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Federal employees to rally in Calgary over troubled pay system

Federal employees part of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) are holding a rally in Calgary on Wednesday to voice their continued concerns with the government’s pay system.

PSAC says the Phoenix pay system the government uses to pay federal employees hasn’t had a single pay period where it was able to pay accurately or on time.

“Every single pay week employees in the federal government are panicking and checking their pay stubs to see if they are going to get paid,” said Marianne Hladun, PSAC’s regional executive vice-president of the Prairies.

The pay system was implemented in 2016, with this week being the eighth anniversary of its launch.

The original goal was to save money by consolidating pay systems from more than 45 different government departments — but federal public service members say it’s been years of constant issues, causing stress and anxiety, paycheque after paycheque.

The union claims overpayments and underpayments, missed wages, delayed retirement severance and botched pay grades have impacted more than half of all federal public service workers.

PSAC says its received more than 444,000 complaints about the system and the standard waiting period for payroll problems to be addressed is usually two years.

The Government of Canada did give some compensation to employees in 2019 and 2020 for the issues, a move PSAC is calling for again.

The union is also calling on the government to stop asking for money back sent in error, as well as a national inquiry to be launched into the payment system.

“This blunder has cost tax payer $4 billion,” said Hladen. “Our members want an opportunity to sit in front of parliamentarians and tell them the impact that their decision has had on their families.”

The rally will take place at the Harry Hay’s building during lunch hour. Similar events are also taking place across the country.

CTV News has reached out to the federal government for comment on this story.

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