Scrap Phoenix, feds urged

One of the country's biggest civil service unions is calling on the Trudeau Liberals to completely scrap the problem-plagued civil service pay system known as Phoenix and start over from scratch.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada says, after nearly two years of promises to fix Phoenix, government workers have had enough.

PIPSC president Debi Daviau says 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 it was launched in April 2016.

Shortly after Phoenix went online, thousands of civil servants began reporting that they had been underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all — and in many cases, the problems extended over months at a time.

The automated system, designed to streamline the government's antiquated, largely paper-based pay system, was supposed to save Ottawa about $70 million per year.

Instead, the government has earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars to fix it, even as a pay system backlog grows larger.

Over the weekend, the minister responsible for the pay system said she could not guarantee the ultimate cost of rectifying the problems wouldn't reach $1 billion.

The Senate has already set out to find a replacement system to pay its own employees.

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