Ottawa

Tens of thousands of public servants still waiting for Phoenix pay problems to be resolved

The federal government is continuing to try to resolve a backlog of tens of thousands of cases of public servants not being paid properly, and new cases continue to emerge.

Backlog would take almost a year to clear up at current pace, but government's deadline is Oct. 31

Marie Lemay and Rosanna Di Paola explain the challenges of paying out severance pay as the public service deals with the transition to the Phoenix pay system. 1:30

As the federal government continues to whittle away at a backlog of tens of thousands of public servants being improperly paid by the problem-plagued Phoenix system, new cases continue to emerge, the top bureaucrat assigned to fix the problem said Wednesday.

At a technical briefing to update the public on the government's progress, the deputy minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada said the backlog now consists of nearly 74,000 cases, down from 77,000 two weeks ago and 82,000 in mid July.

At that rate of progress, it would take almost a year to eliminate the backlog. But Marie Lemay said the government hopes to make a "significant dent" in the number of cases in September as temporary pay centres recruit more staff, and has set Oct. 31 as its deadline to eliminate the backlog.

Lemay confirmed today that new cases of pay problems continue to emerge.

Ottawa introduced its new payroll system, designed by IBM, in February, but ongoing problems have led to tens of thousands of workers reporting being underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.

Some public servants maxed out their credit cards, went on stress leave or quit because they could no longer afford to pay bills.

The government has hired 120 compensation advisers so far to work at new, temporary pay centres in Gatineau, Que., Winnipeg and Shawinigan, Que., to deal with the massive backlog of cases. 


Phoenix falling

CBC Ottawa has been collecting stories from civil servants, part-time employees and student workers who have been affected by the Phoenix payroll system problems. Here are some of their stories:

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