News / Ottawa

Phoenix problems has government missing new contract targets

Public servants won't get retro-payments, raises.

Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada delivers remarks and answer questions from the media regarding an update on the Phoenix pay system on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press

Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada delivers remarks and answer questions from the media regarding an update on the Phoenix pay system on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The government is missing it's own target to implement 100,000 collective agreements with public servants, because of the ongoing problems with the Phoenix pay system.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is filing a complaint with the Public Services Labour Relation Board about the delay. The government had 150-days from the ratification of the deals in the middle of June to implement it.

PSAC vice-president Chris Aylward said it’s the latest disappointment from the pay system, which the government shouldn’t have rolled out in the first place.

“Our members are fed up and they have had enough,” he said. “They were irresponsible rolling forward with the Phoenix rollout. We warned them not to and our members continue to suffer.”

The change means public servants expecting retroactive pay may not receive it and raises won’t be taking place.

Aylward said the government promised Phoenix would make implementing these settlements easier.

“They were wrong about that as well,” he said. “We are not taking it any more. We are filing the complaint as of today.”

He said they hope the board will rule quickly and impose some sort of financial penalty on the government in addition to ensuring that members contracts are updated. Treasury Board President Scott Brison said the previous government left the Liberals with a great deal of work to do on collective agreements.  

“When we formed government, we inherited a situation where 100 per cent of the public service did not have collective bargaining agreements.”

He said the government has worked through most of that backlog and reached fair deals with unions, but said the work has overwhelmed Phoenix and that’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

“This is unacceptable we need to pay our public servants accurately and on time and that includes the implementation of these collective bargaining agreements.”

Brison could not say when agreements will be fully implemented.

Public Services Minister Carla Qualtrough said in a statement that the situation was unacceptable. She did not provide a specific report.

"We are committed to working collaboratively at all levels to resolve them as quickly as possible."

More on Metronews.ca