Statement regarding Phoenix
The following is a transcript of our statements to the media regarding Phoenix, as read by André Picotte on February 23, 2017.
Good afternoon. My name is André Picotte and I am the acting president of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees.
I join my union counterparts in calling on the government to urgently address the problems that still plague the Phoenix Pay system. We were here in July of last year when the government unveiled a timeline that promised a resolution to these problems by October 2016. And yet here we are, more than three months past the government’s self-imposed deadline.
Our members have shown remarkable patience in regards to the Phoenix Pay problems; that’s a testament to how deeply our members care about the work they do on behalf of Canadians. Despite not getting paid or getting paid incorrectly, our members never wavered in their commitment to work for the good of our nation.
As a union, we’ve helped guide our members towards solutions, but ultimately it’s the government that has the power to fix this problem once and for all.
No one should have to plead with their employer to get paid on time and to get paid correctly. But that’s precisely the situation our members have found themselves in for a year now. And, unfortunately, for every member plagued by Phoenix problems, there are many more who fear becoming its next victim.
We have members who are afraid to take certain forms of leaves in case it generates a bigger pay problem down the road. We have members who have opted out of making contributions to the UnitedWay this year out of fear of encountering unrelated pay issues. And as the Phoenix saga crept into tax season, we now have members who worry about how their pay issues might impact them even further.
Not only does the government need to address the existing problems, it needs to restore the trust in its capacity to pay its employees correctly and on time. Creating a $75 million Phoenix contingency fund would send a clear message that the government is treating this problem with the urgency and seriousness it deserves.