As we near the six-month anniversary of the ill-fated phase-in of the new Phoenix pay system, I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on the work we have been doing to help individuals affected by pay problems and to find collective solutions to the situation we continue to find ourselves in.
As your President, I am committed to exploring every way possible to pressure the government for solutions and to help those faced with hardship due to the Phoenix pay system. Since my last update, I have met several times with senior members of the Treasury Board and Public Services and Procurement Canada. I also met recently with both Treasury Board President Scott Brison and PSPC Minister Judy Foote. These were productive meetings but we nevertheless will continue to find ways to pressure the government into finding short and long term solutions.
We are still escalating critical cases to the Treasury Board and department heads and, as mentioned previously, urge that you contact your regional office to notify one of our Employment Relations Officers if you are experiencing any problems with your pay.
I would particularly like to take this opportunity to highlight for you a joint effort we have undertaken with other federal public sector unions to demand action on a number of key problems.
Collectively, we have raised serious concerns with affected members’ access to the Public Service Health Care Plan, including delayed access, inability to make amendments, and issues when leaving or on leave from the public service. We also reiterated our serious concern about the impacts to members on Long Term Disability. And, to mention only a few other issues, we raised the flag when it came to problems processing new hires, leaves (e.g., parental or maternity), pension deductions, salary adjustments, allowances, acting pay, return to work, overtime, department changes, union leave, taxation errors and, in general, inaccuracies on pay slips. The issue of problems with security clearances and credit rating problems due to Phoenix is another issue of concern to us.
We are also pleased to report that after much pressure from PIPSC and other unions, the Treasury Board will be opening a claims office where public servants can file requests for compensation for out-of-pocket expenses. As indicated by Deputy Minister Marie Lemay in her September 7 update, we hope to see the office up and running within the week.
It goes without saying that again I offer my deepest gratitude to our hardworking PIPSC stewards, consultation representatives, elected officials and staff that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help members navigate a cumbersome process, get help and, ultimately, solve their pay issues.