We want you to know that PSAC has been doing everything in its power to ensure that you get paid correctly and on-time and address problems caused by Phoenix.
Here are some of the things PSAC has been doing.
1. Raising red flags before and after launch of pay system
PSAC repeatedly warned the Liberal government before the launch of the new pay system, and shortly after the first phase was launched, that there were serious problems.
2. Successfully fighting for a claims process
PSAC successfully pushed Treasury Board to compensate our members for penalties, interest charges and other fees incurred due to pay problems. We are also demanding that employees be compensated for accrued interest due to late payments, damages for pain and suffering, and reimbursement of fees for tax professionals to help with significant tax problems.
3. Taking the government to court
In June, 2016, we filed a court application. In December 2016, we secured a court order, which directed the government to improve access to help for people on disability, maternity, and parental leave. It also required the government to maintain the staffing levels necessary to resolve the on-going pay problems.
4. Successfully fighting to expand access to emergency payments
Due to pressure from PSAC and the other unions, government departments can now make priority payments to alleviate the financial hardship of employees and former employees who have been under paid as a result of Phoenix pay problems.
5. Filing an unfair labour practice complaint
We filed an unfair labour practice complaint against the employer and appeared before the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board in September, 2016.
6. Taking the issue directly to the Minister responsible for Phoenix, the President of the Treasury Board and other Cabinet Ministers
Since the pay problem began, PSAC President Robyn Benson and other elected officers at PSAC have ensured the Liberal government remains aware of the hardship of our members are facing and the problems that persist with the pay system.
7. Pushing government officials for solutions
PSAC representatives meet regularly with the most senior levels of government on a range of issues affecting Phoenix. Through this work, PSAC has been able to achieve clear ground rules for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses, better eligibility for priority payments, solutions to reduce the tax consequences of Phoenix problems, and other measures.
8. Raising public awareness
PSAC has been front and center in the media exposing issues with the Phoenix pay system and the pressures that our members in Miramichi are facing.
9. Standing up for Miramichi workers
PSAC National President Robyn Benson and other elected officers of PSAC have regularly visited workers at the Miramichi Pay Centre to hear the members’ concerns. We take these concerns directly to Public Services and Procurement Canada.
10. Negotiating new measures to attract and retain compensation advisors
Increasing the capacity of compensation advisors in both the pay centre and in departments is key to stabilizing pay. To address the staff shortage, we have negotiated measures to improve recruitment and retention of compensation advisors who work under Treasury Board. The measures include:
- Compensation advisor retention allowances for current staff, new recruits, and former retirees who return to work
- Improvements to overtime, carry-over or cash-out of vacation leave, and compensatory leave
- An independent job content and classification process for all PSPC compensation Advisor employees at the AS 1, 2 & 3 levels
11. Filing a complaint when the employer failed to meet collective agreement deadline
In October 2017, Treasury Board officials confirmed that it would not meet the 150-day implementation deadline for all the workers covered by the four collective agreements signed with PSAC in June of 2017.
This admission confirmed PSAC’s suspicion that Phoenix would derail implementation. PSAC asked the Board to order the Employer to pay damages to those affected, and to take all necessary steps to immediately comply with the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Act and implement the terms of the Collective Agreements.
12. Successfully advocating for mandatory training
When the government announced voluntary government wide training on the pay system, PSAC insisted that this training needed to be mandatory and that all employees needed to be given time at work to complete the training.
As announced at the end of November 2017, instead of being voluntary, the training sessions for all employees will be mandatory and will be given during work hours.
13. Lobbying Members of Parliament
At the end of November 2017, elected officers and members of PSAC kicked off a lobby campaign on Parliament Hill. We met with Members of Parliaments and Cabinet Ministers to share the stories of the impact of Phoenix on our members and to present new demands to the government. We are asking the government to:
- Step up the hiring process and expand the compensation capacity both in the pay centres and in departments
- Pay damages for workers impacted by Phoenix
- Dedicate staff to help employees decipher their pay and figure out what they are owed
- Stop recovery of emergency salary advances until pay problems are address
- Recover the net pay, instead of the gross pay, for overpayments
14. Answering your questions and keeping you up to date
PSAC staff and elected officials answer calls and emails every day from members who have questions or need help regarding their pay. We also try to quickly address your questions and comments on social media (Facebook, Twitter). We post information and updates on our website regularly.
PSAC representatives and elected leaders regularly work to escalate cases of members who tell us about the problems they are having.