Author Topic: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible  (Read 17052 times)

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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Public Service Pay System
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2016, 12:23:23 »
PSPC has quietly set up a web page to provide updateson addressing pay issues.  It's at: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/paye-centre-pay/mise-a-jour-phenix-phoenix-updates-eng.html
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Public Service Pay System
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2016, 13:06:14 »
PSPC has quietly set up a web page to provide updateson addressing pay issues.  It's at: http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/remuneration-compensation/paye-centre-pay/mise-a-jour-phenix-phoenix-updates-eng.html


Yay!  Success!  PSPC AND SSC on the issue!   Green square on a status dashboard!  Huzzah!!!

What we've heardWhat we've doneProgress made
Performance issues in some departments to authorize large number of transactions in Phoenix.      
PSPC and Shared Services Canada are reviewing to fix urgently.
Resolved.



   ::)

Offline blackberet17

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Re: Public Service Pay System
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2016, 13:35:52 »
Jesus help us. Shared Services? Almost as dysfunctional and poorly initiated as...well, PSPC.
« Ne vous occupez pas d'eux; ils ne savent pas tirer. [...] Il y a des ennemis devant nous, derrière nous et sur nos flancs. Il ne reste qu'une place sans danger, soit vers l'objectif. » Paul Triquet, VC

Offline marinemech

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Re: Public Service Pay System
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2016, 12:25:59 »
Spoke to my Friend in Miramichi, and he says some Manager have just walked out(never to return) and dumped it onto their subordinates. Internally they are trying to see if they can start trying to migrate small groups at a time to the old system without approval from higher up as they see it as a more productive use of their time. Says every Third file he comes across is screwed up; and one in 20 are so bad no one wants to touch them (being the employee owes the government thousands in over payments or people are owed thousands in payments)   

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2016, 11:10:54 »
OK!  Let's "PASS THE BUCK":

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

Quote
Lack of training, not Phoenix, responsible for pay issues, tribunal hears
Ashley Burke · CBC News 

Union accuses senior official of 'blaming everybody else, except the pay system itself'

A senior official responsible for rolling out the federal government's Phoenix payroll system told a labour tribunal Wednesday the issues that led to pay problems for some 80,000 employees are due to a lack of training, not the software itself.

"As long as people enter [information] wrong, it will be wrong. It could be wrong ten years from now," testified Rosanna Di Paola, the associate assistant deputy minister responsible for the federal government's Phoenix pay system.

"To do it over again, I would have made training absolutely mandatory," she said.

"We underestimated the time it took people to adapt to the new technology. The learning curve just seemed to be much longer that we expected."

Di Paola was testifying at the Public Service Labour Relations Employment Board tribunal hearing concerning the Public Service Alliance of Canada's complaint that the government broke the law by not paying public servants accurately or on time due to the Phoenix pay system fiasco.

Since the new Phoenix payroll system "went live" in February, more than 80,000 public servants have been underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all.

But Di Paola testified that the Phoenix technology isn't to blame.

"You may have heard 80,000 people are having pay problems. Those are not Phoenix-related issues," testified Di Paola. "What those 80,000 employees had are cases or pay requests for — acting

[pay], overtime, increment requests — at the pay centre that we hadn't gotten to in a timely fashion."  Rosanna Di Paola
Rosanna Di Paola is the associate assistant deputy minister responsible for the federal government's Phoenix pay system
Her department identified two root causes for the issues.

"The information is not being entered into the departmental HR system in a timely way or correct way," said Di Paola. "The second root cause we found is the processing time in Miramichi has been slower than expected."

Di Paola says four satellite pay centres were opened to deal with the backlog of pay requests and ease up the workload at the Miramichi pay centre.

Payroll and HR now linked

Before Phoenix, if human resources staff didn't input data into the system in a timely or accurate matter, it didn't affect employees pay. Di Paola says a separate department would duplicate that work and enter the information into its payroll system for workers to get their pay cheques.

The biggest change with Phoenix is that HR and payroll are now integrated. HR staff must input the data, it flows into Pheonix, and Phoenix pays it out, explained Di Paola.

Di Paola testified that for the past three years she warned HR departments "just how critical their work had now become" and "would bring this point home" at monthly meetings with the HR council.

