Government of Canada announces new approach to address pay issues

News release

May 4, 2018 - Miramichi, New Brunswick - Public Services and Procurement Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to resolving public service pay issues as quickly as possible and supporting affected employees.

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, announced the introduction of a new, more effective approach to addressing pay issues while visiting the new Public Service Pay Centre in Miramichi, alongside Pat Finnigan, Member of Parliament for Miramichi–Grand Lake.

Following a successful pilot project, Pay Pods are being introduced at the Miramichi Pay Centre to better support employees by processing pay transactions. Pay Pods, a concept developed by Pay Centre employees, group together compensation advisors assigned to a specific department or agency. These groups will work with client departments to address all outstanding transactions in an employee’s pay file, in contrast to the current approach of addressing pay issues by transaction type. This new approach will result in more efficient and comprehensive resolutions of pay issues, and a reduction in backlogged cases.

Pay Pods will be rolled out to all departments and agencies serviced by the Pay Centre in phases starting this month and will be fully implemented by mid-2019. The partnership between the Pay Centre and participating departments and agencies is the hallmark of this initiative. Ongoing communication and collaboration is not only improving human resources and pay processes, it reflects the whole-of-government approach needed to resolve pay issues and ultimately ensures that public servants are paid accurately and on time.

The Government of Canada is working on multiple fronts to address pay issues. In addition to the Pay Pods, an outreach campaign was recently launched to encourage timely and accurate entry of information: key factors in preventing pay issues.

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“Through innovation and continual improvement, we are working to stabilize the pay system and ensure that employees are paid accurately. We feel confident that the Pod approach will provide more tailored support to departments and agencies and help address employee pay issues as quickly as possible. I’m happy to welcome our Pay Centre employees to this beautiful new facility in Miramichi.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

“We are honoured to be the permanent home of the Public Service Pay Centre. We recognize that public servants are still experiencing discrepancies with their pay; however, the solutions being developed by the dedicated staff here in Miramichi are helping to solve these pay issues for public servants, and we are very proud of that. The construction of the new Pay Centre has created enormous economic opportunities for our community and is providing good quality middle-class jobs here in New Brunswick.”

Pat Finnigan
Member of Parliament for Miramichi–Grand Lake

Quick facts

  • The Pay Pod pilot project was conducted with three departments: Veterans Affairs Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

  • Since December 2017, when the pilot began, the overall backlog for the three pilot departments was reduced by 24%, the number of employees with pay issues decreased by 11% and service standards for new incoming transactions were met in 88% of the time using this new approach.

  • The pilot project is part of the suite of measures introduced in November 2017 to stabilize the pay system and better support employees.

  • Construction of the new long-term leased facility began in May 2015 and created jobs for an estimated 200 tradespeople.

  • The Pay Centre, which is home to the current Pay Pod pilot project, houses more than 530 employees. This state-of-the-art building is designed with employee well-being in mind, offering a healthy and pleasant workplace.

  • The building is targeting a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification and is one of the largest projects in New Brunswick.

Associated links


Ashley Michnowski
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada

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Public Service Pay Centre, Miramichi, New Brunswick

On April 2, 2015, following a fair, transparent and competitive process, a contract worth approximately $85 million was awarded to a joint venture led by Broccolini Inc. to design and construct the new building, and then lease it to the Government of Canada for a 20-year period.

Construction of the new long-term leased facility began in May 2015 and created an estimated 200 new jobs for tradespeople during the building phase. Fit up was completed by December 2017. The new Pay Centre is now fully occupied by approximately 530 employees. The remainder of the Pay Centre employees are housed in two other sites in Miramichi.

The new three-story structure includes about 9,500 m2 of office space. The new office building is targeting a LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Canada “Core and Shell” Gold standard for environmental performance.

Pay Pods

In December 2017, a pilot project was launched at the Miramichi Pay Centre to test a new way to process pay transactions and improve client service.

The concept, which was developed by Pay Centre employees, involves grouping a team of compensation specialists who have the necessary skills and experience to process various pay transactions for a specific department. Compensation staff who are a part of a Pay Pod process all new transactions as they are received at the Pay Centre, preventing further growth in the backlog. At the same time, a portion of the compensation advisors in a Pay Pod work through the backlog, employee by employee, addressing all outstanding cases in an employee’s file.

This approach has several benefits. 

First, employee files are handled holistically, instead of by transaction type. This makes the employee "whole" by addressing all issues at one time.   Additionally, because new transactions are dealt with right away, payments are issued on time and late transactions, which are more difficult to process, do not accumulate.

In addition, Pay Centre employees develop closer working relationships with human resources and finance teams in departments, allowing for quicker resolution of pay issues.  With the teams working more collaboratively, attention is focused on data quality and timeliness, which prevents new pay issues from emerging.

Finally, Pod employees develop greater knowledge of and expertise in a specific department’s unique pay requirements.

The ongoing pilot project was conducted with three departments: Veterans Affairs Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario. There are currently 25 employees in the three Pay Pods, which serve 10,000 employees in these three departments.

Pay Pods will be rolled out in a phased approach, based on operational readiness and available capacity at the Pay Centre, to 45 departments representing 200,000 employees starting in May 2018 and to be completed in 2019.

The next phase of implementation will see 12 departments and agencies transitioned to the Pay Pod approach in May 2018, representing over 32,000 employees:

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Finance Canada
  • Justice Canada
  • Public Prosecution of Canada
  • Treasury Board Secretariat
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Immigration and Refugee Board
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Canadian Grain Commission
  • Canadian Dairy Commission
  • Canada School of the Public Service
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