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Phoenix Pay Disaster: The heartbreaking and frustrating stories of federal public servants

It’s been a year since our first CTV News special on the Phoenix Pay Problems and we're working on another... exactly one year later.

We're asking why, after all this time, is it still unsolved.  We want to hear your stories and your experience of trying to get paid properly.

Send us your stories to

Phoenix: Pay System Under Fire | CTV News Ottawa

The minister responsible for the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system can't guarantee that the tab to get things under control won’t hit a billion dollars.


Your stories...

Hello, I was on your show last week with receiving a pay cheque for $22,000.00!!! I returned $12,269.00 last week as that is what I was told I owed back but, when I told the pay person I am positive I owe a lot more than that so, I suggested that I take out my normal pay and return the rest, she told me that Phoenix would not accept it and that perhaps I should contact Revenue Canada to see about giving them the money.

Well I contacted Revenue Canada (they have a special Phoenix group now)and she told me to not give them the money in case my employer figured out they were actually owed more and tried to claw that money back from me. She said to just put it in a separate bank account and wait until I file my taxes and then return it then?!!

The next day (the day after I appeared on CTV news) I got a call from a gentleman from the Pay Center in New Brunswick advising that I did owe more money to the government and asked that I call him back. I called him back and I now have been given an amount of $6900.00 additional dollars to return.

He told me that even the well experienced pay personnel had learning curves with the Phoenix system but, that once you know how to use it that it is a wonderful system. I'm now wondering if he is an employee of the company that created Phoenix?!

Another example in my office is that a co-worker is acting manager for 3 weeks and when he was told that they would put in for his acting pay he told them "no way" just leave my pay alone. I get my pay cheque every week and I am happy to just do the acting without the benefits! Believe me when I tell you this is not the first or second story of this kind that I have heard.

Another co-worker when on "Leave with Income Averaging" and they are still paying him his full pay. He has been putting $400 from every pay aside waiting for the Government to contact him for repayment. I got him on the phone with the gentleman from New Brunswick pay center who got another Pay Center person to contact my co-worker directly and they told him that it was too late to do the recovery and they figured out another way for him to return the funds but, honestly he was telling me everything involved and I just slap my hands to my face and shook my head at what an absolute mess it was. I couldn't even follow after a few minutes of what he was going to have to do!

Why isn't Prime Minister Trudeau doing something? This is ridiculous. We should all drop everything at our desks and march onto Parliament Hill and ask for his audience and his plan on rectifying this mess. WE ARE CANADIANS WORKING FOR THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT. WHEN IS THE GOVERNMENT GOING TO LOOK AFTER US? WE PAY TAXES THAT CERTAINLY HELP OTHERS! I'M AM THOROUGHLY DISGUSTED.


I am an employee of health Canada and been working for the public service for 8 years and have never seen such a nightmare. I truly sympathise with all public servant that are currently struggling financially due to all the pay issues from Phoenix. I personally was lucky to keep getting my regular pay; however thy owe me close to 6000$ in acting pay up to now and have never answered my numerous requests. But worries me the most right now, is that I am leaving on maternity leave in less then 2 months and still have not received any forms to fill out from pay Center and i am petrified of not being paid during my leave. We have purchased a new home, on top of the arrival of our first child and i cannot imagine not having income. It is causing me tremendous amount of anxiety and stress and I am so frustrated at whoever decided to switch to Phoenix system when our old system worked perfectly. We had personal compensation advisers who fixed pay issues within days or hours and now we have people not getting any pay. That is horrible. All this because the conservatives wanted to cut jobs and not listen that Phoenix was not ready to be put into place. Now who is going to pay for all these delays? Tax payer money, isn't that great. IF the situation goes on for much longer I think we can see some really bad things happening, so whoever is taking care of this should make sure this is resolved within the next weeks. Freaking put back our old system and hire back all the extraordinary compensation advisers we had before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


After 38 years of service I retired last March. Now 9 months later I am still waiting for my last pay cheque and my severance pay. While I understand my case doesn't have the same priority as those who are waiting for their pay, after 9 months one would assume their turn should be coming up soon. We spend our entire life planning for retirement, this planning included my severance pay (30 weeks of pay). When phoning the Pay Centre it's a waste of time, the employees answering the phone can't provide any information or guidance. Without success I have also complained to Treasury Board, on their website they have a pay complaint centre.

Currently my husband is battling cancer for the 2nd time in 3 years, needless to say I don'tneed to fight a battle for my money as well


I have refrained from sharing my story but after today's (14 Dec) update from the Deputy Minister, my confidence level that routine pay action requests (PAR) will be solved in the near future is very low.

I retired from the military in mid September and immediately started working as a public servant. From the beginning, my pay has been incorrect along with my vacation entitlements. These are not complex transactions that require manual manipulation to resolve. The system assigned me the starting salary level for my classification and failed to recognize previous military service in calculating my vacation entitlements. All of this information was provided in my letter of offer and the numerous forms that I was required to submit prior to joining the public service.

To date after 3 months, I have been underpaid by approximately $3700. I have submitted 3 PARs but Phoenix doesn't allow you to query the system for an update on when your issues will be resolved. Additionally, I am one of many newly hired public servants working for DND that are experiencing similar issues, which adds to the collective frustration that we all are experiencing.

I recognize that my situation is not dire when compared to others that have been aired. However, there are dozens of individuals that are quietly waiting for a simple resolution to be applied.


To date I have not been affected by Phoenix but am the only one in the row of 4 of us who has not yet been affected. The other 3 have been underpaid and overpaid and occurred after July One person continued being paid 4 months after resignation. Personally I expect to be affected in January as I retire the end of December. I have been contacting the call centre since October to ensure my paperwork is in order and have yet to receive a call back.

Paying the EX performance pay ahead of employees with problems is disgusting.

I feel bad for the employees of the Pay Centre as this is not their fault and they are continually in the hot seat.


I worked at DND for 2 back-back casuals finishing in May. I had an opportunity to move into a higher paying position and still haven't been paid for my acting duties from May 2016. Although I currently have an income to pay my mortgage, I did not anticipate this payment process to take this long (6 months). I sympathize with others who have had financial struggles because of this, especially before the holidays. The Phoenix Pay System should have been halted after the problems began with other departments. I have tried to call Phoenix but to no avail. I have also tried to contact my previous managers since I no longer work there but their hands are tied and cannot push the process. This is unacceptable! Once again, why would you have "fixed" something that wasn't broken?


