Government workers rally in Edmonton against Phoenix Pay System

Government of Canada employees in Edmonton rallied outside of Canada Place to voice their displeasure with the payroll system that pays them.

Federal auditor general estimates 59,000 employees have been under or overpaid

Government of Canada employees rally outside Canada Place in Edmonton on Friday. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

Close to 60 employees marched and cheered outside of Canada Place to voice their displeasure with the system that pays government employees.

"It's to send a message that the federal public service workers are fed up with this, and this government has to be more proactive in getting this fixed," said Chris Aylward, executive president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC).

In November, the Auditor General of Canada estimated that as of June 30, 59,0000 employees have been affected by Phoenix pay system issues. The federal government owed $228 million to employees, while overpaying others a total of $295 million.
Chris Aylward [center] and Marianne Hladun [right] chant for the Government of Canada to fix Phoenix Pay System issues. (Travis McEwan/CBC)

The government offers emergency pay for employees who do not receive payments, which is 60 per cent of an employee's gross pay.

"You have no idea pay cheque to pay cheque if you're going to get paid and the impact is not just on paying your rent and your mortgage," said Marianne Hladun, executive vice-president of PSAC Prairies. "It means that as federal public servants you can't take your kids on vacation."

"‎The ongoing public service pay problem are completely unacceptable," a spokesperson for the minister of public services and procurement said in a statement to CBC Friday.

"Our government is doing everything it can to resolve pay issues as quickly as possible."

"We inherited this problem from the Conservatives but we will fix it.‎"

The government began using the Phoenix Pay System in early 2016.



Travis McEwan


Travis McEwan is an award-winning video journalist. Originally from Churchill, Man., he's spent the last decade working at CBC Edmonton. Email story ideas to travis.mcewan@cbc.ca