A message to employees from the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

Dear valued member of our public service,

As Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, my primary concern is paying you accurately and on time. As I approach the three-month mark in this role, I am reaching out to all Government of Canada employees to reinforce my commitment to resolving your pay issues and provide an update on this frustrating situation.

This issue is the most important file on my desk, and I apologize to those of you experiencing pay issues that are affecting you and your families. Your stories of hardship caused by the backlog of financial transactions keep me awake at night. As a former public servant myself, I fully appreciate the hard work of the very dedicated members of our public service, and I thank you for your tireless efforts.

I am working with dedicated officials as well as the Ministers’ Working Group to make sure that our government remains open and transparent, and that we take concrete action to resolve the pay issues that have very real consequences on your day-to-day lives.

We are making progress, but not as quickly as we should.

We are taking action on a number of fronts to deal with this situation and we are constantly looking for better ways of providing employees with the information you need.

Our team is working very hard to process collective agreement payments. To date, 184,000 employees have received approximately $615 million through collective agreement payments but there are still over 20,000 collective agreement transactions to be processed, and we expect this number to grow in the coming weeks.

Our latest dashboard reported that 119,000 financial transactions were processed over the course of two pay periods and that there were 265,000 outstanding transactions with a financial impact beyond our normal workload.

Every month, the Pay Centre receives other requests that have no financial impact, such as requests for administrative changes and general inquiries. Requests for administrative changes include tasks like adding direct deposit information or changing an employee’s province of work. General inquiries are mostly queries about the status of existing cases or requests for information.

When counting financial, non-financial impact requests and collective agreement implementation, there are about 520,000 outstanding transactions at the Pay Centre.

This is unacceptable.

There is no doubt that we have our work cut out for us.

But as we move forward, please remember that emergency salary advances and priority payments are available for anyone missing pay or experiencing hardship.

I truly believe that an open and ongoing dialogue between Public Services and Procurement Canada and affected public servants is key as we move forward. We will keep providing monthly updates to employees through our dashboard and Pay Bulletin, ensuring ongoing transparency and accountability. In addition, we will soon begin providing more detailed, regular, reporting on the measures being taken to address pay problems and stabilize the pay system in order to keep you better informed.

I am truly sorry that more than half of public servants continue to experience some form of pay issue. Too many of you have been waiting too long for your pay.

There is no greater issue facing the public service and, as your employer, the Government has no higher priority. I am fully committed to supporting you and doing everything needed to provide reliable and accurate pay.

Thank you for your service and commitment.

Sincerely,

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada

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