Press Release - Phoenix Pay System: Uncertainty is High Among PIPSC Members Eligible to Back Pay

Ottawa, March 28, 2018 - Earlier this year, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) conducted an internal survey asking 27,878 of its members entitled to a back pay to tell their union if the Phoenix pay system has correctly paid out what is commonly known within public service as retroactive pay.

Of the 7,726 survey respondents:

  • Over 67% reported they can't be certain that their retroactive pay is correct.
  • More than 9% were still waiting to receive their retroactive pay, a direct violation of their collective agreement.
  • Only 1 in 5 reported that they received the correct payment.

The government - their employer - is bound by the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act (FPSLRA) to implement the provisions of a new collective agreement within the period specified in the collective agreement (i.e. 120 days from the date of the signing of the collective agreement in the case of the AV, CS, RE, SH groups) and if no such period so specified in the collective agreement, within 90 days after it is signed in accordance with the FPSLRA.

Despite the government’s numerous guarantees that full, accurate retroactive pay would be paid on time, and despite our members best efforts, good will and patience, being without a contract agreement for close to three years, the Phoenix pay system has failed them again.

“Here is further proof, if any is needed, that Phoenix is blatantly not fit for the job. It can't be trusted to pay our members correctly and certainly can't be trusted to pay out the retroactive pay our members earned,” said Institute President Debi Daviau. “It's time for a new system that works. It's time to rebuild the trust that has been broken by Phoenix.” 

PIPSC represents some 57,000 public-sector scientists and other professionals across the country, most of them employed by the federal government.

For further information:

Johanne Fillion, (613) 228-6310 ext. 4953 or (613) 883-4900 (cell),







Without CA Since


New CA Signed  




September 2014

May 14, 2017

90 days


June 2014

April 28, 2017

120 days


December 2014

July 4, 2017

120 days


September 2014

June 1, 2017

120 days


September 2014

July 6, 2017

120 days


In the fall of 2017, the Institute had no choice but to file policy grievances on Phoenix-related issues, accusing the Treasury Board of failing to implement the terms of the Applied Science and Patent Examination (SP), Audit, Commerce & Purchasing (AV), Computer Systems (CS), Research (RE) and Health Services (SH) Group collective agreements within the specified timeframe (above). The Institute is asking the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) to order the Treasury Board to immediately implement the terms of these collective agreements, and to compensate employees for all losses, financial or otherwise, resulting from the breach of the agreements.

The survey was sent to 27,878 members eligible for retroactive pay from the AV, CS, RE and SP Groups. 7,726 members responded to survey.