Archived: Response from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions

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Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0A3

Dear Mr. Wernick:

I am sending you today a summary of the measures that Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) has put in place to contribute to government-wide efforts to stabilize the Phoenix pay system and ensure that employees in my department are paid properly and on time.

CED is one of the departments/agencies that processes its employees’ pay files through the Phoenix pay system; these pay files were not transferred to Miramichi. We therefore maintain an on-site compensation team, to which we added an employee to handle the extra work brought about by the implementation of the Phoenix pay system.

The first measure introduced by CED was the systematic review of the pay list before each payroll deposit. This allows us to identify employees who will not receive their pay, and subsequently issue an equivalent cash advance at the same time as which they are expected to be paid. By doing so, we ensure that all our employees receive their pay or a cash advance as per the pay schedule.

As a result of this measure, we noted that, for each pay period, an average of 20% of files (65 out of 331) presented discrepancies that required the intervention of compensation employees. Besides unpaid salaries, we also noted issues relating to overtime, acting replacements and employee transfers. Although some of these issues were able to be quickly resolved, others required more time and persisted beyond a given pay period.

The implementation of the pay system concerns all of us. We therefore made online training mandatory so that everyone understands their roles and what they need to do to reduce the risk of errors and delays.

We made a special effort concerning the implementation of collective agreements, and all of the FI, AV, EC, PA, CS and PE group files have been processed; only two CO group files are still being processed.

We noticed that the time it takes to transfer the file of an employee from another department to CED is a major cause of some of the problems experienced by our employees. We remain open to piloting a solution that would allow us to make the transfer quickly, thus avoiding repeated errors in the files.

Please find attached some more examples of measures put in place to reduce, as much as possible, the impact on our employees, along with measures aimed at improving the system until it is stabilized.

Yours sincerely,

Manon Brassard


cc: The Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

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