Deferred maintenance is a provision in the government’s Public Services Administration Act (PSA) that allows federal public service employees to defer the monthly payment of their base salary and an additional one-half of their annual base salary, up to a maximum of $1,500 per month.
This is done to allow employees to be able to work during the winter and to provide some extra cushion for when the federal government has to cut back.
While deferred maintenance is currently optional for federal public-service employees, it is likely that the proposal will be included in the 2015-16 budget.
In recent years, there have been several public-health campaigns targeting federal employees for deferral.
Earlier this year, the federal Conservative government announced that it was proposing to increase federal public servant base salaries by $1 million per year for the next five years, an increase that would cost the federal public sector an additional $2.8 billion per year.
As part of the proposed increases, federal public employees would also receive $1.6 billion in new funding for a program known as the Public Health Infrastructure Fund (PHIF).
The PHIF program, which is part of Canada’s Public Health Act, aims to provide a new funding stream to provinces, territories and municipalities for public-private partnerships (PPPs) to invest in public-sector health care.
A number of provinces and territories have been making similar promises to the federal Liberals to make up for the lack of funding for their own PPPs.
In 2015, the provincial government of Saskatchewan proposed a $500-million PPP for the health care sector.
Alberta has also promised $2 billion for PHIF.
However, a spokesperson for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the province is working to ensure that provinces and localities are adequately funding their PPPs in order to address the public health needs of Alberta.
“It is important to note that we are committed to funding public health in the province,” the spokesperson told The Globe.
“We are not funding PPPs in the same way we would fund any other provincial or federal program.
In fact, we will be providing a $1 billion fund over five years to help finance health care across the province.”
In May, Alberta announced that its PHIF fund will be available for the first time in 2019-20, with the province set to receive $2 million in 2019.
In November, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) issued a report outlining the financial implications of the PPP program, stating that it would create up to 10,000 new positions, cost Alberta an additional 1.1 million dollars per year and create more than 1,500 new medical-related positions for the province.
In the province, the report estimated that the PPM program would cost $7.2 billion, creating 6,000 to 8,000 additional positions and taking on $2,200 in costs annually.