Just another victim writing about Phoenix. I must say I am one of the fortunate victims as I am waiting for my severance pay since April. I feel very angry and frustrated for those who are not receiving regular pay. I cannot believe the government does not really understand how this is affecting their employees. Excuses and time delays and apologies are all they have to comment on.I agree with one writer who proposed all pay advisors refuse to work the system until it is fixed or replaced.But please don't refuse to work completely. The employees need you to action their cases manually.As for the employees I do not understand why they are not rebelling. If only ALL of them went to the press, stood together in public and shamed the government, I am sure the government would act quickly.Don't be afraid to go public because you are worried about losing your job or being blacklisted from further opportunities. I believe that would fall under harassment. And this is your livelihood and your ability to survive that is being ignored. Rise up and scream and yell! I am sure the special on CTV this evening will only relate the stories and no solutions. They claim the experts have answers. If I hear just one of them say to call any pay office I will scream. You cannot get through and when you do they have NO answers. Final suggestion: Let's not pay the members of parliament for six months and see what happens!!! Oh, forgot, they probably would be paid manually and on time!!!!


Was short changed in July for a couple of months. I received emergency pay for one pay period, then was finally given my regular pay. Today (last pay before Christmas) Phoenix clawed back the emergency pay so I have NOTHING for my last pay !


Summer students are getting ignored because we are back at school and do not have access to our pay stubs. I have been owed over $400 in overtime since June and still have not seen it. I also have yet to receive my last pay. As great as the FSWEP program is I almost wish I did not do it as all it has caused is stress. The whole summer all of my student co-wokers were paid wrong.


My benefits were never reactivated on my return from maternity leave. We are a family of 5 and unfortunately have unexpectedly incurred several medical and dental expenses over the past several months. We are close to paying 1000$ out of pocket. In addition, I am in constant worry with three young children about the lapse in my disability and life insurance. What tax payers may not realize is that these expenses will be recouped through treasury board (tax payers!) as opposed to being processed through the insurance company as they should have been.


I have been working contract to contract for the past 12 years in various Ministries within the Federal Government. I have never had a pay problem until Phoenix started... in April.

Since then, I never received my last 2 weeks' pay of 3 contracts (first contract ending in April, Second in June and 3rd early December) which is 1500$ each. Also, while working on a contract in Ottawa (and I live in Ottawa) Phoenix took Quebec taxes on all my pays through-out my contract, which they took close to $4000. I haven't seen a dime of that money yet.

Their website says that they will deal with "Terminations" within 21 business days of your departure. Which is wrong, I've been waiting since April. I have called them NUMEROUS times and open tickets with PAR forms. The status of those tickets since they received it to this day, hasn't changed.

When you start a contract, you have to wait a month to get your first pay and you never see the last pay from that department. How can a single income family (like myself) live like this?

My father has cancer and he's retired, which he doesn't receive much money to pay for his medication after he receives his pension. I financially help my parents but can't with no pay coming in.

How can they expect us to come to work if we can't even buy a bus pass to come to work everyday?


I was working for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada in Ottawa. One day my pay checque was about $1000.00 less than it should be. Digging deeper I found out that when they switched over to Pheonix, they had assumed I worked at head-office in Gatineau. So a significant amount of taxes specific to Quebec based employees was automatically deducted all at once, retroactively to when I started that contract earlier that year. I was finally able to get the compensation dept. to fix the issue, but they refused to pay back the amount that was wrongfully deducted. I got very little support from management and was told to fix it myself when I do my income tax. I still have no idea how to do that. They would not even tell me how. In their words "I'm not a tax expert". I don't think I will ever see that money that was taken from me. No one cares. They just want me and the problem to go away. Eventually management ignored me altogether. I could not get their attention. It's hard to put your heart into your work when all you can think of is if you will get paid.


I am thankful that my pay issue is relatively minor compared to so many others, but it is still incredibly frustrating to deal with these issues. My employment status recently changed from being a Term employee to Indeterminate and I was underpaid by over $700 on one of my pay checks. Thankfully, I began receiving my regular pay again on the following pay check, but it's been almost one month since I was underpaid and I still haven't seen that money that I owed deposited into my account.

What is even more frustrating, is the fact that I feel completely alone and like nobody can help me. There is no physical person that you can speak with about the pay issues. The call centre employees don't have access to your files or information and all they can do is forward your information to the pay centre. I have sent multiple PAR forms and Phoenix Feedback Forms with no responses whatsoever. I wish they hadn't fired all of those helpful and knowledgeable Compensation Advisors! I hope this mess of a pay system gets scrapped soon. Reading the stories from my fellow public servants on this page absolutely breaks my heart.


Both my wife and I are public servants, both of us have phoenix issues.

I retired in September and am owed $42,000 in severence, leave and final payment benefits. I feel lucky that my pension started just fine. I haven't even bothered to register a problem yet given the stories here. I'm hoping to get it all settled sometime before the end of the decade. I dread fighting for backpay once my 2 year out of date collective agreement is settled.

My wife started pre-retirement transition leave with reduced pay (60%) in September for the next 2 years. Of course phoenix set her start date 6 months earlier,reduced her pay 6 weeks before her actual start date and started recovery action for the other 4.5 months of "overpayment". Despite many calls and electronic trouble calls her issue has not even been registered in the system. I have no doubt that the phoenix case numbers are being purposely under represented.

This is an unmitigated disaster. Public servants need to launch a class action lawsuit. The sad thing is that there is no solution. The old system is gone, former compensation advisors WFA'd, Phoenix training is horrible, the system complex, poorly specified, difficult to navigate and requires constant inputs for every employee. Add government "centralization" and you have probably the worst pay system in Canadian history. I would guess that at least 50 % of federal employees have a pay issue.

As for Phoenix employees. Nothing but sympathy, God help them all. I'd have long ago gone on sick leave, quit, sent damning emails to DG's, and mailed dog excrement to phoenix project managers.


I feel terrible for all the people who are experiencing undue stress and financial hardship because of the Phoenix pay system. As a public servant in the national capital region, I'm also worried about the collateral damage Phoenix pay problems will cause to local charities.