"Once we're integrated what they do in HR is really crucial because it could mean that employees don't get paid or don't get paid correctly," Di Paola said she told HR staff.

Di Paolo said she didn't have the authority to make training mandatory.

Each deputy head for the 101 departments that transitioned to Phoenix had to decide if the training was mandatory or not. Most opted it wasn't, she said. Compensation advisors were the only staff that had to carry-out instructor-lead training.

The rest could access the Canada School of Public Service and take the web-based training. Di Paola said she also provided some departments with a CD with all the training modules so they could make them available on the department's own servers.

Public servants returning from disability leave had issues

As well, she pointed to a wiki for the government of Canada where they posted dozens of documents such as tips and trick on how to do things for managers, HR staff, and compensation advisors in Phoenix.

Di Paolo said that if she could "do it over again" she would have worked with the deputy minister and her deputy colleagues to make training mandatory for all users.

Di Paolo also said people returning from disability leave had troubles getting the accurate pay because they weren't filling out their timecards properly.

"[In] many cases there was a little education on part of the department to let them know about their gradual return to work. If they can only work a day, they need to put in their time or they don't get paid."

Prior to Phoenix employees would fill out paper timecards to get paid and a compensation advisor would key it into the system, she said. Phoenix moved the process online, but Di Paolo said training is also online and available.

The union that launched the labour complaint was "embarrassed" by "Di Paola's testimony and called parts of it "deplorable."

"It's embarrassing," said Chris Aylward, the national vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

"We have the manager responsible for the implementation of a new pay system who is basically blaming everybody else, except the pay system itself."

"80,000 people didn't input their information properly — I find that very hard to believe," he said. "And there is no problem with the pay system — I find that extremely hard to believe."

"She even went as far as to blame people coming back from disability," added Aylward."That's unconscionable. How can you blame the victims because they're not getting paid. That is totally unacceptable. She is failing to acknowledge any of the issues."

Claims process to compensate workers for out-of-pocket expenses

The Treasury Board Secretariat is launching a claims process sometime this week to reimburse public servants for out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the Phoenix problems, the tribunal also heard Wednesday.

"A claimant can complete their claim by going to the web site, filling out the form...including receipts that should be attached to rationalize or explain the expenses they have occurred," said Renée Lafontaine, who is in charge of setting up the office.

"We have set up an operational claims officer in each department to guide them through and help them complete the claim."

LaFontaine testified that the main priority is to make sure workers across the federal government are all treated equally and reimbursed in the same way,

For most straight-forward claims under $500, workers will be paid out immediately by an operational claims officer in each department.

More complicated claims will be sent to the Treasury Board Secretariat's claims office and may take longer for reimbursement.

Out-of-pocket expenses include interest that accumulated on credit cards, loans, or lines of credit because workers weren't getting paid properly, as well as any interest paid because employees had to withdraw investments.

LaFontaine said the government at this point will not be reimbursing people for items they can't prove with a receipt. For example, if a child couldn't attend summer camp, or a worker missed out on an investment opportunity because of the Phoenix pay problems.

Closing arguments will be delivered Thursday in front of the Public Service Labour Relations Employment Board. It could take the board three months or more to make its decision.


More on LINK.

NOTE:  This page is a work in progress, so CBC will be amending it from time to time.
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Offline Lumber

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2016, 11:33:08 »
OK!  Let's "PASS THE BUCK":

Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

More on LINK.

NOTE:  This page is a work in progress, so CBC will be amending it from time to time.

Quote
"She even went as far as to blame people coming back from disability," added Aylward."That's unconscionable. How can you blame the victims because they're not getting paid. That is totally unacceptable. She is failing to acknowledge any of the issues."

FFS, just because you're disabled doesn't mean you are incapable of making mistakes.

In the reserve world, if someone didn't get paid because they didn't fill out a pay sheet, that's not the problem of the pay office, the pay mangers, or the pay system (RPSR); the problem is with the member not filling out their damn pay sheet!

Now, I do agree that the AADM is passing the buck on way too much. If we never bothered to even tell our newest recruits that to get paid they need to fill out a pay sheet, than that's a problem with leadership and the chain of command; but, it's still not a problem with the pay system itself. However, if you're going to be instituting a brand new pay system, that the people in charge of that pay system really REALLY need to drive home the teaching points.

