Emergency Meeting Needed on Phoenix Pay Debacle
July 25th, 2016 -- NDP Public Services and Procurement Critic, Erin Weir, made the following statement:
“I am calling, along with other members of the opposition, for an emergency meeting of the Government Operations Committee to look into the dysfunctional Phoenix payroll system.
It has not only failed to properly pay 80,000 federal employees, but also breached their privacy. For a government committed to openness and transparency, I would hope that Liberal committee members would welcome an opportunity to examine what lead to this fiasco, why it has taken so long to get clear answers, and why we have yet to receive clear timelines for resolution of numerous problems.
In any workplace, we would expect the employer to pay its employees correctly and on time without compromising their personal information. It’s embarrassing that the Canadian government is not meeting these basic obligations.
The Conservatives were wrong to imagine that the federal government could effectively replace its payroll systems with off-the-shelf software from IBM operated by a single pay centre, relocated to Miramichi for political reasons. The Liberals were wrong to implement Phoenix this year even after employees at Miramichi warned that the system was not ready.
After dismissing concerns raised about Phoenix from federal employees, their unions and the NDP for months, the Prime Minister must now take responsibility for the decisions his government made rather than shifting the blame solely onto the previous government. The best way of providing answers to public servants and all Canadians would be for the Liberals to allow our committee to hear from department officials, federal employees and their union representatives.”