Response from Veterans Affairs Canada

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

Mr. Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A3

Dear Mr. Wernick:

The purpose of this correspondence is to inform you of the actions taken to date by Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC), as well as future actions to stabilize the pay system and ensure all employees are paid accurately and on time.

The VAC team is committed to contributing to the Federal Government’s collective efforts to resolve pay issues for all employees in the Public Service.  Since the inception of the most recent pay system, we have partnered with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on a number of key initiatives to help improve pay processing at a government-wide level.

Effective August 30, 2017, VAC and PSPC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the objective of which is to enhance PSPC’s operational capacity to process pay transactions for the entire Public Service. The MOU includes the transfer of VAC personnel to PSPC and the use of learning and operational facilities in Charlottetown, PEI, and Kirkland Lake, Ontario. By the end of November 2017, VAC will have seconded 23 Compensation and Administration employees to the PSPC Pay Centre for up to two years. VAC has also welcomed PSPC staff to our state-of-the-art Learning Centre in Charlottetown for the training of Compensation staff during the months of October and November 2017.

In September 2017, VAC and PSPC also partnered on an external hiring process to hire 300 Compensation Assistants (CR-05) for Moncton, Miramichi, Charlottetown and Kirkland Lake. VAC is leading the selection process for Charlottetown and Kirkland Lake, which will result in the staffing of up to 100 positions in these offices. To support effective onboarding, VAC is also contributing a number of staff in the areas of Human Resources, Facilities and Information Technology.

Furthermore, PSPC is exploring a new client-focused operational model for pay operations in order to resolve pay issues for employees. This concept calls for Compensation staff to be organized by department and by specialty teams. VAC will be participating in this initiative, along with Innovation, Science & Economic Development, and the Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario. An initial workshop was held in Miramichi with the three participating organizations during the week of October 30, 2017. VAC is excited about the prospects of this pilot project.

As a participant in the pilot project, VAC will also strengthen its commitment to the “HR-to-Pay” initiative. We will be taking full advantage of the HR-to-Pay stabilization training materials that the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer will soon be making available to organizations for HR professionals, managers and employees. To assist managers and employees in understanding their roles and responsibilities, we will continue to develop appropriate tools. In addition to the HR-to-Pay working group meetings that the Director General of Human Resources attends, and other working group meetings that VAC staff attend, dedicated resources will be made available to ensure the success of the HR-to-Pay Project.

By increasing the number of pay staff, their access to the Phoenix system and their training, we anticipate considerable progress in the achievement of desired outcomes regarding pay for the public service.

We are fully committed to our ongoing partnership with PSPC and to achieving the necessary improvements in pay processing. Together we will contribute to the Government of Canada measures to resolve outstanding pay issues for all staff.

Respectfully,

W.J. Natynczyk
General (Retired)
Deputy Minister

c.c.: Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of
National Defence
Marie Lemay, Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada
Les Linklater, Associate Deputy Minister, Public Services and
Procurement Canada
Yaprak Baltacıoğlu, Secretary of the Treasury Board
Catrina Tapley, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations), Privy
Council Office

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