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

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Dust on Crust bring bluegrass to Golden

The band came together at the Wolf’s Den jam nights and have been playing bluegrass ever since

Morning Start: The human body contains trace amounts of gold

Your morning start for Friday, August 7, 2020

Roots & Blues announces ticket giveaway ahead of online festival

The festival is streaming free online this year, but those who pre-register can win passes for 2021.

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Police watchdog deems Kelowna RCMP not responsible for man’s death

The man spoke to police after a car crash before leaving on foot; he was found dead six hours later

‘It’s just my job’: Off-duty Peachland paramedic saves choking girl downtown Penticton

Family vacationing in Penticton assisted by off-duty paramedic, who helps save 13-year-old

Most Read