Official warns more civil servants could see ‘low pay or no pay’ over Christmas


OTTAWA — Federal government managers are being warned of a possible surge in emergency pay requests from civil servants over the holidays after a new glitch was discovered in the troubled Phoenix pay system.

Managers were to receive lists of “low pay or no pay employees” by today after a memo went out earlier this week from a senior government officials.

It came after problems were discovered in processing pay requests for the final payday of the year, Dec. 27.

Officials say some transactions entered into the Phoenix system in early November weren’t processed, creating a new backlog of problem files.

That prompted Les Linklater, an associate deputy minister at Public Works and Government Services Canada, to call for managers to reach out to employees who may need emergency money over the holidays.

Public Services says the problem, which it blames on both technical and human errors, has been resolved, but some civil servants have already reported receiving pay stubs that are short of what they’re owed.

The auditor general last month reported about 150,000 government workers — or about half the federal civil service — have been affected by the Phoenix fiasco, either by being underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all.

The government has warned it could cost upwards of $1 billion to stabilize the pay system and fix it.

The Canadian Press