The Government of Canada Workplace Charitable Campaign (GCWCC) raises money for United Way, Centraide and Health Partners through payroll deductions. For years, it's been an established and trusted way for employees at all pay levels to donate money to charity. Employees can subscribe electronically to have a specific amount deducted from each pay and allocated to the charities of their choice. The money comes off each pay cheque and the charitable deduction is recorded on their T4 at the end of the year. This makes it easy to give, lowers administrative costs (ensuring more goes directly to the charities), and doesn't leave employees scrambling for receipts at tax time.

Because of the extraordinary number of problems and horror storiess reported with the new pay system, people are afraid to make any change to their pay that might jeopardize their income for an undetermined period of time. Public servants will eventually get their payment due, however long it takes to resolve their case. There is no case number for the people and charities that depend on the GCWCC and go underfunded. Local charities won't get another kick at the can until the 2018 deductions start.

Info found at reporting on the results of the 2015 GCWCC: "When you add up all the donations from federal employees and retirees and all the money collected at bake sales and talent shows and other special events, from coast to coast to coast, it comes to an amazing $34.2M." I fear that the 2016 campaign contributions will be much lower. It might be a good idea to have a mid-year campaign to help charities to keep serving their clients, provided Phoenix is stabilized by then.


Have been shorted $425 a pay cheque since Mid May 2016. $6800 and counting. Have sent in multiple requests and called in 11 times. Now that there is actually someone to answer the call instead of a busy signal like there was before the summer, the call center staff aren't able to assist in any way other than create ticket which I can do myself (and have ignored).


I have transferred from the RCMP to DND on June 28th and have been double paid every pay period since then. I have contacted the Pay Office on many different occasions and was told someone would get back to me. Nothing yet and it's going on 6 months. I have been overpaid $15K so far and this will not be resolved before year end and this will affect my income tax return.


I worked for the fed gov for 35 years, 20 of which I was a Compensation Advidor. I worked in six different fed gov departments and on four different HR pay related systems all through the old RPS (regional online pay system).

I recently retired in June 2016, 10 months earlier than I had originally plan and actually took a reduction on my pension just so I wouldn't have to deal with the newly implemented Phoenix (so called) pay system anymore. It went live in April 2016 and after just a couple of weeks it was clear that the system had many issues that even the trainers and so called experts were not even able to figure out.

I feel for all the employees who are frustrated due to the system either under or overpaying them. Especially being underpaid at this time of the year.

People who have not had the "pleasure" of working with Pheonix are saying things like 'they just have to work through the bugs and things will eventually get better'! Hum having spoken with my past colleagues, things are not getting better and in some cases they are getting worse.

It's very sad to be put in a position of trying to do the job you used to be good at while having all the knowledge and experience of dealing with the over 10,000 rules and regulations relating to pay, leave without pay, medical and dental coverage, disability insurance, maternity & parental benefits, new hires (casual, short & long terms, indeterminate), people leaving due to either an end of term, transferring to another department, leaving to work outside the government or retiring and all the benefits relating to each individual situation. Providing the costumer service required to insure each case runs smoothly and having the satisfaction knowing you've done your job and have kept your clients happy and them having the security knowing a cheque will be deposited in their account in a timely manner. Then literally overnight having a system that "should" do all that we require it to do in order to maintain the level of costumer service and payments being issued as they "should" be.

I have the word "should" in quotation marks because during our training this word was used over and over again as the trainers had been working with the systems first in testing modules and then with the first release back in February 2016. It was know all that time that the system was not designed to do the numerous different intricate actions nore was it able to handle the thousands of transactions to be uploaded on a daily basis.

I understand employees frustrations with the outcome of the system not doing what it is supposed to but I am even more discusted with how Compensation Advisors had this system thrown at them and were pretty much told "you guys figure it out" because even the so called systems experts don't know what to do!

Compensation Advisors are being bullied and pushed to work with a system they have no control over. Put yourself in their position. Imagine being afraid to do what you used to do on a daily basis, because you just don't know what the system is going to spit out, or even when it is going to spit something out. And when it eventually does, it's not right so then you have to do other antiquated manual transactions to try to fix the mistakes Pheonix made.

Comp Advisors are part of the Administrative Services (AS) group not the Computer Services (CS) group.

Only my opinion but I think the only way the Powers that be will finally make a decision to scrap Pheonix is if ALL Compensation (Pay) Advisors walk off the job, refusing to be forced to figure out a system that never worked to begin with. It's costing way too much and is taking a toll on way too many people in so many ways. It's just sad.


My wife is on maternity leave but it took the Pay Centre about 5 months to stop her regular paycheck so that EI benefits could come in. Now benefit payments are coming in but no top up and my wife has been waiting for over 2 months for a phone call from the Pay Centre to make arrangement to pay back 5 months of salary that she shouldn't have received.

On my end, I took leave without pay when our child was born earlier this year. For some reason, they started paying me my full salary (instead of a reduced amount for the leave without pay) and an error in the system has caused significant overpayments into my account since the summer. I am paid on average over double my salary and after multiple calls to the Pay Centre and forms submitted, they have not stopped the overpayments or contacted me to arrange a repayment.

We're trying to stay positive (so many others are in such terrible situations compared to me) but the stress caused by this black box of a system with no support or information as to when things will be corrected are starting to weigh on my wife and I. I don't expect this to be fixed by Dec 31 so our taxes will be a mess.


I just have a comment. I am somewhat major pay issues..however..I sent a PAR for income averaging..should have started a month ago..but was told some waited a year. I suspect I will be overpaid gor awhile..grrrr. I think each and every one of these horrific pay stories should be printed..and mailed in s Christmas parcel to the PM..with a P.S. attached"can you sleep at night prime minister?" I hope the government is destroying its employees lived!!


I work as a high ranking marine engineer onboard a Canadian Coast Guard Ice breaker. Since may, my pay has dropped to the lowest possible level for a marine engineer with the CCG. I now have a baby and am living off my income only. I have called into the 'Pay Center' repeatedly and have been told that they do not have access to pay info (this is the pay center, right!?).

Leaving your family and friends for months at a time for work is difficult enough as it is, to not get paid properly is a cruel joke. I used to be proud of our Government, but since this Phoenix pay disaster, I have lost all faith in our government's ability to do anything properly. There is no accountability! Since this pay system came out, many of my more intelligent colleagues have quit to go to industries that actually have a functioning pay center. I feel very bad for the CCG as it is these types of people that are keeping this organization running. I'm definitely not sticking around to wait to get paid what i'm owed either


I work in HR and I am sure most employees do not know that the EX's in the public service have a special phone number that they can contact the pay centre and have their pay issues resolved asap. Whereas employees call the pay centre and get a basic comment from the pay centre that they will take the request but cannot provide any information and that if they have a case number they can follow online. How is that fair. Even myself who works on an HR. Call centre cannot get any information yet EX's get answers and pay fixed within days.


