Ottawa·Phoenix Falling

Government casuals working contract to contract with no job security, no pay

CBC Ottawa asked for stories from federal public servants who aren't getting paid properly — either too little, too much or not at all — since the Phoenix payroll system took over the distribution of their paycheques.

'I did go to work...but never got paid'


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. 

If you want to add your story to our coverage please email us.

Today, stories from casuals who have had pay problems:

From a federal employee who has been a casual part-time worker since 2011:

Pay was working well until April 2016 when my new yearly contract was being entered in the system. 

The new pay system terminated my old contract but will not accept the new contract so since April no pay. 

They have offered me emergency pay but my faith in the system not messing that up is so low I will try to tough it out. I have been in contact with the Pay Centre (two hours waiting on many occasions). And no success. I have contacted the minister's office and was told by her assistant that they would look into it and get back to me in a few days. That was three weeks ago. 

My bosses have been trying to get feedback on the problems but are as yet unable to get in touch with anyone that knows what is going on or how to resolve.

From an anonymous casual employee:

I am a public service employee hired as a 90-day casual. Since going on Phoenix, the end of February, I am being paid at the wrong rate of pay (less than my contract indicates) and I am not receiving stat holiday pay nor vacation pay.  I do not accumulate holiday pay, nor do I get paid for holidays.

I have tried contacting the Pay Centre to no avail. I have been on hold 53 minutes and 40 seconds with no [one] ever answering. I finally hung up. Other times I have dialled the pay centre number and it automatically hangs up after four or five rings. I have sent in my concerns on the ever changing required form. An email without the form is totally disregarded.

My supervisor has attempted to contact the Pay Centre, Phoenix and contacts in Ottawa to no avail.  The Ottawa contact asked me to wait six to eight weeks for a file review.  This took me to June 30.  Still no response from anyone.

My last day is July 28 and I am very concerned.

From a retired public servant who works on a casual basis:

I am retired from the federal government and was asked if I would come in to do a casual work from April 11, 2016 'til June 30, 2016 for the Department of Public Works and Government Services.  I did go to work...but never got paid.

I tried and tried to get information from the Phoenix office to see when would I expect payment but by phone nothing. Either the line is busy or cuts you off and by email this is the response that I got:

"Thank you for contacting the Pay Centre case status team;

I can confirm that your case was received on 5/4/2016. Your case is not yet assigned to an agent, I can assure you that we have your information and it will be processed accordingly."

So this morning I called the minister's office and told them about my case.  The gentleman was very nice, wrote all my information and told me that he would get back to me either by email or by phone.  He did advise me that I am not the only case.

This is my story and as of today, still nothing.