Last month, PSAC raised concerns that the money the government had earmarked for Phoenix-related costs in the 2019 Budget was well below what is required. In a recent meeting of the Senate Financial Committee on National Finance that analysis was confirmed.
During the committee’s meeting on April 3rd, a Senator asked government officials why Phoenix funding drops off significantly after 2019, and how the government plans to maintain staffing levels to address Phoenix in subsequent years. In response. a government spokesperson admitted the need to “seek funding in budget 2020 for ongoing operational costs.”
In a letter to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, PSAC President Chris Aylward asked Minister Qualtrough why the government has not included accurate Phoenix expenses in its budgeting to date, despite being well aware of the additional funding needed to address Phoenix for upcoming years.
“This approach makes it impossible for the government to provide any timelines or long-term planning estimates with regards to stabilizing Phoenix and addressing the backlog of cases. Our members are being deliberately kept in the dark about when their pay nightmares will finally come to an end because this government isn’t disclosing the actual funds they’ll need to keep cleaning up the Phoenix mess,” said Aylward.
In addition to seeking damages for its members, PSAC is demanding that this government provides government workers with a clear and accountable timeline to stabilize Phoenix, eliminate the backlog of Phoenix cases, and transition to a new pay system.