Government of Canada and public service unions announce compensation for federal employees impacted by the Phoenix pay system

News release

May 3, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat

Canada’s public servants deserve to be paid properly for their important work and the Government of Canada continues to take action on all fronts to resolve Phoenix pay issues.

Today, members of the joint union/management committee on Phoenix damages reached a tentative agreement that would cover more than 146,000 current and former employees who may have been impacted by the Phoenix pay system.

Compensation includes a one-time provision of additional annual leave for employees and a cash pay-out equivalent to this leave for former employees or the estates of deceased employees.

Additional compensation, evaluated on a case-by-case basis, will be provided for those who missed opportunities to earn interest on savings accounts or other financial and capital investments; paid interest on loans or debt due to delays in receiving severance or pension payments; and/or experienced severe personal or financial hardship due to Phoenix pay issues.

This agreement, if ratified by the unions and the Treasury Board, will apply to employees, former employees and the estates of deceased employees represented by a bargaining agent in the core public administration. Separate agencies are expected to reach similar agreements shortly with their unions.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada chose to reject the offer and has ended negotiations. The Government remains committed to reaching an equitable agreement that will cover all employees impacted by Phoenix and is open to extending this agreement to the Public Service Alliance of Canada at any time.

More information on when employees can expect to see additional leave added to their leave balances and how they can submit a claim for the additional compensation outlined in this agreement will be shared in the coming months.

Quotes

“We believe in making this right for all employees and recognize the real mental and emotional stress, and financial impact that the Phoenix pay system has had on public servants. These pay issues are completely unacceptable and we are committed to treating employees fairly and to compensating those impacted.”

-       The Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government

“The UMCC Subcommittee on Phoenix Damages has worked diligently over the last two years to find a fair and practical framework to redress a variety of harms experienced by hundreds of thousands of people. This very complex problem was made more difficult by the desire to find a solution that did not require using the Phoenix pay system itself.  As a lawyer, I believe the negotiated framework is both fair and reasonable. But let’s be clear, damages are only a recognition of loss. No amount will ever fully compensate federal workers who continue to serve their fellow Canadians, day in and day out while enduring endless stress over their pay problems.  Nor does it diminish their right to be paid what they are owed.”

-       Ursula Hendel, President of the Association of Justice Counsel

“Public service professionals have been waiting for a fair compensation for what Phoenix has done to them. We will continue to work steadfastly at ensuring that our members receive every dollar that is owed to them, as is their right. Above and beyond that, we’ve secured this settlement so each and every public service professional gets significant and immediate compensation for the hardship they’ve experienced under Phoenix.” 

-       Debi Daviau, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

“There is certainly more work to do to stabilize the payroll system and finally resolve all of the many outstanding underpayments and overpayments, but we see this as a good-faith agreement with an employer that recognizes that hard working financial professionals have faced unprecedented hardship and uncertainty for more than three years. This is a concrete step that begins to compensate each and every one of our members for the frustration and aggravation they have experienced and it creates an expedited process to secure additional compensation for more severe cases of hardship.”

-       Dany Richard, President of the Association of Canadian Financial Officers

“This agreement reflects two years of hard work from all parties to try to find ways to help alleviate the suffering Phoenix caused to thousands of federal public employees and is a move in the right direction. CAPE has been relentless in exposing and detailing the magnitude and severity of the difficulties experienced by our members, this settlement is clear progress and paves the way for the adoption of additional measures to compensate those hardest hit.”

-       Greg Phillips, President of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees

Quick facts

  • The Phoenix Union Management Consultation Sub-Committee on Damages is comprised of representatives from the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Association of Justice Counsel, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada and the Association of Canadian Financial Officers. 

Contacts

Farees Nathoo
Media Relations
Office of the President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government
613-369-3170

Media Relations
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Telephone: 613-369-9400
Toll-free: 1-855-TBS-9-SCT (1-855-827-9728)
TTY (telecommunications device for the hearing impaired): 613-369-9371
Email: media@tbs-sct.gc.ca

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