Jul 18, 2016

By Christine Ross

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The federal government has apologized for a mammoth problem with its new pay system that has forced some of its employees into dire financial straits. It started with trickle of technical glitches when the government brought the new Phoenix pay program online several months ago — but problems quickly began to snowball. The government is exploring ways it can compensate employees for out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the pay predicament, such as reimbursements for bank fees and credit card charges.Chris Aylward, vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada,calls it a `national disgrace`. About 720 public servants — mostly new hires and students — have not received pay. Another 1,100 have not received paternal, long-term disability or severance payments, while more than 80,000 employees entitled to pay for extra duties, over-time or pay adjustments have had problems.Federal officials have promised to work around the clock to fix the failed system. A dozen unions representing federal workers have already filed a notice of application in Federal Court to force the government to pay its employees properly and on time. Aylward said that court action will proceed.

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