Phoenix: PSAC raises concerns about pay system replacement 

The government is repeating the mistakes of the Phoenix fiasco by again moving forward with a replacement pay system without proper consultation with unions and workers who process pay for federal public service workers.  

The federal government has made it clear they will be moving forward with Dayforce as the next-generation pay and human resources system for federal workers, without any evidence the system is the best solution to resolve the ongoing issues with Phoenix. 

On the heels of the eighth anniversary of the Phoenix pay disaster, our top priority is that our members finally get a reliable and efficient pay system that works to put an end to the Phoenix nightmare. More than 40 per cent of PSAC members report they have faced Phoenix pay issues in the past two years.  

Lack of consultation impacting workers 

Transparency is key to avoid the same pitfalls of the Phoenix debacle. Unfortunately, the Trudeau Liberal government seems intent on repeating the same blunders. There is no way to determine if Dayforce is the right system until it has been tested in departments with more complex pay transactions, such as Coast Guard workers who work variable shifts. 

PSAC hasn’t been briefed on the ongoing work to transition to a NextGen pay system in over six months, and we have requested more details on why the other providers shortlisted for testing are no longer being considered. For example, we know that Workday, one of the three shortlisted providers, has already implemented its pay solution in several departments. Why was that solution deemed less suitable than Dayforce, and if it has proven effective in several departments, why is it not being tested alongside Dayforce in other departments? 

The lack of clear answers only fuels the skepticism and anxiety among federal public service workers who continue to grapple with pay issues every single paycheque. The Trudeau Liberal government’s recent procurement decisions, notably the implementation of ArriveCan, has raised serious concerns about their judgement and lack of transparency in its contracting processes.  

The federal government has an obligation to pay its employees properly and on time. Any new pay system must be thoroughly tested and proven effective before full implementation. 

Addressing Phoenix backlog 

With any Phoenix replacement still years away from launch, and an astounding 400,000+ pay problems remaining in the Phoenix backlog, the government must also prioritize stabilizing the current pay system and hiring more compensation advisors to ensure members are paid accurately and on time every time. 


May 16, 2024