Phoenix and Pay Issues Update :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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June 29th, 2016
June 29th, 2016
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Phoenix and Pay Issues Update

Since writing to you about pay issues on May 6th, serious problems continue with the implementation of Phoenix pay system.

These on-going pay related issues have garnered significant media attention, including stories by CTV News, the Ottawa Citizen, and a very sympathetic Editorial from the Ottawa Citizen.  

Here is an update on our understanding of issues that our members are facing, what should they do and what we are doing.

The Issues We Are Facing

Our understanding is that incidents of AJC members not receiving regular pay are fewer than other bargaining agents.  However, there are still a numerous issues affecting our members that have yet to be resolved:

  • New hires have reported that they have yet to receive pay or be enrolled in requisite benefit plans.  
  • Members recently deployed on interdepartmental assignment or appointments are either not getting paid or are reporting getting pay by both departments.
  • Members on leave without pay (LWOP) status are reporting that the processing of LWOP is very slow.  Employees who have gone on long-term LWOP are continuing to be paid, and employees who submitted short-term LWOP forms are waiting for them to be processed.
  • Members receiving acting pay also seem to be experiencing issues, such as receiving too much or too little acting pay.  Being overpaid may not seem like a cause for concern, however, we understand that overpayments made net of taxes may be clawed back gross, resulting in a short-term shortfall for the employee.  Therefore, be aware that these delays may have unpleasant consequences.  
  • Some members in the LP1 and LP2 categories, who are not at the top of the pay scale have not received their in-range lock step increases. Some LP1 and LP2 at the top of scale, who are entitled to the performance pay, have yet to receive the lump-sum performance award payments or have experienced serious delays.
  • Members are also experiencing delays in the processing of claims for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses like law society fees and parking.


What You Should Do

If you are having pay, benefit enrollment or reimbursement problems:

  1. Flag it to your immediate supervisor/manager, and contact your Trusted Source and Liaison Unit to ensure that it received all the payroll information and instructions from your supervisor/manager and that such information has been inputted and submitted to the Pay Centre.  If you do not know who your Trusted Source is, ask your manager.
  2. If the information has been received and inputted by your Trusted Source and Liaison Unit, contact the Public Service Pay Center by emailing paycentre.centredepaye@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca .

Now, in addition to requesting priority pay and an emergency salary advance (see our May 6th communiqué for more details), here are a few new things you can do once you have exhausted the process outlined above:

  1. If you are not receiving pay or have been seriously shorted funds, contact the AJC at admin@ajc-ajj.com and provide your PRI number.  In the case of employees not receiving pay, we have a system in place to enable corrections to be made in a matter of days.  For significant shortfalls, such as payments of thousands of dollars of law society fees, we will also be asking to have these considered as a priority.  Currently, priority is being given public-service wide to those who are not receiving salary payments.  
  2. If you are a new hire and have not yet been enrolled in a benefit plan, keep your medical and dental receipts and notify the AJC at admin@ajc-ajj.com who can provide you with further advice in the event the delay has resulted in you now having to submit to a medical examination to qualify for coverage.    
  3. Write a letter to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Judy Foote. PSAC has launched a letter-writing campaign to Minister Foote that is open to all public service employees.  These letters are being read by the Minister, and statistics are being tracked by PSAC who is reporting to the other unions including the AJC.  You are encouraged to tell your own personal story by clicking here.
  4. For those who are DOJ employees and not receiving your pay, you are encouraged to also send an email to Mr. Pierre Legault, ADM, who has been encouraging DOJ employees to report the matter to his personal attention.

What We Are Doing

We have reported to you previously that two grievances were launched in relation to pay issues.  In addition to continuing to provide general advice to our members, the AJC and our National Joint Council Partners are contemplating more legal action.  A mandamus application was recently filed in Federal Court.  We will keep you posted on those developments.

The National Joint Council has recently put a process in place in order to deal with emergency situations on a priority basis. The government has also recently hired approximately 100 compensation workers out of Gatineau in response to added bargaining agent pressure.

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