Union calls on prime minister to step into ‘stalled’ Phoenix compensation talks

For more than two years, thousands of federal workers have been affected by Phoenix system

The country’s largest civil service union says talks aimed at compensating government employees affected by the Phoenix pay system fiasco have stalled.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada says Treasury Board negotiators at the table have told them they don’t have a mandate to proceed.

The union is now calling on the prime minister to step in.

The leaders of 17 unions issued a letter to Justin Trudeau in February, demanding compensation for civil servants who have suffered as a result of the pay crisis.

For more than two years, tens of thousands of federal workers have been affected by problems plaguing the Phoenix system, which was supposed to streamline pay services across government.

Some haven’t been paid at all for months at a time while others were paid either too little, or too much.

In its 2018 budget, the Liberal government promised to work with the unions to deal with the mental and emotional stress caused by Phoenix.

READ MORE: Progress on fixing Phoenix pay system backlog could be short-lived

READ MORE: Minister opens federal pay centre, says troubled Phoenix system improving

The unions have not disclosed the amount of compensation they are seeking, nor has the government said what it’s prepared to offer.

The unions say their members should receive compensation for stress, the time spent dealing with pay issues, and the catastrophic financial losses caused by Phoenix pay problems.

While there appeared to be movement as talks got underway last month, they have since come to a standstill, PSAC national president Chris Aylward said in a statement Wednesday.

“Government representatives at the table say they are waiting for a mandate,” Aylward said. “Well, it’s time Prime Minister Trudeau gave them one.”

Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough has said her department would continue working closely with public sector unions to limit the financial hardships faced by government workers.

She has also apologized to employees for the ongoing pay problems. But the compensation talks were taken out of Qualtrough’s hands and have been spearheaded instead by the Treasury Board Secretariat.

The costs associated with Phoenix, including the $309 million spent to set up the system, continue to escalate as the government hires compensation advisers and other staff in efforts to stabilize the problem.

The budget also committed $16 million to determine whether a new pay system could be found to replace Phoenix.

The auditor general is to release a report next week detailing what went wrong with the system.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Youth create for those less fortunate

Art auction fundraiser takes place tonight, 6-10 p.m. at the Castle on 1st.

Summer fun has just begun

Ice cream sales are expected to peak today as residents savour the longest day of the year.

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Medicinal cannabis clinic opens in Fernie

A new cannabis clinic is open in Fernie, with plans to transition to a dispensary, come legalization

Columbia River Treaty meetings hear farmers’ plea

Ranchers say this is Canada’s last chance to restore their agricultural industry

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Study shows increase in mountain bike tourism in B.C.

Numbers are up, way up, for bike-related visits to the province

Revenue Canada scam swindles $3,000 from B.C. resident

Victim provides fraudster with $3,000 in iTunes gift cards

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Housing would cut number of B.C.’s vulnerable re-admitted to hospital: study

New SFU work shows just how costly frequent hospitalization is to the province’s health care system

Disney production filming at Government House on Vancouver Island

Made-for-TV movie will feature the inside of the Victoria mansion

3 dead after semi-truck collides with car on B.C. Interior highway

Police said the intersection between Highway 97 and Highway 99 would remain closed for some time

Most Read