I went on Paternity leave in September for a month. PSPC or Phoenix never sent in my ROE so I never went on EI and kept getting paid by the government. EI has closed my case because a ROE was never received. The same thing happened to my colleague and when Phoenix finally got the ROE sorted out he stopped getting paid altogether when he came back to work. I don't want this to happen to me. Needless to say I have been putting putting in Pay Action Requests (PAR) every two weeks for this issue. Phoenix says they have put in a case tracking system for the issues experienced with our pay but the tracking system gives no information on only says received or closed. I have been underpaid since Phoenix started (due to no increment change or terminable allowance paid). My case tracker says my case was closed but they only put me in the right increment level in October and never they never went back to pay me retroactively. I currently have 4 cases open with Phoenix. Every time I hear the DM say that they have closed a majority of cases out of the 80000, I can't help but think that the numbers are skewed, because yes they are closing cases but not closing them properly. When we had local compensation advisors they could figure this out on a personal level as a lot of the time every case is different. PSPC has again taken on more than they can handle.


Many current federal employees are being significantly hurt by Phoenix. However, retired employees, like me, are also affected, not as significantly but just as cruelly.

I am retired from the federal government and have been indirectly negatively affected by Phoenix. The compensation unit of the federal government where I worked has used problems with Phoenix as a reason for cruelly postponing completing my case.

I retired from the federal government in February 2013. At that time, management and the union had not settled our contract which had a start date of February 2012. That contract was finally settled in October 2014 (two and a half years overdue, possibly just in time for the next round of bargaining to begin). So I am owed backpay for the period February 2012 to February 2013. Also, any pay increase in the first year of that contract would affect my current pension. Its December 2016 and I am still waiting for that backpay and the pension adjustment, and Phoenix has contributed to this delay.

I have emailed my employer for the status of my case every 4-6 months; otherwise I would not hear anything from them. In May 2015, after one of my inquiries, I heard that the contract, effective February 2012, had finally been signed in October 2014. I was informed at that time that retired employees like me would be handled in the fall of 2015, an unreasonably long delay in itself. But we were not taken care of then and in October 2015 after enquiring, I was informed that retirees would be handled in December 2015. Again, that did not happen, and in February 2016, as a result of another enquiry, I was informed that due to the introduction of a new pay system (Phoenix), there would be further delays. When I inquired in May 2016, I was informed that compensation staff anticipated handling retirees starting in June 2016. Again, having heard of no progress, I inquired in November 2016 and was informed that compensation staff would start dealing with retirees in the spring of 2017. Delay after delay, with Phoenix specifically used as a reason at least once.

So throughout the 3 years and 10 months since retiring, I have asked for the status of my case 6 times. On 3 of those 6 occasions, my former employer replied that they will deal with retirees like me starting in a specific month; and once the employer advised me of an unspecified delay, and most recently vaguely scheduling retirees for the spring of 2017. In addition to the employer dealing with the difficulties of Phoenix, there is likely a new contract by now for which they will be dealing with current employees. Again, retirees, like me, are pushed down the queue. At this point, I do not think they are capable of ever completing the task, and Phoenix has compounded that; I have totally lost all hope that they will ever deal with my case.

I worked 30 years for the federal government up to February 2013. It is so demeaning that they cannot complete my case and provide my backpay and more importantly, adjust my pension which extends until my wife and I die. It feels like cruel treatment. And Phoenix has contributed to that.


After 36 years of service I retired from CRA on April 21, 2016. According to my letter of termination I was to receive my severance pay within 30 days of retiring. My severance pay was to be sent directly to my financial institution to be invested in my RRSP. After several inquiries to my Compensation advisor I received a partial payment made directly to me instead of being sent to my financial institution. I immediately contacted my Compensation advisor and was advised to take the funds to my financial institution myself. After 8 months I am still waiting for the rest of my payment which is over $8,000.

I am not rich and have ill family members to support.

I am losing investment money every day. My financial institution estimates that I have lost the opportunity to earn over$1,000 in interest due to the Phoenix pay disaster.


Hi I'm a 21 year old working for parks Canada as a seasonal employee I work contract to contract waiting for a recent extension I was told that if I don't sign it 3 weeks before my end date Phoenix will hold my pay for at least 5weeks I finally got my new contract extension on the last day of my previous contract meaning I will not be getting paid for at least a month! This shouldn't be legal how they get away with it I don't know most don't care to help cause it's not happening to them! As most people have more then one income I don't therefore I need to have multiple side jobs just to pay for things because of Phoenix and management note doing there jobs correctly!!! And because of the Phoenix system they are not sending me my letter of employment for unemployment some if I want to collect EI I need to find 10 of my last pay stubs and hope that they will accept it!


I have been working for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since 2006, in the same position since 2011. June 2016 I left on maternity leave. As this was my first child, I wasn't aware of everything that was required. I called Phoenix, who were very helpful and told me all forms to submit. I did everything mid-April 2016. I called in May to confirm everything was received, they could not find my forms. I re-submitted in May...once again they could not find my forms. I finally submitted a third time and called my last day, May 25th, and they had received everything. To my surprise, on June 13th after my baby girl was born, my pays were still coming in from Phoenix. I called Phoenix and they said they would update my file and someone would contact me. I then spent one day a week until October 2016 calling Phoenix asking them to stop paying me. I know owe over 8 thousand dollars. I have three open cases since October 2015 for acting pay and promotion pay that have never been applied. Funny how they want me to pay back what I owe from 6 months ago but what they owe me from 13 months ago isn't important. I would gladly pay the money back, as I have been telling Phoenix via phone and feedback form on a bi-weekly basis, but there is one more issue. My maternity forms, submitted in April 2016, have yet to be loaded to my government profile, which includes my Record of Employment. As such, the Government of Quebec where I reside cannot pay me during my leave. They graciously agreed to provide me with a minimum pay that covers my mortgage, car payment, and nothing more. Phoenix finally put my ROE online, cutting out February 2016 to April 2016...a period during which I was in the exact same position. My last call to Phoenix was December 5th, where I was told quote ''You need to stop calling there is nothing we can do. All you're doing is creating a backlog of requests''. He continued on to a point where I broke down. I do not blame the call center, as until the last guy they were very understanding. But why create a call center that cannot look at my file, update me on my cases, or get someone to call me? They are there to fill out a feedback form, which I can do myself. My situation definitely isn't as bad as other people, but waiting over 6 months to just be able to talk to someone about my 3 cases and pending maternity forms is unacceptable. And due to all the changes with pay systems and centers, the RCMP doesn't have anyone who can help. I received an e-mail from the Deputy Minister's office, Phoenix liaison on November 28th, 2016. It was encouraging, stating she had delegated someone to immediately look at my file, and gave me payment options for my over this day nothing has changed, nobody has contacted me.


