HASH(0xb4a830)

Public service unions urge creation of $75-million Phoenix contingency fund

Create $75-million Phoenix fund: unions

OTTAWA — Three federal public service unions are calling on the Liberal government to include a $75-million contingency fund in the coming budget to help address the Phoenix pay system fiasco.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees said Thursday the fund would help ensure workers are paid correctly and on time.

Since the government launched its new electronic pay system, more than 82,000 workers have complained of being underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.

The backlog has been brought down to less than 7,000 files, although dealing with them has significantly stalled processing of new payroll changes filed over the last few months.

Solutions need to go beyond fixing technology, PSAC national executive vice-president Chris Aylward said Thursday, adding a contingency fund would help expand the capacity of departments to address Phoenix challenges.

“They are certainly the ones that are there with the employees who are facing these problems and they’re the ones who know best, exactly what they need, in order to be able to assist the employees,” he said.

Speaking outside the House of Commons, Public Services Minister Judy Foote said the government is exploring what needs to be done but she said does not know if that will involve spending another $75 million.

“I do know that we’re open to working with the union,” Foote said.

“We’re open to identifying whatever money we need to, to fix the problem.”

Foote has said it is “totally unacceptable” employees are going without pay and said an injustice was done to employees by the previous Conservative government.

She insists the Liberals are now trying to ensure workers have a better payroll system than ever.

“I’ve said time and time again since the beginning of this, my focus in on making sure employees get paid, and that is where my focus continues to be,” she said.

—with files from Terry Pedwell

Follow @kkirkup on Twitter

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna medical supply shop sold out of surgical masks amid coronavirus panic

Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with Coronavirus as low

Capital News Presents: Dan’s Down-right Delicious Chili for Superbowl

A more than solid chili recipe to kick-off your Super Bowl party on Sunday

Three dogs found wandering West Kelowna returned to owners

Two of the three dogs were found to be severely injured

West Kelowna looking for feedback on 2020 draft budge

The city is also seeking feedback on its 2020-2024 financial plan

Power restored to Big White

It’s unknown why the power went out Tuesday afternoon

WATCH: Cougar caught on doorbell cam in Vernon

Glenn Gorham shares footage of late-night visit from wild cat

Caregiver, society charged in death of developmentally disabled B.C. woman

The victim was not given the ‘necessities of life,’ police said

B.C. councillor runs afoul of Coastal GasLink protester

Northern pipeline not a Maple Ridge issue, insists Coun. Gordy Robson

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Air Canada cancels select flights to China as coronavirus spreads

Canada’s largest airline runs 33 flights a week to China

Canadians seek way out of Wuhan as coronavirus continues to spread

The Chinese government has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities

Missing Vernon man possibly sighted in Lower Mainland

Information leads family, friends to believe Jay Rosenberger near Lower Mainland Saturday

Most Read