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Phoenix Pay System - Shit's Horrible

PuckChaser

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dapaterson said:
The senior execs violated the PSLRA by failing to implement IAW the collective agreement.

Lawbreakers on a scale such as that should face penal sanction.

Which is not the Criminal Code of Canada. Its a civil litigation matter.

The Liberals are big on changing the Criminal Code for major donors though, maybe PSAC hasn't donated enough yet?
 

daftandbarmy

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Six years after... abandon hope all ye who enter here:

'Can't be fixed': Public service pay issues persist, six years after Phoenix was launched​

The errors that remain aren't as egregious as they were in the early days of the system, however a backlog of trouble remains.

Thousands of workers are still owed money when they leave or retire from Canada’s public service, and some are still waiting years to get paid.

Thousands more move to jobs in other departments and wait months, if not years, for their paperwork to catch up with them.


It’s been six years — and more than $1.4 billion in fixes — since the disastrous Phoenix launch. The government wanted the pay system to be stabilized this year, meaning the backlog of erroneous pay cases would be eliminated permanently. It’s not there yet.

The spotlight on the Phoenix fiasco all but disappeared when the pandemic took the national stage and the number of pay hardship cases fell. The errors that remain aren’t as egregious as they were in the early days, when people were getting underpaid or overpaid massively or not paid at all. However, despite improvements, a backlog of trouble remains.

The Office of the Auditor General found an overall error rate of 47 per cent in the pay of employees it sampled in 2020-21. That was slightly lower than the 51 per cent error rate the prior year. It also flagged that 41 per cent still had pay errors waiting to be fixed at the end of the year — compared to 31 per cent the year before.

With $910 million in funding in 2020, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) put together a three-year plan to get rid of the backlog by December 2022.

The backlog-reduction strategy was built around using technology, boosting the productivity of pay advisers and reducing the volume of cases coming in. The idea is to help pay advisers plow through the flow of transactions every pay cycle and also have enough time to work on the backlog.

The size of the backlog steadily decreased for more than two years, from the peak in January 2018 of 384,000 transactions, to a low of 98,000 in April 2021. The number of people affected dropped. The pay centre also improved its wait times, meeting the service standard of dealing with most pay requests within 20 days at least 80 per cent of the time.

Phoenix’s processing started to hiccup and sputter for a couple of months before it inched back up throughout the summer and fall of 2021. The active backlog of transactions settled at 141,000 cases by late January 2022.

“When it comes to Phoenix, it is two steps forward, one step back. The backlog of outstanding transactions has reduced since 2016, but, whenever a new collective agreement or MOU is signed, it slows down the progress,” said Dany Richard, president of the Association of Canadian Financial Officers.

PSPC officials argued the backslide was nothing more than the normal flux in the volume of work.

They said the number of transactions processed each month varied depending on the complexity of transactions, the pay centre’s capacity, any new collective agreements being implemented and the normal seasonal spikes in demand, such as hiring summer students.

The size of the public service has also grown 24 per cent since 2015 and there’s been a considerable amount of churn — with people moving in and out of jobs, creating more transactions.

“Although we have made significant progress this past year in reducing the number of transactions in the backlog and queue from 2016-2020, we have seen an increase in new transactions received at the pay centre in 2021, which challenged our ability to reduce the backlog,” PSPC spokesperson Michèle LaRose said in an email.

Some say public servants, many safely working from home, aren’t complaining as loudly about pay errors when so many Canadians lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. Some argue that unions backed off on Phoenix after winning $560 million in damages to compensate workers for pay gaffes. Others say public servants are now so used to pay errors that they have simply become inured to them.

 

Eaglelord17

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Pay errors happen no matter where you work. My workplace for example is particularly bad in ensuring you get your 8 hours stat holiday pay. The difference being that is corrected within a week or two when I bring it up, whereas this seems to be a chronic issue.

Two major things I have concern with in there is:
1) why has there been a 24% increase in the public service
2) this is a great example of fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place (all the previous pay systems worked), and when it was obvious it wasn't working properly, doubling down on a failed system making the problems worse. Why hasn't anyone been fired for such a obvious failure? Why isn't anyone being held to account for such a waste of tax dollars and the potentially life ruining effects that this has had on some?
 

Colin Parkinson

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Pay errors happen no matter where you work. My workplace for example is particularly bad in ensuring you get your 8 hours stat holiday pay. The difference being that is corrected within a week or two when I bring it up, whereas this seems to be a chronic issue.

Two major things I have concern with in there is:
1) why has there been a 24% increase in the public service
2) this is a great example of fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place (all the previous pay systems worked), and when it was obvious it wasn't working properly, doubling down on a failed system making the problems worse. Why hasn't anyone been fired for such a obvious failure? Why isn't anyone being held to account for such a waste of tax dollars and the potentially life ruining effects that this has had on some?
Because most of the senior Public Service mangers don't give a shit, they are to busy managing their own careers and more interested in appeasing the beast, than upsetting any applecarts. I seen a few that really do care, but most do not seem to.
 

Good2Golf

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The errors that remain aren't as egregious as they were in the early days of the system.

That's the mark of a quality system right there: ...not as egregious as earlier...
 

Colin Parkinson

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Pay errors happen no matter where you work. My workplace for example is particularly bad in ensuring you get your 8 hours stat holiday pay. The difference being that is corrected within a week or two when I bring it up, whereas this seems to be a chronic issue.

