Media Advisory: Workers rally against privatization at the Department of National Defence, Phoenix pay system.

Victoria – Federal public service workers are rallying in Esquimalt to highlight the dangers involved in contracting out maintenance in the governments new multi-billion-dollar shipbuilding plans. Workers and union leaders at the rally will also call on the government to do more to fix the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system.

The federal government recently awarded an $800-million contract to perform future maintenance and repair work on the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Arctic Offshore Patrol ships to the Canadian subsidiary of a French multinational corporation.

“This shipbuilding plan puts significant military intelligence and operations in the hands of a private company,” says John MacLennan, president of the Union of National Defence Employees. “It’s a security risk and a warning sign that more and more of our security apparatus could be sold to the highest bidder. That’s a trend we’re seeing throughout the Defence Policy Review.”

“We have yet to see a business case that proves contracting out is better – it out is rarely any more efficient or a cost-saver; in fact, it can often mean major problems and costs down the line.” MacLennan continues, “As we have learned with expensive public contracts like the Phoenix pay system, mismanaged contracts can have significant adverse effects on the public service.”

The Phoenix payroll system used by the federal government, which was designed and implemented by IBM, 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.

  • Date: Thursday August 24, 2017
  • Time: 12PM to 12:45PM
  • Location: 1424 Esquimalt Road at Canteen Road, Esquimalt


  • Robyn Benson, National President, Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • John MacLennan, National President, Union of National Defence Employees
  • Chris Aylward, National Executive Vice-President, Public Service Alliance of Canada
  • Jamey Mills, Regional Executive Vice President BC, Public Service Alliance of Canada

For more information: Sandra Montpetit, Union of National Defence Employees,