Clerk’s Report on the Public Service of Canada notes Phoenix failure

The latest annual report on the federal public service notes the failure of the Phoenix pay system as one of the biggest challenges that faced the public service last year.

Failure to plan properly

The Clerk of the Privy Council’s Twenty-Fourth Annual Report on the Public Service of Canada states that the “urgency” of going forward with Phoenix “led to an unsuccessful launch” and that “planning and implementation… fell short.” The Clerk admits that “the resulting hardship faced by public servants and their families is deeply regrettable and unacceptable.”

The report also acknowledges the hard work of employees of the Miramichi pay centre and satellite pay centres.

“We are glad to see the Clerk acknowledging some of the problems our members have faced and the hard work of our members in Miramichi,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President. “The government now needs to move forward and fix this.”

No mention of consultation

The Clerk’s report emphasizes “the importance of properly planning for and resourcing major change initiatives” and of “communication with employees and stakeholders”, but fails to mention the need for meaningful consultation with unions. 

“PSAC warned the government about the problems with the pay system before it was launched in February 2016,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National Executive Vice-President. “Government officials went ahead with the launch anyway and the results were disastrous. In the future they need to consult with us and listen to what we have to say.”



May 9, 2017