Hundreds of federal government workers affected by the problematic Phoenix pay system went to downtown Ottawa on Thursday, urging the government to accelerate efforts to finally repair the system.
With posters to read things like "would you work for free?", "Burned by phoenix" and "three years too long", the protesters began their day outside the federal building at 340 Laurier St. W. before heading off The Prime Minister's offices were in Wellington and Elgin streets, across from Parliament Hill.
The march closed several streets, including Laurier Avenue between Bank Street and Kent Street, at about 7:30.
Canadian President of the Canadian State Public Service, Chris Aylward, said the demonstration was necessary to put pressure on the government to add resources and focus on resolving Phoenix's problems. He also called on the government to pay compensation to employees who have faced problems due to the failed Phoenix wage project.
"We are here to send the message that this government must invest more resources in the correction of Phoenix and compensate our members for the stress they have experienced over the last three years," said Aylward. "The whole thing with Phoenix, in the last three years, Payday payday, whether you've been hit or not, you're still waking up and wondering if I'll get paid this week." They had this stress. We ask this government to contact us now and compensate our members for the stress. "
Aylward also called for more resources to deal with the backlog of payment issues since 2006. He said that until the backlog is removed, the government can not replace Phoenix with a new payment system.
This month, three years have passed since the introduction of Phoenixwhich has led to more than half of federal employees being overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all.
The government has slowly reduced the massive backlog of issues, but at least 235,000 transactions remained incomplete on January 23, according to the latest public information dashboard.
One of the staff involved is Alan Craig, who holds the presidency of the Conseil Regional Action Politique de l 'Outaouais at PSAC.
Craig said he marched early Thursday because he wants to see the system repaired. An incident in Phoenix saw him overpaid. In dealing with the problem, the government removed the taxes from the net sum of the overpayment and essentially forced him to pay that income twice.
"I had to do a lot for someone to help me fix my problem. It was solved. But it took a long time, "he said.
The government has admitted that there has been some confusion over overpayments where one worker receives more than he owes and how he is repaid.
Last month, the finance department announced a bill on how overpayments are handled and what taxes should be paid by those affected.
ALSO IN THE NEWS:
The police consider Nepean High School a fool
"Me and my staff have always acted appropriately" with SNC-Lavalin: Trudeau
City Council says the city is not in a position to complain to the proposed "ugly" neighbors, the neighbors complain as too big