Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
February 28, 2018


Sisters, brothers and friends,

Two years ago today, after laying off countless pay and compensation advisors, the federal government launched the Phoenix pay system in a misguided effort to save the government $70 million a year. Instead, it is costing taxpayers over a billion dollars to fix this disastrous pay system and has caused misery and heartache for thousands upon thousands of dedicated federal public sector workers and their families.

Last fall, CEIU members decided that enough was enough. Tired of the lies and empty promises about Phoenix, we came together as a union to discuss what we wanted done about the problem.

In nationwide live chats and webinars last week, CEIU members came up with two clear demands: an end to Phoenix alongside the development of a new pay system, and the hiring of as many pay staff as required to ensure that all federal public workers are paid accurately and on-time.

We also devised an battle plan of escalating actions we were prepared to take to pressure the employer – the Liberal government – until they caved and accepted our demands. Hundreds of CEIU members took the pledge to take the actions required to do this.

We hit the floor running and had a parliamentary petition up with our demands immediately. Within one day of that petition going live, we reached the number of signatures required to ensure that Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough would be obligated to respond to our demands in Parliament.

Yesterday, the Liberal government announced in their budget statement that they would be meeting our exact demands. They are investing in the development of a new pay system. In the interim, they will be hiring many more pay staff.

The result? Thanks to our collective efforts we are finally investing in a new pay system!

While it is tempting to do a victory lap now, we know that nothing is over until Phoenix is a bad memory. There is still no timeline for when the additional Pay staff will be hired. There is still no timeline for when Phoenix will be shut down. There’s still no clear commitment to having federal public workers build the new pay system instead of farming that work out to a private company and repeating the Phoenix disaster again. The employer is still demanding that workers who received an overpayment return the gross amount instead of the net amount they actually received. The employer still refuses to compensate victims of Phoenix for the financial and other damage done to them. So while 18,000 CEIU members should take a bow for helping put us on the path to bring an end to Phoenix agony, we must stay alert and hold the Liberal government to the promises they made today. We’ll stay vigilant until we know that Phoenix is finished and won’t be rising up again. This is why it’s important to all CEIU members to sign our Phoenix parliamentary petition (LINK HERE) and pledge to take whatever action is required to hold the employer to their promises.

We want to say how very proud we are of all of you for coming together to articulate our desires and demands and then taking immediate and effective action to make them reality. This is how any Union should operate. CEIU leads the way!

We can’t wait to flex our muscles again as we collectively win more victories for all 18,000 of us. Thank you one and all for making us prouder than ever to be CEIU.

In Solidarity,

Eddy Bourque
National President

Crystal Warner
National Executive Vice-President

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