Archived: Government of Canada update on the Phoenix pay system for October 31, 2016

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.

Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for attending. Today, I would like to give a brief update on our backlog progress. I am joined by my colleague Alfred Tsang, from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. He will provide an update on the claims process for out of pocket expenses related to public service pay issues.


Today is an important day for us for several reasons. As you all know, it was our target to have the backlog cleared for 82,000 employees identified after the implementation of Phoenix. It was also the point at which we planned to make a distinct shift towards our steady state.

Most importantly, it was a critical date for public servants, who have expressed a tremendous amount of patience. Employees with cases in the backlog have been waiting a long time to see resolution. We were able to address most of those cases by our deadline, but despite our best efforts, we could not completely eliminate the entire backlog.

We have closed close to 60,000 employee cases in our backlog. That means that close to 75% of the backlog has now been completed and that there are cases remaining for approximately 22,000 employees.

For employees, this is extremely frustrating. We desperately wanted to reach our target, and I want you to know that we will continue to work tirelessly to close remaining cases as quickly as we can.

As I said during my last update, the cases left in our backlog are complex and require time-consuming manual calculations. In fact 82% of these cases pre-date Phoenix and some date back several years. Examples of these are terminations which involve multiple transactions or changes to union affiliation. These types of cases require a fair amount of research to ensure that we’re capturing proper pay amounts from those periods and that past T4s are amended accordingly.

Another example includes changes to pay as a result of acting assignments. Actings that pre-date Phoenix take twice as long to complete as those that were entered post-Phoenix due to the manual calculations required. Actings that are entered into Phoenix during the current pay period are automated and processed immediately.

The cases left will now be handled by a dedicated team of expert compensation advisors in Miramichi. We will continue to work through these cases as quickly as we can.

In the meantime, the rest of our compensation advisors, including those in our satellite offices, are turning their focus towards our steady state.

Our plan

We will reach that state when we are consistently meeting our service standards and employees are receiving their pay in an accurate and reliable manner.

Every day, our Pay Centre in Miramichi receives a constant flow of new pay transactions to process. In previous briefings, I indicated that we are not processing these as quickly as we will when we reach our steady state. Simply put, employees are having to wait too long to receive pay, allowances and other payments.

We need to reduce current wait times, and thankfully, our processing rates are steadily increasing. In fact, they have more than doubled since May. We are getting better and faster, and increasingly, employees will see their pay requests handled more quickly.

There is still a lot of work needed to get us to our steady state, and there is no quick fix. That said, we expect steady improvement month over month from now on.

We are currently developing a structured plan to ensure we are making the best use of our compensation resources at Miramichi and in our satellite offices.

I will share the details of the plan as soon as it is finalized.


To our employees, I want to say that I understand this situation is frustrating. I can assure you we are all working as hard as we can to fix the issues and process your pay transactions. I know it does not always feel like it, but we are making progress and have now reached a processing capacity that will translate into shorter waiting times.

The ongoing support from all our partners, as well as the patience and understanding of employees across the federal government, are helping us get there.

Thank you.

Marie Lemay, P.Eng., ing.
Deputy Minister
Public Services and Procurement Canada

Date modified: