CBC Ottawa has invited federal public servants to share their personal stories of financial struggle under the government's problem-plagued Phoenix payroll system.
Some aren't being paid properly. Some have been overpaid. Some, not at all.
Every day for the next few weeks, we'll post an excerpt from a different employee.
Here is Alex Ienzi's story:
Friday, April 8 was my last day of work and Monday, April 11, I was to begin my nine-month parental leave.
Months prior to me leaving, I contacted our pay centre to figure out what was needed to be done, what forms needed to be filled out. This was not a easy task — many of my emails were not replied to. As well as many of my phone calls, where I was on hold for over an hour, led to more questions.
Finally, I did have everything done but up until my last day of work I was still trying to get confirmation that I had done all the required steps, which I did on my very last day April 8.
Normally, I would not be taking nine months off as my wife would be taking most of the parental leave. Unfortunately, she was involved in a serious car accident and I was needed to take the time off to take care of her, our newborn and our three year old.
It's been now nearly four months and I am still waiting for my record of employment to be sent to Service Canada. As well, I am still receiving my regular pay.
I have made several calls to our pay service centre and they have told me at least four times that my request has need marked urgent and will be escalated.
I have spoken to Service Canada and they have told me there is nothing they can do because I have not received my record of employment. Also I should be contacting my employer to have them stop my pay which is very difficult because when I do call them all they do is tell me they are marking my ticket as urgent and escalating the issue.
This is a very tough time, like I said, my wife is going through her issues with the accident.
I have two young children and I have mortgages and bills which is stressful enough.
Taking parental leave I am told is a great opportunity to bond with your children but all I do is stress about my parental pay not knowing what will happen — I have no idea what to do at this point.
I have 15 years of service and this stress should not be something that I should be dealing with. I have never claimed any [EI] or any other benefit prior to this. With my first child, I only took one week.
I feel like I'm penalized for taking the parental leave.
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