Letter to financial institutions on the financial challenges some employees are facing because of the Phoenix pay system

To whom it may concern:

As part of a Government of Canada Pay Transformation Initiative to replace a 40-year-old pay system, the Government of Canada introduced a new system called Phoenix. As you may have read in the media, the implementation of Phoenix has been a major undertaking. Despite a significant amount of planning that went into preparing for the implementation, some of the over 300,000 federal public servants working across Canada being paid through Phoenix continue to have problems with their pay.

While many of the issues with the new Phoenix pay system have already been addressed, work remains to be done. This situation is unacceptable and we are working very hard to resolve the problems as soon as possible to ensure that all our employees are paid what they are owed. We also recognize that this situation has created short-term financial hardship for many of them, some of whom may be doing their banking or obtaining financial services from your institution.

The purpose of this letter is to ask for your support when dealing with federal government employees who have been affected by this situation. In particular, you should know that a process is in place to issue emergency salary advances and priority payments to them to provide some financial support while we address the underlying causes of their missing or inaccurate pay. These advances, however, are just an interim measure while we work through Phoenix to correct the original pay problems to ensure they receive their correct pay as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, during this interim period, affected employees may have difficulty providing the necessary proof of employment and/or earnings (e.g. up-to-date pay stubs) to demonstrate their credit worthiness, for example, to renew a mortgage or take advantage of the financial services and products offered by your institution. In these circumstances, we are asking for your flexibility and understanding. As an alternative, we recommend that the employee’s manager be called upon to provide a Confirmation of Employment Letter to confirm the length of time the individual has been employed by the Government of Canada, as well as their current and correct annual salary.

We know that the current situation is causing real challenges and financial hardship for some of our employees. We hope we can count on your understanding and flexibility as the Government of Canada works to resolve all Phoenix pay system issues.

Yours sincerely,

Yaprak Baltacıoğlu
Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada

Bill Matthews
Comptroller General of Canada

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