Phoenix: some progress but still a lot of work ahead

Fix Phoenix

On February 8, the government provided an update on the Phoenix pay system. The update shows that, although some progress is being made in addressing important issues, there is still a lot of work ahead.

"Our members are growing increasingly frustrated with this situation. It is clear that the government needs to improve its communication with the workers affected by Phoenix," said Chris Aylward, PSAC Executive Vice-President. "PSAC is doing everything we can to ensure the pay system is fixed so public service employees get paid correctly and on time.”

New pay dashboard

Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) announced a new public service pay dashboard shows if the government is meeting the service standards for processing different types of Phoenix cases. This will be updated each month.

Progress for employees on leave of absence

PSAC has been working with the government to address the most vulnerable employees. PSPC announced today that they are prioritizing parental leave and disability leave cases. The department is aiming to have most parental and disability cases processed within the 20-day service standard by the end of March and April, respectively.

For employees on all types of leave, PSPC said that now when they return to work from leave, the cheques will start automatically.

Important information about income taxes

A process is in place to avoid potential income tax implications, including situations involving outstanding salary owed to employees, overpayments and emergency salary advances.

Here is what you need to know:

  • As of the week of February 13, the employer will be providing T4s.
  • The government is encouraging federal public service workers to compare their T4 with their last 2016 pay stub to make sure that the amounts for total earnings for the year match.
  • If there is an error or you have questions about tax issues, information is available online.
  • If your T4 has an error and you do not receive a revised T4 by the tax deadline, CRA advises that you must still file your taxes on time. A revised T4 will be sent directly to CRA and any adjustments will be made later.
  • You do not have to re-file if you receive a revised T4 after you have already filed your taxes.

Employees can also submit a claim for additional tax-related costs that they incur because of Phoenix problems.

Priority Pay

Public service employees facing financial hardship can ask for priority payments and emergency salary advances. This applies to anyone who has not received all the salary they are owed because of delays in processing of acting positions, pay or salary increases, allowances, overtime and extra duty payments.

More information is available on the government’s website.

PSAC meeting regularly with government

The government has a responsibility to fix Phoenix and help employees who have faced hardships because of the pay system’s failures.

As a result of legal action from PSAC and 12 other unions, the Liberal government must work with the unions to resolve the Phoenix debacle. PSAC meets with government officials regularly to address the specific problems our members are facing and to help find solutions.

We need Phoenix to work so our members get paid. We need the government to talk about the full extent of the problems so they can be fixed.

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February 9, 2017