PSAC members in communities across the province took action against the Phoenix pay system and other issues during October and early November. Here are some photos and reports from around the region.
On October 18th, federal public service workers and allies gathered in Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Chilliwack, and Prince Rupert at rallies calling on the government to take the measures necessary to ensure public service workers are paid correctly and on time.The Phoenix payroll system used by the federal government has been riddled with problems since it was rolled out in early 2016. Tens of thousands of workers have been under-paid, paid late, or in some cases not paid at all.
- Vancouver: “It’s been two years since this government was elected. Since then, unions have had to fight tooth and nail to get it to act decisively on Phoenix. Despite all its promises, we’re still waiting for a permanent fix. Today is a federal government pay day and we can expect that thousands of public service employees will once again not be paid, paid too little or paid too much. We need to put a stop to this fiasco once and for all.” Debi Daviau, President of PIPSC-IPFPC, was joined by Todd Smith, A/Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC BC; Garth Mullins, President of ACEP - CAPE Local 301; Karen Hall, President of the PIPSC Vancouver Branch; federal government workers and allies from the Canadian Labour Congress, CUPE, and the BC Federation of Labour on Wednesday October 18th at a rally outside the DFO and Environment Canada office in downtown Vancouver. Lots more photos as our Facebook page.
- Nanaimo: “Federal government workers in Nanaimo worry constantly about whether or not they will receive a correct pay cheque, or one at all. We are calling on the government to take the necessary measures to fix the Phoenix pay system for good.” - Vanessa Miller, National Vice-President BC/YT, Canada Employment and Immigration Union. Heavy rain and wind did not stop PSAC and PIPSC members in the Nanaimo area, joined in solidarity by representatives of the North Central Vancouver Island Labour Council and MP Sheila Malcomson’s office, from rallying on October 18th. More photos at Facebook.
- Victoria: Federal public service workers are not afraid of a little rain. “It has been over a year and a half since the pay system was rolled out and the government still can’t pay their workers correctly and on time for the vital work they do. October 18th marks the 2nd anniversary of the federal election. When Justin Trudeau became Prime Minister he promised a new era of respect for public service workers. We’re rallying to tell Mr. Trudeau and our employers that we want to see that respect. The federal government must make fixing Phoenix their biggest priority.” - Colleen Girard, PSAC BC Regional Council. PSAC and PIPSC members were joined by allies in the labour movement on October 18th to rally at (and march around) the Federal Building in Victoria, calling on the government to take the necessary measures to fix the Phoenix pay system for good. More photos at Facebook.
- Chilliwack: “(Phoenix) creates tons of different levels of turmoil in the workplace, not just for the employees not getting paid.” - Mike Britton, PSAC/USGE Local 20040 (Kent Institution) President. Nasty weather did not stop PSAC members in the Fraser Valley from rallying outside MP Mark Strahl's office earlier this week. Mike spoke to the local newspaper about why PSAC members are so frustrated and why the government must do more to fix Phoenix. Read the story here, more photos at facebook.
- Prince Rupert: "It's time for the federal government to fix Phoenix properly!" - Jill MacNeill, PSAC BC Regional Council member. PSAC and PIPSC members in Prince Rupert rallied in the rain outside MP Nathan Cullen's office earlier this week, calling on the government to take the necessary measures to fix the Phoenix pay system for good. Coral Keehn, a PSAC member who works at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, spoke to CBC about her experience with the pay system. She hasn't been paid correctly in over 18 months. Read her story here, more photos at Facebook.
- in Kelowna and Penticton, members working at Veterans Affairs joined in the action by taking solidarity photos at their workplaces, in Summerland PSAC members working at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada came together to talk about their issues with Phoenix, and in Burnaby members at CFIA also joined in.
On October 31st, members at USGE Local 20040 (Kent Institution) and USGE Local 20156 (Mountain Institution) in the Fraser Valley got up dark and early to hold an information picket at their worksites. As part of a national day of action organized by USGE, members distributed information about the Phoenix pay system, Bill C-27, and workload concerns at Correctional Service Canada. They also gathered and delivered donations to the Agassiz foodbank. Some photos at Facebook.