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Give us 1 year and we'll build a better pay system, union urges federal government

Give us 1 year and we'll build a better pay system, union urges federal government
From CBC - November 14, 2017

Give us a year, and we will build a working replacement for the trouble-plagued Phoenix pay system, one of the country's biggest civil service unions told the Trudeau Liberals on Tuesday.

Tired of months of repeated promises that the system's shortcomings would be fixed soon, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) wants the government to scrap the system and start over almost from scratcha call the government is not dismissing out of hand.

"After nearly two years of problems with IBM's Phoenix pay system, our members have lost confidence in the promise of fixing Phoenix," union president Debi Daviau said Tuesday.

"Despite all efforts to fix Phoenix, the number of open cases of pay problems has grown to 330,000 as of October 2017with no end in sight," said Daviau.

"Enough is enough."

Her union represents about 50,000 federal employees.

Daviau said the government's own IT professionals are more than capable of building a new system to end the pay crisis that has gripped federal employees since Phoenix was launched in April 2016.

It should take roughly a year to build and properly test a new system, based on Oracle's PeopleSoft human resources management software, Daviau told a news conference, although she could not provide a cost estimate for the project.

"We already have the expertise and the people within the federal public service capable of designing and building it," she said. "They just need the opportunity to do so."

'Finding a permanent solution'

The call was supported by the opposition New Democrats and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, by far the largest civil service union with 180,000 government employees on its rolls.

"We welcome any system that would pay our members," PSAC national president Robyn Benson said in a statement, adding that her union was prepared to work with PIPSC to ensure a new system could be administered smoothly.

"If Phoenix has taught us anything, we know that any system will require thorough consultations and testing," said Benson.

Costs to hit $1B?

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