On the first anniversary of Phoenix, the three largest federal public service unions are urging the government to include a $75 million Phoenix contingency fund in the upcoming federal budget.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) say the funds are critical to help ensure federal public service workers are paid correctly and on-time.
“Our members are growing increasingly frustrated with this situation. If departments don’t have the proper resources, pay problems will never be resolved,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National Executive Vice-President. “The solution to the Phoenix debacle needs to go beyond the technological fixes. This fund will broaden the capacity of departments to address the challenges they are facing as a result of the new pay system.”
The unions have been working with the government to help fix Phoenix and find solutions to its numerous problems. Through this work, it has become clear that federal departments and agencies need more staff and training to deal with Phoenix. The $75 million contingency fund will give departments and agencies the resources they need to do this.
“It’s quite clear that Phoenix has not been the boon to either efficiency or cost savings it was intended to be,” added PIPSC President Debi Daviau. “Budgeting more money to address the system’s continued failings is the least the government should do after a year with this problem-plagued system. Our members and Canadians need Phoenix fixed."
“Our members have shown remarkable patience in regards to the Phoenix Pay problems; that’s a testament to how deeply our members care about the work they do on behalf of Canadians,” said CAPE Acting President André Picotte. “As a union, we’ve helped guide our members towards solutions, but ultimately it’s the government that has the power to fix this problem once and for all.”
The unions are also encouraging their members to participate in a variety of actions in order to draw attention to the one-year anniversary, such as contacting their MPs and writing to the Prime Minister.