May 1, 2019
Brenda Lucki, Commissioner
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
RCMP National Headquarters
73 Leikin Drive
Ottawa ON K1A 0R2
By email: Brenda.Lucki@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
I am writing today on behalf of some 1300 Civilian Members (CMs) of the RCMP represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, regarding the possibility that they may be transferred to the Phoenix pay system in the future. It is my understanding that you will be conducting a risk assessment on this matter with the Treasury Board in November and December 2019, and that the results of this assessment will guide your decision as to whether or not to proceed with the May 21, 2020 deeming date.
I cannot overstate my members’ concerns and objections to moving from the pay system currently in use at the RCMP to the disastrous Phoenix system. The latter is not stable, cannot be fixed and has proven to be a total failure. At time of writing, close to 250,000 cases remain backlogged. In addition, it was estimated by the Auditor General that over half of federal public servants are still experiencing some form of pay issue linked to Phoenix. According to the 2018 Public Service Employee Survey, 75% of the RCMP employees already paid through Phoenix have experienced pay problems. Earlier this year, the CBC reported that according to documents obtained through an Access to Information request, clearing the backlog could take another three to five years, and perhaps ten years for the system to achieve overall stability. I would also point out that the Canada Revenue Agency reports that it has received over 150,000 amended T4s related to the Phoenix pay system for the 2018-19 tax year. All this to say it makes no sense to add more employees to such a troubled system.
RCMP Civilian Members deserve better than to be moved to Phoenix, where they will have to live with the uncertainty and instability that has already affected hundreds of thousands of their colleagues.
I urge you to reconsider the situation and to abandon all plans to switch our members, and their colleagues represented by other bargaining agents, to Phoenix. It would be best for them to remain with the current pay system until such time as the government introduces a new, and fully functional, pay system in the future. I encourage you to delay deeming until this new system is in place.
I look forward to your views on this important issue.