While much has been reported about the impact of the Phoenix pay system on current federal employees, comparatively little has been said about the harm done to retirees.
Many retirees have been waiting very long periods of time – 10 months and more – for their final pay, severance payment, or even for their pension payments to begin. These often represent very significant sums and have become a financial burden on those affected as well as a significant source of stress during a time of life transition.
These long-serving former employees have very little recourse available to them to help solve their pay and severance problems. The Pay Centre often tells them they are not a priority and that, as retired employees, they do not have access to the grievance procedure. They don’t know where to turn and, as a result, often try to resolve their problems directly through their various departments and eventually their Member of Parliament.
For this reason, I wrote this week to Treasury Board President Scott Brison to specifically urge him to make resolving the Phoenix pay system’s impact on retirees a priority – in particular, by assigning more resources to fixing such chronic issues. I will update members on the minister’s reply.