Response from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

Mr. Michael Wernick

Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
Privy Council Office
Ottawa Ontario  K1A 0A3

Dear Mr. Wernick:

Thank you for your letter dated November 2, 2017, requesting information on the actions that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has taken to support the stabilization of the Public Service pay system and to help ensure employees are paid accurately and on time.

IRCC has moved forward on a number of the best practices that you have shared, with a particular focus on regular communication with employees, meaningful training to both employees and their managers, as well as clear governance and reporting.

I would like to highlight some other key initiatives that we have implemented or will be implementing shortly, with a view to mitigating pay-related issues:

  • Shortly following the centralization of pay services, IRCC participated in various interdepartmental committees, volunteered for pilots, proposed solutions to system challenges and assigned a number of compensation advisors to support the Pay Centre.  IRCC also established a dedicated compensation liaison office to provide advice and guidance to employees on their pay and benefits.  This office has been a valuable asset and has actively worked with employees and the Pay Centre to help explain and resolve pay related issues.
  • IRCC established a Phoenix Ambassadors Network to provide employees and managers with a more personal touch for departmental pay-related questions.  This Network consists of a cross-section of IRCC employees to help identify trends and provide guidance on pay, leave and benefit challenges as well as communicate information at the work unit level.
  • A tiger team made up of departmental human resources, finance and communications representatives as well as bargaining agents is in place and meets regularly to discuss outstanding issues, propose solutions, develop communications strategies and update the departmental dashboard.
  • IRCC has developed a departmental dashboard to ensure meaningful reporting.  This dashboard ensures that senior leadership is provided an integrated view of departmental related activities associated with pay stabilization and helps to identify areas for further action.  The dashboard will continue to be shared with senior leadership on each pay period, in addition to the dashboard prepared by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC).
  • IRCC has conducted a review of its staffing transaction management, and managers have been encouraged to reduce or eliminate certain transactions that may contribute to pay-related issues, including “urgent” or after-the-fact staffing transactions.

Moving forward, as a result of the “bootcamp” training and increased access to the pay system that was recently provided to the department, our compensation liaison officers will be in a position to process more transactions within the pay system which will help reduce the workload at the Pay Centre and address employee pay issues more quickly.  I have also recently committed data analysts to lend their experience to PSPC to support enterprise-wide reporting activities.  Furthermore, all IRCC employees will be required to take the new training courses provided by Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS).  Finally, reporting on outstanding issues and progress made will continue to be a regular item for discussion at our executive committee.

I remain committed to working with PSPC, TBS and others towards stabilizing the pay system and implementing strategies to mitigate impacts on our employees’ pay and benefits.  To this end, I have and will continue to invest and provide resources to support departmental and central agency activities related to pay stabilization.

Yours sincerely,

Marta Morgan

c.c.: The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

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