Share your experience: = No one has contacted me from the pay centre no emails , no call-backs and no mail. I have raised my questions and issue at a higher level at the Pay Centre and deployed all possible efforts and I have been unable to successfully resolve y my issues or obtain ANY answers.

The call centre in Toronto is useless they have no records on your file and have no access to your personal file. They are basically a dispatch centre. This is a waste of money and resources. NO one like no one from the pay center in New Brunswick has every called me back or email me back or even sent any mail to me since February of 2016.

Do you know how large the pay centre is? I was shock to learn it is this LARGE...

and no one from there can call me back after I contacted them

There are 500 employees there....this is a joke


Je travail au gvmt depuis 3 ans et depuis j'ai eu de nombreux problèmes avec ma paye. Lorsque j'ai eu ma permanence, je n'ai pas eu de paye pendant 2 mois. En 2015, j'ai été seconder dans un autre ministère pendant 5 mois, j'ai reçu la différence de paye 4-5 mois après le secondement terminé avec une imposition comme si c'était du temps supplémentaire (donc un plus petit montant). Depuis juin je suis en arrêt de travail suite à un accident d'auto. Je recois tjrs ma paye de mon employeur. Je dois remmettre mes chèques de paye opc sinon les impôts vont être un cauchemar. J'ai plus de 6 tickets d'ouvert chez Phoenix depuis juin-juillet, aucun n'a été lu encore. Après plus de 30 tentatives au téléphone, j'ai réussi a parler avec un représentant de Phoenix pour me dire qu'il va prendre le message. Je vais bientôt recommencer à travailler, j'ai bien peur que je vais tomber dans le même bateau que les autres collègues ci-haut... je n'aurai plus de paye lorsque je vais travailler.


I have been working in the Gov't both as an external and internal contractor for the past 16 years and was a casual employee hired in May for the 90 day contract. My contract stated that I was supposed to paid at the top of the pay grid but I was paid at the entry level salary. Since my husband has not worked since 1992 and only receives CPP, we have had to dive into our savings and start a line of credit with the bank to cover our monthly bills.

I am no longer an "internal" contractor so am unable to get any information as to the status of my case and have not been able to receive E.I. because Phoenix has not forwarded my Record of Employment to Service Canada. I also have not received my last pay.

I know that my situation is typical of the Phoenix Pay System.


Last year I took a 4 month rotational assignment at the Regional Operation Center (ROC) Montreal. This affectation is offered to Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) Navigation Officers, such as myself, to offer experience in various branches of our department. My posting Started December 2015 and ended March 2016. For that time, my acting position was bumped up from my substandard MAO 02 level to an MAO 06 level.

The frustrating part happened when they couldn't decide on my contract (they were either going to pay me as an MAO 06 or a GT 05), and it took them until the end of February to figure it out. Because of all that mess, and the Phoenix pay system switch over, my acting pay was dropped completely. To this day, they still owe me over four thousand dollars. Haven't seen a dime of it.

Since this has happened, I've called the pay service, e-mailed phoenix, e-mailed the person in charge of managing our time sheets, filled out forms, wrote various e-mails to various people (including the compensation advisor for the public pay centre)... And I'm hearing nothing but crickets from the Phoenix Pay centre. I even had a designated person go through all of my pay stubs to calculate everything that is owed to me, sent that up fast-tracking, and still haven't heard a response.

This shouldn't be happening to anyone.


My story isn't as bad as some but its still pretty infuriating. I was awarded an acting back in January. When the acting took effect, instead of my pay going up, the system processed it to lowest pay grade of the acting position (which is a now known, widespread issue), effectively decreasing my pay by $150 each paycheck instead of giving me the $200 increase I was supposed to get. I spend weeks trying to even contact someone at the paycenter only to be told each time "someone has been assigned to your file and they'll contact you shortly". Fast forward to now and I have never been contacted by anyone. Eventually I just stopped calling cause it was causing so much stress and eating up too much of my work time. I was eventually reimbursed a portion of the money they had erroneously decreased from my regular pay but I've never seen a dime from that acting. To make things even more fun, once they had "corrected the problem" my paycheck was suddenly 20$ less that it had been before this all started. Meanwhile I kept hearing I can't tell you how many horror stories from coworkers who had issues even worse than mine. Honestly, this has become so ridiculous that I don't even want the renewed acting I've been offered. Just let me do the work but for the love of god, do not put through anymore paperwork cause I seriously fear what trainwreck might ensue if they do. So that's the point I'm at right now. Paycheck is still wrong but its close enough and hey, at least I'm getting a paycheck. I cannot for the life of me stomach that this is STILL going on for so many of us and we're rounding on nearly a year just for my situation.


I don't know where to start. I've been a full time indeterminate employee since 2004. I've been on maternity leave since April 2016. Kept being paid until end of May. Then nothing from EI nor pay centre for 2 months. Received 2 large sums at the end of July, on the same day with no information as to what this for and no other pay until recently. No roe for me until EI created a temporary one so they can start paying me the EI portion. After 6 months I finally receive some paperwork and still no roe from my employer. Finally got a call mid November from a compensation advisor saying I'm finally going to get the top off that I'm owed and finally get regular topoffs starting in December. I tried asking about the roe but didn't get a straight answer. When i got the roe a few days later with only one entry instead of the 20-some entries (this is my third rodeo so I know what to expect on my ROE)... trying to call the contact names and numbers, leaving messages with no one calling me back.

I've been following the press conferences since day one... but everything they're saying is BS. They say contact your manager, but my manager doesn't know what to do either.

I was told by the comp advisor that i should be expecting a 5-figure large sum at the end of November however after regular deductions and extra deductions for overpayment with no extra info as to what the overpayment was for, I was left with 1/3 of the amount. I was starting to be hopeful that I was finally getting back on track before the holidays but nope... I'm still trying to reach someone from Pay centre.

