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Negotiations with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are back on next week. The parties will be at the bargaining table from February 28 to March 2 in Ottawa.

Our team is looking forward to moving the bargaining process along, in light of the PSAC agreements just reached with Treasury Board.

Stay informed: sign up for bargaining updates and make sure your membership information is up to date.

This is a very sad anniversary for public service workers. A year ago, the Liberal government began its rollout of Phoenix, the consolidated payroll system for the federal public service.

Since then, thousands of workers have been paid incorrectly or, in some cases, not at all. This has caused financial hardship and stress for these workers. And many more worry every pay day if they will be the next victim of the Phoenix debacle.

The Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act fails to protect whistleblowers from reprisals, and is incapable of punishing those who retaliate against whistleblowers for coming forward.

“Workers are reluctant to come forward, and when they do, they often experience great sacrifice in their personal and work lives,” said PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President Larry Rousseau. “This sends a powerful message to others to remain silent.”

On February 22, the federal government provided an update on the Phoenix pay system. To ensure that public service workers receive the correct information, they encouraged all workers impacted by Phoenix to wait until February 28 to print their tax slips. After that, employees are to file their taxes as usual.

As tax season approached, PSAC foresaw more issues with Phoenix coming. We told the government to have a clear process in place. Because of this pressure, and meetings we had with the government, they are now prepared to issue amended tax slips as needed. The Canada Revenue Agency has also made an online Questions and Answers (Q&A) available, as well as a dedicated telephone support line.

On the first anniversary of Phoenix, the three largest federal public service unions are urging the government to include a $75 million Phoenix contingency fund in the upcoming federal budget.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), and the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) say the funds are critical to help ensure federal public service workers are paid correctly and on-time.

“Our members are growing increasingly frustrated with this situation. If departments don’t have the proper resources, pay problems will never be resolved,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC National Executive Vice-President. “The solution to the Phoenix debacle needs to go beyond the technological fixes. This fund will broaden the capacity of departments to address the challenges they are facing as a result of the new pay system.”