A year after Phoenix was to be fixed, more than half of public servants still having pay problems
Published Wednesday, November 1, 2017 3:23PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, November 1, 2017 4:13PM EDT
OTTAWA – The number of backlogged public servant pay cases due to issues with the Phoenix pay system has grown from last month, with 265,000 pay transactions now past due.
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of when the federal government promised to have Phoenix system fixed. The government now says more than half of public servants are still experiencing “some form of pay issue.”
Wednesday’s update to Public Services “pay dashboard,” which is tracking the progress on fixing the problem-plagued payroll system for federal workers, shows an increase of 8,000 cases from September.
As of Sept. 20, there were 257,000 cases of employee pay issues left to be resolved.
The initial promise from the department was to have the backlog of problematic pay cases resolved by Oct. 31, 2016.
The government says the increase is the result of continuing to deal with the influx of collective agreements, which has been "more complex and time consuming than initially anticipated,” the update on the website reads.
“It’s not going to be resolved overnight,” Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough told reporters Wednesday after question period. “We have to stabilize this system. I’m very hopeful that in the new year the numbers will go down,” she said.
The Phoenix system, initiated by the previous Conservative government in 2009, was meant to streamline the payroll of public servants and save more than $70-million annually. Already, the government has planned to spend $400-million over two years trying to fix it, including setting up hiring more staff and setting up satellite pay centres to try to chip away at the pile of remaining cases.
Qualtrough said she is “absolutely committed” to the Phoenix pay system, and still believes the problems within it are fixable.
“It’s not like there’s another option waiting out there…There will come a time in the future where people will be paid promptly, accurately, and on time.”