I'm stressed all the time when I should be enjoying my time off with my baby and children. This is causing me so many mental and emotional issues. We've exhausted all our credit cards and we're not sure what we're going to do for the holidays.

I don't know what to do anymore. I should be returning in April but I don't want to go back. I don't want to see anyone I just want to stay home and retreat from everything and everyone. This is serious and I've kept silent long enough.

From all those stories above, I can't believe this is what OUR government is doing to its hard working citizens. I feel for all those who are dealing with worse issues then me. Urghhh


I've been on LTD since mid may. Delays occurred with EI and Sun Life has not rendered a decision. I received my eviction notice last month. I currently have 44 cents in my bank acct, all bills are two months past due, creditors are calling, I'm wearing one contact Lenz and cannot afford the amount for an eye exam, let alone the cost of contact lenses or eyewear. Monday morning I have an appointment for social assistance. Bankruptcy is looming, my depression's worsening, I have 5 antidepressants left. After 25 years of service, I... Just.. cannot believe this... I feel abandoned and desperate.


The pay problems also affect employees who recently retired. I retired mid-November. I did all the paper work months in advance to ensure there would be no delays. I was told that retired employees have to wait 45 days for their first pay (retroactive). They wait until the employee is retired to start the process in case the employee changes their mind. Fair enough, during that time employees receive their last pay, cash out of vacation leave and severance pay. So easy enough to wait 45 days. Well not anymore. Phoenix Pay system also has a problem taken employees off strength. Which means the pay system still thinks you are working so they cannot process your cash out, last pay or severance pay. They can quickly stop payment but can't figure out how to process payments. They quickly cancel your benefits as well even though they are supposed to continue via your Pension. In my case, I did save up to ensure I had money while I waited for my pay, and thankfully the Pensions pay is not related to Phoenix and should commence on time. I'm told it could be months before I receive my money. One pay clerk mentioned April! Of course I'm not going to be compensated for any interest I might have gained if I received the money on time and invested it. Or any interest lost on the savings I have to take out to live on. I'm lucky I saved up and can go a couple of months without pay, others are not so lucky. I am a single mother and help support my adult child who is only working part time at the moment. Anyone who retired just before Christmas may find themselves very poor. I retired early as it's just not the same working for the government anymore. I once enjoyed it so much I thought I would never want to retire. I left early due to stress and frustrations on how things are done now. Having to work more with less and now not even being paid, how sad for employees.


For some reason I got an unexplained check for 1000.00. I know its not mine but it sits ina term deposit until theycome looking for it.


I work for the Coast Guard, and have been lucky to receive my regular rate of pay. However from the inception of Phoenix in Feb until the end of September I received no overtime pay, to the tune of 20,000+ owing. I'm still not caught up completely, pay used to be deposited in a way that separated overtime from your regular deposit, now it all comes as one and it's hard to tell when you are still owed. We received no instruction on how to use Phoenix to enter our shift work schedule, our PM didn't even enter our schedule into Phoenix until the summer 5 months after inception. Both managers and employees are being held hostage by the system, and haven't received training. The School of Pub Serv Phoenix course is a joke. The fact that EXs signed off on this is almost criminal-although I'm sure they will still get their bonus. The public is too busy throwing lib vs con darts to realize it's actually the EX cadre put in place over the last 10 years that are running everything, and doing a really terrible job of it. The bonus system needs to be done away with for EX. Any EX that pushed this forward needs to be dismissed. I've yet to hear the Commissioner of the Coast Guard justify her decision to sign onto Phoenix. Simply put no one outside of Miramachi had any clue how to use Phoenix when it rolled out. I'm entitled to pay for Stat holidays-the designers of Phoenix haven't even figured out how to code that into the system. Ridiculous. It will be a calendar year since Phoenix was forced on us and I'll still be owed money. The jury rigging our office has had to do to receive proper pay is so illegal, but yet that's the only way to get things done with Phoenix. I can't imagine the accounting at the end of this, what a nightmare


I have a close friend and coworker who has fallen behind on mortgage payments etc.. and forced to sell his motorcycle to no fault of his own. Strictly because he wasn't being paid for the work he did because of the failed Phoenix system.


I have been with the federal government since the early 90's and have never seen such a mess with staffing due to Phoenix. Students we hire have to be "rehired" under a new offer every school term. My student just quit because of the way the pay system treats him. It took 3 months to pay him when he started with us. Since then we have "rehired" him 3 times. Every re-hire Phoenix drops his pay down to the minimum student wage by default and then takes an entire term to fix it. With the last pay cheque of the term Phoenix fixes his pay rate, back pays him and eliminates his access to the system because his term is done so he can't log in and get his pay information. He has no idea what the final term pay in his account is for because he can't see his paycheck. When we rehire him for the next term Phoenix drops all student pays pay down to the minimum rate again by default and we start all over again. This happens every term, finally he quit. With my new full time staff, the amount of time for them to get their first pay from Phoenix varies. The shortest has been 45 days. They too cannot see any of their pay information because you need a "mykey" to access the Phoenix system and you cannot get a mykey until you receive your first pay. Because you apply for your benefits in Phoenix new staff can't get signed up for benefits because they cannot log into the system because they have no mykey until they are paid. It's beyond ridiculous. Personally I am owed an increment increase since February of this year. They did not give it to me so I put in a PAR (pay action request) to the Pay Centre and have heard nothing. When I check on it I'm told it's not a priority so has not been looked at yet. I completely understand this, I just wish the Minister would stop lying, saying all the outstanding Phoenix requests are complicated ones. An owed increment increase is not complicated. It's regular business for pay. Prior to Phoenix I never had pay issues with myself or my staff. Now 60% of my staff have pay issues and it takes a ridiculous amount of mine and their time. It's a shame, I don't enjoy using tax funded resources this way.


I became a victim in June when I went on extended sick leave. I applied for employment insurance sick benefits and was approved. They said they could not issue me any money as my record of employment (ROE) had not been submitted yet by the Pay Centre. By law an employer is to issue this within 5 days of being informed of the leave without pay. In my case I submitted the proper documents on July 5th but by the end of August my ROE was not submitted.

