during the probationary period;
release for discipline (renvoi pour discipline)
means an involuntary termination of employment by reason of breaches of discipline, under Bill C-25 FAA 12.(1)(c);
release for incapacity (renvoi pour incapacité)
means the termination of employment or demotion to a position at a lower maximum rate of pay, for reasons other than breaches of discipline or misconduct (FAA 11(2)(g)). Note: A term no longer used;
release for incompetence (renvoi pour incompétence)
means the termination of employment or suspension, that may be applied for breaches of discipline or misconduct (FAA 11(2)(f)). Note: A term no longer used.
release for performance (renvoi pour rendement)
means the involuntary termination of employment because of unsatisfactory performance in performing the duties of the position; under Bill C-25 FAA 12.(1)(d)
release for political partisanship (renvoi pour partialité politique)
means the involuntary termination of employment when the employee has contravened the restrictions on political partisanship;
relevant collective agreement (convention collective pertinente)
means the collective agreement for the occupational group in which the employee's position is classified. For the Personnel Administration Group, Organization and Methods Group and Administrative Trainee Group, the relevant collective agreement is the collective agreement for the Program Administration Group;
removal from holding (suppression du taux maintenu)
means the removal of an employee from a holding rate of pay when, as a result of an alteration in rates of pay, the maximum rate applicable to the position held by an employee equals or exceeds the holding rate to which the employee has been entitled;
removal from salary protection (retrait de la protection du revenu)
means when either the position is vacated or the attainable maximum of the reclassified level as revised from time to time, becomes greater than that applicable as revised from time to time, to the former classification level;
remuneration (rémunération)
means pay and allowances;
report on staffing transaction (rapport d'opération de dotation)
see appointment document;
represented employee (employé représenté)
means an employee as defined in the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA), occupying a position not designated as essential;
residual classes (catégories résiduelles)
means where, a position in an established group is not converted to a new group and/or level or a new classification plan and/or pay structure. Note: this is not the same as salary protection;
resignation (démission)
means the voluntary cessation of employment by an employee, other than at the end of a specified term. The employer must accept the resignation in order for it to be effective (PSEA 26);
retirement (retraite)
means the voluntary separation where the employee's entitlement is an immediate annuity or annual allowance occurring:
  • at age 60 or over with 2 or more years of pensionable service;
  • at age 55 with 30 or more years of pensionable service;
  • at age 50 with 2 or more years of pensionable service
  • on health grounds with 2 or more years of pensionable service;
retiring leave (congé de retraite)
means a form of termination of employment gratuity made to an employee on cessation of employment that recognizes that person's service to the employer. Normally, this type of payment is a continuation of the person's salary for a specified period during which time the employee is not required to report to work;
retroactive period (période de rétroactivité)
means the period from the effective date of the revised rates of pay up to and including the day before the day on which the collective agreement is signed, the arbitral award is rendered or the conversion is authorized;
revision (révision)
means a change in the rate or rates of pay applicable to an occupational group and level;
salary (traitement)
means the compensation received for the performance of the regular duties of a position or office, exclusive of allowances, special remuneration, overtime or other compensation or gratuities;
salary protection (protection du revenu)
means the rate of pay applicable to the former classification prescribed on the employee's certificate of appointment before a reclassification, a conversion or as a result of work force adjustment. The employee continues to be eligible to receive any salary revisions/increments, various merit increases or any other merit award, based on the provisions specified for this former group and level;
seasonal employee (employé saisonnier)
means a person employed to work a portion of a year (season) each year;
senior excluded level (niveau supérieur exclu)
means an employee occupying a position that is designated as managerial or confidential.
specified term employment (Emploi pour une durée déterminée)
Employment of a fixed duration, whether full-time or part-time;
spouse (conjoint(e))
means the person married to the employee, or an individual who, with the employee, has signed a declaration stating for all intents and purposes that this person has been for one year or more, represented as the employee's partner;
statutory increase (augmentation statutaire)
see increment;
students (étudiants)
means employees under the Financial Administration Act (FAA) and the Government Employees Compensation Act. However, they are not subject to the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA), and an exclusion order under the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) precludes their eligibility for closed competitions while they are working as students. This is effective on April 1, 1997;
student employment programs(programmes d'emploi pour étudiants)
means programs are in accordance with the Student Employment Policy, student employment programs designated by the Treasury Board, as well as other programs offering non-paid assignments in federal government workplaces. They are as follows:
substantive position (poste substantif)
means the position to which an employee has been appointed, or from which an employee is being appointed within the Public Service, in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act;
term employee (employé terme pour une période déterminée)
see specified term employment;
termination for cause (renvoi pour cause)
means the
  1. involuntary termination of employment for such reasons as incompetence or incapacity; or
  2. voluntary termination of employment for such reason as abandonment of position;
transfer (mutation)
means the appointment to a position where promotion or demotion rules do not apply;
type of employment (type d'emploi)
means the characteristics of the employee tenure. For example, casual and indeterminate;
type of tenure (durée de l'emploi)
means the period of employment. For example, specified period with specific starting and ending dates or indeterminate where there is no defined end date;
unrepresented employee (employé non représenté)
means an employee occupying a position in the AT, CA, MM, OM, PE and students groups, is not considered an employee under the Public Service Staff Relations Act (PSSRA). The employee is not subject to collective bargaining and is not subject to dues check-off.
valid rates of pay (taux de rémunération valides)
means the rates of pay are current and are not subject to a further adjustment;
voluntary transfer (mutation volontaire)
means the appointment to a position where promotion or demotion rules do not apply;
weekly rate (taux hebdomadaire)
means the rate of pay established by dividing the annual rate by 52.176, in the case of employees paid on an annual basis, and the rate of pay established by multiplying the daily rate of pay by five (5) in the case of employees paid on a hourly basis;
working days (journées de travail)
means the day on which an employee is normally scheduled to perform the duties of the position;
work week (semaine de travail)
means the standard number of hours of work per calendar week for an occupational group and level. Excludes any variation authorized to permit shorter summer hours.
Date modified: