Survey shows over 60% of federal employees impacted by Phoenix

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne stands alongside members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, inlcuding local president Shannon Blum, during a rally to call for changes to the much-maligned Phoenix Pay System on Feb. 28, 2018. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

The union representing thousands of federal government employees is using data from the government’s own survey to argue for the payment of damages to staff members impacted by the Phoenix pay system debacle.

According to a press release issued last week, the recent Public Service Employee Survey “confirms the massive impact (the Phoenix Pay System) has had on hundreds of thousands of workers,” the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) wrote, and the large scale of problems that remain.

“The latest statistics … make it clear that the Government of Canada owes its workers compensation for the many hardships they have endured and will continue to endure for years to come.”

According to the survey, about 110,000 federal employees, or 68 per cent of those who answered the question, had their pay directly impacted. Of those, 18,000 had their pay impacted “a very large extent.”

A further 65 per cent said pay problems have not been resolved, while 63 per cent are still unhappy with the response from the pay centre. Almost half, 44 per cent, said their departments did not help them enough to deal with Phoenix problems.

The results also show the impact those pay problems have had. 79 per cent of respondents experienced stress because of Phoenix pay problems. Over 29,000 people reported that they experienced a “very large extent” of stress as a result of Phoenix.

The percentages were based on the number of respondents who answered each question.

One in five workers have delayed advancing their careers because of Phoenix because they were concerned about the pay problems that might ensue if they did.

“These numbers make two things very clear,” said PSAC president Chris Aylward in a press release. “The government must increase its efforts to reduce the number of Phoenix cases created day-to-day, as well as to eliminate the massive backlog. But equally important, the government must also pay damages to our members for the financial, material and emotional impacts of this disaster.”

“Federal Public Service workers have been paying for the government’s mistakes for years, and it’s time for our government to start paying them back.”