Calls to the Pay Centre were fruitless as you could not get through. When I did talk to someone they would take my story again and say I would get a call back. These call backs never happened. After numerous visits to Services Canada office with long waits each visit to talk to someone in their office EI finally agreed at the end of August to allow me to submit my last six months of pay slips and they would estimate my weekly payment. As my ROE still was not sent to them the first two weeks were not paid. Finally in early Sept the ROE was issued but was incorrect two months after they were informed I was off on sick leave.

I was hoping that meant all issues would not be solved. It turns out my ROE was not completed properly so the two weeks would not be paid until they could get the information they needed. Two weeks passed and the person handling my file called to say he could not speak to anyone at the Pay Centre. He agreed that if I got him copies of my leave record as well as my Supervisor's confirmation I was on paid sick leave just prior to my going off sick he would wave the two week penalty.

I had to make so many calls and visits to Services Canada as well as go into my office to get information all because they did not issue my ROE in a reasonable time and still it is not correct as my Service Canada advisor gave up trying to get it resolved.

My issues do not end at that point as they were also slow in sending my the information on Sunlife disability. I completed my portion right away and my office did the same but the portion the Pay Centre needed to complete was not done. Thankfully after waiting for some time I was able to get someone within our old pay section who is not the liason for the Dept and Phoenix. He completed and sent in the papers to Sunlife but due to the delay they went in very late. I am still waiting for them to approve my claim since Oct.

I am now heading back to work on Monday Dec 12th and am worried as Sunlife has not paid me yet and not having a cheque since Oct when will they start my pay. I am going to keep a record and will report back as to how this story continues.


In early May I attempted to make an update to my direct deposit account in Phoenix. I erred on the branch number so did not receive my next pay. I attempted to correct the error within Phoenix but had been withdrawn from the option to amend direct deposit. Phone calls to Pay Centre and Phoenix could not get my direct deposit set up again.

4 weeks later I began receiving my pay cheques by mail, but not the original cheque that was missing. It was hit and miss for a while whether or not my cheques would arrive on pay day or a week later. In July one cheque did not arrive at all.

By mid August, short two full pay cheques I requested emergency pay, and received 2 payments of approx 60% of my gross salary.

After multiple "Pay Action Requests" my direct deposit was finally reiniated in late August, 3 months later. 3 months to enter a direct deposit!

The October 31st deadline for addressing Phoenix issues passed without any word on the status of my case (cases- as I was told I had to make three separate requests- 1 for my direct deposit and 1 for each missing cheque).

It was only last week, Dec 1, that I received my 2 missing cheques by mail - for 100% of my net pay.

Now I have $2500 in recovery from my future pay to look forward to, but no indication as to when and how much will come off of future cheques.

All of this because of a date entry error that most other employees would have corrected in a day.


I have been working for 11 year for the Correctional Services of Canada. Last July I was operated to my shoulder for an injury on duty. Up to October I had only experienced small mistake on my pay. Like different amount taken off my pay (400$, 80$ 100$ etc..)and the pay centre had no explanation as to why this was happening. My real problem started on November 09 when I started to reintegrating work. My work place forgot to relay the info on my return to work to the pay centre. Now we are two week before Christmas and I haven't received a pay cheque since November 09. 0$ pay!!! and that will take time, I was told by the HR representative as my paper work as not gone through HR yet and it will be worse when it get to the pay centre they said... Needless to say that I was frustrated after that phone call. Now I am approved for both compensation and Sun life to cover my lost of salary but I am not getting anything from them as both are waiting for the pay center to process my paper work... this all sound complicated enough??? It did too to the HR representative I spoke to yesterday. That person kept saying "your a CX.. That's complicated.." "I would be surprised if you get a pay cheque this month. Been working as a casual/term employee off/on again for 10.5 years. Recently finished my last job and had pay issues before the Phoenix Pay System came out, since then it's been an absolute nightmare. Not only have to go nearly 3 months with out a pay, but now after a month of my end date, still no final paycheck and no ROE to file for unemployment. But an ROE finally came in for April, 7 months late. So now I'm sitting here a few weeks before Christmas without a final paycheck, no way of filing for EI and no answers despite any number/ department I get in touch with. Never in my life have I been so ashamed of how my government treats their staff.


Been working as a casual/term employee off/on again for 10.5 years. Recently finished my last job and had pay issues before the Phoenix Pay System came out, since then it's been an absolute nightmare. Not only have to go nearly 3 months with out a pay, but now after a month of my end date, still no final paycheck and no ROE to file for unemployment. But an ROE finally came in for April, 7 months late. So now I'm sitting here a few weeks before Christmas without a final paycheck, no way of filing for EI and no answers despite any number/ department I get in touch with. Never in my life have I been so ashamed of how my government treats their staff.


I should have known that no good could come of this even after being on maternity leave.

I went on maternity leave in Oct 2015. In early March I realized that I didn't receive a top up payment. I called and was told that it would take a month. It seemed straighten out and I got the rest of my payments.

My maternity leave is now over and I have returned to work on 31 Oct. No pay since. I'm the single parent of 4 kids. I have been at my Department since April 2003 and have 15 year in the Govt.

This has to be the most frustrating and difficult situation. I just don't understand why and how it is so difficult to reactivate people from Leave without Pay.

I can't even think about Christmas for my kids cause I'm worried I won't be able to pay my mortgage. This is unacceptable.


It was the best job and the worst job I ever had. I had a 90 day contract it was great until April 1st when Pheonix came into play. I didnt recieve any pay then I was given a cash advance that I paid back. The next pay I received 60% of my wages and continued to recieve 60% the next few pays then they caught up, by this time I am so confused. My contract ended, 2 weeks later my husband had a spinal stroke that paralyzed him. I inquired about my ROE and they said they processed it. The next day I recieved a letter in the mail saying I owed them $2000 no background as to how they reached that number just that I owed it. My old boss said the "Finance people" said they are "holding my ROE and pay still owing to me until I pay them back" Is this even legal? I have $0 income coming into my household right now not that the government cares but they are taking away from my children. Time to get a lawyer.


I am a correctional officer and am disgusted to see our Union UCCO do nothing to help. We pay a lot of money to union dues and our members deserve legal representation to get our officers paid. They are too busy playing nice with the treasury board. Anotherwords, their in bed with them.


