PSAC welcomes recognition by Minister Foote of Phoenix pay problems, demands independent audit and employee compensation

On Tuesday, PSAC Executive Vice-President Chris Aylward sent a letter to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote requesting immediate action to fix the Phoenix pay system. 

Some PSAC members have not received a pay cheque in months. Many who have gone without pay have incurred extra debt, damages and costs.  

This morning, Minister Foote, announced that she will implement one of our key recommendations and will hire additional compensation advisors. We have been advocating for this since 2011. 

We welcome the Minister’s recognition of the scope of this problem and her commitment to a solution. 

Our letter to the Minister stated that the Liberal government has a clear and pressing obligation to fix these problems. PSAC recommended that Public Service and Procurement Canada immediately takes steps to implement these recommendations: 

  • Rehire or deploy experienced workers into compensation and benefit jobs until the integrity of the federal pay system is restored
  • Immediately ensure that all departments have sufficient funds and human resources to make sure that priority payments can be made to workers 
  • Commit to reparations for any worker suffering financial penalties as a result of missed pay cheques
  • Make certain that employees’ security clearance and reliability status is in no way affected by poor credit ratings caused by the government’s failure to pay employees correctly or on time
  • Appoint an independent auditor external to PSPC to examine the reasons that gave rise to this crisis and recommend long-term solutions

The problems with the Phoenix pay system should serve as a cautionary tale. We warned the government, when the system was first proposed, that eliminating thousands of experienced compensation advisor positions would have devastating and lasting impact. 

PSAC is asking our members and all public service workers to send a letter to Minister Foote to share their own stories of how they have been impacted by the Phoenix pay system.  

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June 16, 2016
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