Phoenix update: the government was negligent

May 30, 2018

Yesterday, the Auditor General, Michael Ferguson, released the latest report on the Phoenix pay system to Parliament. In his report, The Auditor General finally confirmed what we had been telling the government for the past two years. The report proved that the government was not only negligent in the development of Phoenix but also in its implementation.

According to Mr. Ferguson, “the failed federal public service pay system was the result of a “government culture” that stands in the way of helping people. Phoenix executives were more focused on meeting the project budget and timeline than on what the system needed to do.”

The culture of the public service is one where more than half the employees (52% PSES 2017) fear reprisal if they were to initial a formal recourse process. With this number that is only increasing, this can easily translate into a situation where these same employees fear speaking out against the current direction of projects that they are working on, for fear that it will impact their career path. With the use of the PSPM and a promotion system exceedingly dependent on a reference from their current supervisor, it’s no wonder why this institutionalized “risk adverse” culture has been not only taken a foothold, but been encourage and allowed to thrive.

 “Once again, the government failed to listen to the many warnings from the staff at Miramichi, their employees and the Unions” stated Phillips. “All of this could’ve been avoided if the government had taken the time to properly test the system. Unfortunately it’s the hard working Federal public service employees who are now paying the price.”

CAPE hopes that this experience can serve as a lesson to the government. This should never happen in the Federal government. We hope that moving forward they will make a conscious effort to listen and work collaboratively with the Unions.

“We will continue to demand that our members get paid everything they are owed” said Phillips.

We will keep you informed of any developments on this subject.