Response from Transport Canada

From Public Services and Procurement Canada

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

Dear Mr. Wernick:

I am responding to your letter of November 2, requesting information on the actions Transport Canada has taken to help stabilize the pay system and ensure employees are paid accurately and on time, and our plans for going forward.

Transport Canada is one of five federal organizations with a separate Human Resources (HR) system that uses a web-based interface with Phoenix. We are working closely with the other four web-based organizations to identify the unique Phoenix challenges facing the web-based organizations and engage Public Services and Procurement Canada and the Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer in identifying system changes, business-process improvements and work-arounds to meet these challenges. We continuously share best practices, identify opportunities and volunteer to test/pilot new processes, all with a focus on improving overall pay services across the five web-based organizations.

At Transport Canada, we made extensive efforts to sustain and renew the capacity of our compensation team and linked it up with our internal communications team to ensure we can provide service to departmental employees when they have issues. Through continuous recruitment and training, we have increased our compensation team to 25 employees from 21, and encouraged our trained staff to also work for the satellite Pay Centre in Gatineau on a temporary basis. We have restructured our pay services, hired students to learn and deliver less complex compensation services, and increased our collaboration interdepartmentally to share best practices. We have taken extra measures to create a positive workplace for our compensation team, with on-going recognition of their extra efforts and challenging work environment. We have increased direct communication between the compensation team and senior management, used both formal and informal awards, and supported more social engagement among the team in the work place.

While serving all employees, we have focused our compensation services on the most serious cases, such as where pay could be interrupted or delayed, and on employees who are most vulnerable to pay issues, such as student employees, new Public Service employees, and those leaving the Public Service either permanently through retirement or resignation, or temporarily through unpaid leave.

We have invested significantly in communicating with employees and managers so they have the information they need to deal with Phoenix issues that affect them, using a variety of tools, including a dedicated web page on our intranet site, reminders and links in our newsletter “TC this week”, and regular updates from senior management. Our efforts are detailed in the attached annex. Going forward we plan to ramp up communication to employees and managers in an effort to further reduce uncertainties and concerns among our employees on pay issues.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Keenan

Enclosure

c.c.: The Honourable Marc Garneau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Transport

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