Response from Fisheries and Oceans Canada

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

Mr. Michael Wernick
Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet
Privy Council Office

Dear Mr. Wernick:

We are writing in response to your letter of November 2, 2017, inquiring about actions taken and planned by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard to help stabilize the pay system to ensure our employees are paid accurately and on time.

Our Department onboarded to Phoenix as part of the first implementation phase in February 2016. Due to our operational nature, our employees have been disproportionally affected by pay issues. DFO/Coast Guard employees are a dedicated group who contribute significantly to the Government’s agenda, from protecting our waters to advancing science and so many other important roles in our organization.  They have a right to be paid accurately and on time, and this is top of mind in all our work on this file.  In an effort to provide accurate and timely pay, we began seeking solutions as soon as the extent of our pay issues became apparent, shortly after onboarding.

We have been working closely with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), the Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS), our bargaining agents, and others to advance this important work. We note particularly the level of co-operation from PSPC, from bi-weekly DM meetings to discuss issues unique to the Department, to working groups at all levels, and to the project plan targeted to DFO/Coast Guard that was recently presented to us and will address our most pressing issues.

We are pleased to provide you with a breakdown of the actions we have taken to this point to address pay issues, as well as our planned activities to further enhance our pay response. Our proposed action plan, which is already in development and aligns with PSPC’s Integrated Plan, seeks to complement, supplement, and, where necessary, substitute actions outlined in PSPC’s Integrated Plan.

The DFO/Coast Guard Plan places an emphasis on the following:

  • Process: reducing backlogs and processing times
  • Information: ensuring accurate tracking of all pay-related issues
  • People: improving the level and quality of service available to employees and
  • Technology: positioning the Department to assess and respond to future pay needs and to close the gaps between Phoenix capabilities and the service our employees require

We trust you will find the actions we have taken, as well as those we have planned, to be responsive, effective, and well thought out. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Catherine Blewett
Deputy Minister

Jeffery Hutchinson
Commissioner
Canadian Coast Guard

Attachment (2):

  1. Actions taken to date and planned actions to stabilize pay
  2. Scale of Phoenix issues by Region

c.c.: Hon. Dominic LeBlanc, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Les Linklater, Associate Deputy Minister, Public Services and Procurement Canada

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