Se­nate shows the way with Phoenix pay sys­tem

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Fi­nally, af­ter two years of pay­roll glitches for tens of thou­sands of fed­eral civil ser­vants, the Se­nate has moved to scrap the Phoenix pay sys­tem for its em­ploy­ees and is­sue a re­quest for pro­pos­als for a new ser­vice provider.

The Phoenix saga has been a long night­mare for our fed­eral work­ers. They have been go­ing to work ev­ery day with­out cer­tainty they will be paid ac­cu­rately, on time, or even at all; there have been pri­vacy breaches that have ex­posed fed­eral civil ser­vants’ pri­vate in­for­ma­tion; and, al­though left with this poorly thought-out lame duck by Harper Con­ser­va­tives, some of those re­spon­si­ble for the project were re­warded with tax­payer-funded bonuses.

The new fed­eral Lib­eral gov­ern­ment has been throw­ing money at the prob­lem with smoul­der­ing re­sults. Since its launch, 82,000 gov­ern­ment work­ers have had is­sues with their pay, and 720 work­ers were not paid at all. These are peo­ple who can­not take ma­ter­nity leave, pay their mort­gages or even get paid for the work they do daily to keep our coun­try op­er­at­ing and safe.

The Trudeau ad­min­is­tra­tion has been claim­ing fix­ing Phoenix is a top pri­or­ity, yet so far only the Se­nate has taken ac­tion to get it re­placed. Even then, this fix would only be for Se­nate em­ploy­ees.

It’s about time our fed­eral gov­ern­ment rec­og­nized the worth of the rest of Canada’s civil ser­vice, found a pay­roll sys­tem that works, sued the com­pany that failed to de­liver and let Phoenix burn.

Phil Venoit Busi­ness man­ager/fi­nan­cial sec­re­tary IBEW 230 Van­cou­ver Is­land

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