Sadly, it sounds like this Chris Aylward won't be happy with any finding of the tribunal unless it results in heads rolling, and I feel the public mob is the same way.
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2016, 12:05:20 »
As a user of the system, I have the following observations:

1.  Information is not presented in ways that is usable.  For example, most public servants are paid annual rates of pay.  The pay statements from Phoenix do not show that information; rather, they show bi-weekly rates, which must be multiplied by 26.088 to figure out the annual rate.

2.  Year to date information only appears on the most recent pay statement.  Should you choose to access a historical pay statement, YTD information is not shown.  It is odd that pay statements show different information depending on when you access them.

3.  There is no explanation of transactions on your pay.  One would think that a new pay rate, or the cessation or commencement of an allowance would warrant a mention or explanation on the pay statement, but there is nothing shown.  The only solution is to call a pay advisors somewhere in New Brunswick, but since they do not answer calls but instead call back based on some system of triage, you're pretty much out of luck if you need an explanation of something on your pay.

4.  Pay calculations are incorrect.  A few examples: I have seen people paying into the wrong pension accounts; people having double pension payments charged on current service; people having acting pay rates miscalculated - even to the point of being paid rates of pay that don't exist; and people having pension contributions withheld from a retroactive payment, but then not having that retroactive payment paid out.

5.  The training materials showed a different system configuration from the live system.  This has been corrected somewhat, but it was initially quite disconcerting to have key links from the training materials not existing in the production system.


Any system is not merely software - it's people, processes, information and systems coming together to deliver an effect.  It's clear that PSPC had a narrow focus on computer systems, and did not give a great deal of attention to other areas of the federal payroll system.  Data integrity is always an issue in migrating between computer systems; again, from the public testimony, it does not appear that any particular attention or effort was made to clean up the data before going live.
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Offline Colin P

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #32 on: September 15, 2016, 14:44:47 »
From many years ago, one of our seaman had fiscal issues when he mentioned that $600 every 2 weeks was not enough, we said "you should be getting $960 every 2 weeks". Digging through the codes we realized he was getting dinged for both BC and Quebec tax at the same time, for over a year. When we complained to compensation they tried berating him for showing us his paystub. He finally got a big payback, but seriously not doing their job and getting mad when people complain. I see that attitude still runs through them to the top.
I hope these people that get screwed on pay and get reimbursed over the next calendar year demand amended T4's.

Offline NSDreamer

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #33 on: September 15, 2016, 16:53:01 »
I have zero faith these days when it comes to it, I'm now responsible for over a hundred civilians and have been dealing with it for months and 99% of time the only thing I can tell them is to pray.

With the start of GWCC starting, I'm actually counselling people not to make pay deductions because the best phoenix people can tell us is they think they can have it working for charity deductions in December, maaaybe January.

This has been a pretty demoralizing thing :(
Something relatively witty.

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2016, 17:45:39 »
Very weak showing by senior PS leadership... :not-again:

Maybe one day EX-04/EX-05s will accept some responsibility...this is a poor showing indeed.  Perhaps is EX-level public servants had PMA's that could actually result in negative bonuses (aka 'penalties'), they would accept greater responsibility in return for their $150K+ salaries?

G2G

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2016, 21:18:49 »
Very weak showing by senior PS leadership... :not-again:

Maybe one day EX-04/EX-05s will accept some responsibility...this is a poor showing indeed.  Perhaps is EX-level public servants had PMA's that could actually result in negative bonuses (aka 'penalties'), they would accept greater responsibility in return for their $150K+ salaries?

G2G

I can see a form letter that PS staff might use to deluge their MPs and MLAs... but hey, that's just me....
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Colin P

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2016, 10:34:35 »
Very weak showing by senior PS leadership... :not-again:

Maybe one day EX-04/EX-05s will accept some responsibility...this is a poor showing indeed.  Perhaps is EX-level public servants had PMA's that could actually result in negative bonuses (aka 'penalties'), they would accept greater responsibility in return for their $150K+ salaries?

