Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada protest on the three year anniversary of the launch of the pay system in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. The minister responsible for replacing the federal government’s disastrous civil service pay system says Phoenix will likely be running for several years while a series of pay “experiments” are tested along side it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Ottawa to launch ‘pay experiments’ as next step to replace Phoenix pay system

Previous pay system shortchanged, overpaid or didn’t pay employees at all

The minister responsible for replacing the federal government’s disastrous civil-service pay system says Phoenix will likely be running for several years while a series of pay “experiments” are tested alongside it.

Treasury Board President Joyce Murray is to announce today the next phase in creating a new human-resources and pay system for the government’s roughly 300,000 employees.

For several months, the government has been working with pay-system suppliers to see which one could replace Phoenix, which has improperly paid more than half of all federal workers by depositing too much money in their bank accounts, short-changing them or in some cases not paying them at all for long periods.

Murray is expected to outline how the government plans to move to the next phase in developing a new system.

While the government has slowly whittled down the number of pay errors it’s been dealing with, the government pay centre was still dealing with a backlog of pay cases totalling 239,000 at the end of last month.

READ MORE: Replacing Phoenix pay system cheaper than fixing its mess

READ MORE: Potential replacements for Phoenix pay system to start testing soon

The previous Conservative government projected the Phoenix system would save taxpayers $70 million annually, but the cost of stabilizing it — and searching for a replacement system — is now estimated to have surpassed $1.1 billion.

Contracting several potential providers to test their wares in particular departments is a better way of creating a new system than hiring just one supplier, Murray said Tuesday as she left a cabinet meeting.

“From my perspective that’s the right way forward because we’ll be figuring out the challenges before we’re going live with a new system,” she said.

“And we may have to have the old system in parallel with the new pay experiments as we go forward.”

The government is expected to steer clear of announcing a firm deadline or full cost projection for its new pay system.

“We’re going to focus on the project as being the priority,” said Murray. “But the budgets and timelines are not the driver.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Fire damages home on Fifth Avenue in Port Alberni

Fire crews spend late morning hours knocking down blaze

Alberni Valley volunteer wins BC Hockey award

Kellie Steel named one of nine unsung heroes through COVID-19

LOOK BACK: Fred Brand, Brand’s Sawmill

Take a peek at Alberni Valley history with the Alberni Valley Museum

TV star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

Most Read