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

Kelowna event raises thousands for Central Okanagan Food Bank

A Taste of Downtown raised $9,000 for the food bank

City of Kelowna defeats short-term rentals ‘for now’

Kelowna councillors to protect long-term rental market in close vote

Truck dumped on embankment near Big White

The truck was allegedly reported stolen from Kelowna

Big White firefighters rescue frozen dog from ice

The fire crew found a dog stuck in the at Lake Paul on May 20

Former Kelowna Rocket makes history with Great Britain at hockey championships

Jackson Whistle was part of the team’s first win at this level since 1962

VIDEO: Showers are back in the forecast

Temperatures are expected to drop, paired with clouds and rain

Okanagan businesses evacuated after potentially explosive situation

Gas line hit, RCMP block off entire block in downtown Vernon

LETTER: Statement about Fortin included incorrect information

Comments made publicly had suggested a double standard

Survey finds 15% of Canadian cannabis users with a valid licence drive within two hours of using

Survey also finds middle-aged men are upping their usage following legalization

Hergott: Reintroducing photo radar

The reintroduction of photo radar without talking about photo radar

Shuswap licensed child-care spaces receive funding

B.C. government announces $70,000 to support facilities in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

B.C. man killed in logging accident ‘would have done anything for anyone’

Wife remembers 43-year old Petr Koncek, father of two children

Most Read