Two major things I have concern with in there is:
1) why has there been a 24% increase in the public service
2) this is a great example of fixing something that wasn't broken in the first place (all the previous pay systems worked), and when it was obvious it wasn't working properly, doubling down on a failed system making the problems worse. Why hasn't anyone been fired for such a obvious failure? Why isn't anyone being held to account for such a waste of tax dollars and the potentially life ruining effects that this has had on some?
Much of the increase was a reversal of the 'Work Force Adjustment" done under the CPC, which was starting to reverse under them as they realized they cut to much to quickly. plus the population of Canada has grown, leading to an increase in demand on services.

The pay systems were breaking and so was the electronic infrastructure supporting them. So lets load a all sing and dancing system onto something that was already wheezing.
 

daftandbarmy

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More ungood news:

Public servants express 'zero faith' in Phoenix damages claims process after long waits​

Some still waiting for money to compensate for severe hardships​

Federal public servants say they're frustrated and have lost faith in the compensation process set up to acknowledge their severe financial and personal hardships due to the government's troubled pay system.

Some employees say they're still affected by the Phoenix pay system, introduced more than six years ago, which has overpaid, underpaid and failed to pay many federal employees since.

The government then agreed to pay eligible employees $2,500 in general damages due to Phoenix as part of its 2019 and 2020 damages agreements with various unions.

CBC spoke with several current and former public servants, including some who did not want to speak publicly, who expressed frustrations over long wait times for compensation and delayed communications from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's claims team.

"I can't plan, I can't assume that I'm actually going to ever get paid from the government for what's owed to me," said Grant Dyck, a now-retired tax account examiner who has experienced pay discrepancies since he took various higher-paying acting roles at Canada Revenue Agency, as well as a disability leave, back in 2017.

 

Colin Parkinson

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Happened to my co-worker:
Department A has effed up your pay, it's also a unfun place to work, so you take a higher paying job at Department B. Department B asks Department A; "Is the HR file complete and without errors and all pay issues resolved?" Department A Says "No", Department B says; "We aren't paying him or touching his file till you sort out your shit". So employee is being paid at his previous rate, by Department A, while working at Department B. All leave and vaction has to be signed off by his current manager at Department B and HR at Department A. Department A won't prioritise the file because he is not in their office anymore. Department B has no incentive to bug A as they get employee without any HR work. Employee feels F**ked and it's only the extraordinary effort of his current manager (awesome guy) that keeps his morale up.

Pikes+heads of senior civil servants is the cure.
 

dapaterson

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My 6+ years and counting pension deduction error, flagged every year, has seen zero traction.

By incentivizing a 30 day standard, difficult files get pushed out again and again as once they pass 30 days there's nothing to motivate work on them - better to keep the under 30 stats up.
 

Good2Golf

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Yep. There was supposedly a big push to claw back overpayments that were about to roll over the 6 year mark but that’s about all I’ve seen on action.
One would expect that might include the annual performance bonus of the ADM in PWGSC that pushed Phoenix through without the appropriate small group Beta testing…but apparently not.
 

Good2Golf

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Without any end to end testing...
Yup, no Alpha testing, Beta testing, end-to-end testing….it’s not like software development is complicated, right. Who could have foreseen issues…other than the myriad of SMEs telling PWGSC and TBS, “Are you nuts?”
 

dapaterson

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Add to that terminating the majority of the experienced staff performing the function just before rolling out the new system.

Applying a GBA+ lens, it appears that a traditionally female dominated workforce was deemed expendable and unnecessary, resulting in a disastrous failure.
 

Gsc

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Hey everyone, I currently have a pay issue and was wondering if someone can point me in the right direction. \

I recently had my rank fixed from acting lacking to substantive. It was never suppose to be acting lacking and the error was fixed quickly. As a result though on my next pay stub all my pay since 2019 was taken back and then paid back at the exact same rate (obviously) resulting in a total amount of $0.00 in the pay and adjustments category. (that's correct as my pay stayed the exact same)

The issue now is that I was recharged federal Tax on all the repayments but not given a credit back for the federal tax paid over the years, now my closing balance is a negative FIVE FIGURE number and the amount of federal tax I have paid is approaching almost the full amount I paid over all last year. Does any have any advice?

Thanks
 

daftandbarmy

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One would expect that might include the annual performance bonus of the ADM in PWGSC that pushed Phoenix through without the appropriate small group Beta testing…but apparently not.

Add to that terminating the majority of the experienced staff performing the function just before rolling out the new system.

Applying a GBA+ lens, it appears that a traditionally female dominated workforce was deemed expendable and unnecessary, resulting in a disastrous failure.

In Love Reaction GIF by Searchlight Pictures
 

SeaKingTacco

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Hey everyone, I currently have a pay issue and was wondering if someone can point me in the right direction. \

I recently had my rank fixed from acting lacking to substantive. It was never suppose to be acting lacking and the error was fixed quickly. As a result though on my next pay stub all my pay since 2019 was taken back and then paid back at the exact same rate (obviously) resulting in a total amount of $0.00 in the pay and adjustments category. (that's correct as my pay stayed the exact same)

The issue now is that I was recharged federal Tax on all the repayments but not given a credit back for the federal tax paid over the years, now my closing balance is a negative FIVE FIGURE number and the amount of federal tax I have paid is approaching almost the full amount I paid over all last year. Does any have any advice?

Thanks
Doesn’t sound like a Phoenix issue (That is the public service pay system). More like CCSP or RPSR. Or operator error on the part an HRA.
 
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