Archived: Response from Canadian Human Rights Commission

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

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November 8, 2017

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

Mr. Wernick,

This is in response to your letter of November 2nd, 017, requesting that we inform you of actions taken to date, or that will be taken, by the Canadian Human Rights Commission to help stabilize the Phoenix pay system and to ensure that our employees are paid accurately and on time.

We are confident that we have implemented effective measures to mitigate negative impacts on our employees, and that contribute to the greatest extent possible to Government-wide efforts to resolve these challenges.  Measures implemented to meet the needs of the Commission, as well as those of the five small agencies to which we provide shared compensations services, include:

  • engaging additional staff.  To better respond to the demands of the 500 employees we serve, we increased the number of compensation advisors from 2.5 to 5 during the last year;
  • the creation of a multidisciplinary team including compensation advisors, My GCHR/staffing specialists, as well as financial officers;
  • active participation of our compensation advisors in various training sessions, including participation in the last “boot camp” held over several weeks during this past summer;
  • employees not receiving pay have been offered emergency salary advances through our financial system to ensure timely payment of amounts due; and
  • we have entered into an agreement in principle with Public Services and Procurement Canada to provide a resource from our team for evenings or weekends as needed, as well as to assist in the processing of Pay Centre files.

While these measures have helped to address some of the many issues, we remain concerned that our efforts will not be sufficient to address the following:

  • the timely update of information related to retroactive payments under collective agreements;
  • the timely and accurate reconciliation of overpayments and underpayments before the end of the current fiscal year; and
  • the recruitment of additional resources to offset departures and/or the stress and burn out of our teams.

Our next departmental dashboard results will tell us whether our efforts are working to mitigate impacts on our employees.  In the interim, I have forwarded to the Director, Human Resources, the list of practical measures that could be put in place, which you provided with your letter.

In closing, I wish to assure you of the full cooperation of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in resolving challenges surrounding the Phoenix system.

Yours sincerely,

Marie-Claude Landry, Ad. E

Cc: The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice
Les Linklater, Associate Deputy Minister, Public Services and
Procurement Canada
Yaprak Baltacioglu, Secretary of the Treasury Board
Catrina Tapley, Deputy Secretary to Cabinet (Operations),
Privy Council Office

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