Phoenix: “Three years ago, it is already a disaster”

Phénix: «Trois ans, c’est déjà un désastre»

The professional Institute of the public service of Canada (PIPSC) took advantage Monday of the third anniversary of the implementation of the controversial payroll system Phoenix to urge the federal government to reserve in the next budget all monies necessary for the implementation of a new software.

Three weeks of the tabling of the budget Morneau, the union representing some 60,000 members of one ocean to the other wishes “that the employer will do it better “after” three years of failures and misfortunes “.

“Today, we say to the government : we want the commitments that are going to give a little hope to our members. The system Phoenix is irreparable, the government itself has acknowledged. It should be replaced. […] To install a new payroll system within a reasonable time, it goes without saying that the government should provide in its next budget, adequate funding. The software that will replace the Phoenix will allow the government to pay its employees with accuracy and reliability, and this as early as possible “, said the president Debi Daviau.

PIPSC has not, however, wanted to move a figure on the required amount of money, on the pretext that it is the government task to make calculations.

Once the funding is reserved in the coffers, the union says Ottawa must continue to work to find a new compensation system (NextGen), proceed to the acquisition of the best software as well as data-cleaning, and above all ensure that all of the tests have been made before making the transition. Ideally, it is maintained, the plan of implementation of a new payroll system could be deployed before the October elections. While continuing the negotiations to conclude future collective agreements in various departments, PIPSC also requires, because of the failure of the system Phoenix, that certain clauses should be explicitly included in the contracts of work. The inclusion of the protection of wages, among others, asked, in addition to adding to your payroll information in order to quickly detect errors, and to put an end to the recovery, ” which adds insult to injury “, says the organization. The possible actions for the part of association shall also be clearly identified in black and white.

“The members want as their next collective agreement gives them the guarantee that they will be paid on time. In all honesty, with what happened to them during the past three years, it should go without saying. […] We know that the next [pay] should be better, but it is short of trust “, launched Ms. Daviau, adding that 70 % of members have experienced difficulties with Phoenix.

PIPSC was not surprised by the revelations of CBC/Radio-Canada, which have put their hands on an internal document of the federal dated August 2018 which indicates that it provides for ” addressing the long-term impacts of the problems of pay within a horizon of ten years or more “. This memo also indicates that the government could opt for a Phoenix modified rather than a new system.

“This is unacceptable. A solution must be put in place much more quickly. Ten years ago, this is not acceptable, but when you look at the speed with which cases are handled at the moment, it continues to take a long time to stabilize the situation, ” says the vice-president Stéphane Aubry.


The member of parliament for Gatineau and parliamentary Secretary to the minister of public Services and the Supply and Accessibility, Steven MacKinnon, says that no effort is spared to solve the problems that persist since 2016.

“The new system will receive data 100 % accurate, the stabilization is a prerequisite for the development of a next-generation system, it is for this reason that we put overdrive. […] We have seen a steady improvement, the number of pending transactions has decreased in the quarter, thanks in part to the establishment of mixed teams. There will be such teams in all government departments by the spring 24 on 46 at the present time] “, lance-t-il.

As for the internal note which refers to Radio-Canada, Mr. MacKinnon replied that it is ” a document that does not come from the people who manage the system, that it has no basis “.

In its most recent update related to misfire of the system in Phoenix, dated as of January 23, the ministry of public Services and the Supply shows that there were 474 000 movements waiting to be processed in the pay Centre, of which 355 000 (75 %) with financial implications.



Laura, Alberta

Employment of Health Canada for the past 33 years, Laura has seen that his pay has dropped without explanation two years ago. She filed a complaint and obtained a retroactive adjustment on these receipts of pay, without for as much to receive 12 000 $ to him. “Nobody has ever contacted me about the error of Phoenix, nor told me if I would receive compensation for the loss of my income,” she said.

François, Gatineau

Working on Innovation, Science and economic Development Canada, François has for several years took five weeks of unpaid leave in order to spend time with his children, who live hours away from home. Errors relating to Phoenix have obliged it to waive this leave in 2018, and ” it will probably be the same in 2019 “.

Julien, Lavaltrie

Correctional Service Canada employee, Julien was on sick leave without pay for eight months, when he received by mistake the whole of his pay. No record of employment has not been issued, so that it did not have the benefit of employment insurance benefits and/or disease only after long procedures. Thirty months later, the full amount of these allowances had still not been paid. Even though he had completed all the necessary forms, he had to spend hours during his / her sick leave to make phone calls and fill out multiple documents in an attempt to correct the problem. “The energy expended, the enormous wave of anxiety, frustration, and disappointment that it has created and the feeling of still not being recognized by the employer, during these 30 months of procedures, it doesn’t make sense,” he says.
Source : testimony collected by the PIPSC

Previous Article
Next Article