G2G

Not really seeing any leadership on the issue, panic running around in circles and finger pointing

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2016, 11:17:05 »
Not really seeing any leadership on the issue, panic running around in circles and finger pointing

I don't know who didn't get the training, but I can tell you that the training (PS' own online training) that I took as a military manager of server public servants and that the PS employees themselves undertook, appeared more than sufficient for them to be capable of keeping an eye on their pay...if they actually were payed.  There is an issue here more of the responsible organizations (PWGSC/PSPC) appearing to not have properly planned, tested and implemented the roll-out and integration of Phoenix into the PS HR/pay system.  For some very senior leaders to say "it was HR operators' faults for not inputting things in correctly" shows a complete lack of accountability by leadership, even at this late date well into a very problematic implementation, for the problems.  I bet you there would be more demonstrable action if may of these EX-level leaders' own pay was being impacted the way the rank and file has been.

:not-again:

G2G

Offline SupersonicMax

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2016, 11:51:52 »
I hope those responsible (at all levels) are held accountable for the botched implementation and fired.  The incentive not to do sub-par should be that you get to keep your job.  Bonuses should be kept for the ourstanding and above/beyond kind of work. 

Offline CountDC

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2016, 15:29:56 »
lol - more likely promoted and given bonuses. 
"When the power of love, overcomes the love of power....the world will know peace" - Jimi Hendrix [1942-1970]

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2016, 15:46:10 »
I hope those responsible (at all levels) are held accountable for the botched implementation and fired.  The incentive not to do sub-par should be that you get to keep your job.  Bonuses should be kept for the ourstanding and above/beyond kind of work.

I imagine their bonus' for getting the number of subordinates contributing to the Unite Way is greatly affected, as well.
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Offline CTD

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #41 on: September 19, 2016, 01:16:19 »



In the reserve world, if someone didn't get paid because they didn't fill out a pay sheet, that's not the problem of the pay office, the pay mangers, or the pay system (RPSR); the problem is with the member not filling out their damn pay sheet!

In the Reserve world it was not unheard of to not be paid for six months when you first joined up. Lots of excuses but little action. It was also not un common to go on a Class B contract and be paid incorrectly or not for a few pay periods. The same for a Class C Reservist. The system always fell back on to the "it is up to the individual Soldier to ensure their pay s correct".  fair enough. I remember argueing with the Orderly room, I had a Soldier not paid for 2 months, they blamed him for the lack of pay. Turns out a Clerk messed up the paper work. Yet it was the Soldiers fault.

This is how they have always done things. If a Clerk messes up very little to nothing is done to discipline the person. Yet it is the individual who suffers the mess up.

To be honest if you have Soldiers not signing a pay sheet who are in attendance it tells me that your not doing doing Roll call at the start of training. I always made sure my Troops signed the pay sheet. I also made sure I dealt with pay issues quickly and always went to the IC and demanded immediate results.

I have to think the new pay system for the public service is having issues with more then the individual is not doing it correctly. The truth will be some where between blame the individual for the problem and blame the Supervisor. With little to no blame on the program itself.








Offline Lightguns

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #42 on: September 19, 2016, 06:50:21 »
"To do it over again, I would have made training absolutely mandatory," she said.

So they took surplus employees from another government software boondoggle, The Firearms Program, AND put them to work in the new pay system AND didn't think they needed mandatory training in one of the most illiterate areas of Atlantic Canada. 
Done, 34 years, 43 days complete, got's me damn pension!

Offline MCG

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #43 on: September 19, 2016, 07:52:53 »
Looks like government is winning the image game with this.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trudeau-meeting-constituency-office-1.3766790

At least, this time they did.

Offline gryphonv

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #44 on: September 19, 2016, 09:13:43 »
Good on the PM. But he still made sure to get some photos.

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #45 on: September 19, 2016, 11:08:46 »
I have to think the new pay system for the public service is having issues with more then the individual is not doing it correctly. The truth will be some where between blame the individual for the problem and blame the Supervisor. With little to no blame on the program itself.

The website is not user-friendly. It is user-belligerent. It must have cost a lot more money to design something that hideous.

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #46 on: September 19, 2016, 11:09:30 »
Good on the PM. But he still made sure to get some photos.

Priorities...

Offline NSDreamer

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #47 on: September 19, 2016, 14:39:17 »
I don't know who didn't get the training, but I can tell you that the training (PS' own online training) that I took as a military manager of server public servants and that the PS employees themselves undertook, appeared more than sufficient for them to be capable of keeping an eye on their pay...if they actually were payed.

