Ottawa·Phoenix Falling

Single mom maxed out after 2 months with 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 honestly do not know what to do'

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.

Every day for the next few weeks, we'll post an excerpt from a different employee.


From a public servant who would like to remain anonymous:

From working as a casual employee in the public service over the past two years, I recently started a new term.

Optimistic that my pay would not be affected because I was already in the pay system, as it turns out, I was terminated from my previous casual rather than transferred to a term. I started in mid-May and I still have not been paid. However, there are employees that have started after me that have not had any pay disruptions.

I honestly do not know what to do! Who to call! I've escalated within my department, I've called the Pay Centre, I've emailed... And still no luck!

I've called the Pay Centre hundreds of times, only to get a busy signal.

I'll be taking my first vacation in over 10 years and it will have to be a staycation as I do not have the funds to take my daughter anywhere. I promised her a road trip to Niagara Falls!- Public servant and single mother

It has been two months with no pay. Although I have received emergency pay which is often delayed, it is not the full amount that I would usually get for salary and that discrepancy adds up!

I am a single mother, and have not been getting child support, which leaves me even more in debt! All of my credit has been maxed out.

I have been fortunate though, my landlord said that I can pay him when I can, I was able to put my daughter in camp through an IOU, and my friends and family have been generous as well!!

I have not been able to pay for my student loans, as other financial priorities come first, and I think that is the biggest issue!! With a monthly payment of $600, I have contacted the National Student Loans call centre to try to get relief for not having to pay. They have dinged my credit, sent me a letter, advising me to pay and I have not received repayment assistance! There should be some sort of grievance for former students having to pay back student loans, considering it is ESDC who administers the National Student Loans Centre.

Saddest thing is that I'll be taking my first vacation in over 10 years and it will have to be a staycation as I do not have the funds to take my daughter anywhere. I promised her a road trip to Niagara Falls! 

But, I'll continue to be optimistic in hopes that I will be receiving my next pay.