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

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Coastal GasLink pipeline work ramps up

With spring thaw ending, workers start to arrive for summer season

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read