I have to think the new pay system for the public service is having issues with more then the individual is not doing it correctly. The truth will be some where between blame the individual for the problem and blame the Supervisor. With little to no blame on the program itself.


Right so, as a military manager, and keep in mind I am accountable for over a hundred civilians, I was in NO way adequately trained.

If you had 9-5 Civilian employees with no special things on their file you might be lucky. I had people returning from sick leave who just never got added to phoenix, and so were never paid. I had people who were on variable shifts whose entire schedule kept getting reverted to 1 hour a week no matter how many times we changed it back. I had no ability to enter into Phoenix and had to do everything through pay compensation enquiry system whose online documented processes are far from complete which leads to multiple submissions for the same file. I, and my staff, spent literal days as in periods collected equalling greater then 48 hours on the phone with their people, the pay office, the enquiry people, phoenix and eventually the treasury board.

Please do not deflect this on management, or on the civilians. Yes, some people could probably have done better, but this was an extremely poorly executed move. When the pay centre begged the government to stop transferring files 4 months after launch, the department ignored it and transferred 80 000 more. My team has been furious because they have being told there is nothing they can do and its a waiting game as we have members who are simply not being paid. It also doesn't help that when we issue the Emergency pays, we are being told they will all be deducted off the first normal pay rather then being spread out. So if 3 months of emergency pay comes off your first pay all at once you get paid an amazing 0$ again as the back pay will apparently be coming separately.

Don't get me starting on leave with income averaging folks being screwed over with clawbacks...

Right...getting worked up /end rant
Something relatively witty.

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2016, 16:27:04 »
Not to mention the hash that Phoenix has done on MATA/PATA benefits. Not only is messing with new parents wholly loathsome, but screwing with people's pay and benefits based on their family status is probably in violation of the Canadian Human Rights Act.


Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Phoenix Pay System - crap's Horrible
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2016, 17:42:37 »
Right so, as a military manager, and keep in mind I am accountable for over a hundred civilians, I was in NO way adequately trained.

If you had 9-5 Civilian employees with no special things on their file you might be lucky. I had people returning from sick leave who just never got added to phoenix, and so were never paid. I had people who were on variable shifts whose entire schedule kept getting reverted to 1 hour a week no matter how many times we changed it back. I had no ability to enter into Phoenix and had to do everything through pay compensation enquiry system whose online documented processes are far from complete which leads to multiple submissions for the same file. I, and my staff, spent literal days as in periods collected equalling greater then 48 hours on the phone with their people, the pay office, the enquiry people, phoenix and eventually the treasury board.

Please do not deflect this on management, or on the civilians. Yes, some people could probably have done better, but this was an extremely poorly executed move. When the pay centre begged the government to stop transferring files 4 months after launch, the department ignored it and transferred 80 000 more. My team has been furious because they have being told there is nothing they can do and its a waiting game as we have members who are simply not being paid. It also doesn't help that when we issue the Emergency pays, we are being told they will all be deducted off the first normal pay rather then being spread out. So if 3 months of emergency pay comes off your first pay all at once you get paid an amazing 0$ again as the back pay will apparently be coming separately.

Don't get me starting on leave with income averaging folks being screwed over with clawbacks...

Right...getting worked up /end rant

NSDreamer, I had a small number of PS civilians with established career streams and no exceptional elements to their pay situation, so I think that my training (yes, it was not anywhere near the most comprehensive on-line training I've ever taken) was sufficient to understand the transition overall and more importantly to have a rapport with my civilian team members.  That said, the fact that I and every other military manager had no direct visibility to our civilian subordinates' specifics because we did not have a PRI, and thus not electronically 'engagable' in the case of any Phoenix system is but one of the overall issues with the roll-out.

I find it deplorable that executives are trying to portray mis-management on the part of users, managers and HR operators, while the executives, "upon reflection" might have considered (more involved) training as mandatory...  ::)  Jeez, ya think???  :not-again:

I also find it strange that the executives say it's only a training challenge, yet in the next breath, note how the Phoenix will need $50M at least, to fix the system.  Those two positions are pretty much diametrically opposed, IMO.

I hope that the Public Service Labour Relations Board tribunal was not as far as the senior PSPC leadership is going to be "held to account"...

:2c:

Regards,

G2G