The federal government has announced a new plan to deal with the failed Phoenix pay system. The plan includes a new task force of senior ministers in the government.
“Our members have been dealing with the consequences of the Phoenix debacle for over a year. What they need is more concrete action on the government’s part,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President. “This government has even given up on setting a target date to fix Phoenix.”
The federal government’s budget, delivered on March 22, failed to address the biggest problem currently facing the public service. The disastrous Phoenix pay system has affected thousands of public service workers over the past year, leaving some workers with no pay for months.
PSAC, along with 13 other bargaining agents representing federal government employees, now have an order from the Federal Court outlining obligations the employer must meet as it works towards a resolution of the Phoenix debacle.
Minister Judy Foote has admitted that 700 compensation advisors should not have been laid off before the Phoenix launch, saying savings were sought at the expense of employees.
The Minister of Public Services and Procurement spoke yesterday to the House of Commons committee on Government Operations and Estimates, which is studying the Phoenix pay system. She also acknowledged that many good ideas on how to fix Phoenix have come from union members.
In the Fall 2016 Auditor General’s report, Canada’s spending watchdog Michael Ferguson sends a strong message to the federal government: better long-term funding is urgently needed to improve public services and ensure they are built around citizens, not processes.