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Federal workers may have to wait two years for Phoenix pay system to be replaced

Last Updated Mar 19, 2019 at 11:09 am PDT

File photo (Cormac MacSweeney, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Vancouver-Quadra MP Joyce Murray now has to deal with replacing the Phoenix pay system

Nearly 8 in 10 Public Service Alliance of Canada members surveyed had complained about the Phoenix system

Federal workers are often under or over-paid with the Phoenix system

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Replacing the federal government’s frustrating Phoenix pay system could take up to two years. That’s one problem facing the new Treasury Board president, who happens to be the MP for Vancouver-Quadra.

Joyce Murray has already said she wants to help get rid of the network, which has been troubled since it was implemented three years ago. After speaking with Murray, Chris Aylward — the national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) — says he believes her, but it could take a long time to happen.

“She has certainly committed to stabilizing the current Phoenix pay system, so our members are paid accurately and on time,” Aylward said.

“As much as it is important to get the two-way new pay system, we certainly want one that works. We cannot go through another Phoenix debacle again. So, there is a certain amount of pressure to stabilize the current Phoenix pay system.”

RELATED: Trudeau fills void in cabinet with Vancouver MP Joyce Murray

Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Murray was placed in the role of Treasury Board president, a spot left vacant by Jane Philpott, who resigned from cabinet after losing confidence in the government over the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

Aylward isn’t expecting the system will be replaced before the October federal election.

“I would even hesitate to guess as to when. [At least] by the end of this year is absolutely accurate. I would agree with that and I would probably add a couple of years, actually, on to that.”

The union represents 140,000 federal workers.

During a recent PSAC survey, 78 per cent of more than 10,000 respondents in BC complained about Phoenix. Key problems include being under or over-paid.

“It’s absolutely a nightmare. They go to work day in and day out — not knowing whether they’re going to get paid or not …. We’re hoping that this government, in the budget, will put money towards Phoenix, so that we can get more resources,” Aylward said.