I was shorted on my pay checks from the start, April 2016. Every pay, being shorted $350-$450 my life changes. I began to feel resentment towards the federal government and lost faith in the system we are suppose to believe in. Because of not getting my full pay i lost a great deal of sleep. I lost a beautiful house I was wanting to purchase. Financially I went into debt and the stress of credit card debt placing stress in my relationship. I have had to defer truck payments and have contacted student loans asking to be forgiven and pay only intest. To this day I am not getting paid properly and as a result the stress was too much and I was hospitalized. I do link my present physical condition to the stress I acquired during this Phoenix mess. Fix the mess!!!!


My husband (on sick leave with a brain condition) was issued three incorrect ROEs by Phoenix. Then my pay was inexplicably stopped for a month, when it restarted it was $1.44 short but I can't figure out what is different because the paystubs do not list the actual rate of pay. When I called about the missing paycheques I was not given case numbers but I was promised that someone would get back to me within 2 days and that was two months ago.

As well, I am the support in my office for helping a colleague on long-term sick leave where Phoenix will not stop paying her so she cannot collect EI or Disability insurance. I also had to deal with Phoenix not paying/underpaying Co-op students and casuals.

Additionally, I (and many others) many of my colleagues cannot enter their leave in correctly using the online system because of a nebulous 'problem with Phoenix'. Any extra duty or acting pay has not been processed for anyone for at least six months (myself included).

In an office with under forty people the number of cases since Phoenix launched is easily 120.


I worked for the Federal Government for 2 years. Left right at the 24 month mark. Received any overtime and acting payments perfectly fine while I was there. I have been out more then 2 months now and am still getting paid my full bi-weekly salary, on top of my current job I left the government for (private).

Not the end of the world compared to some stories listed above, but this will effect my taxes big time. I have contacted my previous director and finance rep, but of course they can only do so much. I am now putting all this money into savings, but who know how and when they will finally come back asking for this money. I refuse to call the pay centre because it seems like a giant black hole that no one can navigate and they don't help anyone.


My story is different, as I have been receiving a fairly regular pay cheque, although it took 2 months after returning from an illness to start getting paid.

In the 6 months since I have been involved in the Phoenix debacle, not once have I heard about how much I was overpaid. In October, my cheques started decreasing, although never in the same amount. I figured that this was the recovery of any overpayment. However, when I received my pay for November 30, 80% of my NET pay had been recovered. Despite the government's claims that recovery of funds would be done in cooperation with the employees to minimize the impact, I was never advised that this would happen.

As usual, the problem now is getting information. Nobody seems to know if this will affect my next pay, or any future pays. The person I spoke to in Miramichi claimed that they had no record of an overpayment.

It's nice to see that the spirit of the Grinch is still alive and well in Ottawa.


I realize that in the grand scheme of things, my situation is not severe, but I know it illustrates to well the deplorable situation that too many employees have found themselves in.

Early in the year, I was looking to move into an acting position, a 4-month temporary promotional assignment. My new manager had prepared all the paperwork, with a note to HR to wait for a final confirmation before taking any action. Due to a few events, such as delays in the project I was on, the acting had to be rescinded. So you can imagine my surprise when, shortly after the proposed start date (mid-March) I saw a change in my pay rate.

I was getting acting pay for a position I was not in. The hiring manager followed the process (submitting a PAR) to get it stopped asap. Oh, and to top it off, as I was at the highest pay level for my substantive position, and got bumped to the low end of the next pay scale, I was actually making less (this was publicized later as a systemic problem.) A few PAR forms, both from myself and from the hiring manager go in as nothing seems to change. After a couple pay periods, the acting rate is adjusted to what would have been accurate.

In the end I got acting pay for close to 4 months before it stopped, so sometime in July. In October, worried about the effects on my income tax/T4 for the year, I contacted a special number for those who had overpaid...and told that there was no file currently open for me to have to pay back money. This I found strange as I know that there is at least one case file open from the series of PARs submitted that speaks to reclamation of overpayment. I gave the information requested and was told I would be contacted (which to-date I still haven't been.)

In November, I got an extra bit of money, which when I looked appears to be the top-up for the initial paycheques at the incorrect acting rate. Which frustrates me as it is adding to the money I have to give back. It is unfortunately painfully obvious that "cases" are being handled at a very discreet level and not by someone looking at a particular employee to handle all the open issues (which there may be as I am assuming I am not the only one to have had submitted multiple PARs to try and get some resolution.)

I have spent more of my working hours trying to sort this out than I should have...when there is nothing really I can do. It's unacceptable that it is next to impossible to speak to a real person with an ability to actually take corrective action. I have heard many stories with worse impacts than my own, people on the verge of losing everything, sick from the stress, and so worn out they would rather quit than continue seeking answers. No one should have to work so hard to get what is rightfully theirs, or to stop what they are receiving in error.

The time is long past to point fingers; real people are experiencing real pain and this needs to be dealt with now.


I retired a year ago so I am ok. But my son was diagnosed with a serious cancer back in May. He has been off work since June but he is still getting paid, partly a good thing but not really it will all be clawed back. He hopes it happens before Dec. 31st so it can help his taxes.Also his boss ended up getting some Long Term Disability forms from the insurance company otherwise he would not get long term disability as he will be continuing treatments for several months...what an unnecessary stress on a young family. Also he never got EI as he was being paid.What will happen if the insurance starts to pay now...he will be penalized with income tax if he gets it before claw back.

Special note, some of my previous contacts tell me that this is much bigger than what they are letting on, I have heard some say that over 500K of pending transactions for pay related adjustments are on hold and in some departments they tell staff to verify their pay list every two weeks as many people get kicked off the system for no reason without warning everytime they do an update to the software! What a mess it will take at least a year to clear this up! They had 1500 pay officers, the conservative govt. wanted to reduce this to 850, now to try and cope they have 3K.


I returned from maternity leave in October but haven't had a pay (nothing at all) since September 21. I'm the main earner in a family of 5 (3 small children). I've exhausted my credit and savings trying to stay afloat and pay for childcare.

I've reached out to so many different parties to help- my union, managers, pay centre, HR, even my MP's office. No one seems to be able to do anything except provide forms to fill out which I've already done multiple times. There's no way to reach an actual compensation advisor to get information or status on your file or even a vague idea when you'll get paid. It's so demoralizing to work day after day never knowing when you'll ever get paid. I was told to expect a pay next week, but I was told so in the past and received nothing.

This situation is incredibly stressful and so unfair.


I returned from maternity leave in October but haven't had a pay (nothing at all) since September 21. I'm the main earner in a family of 5 (3 small children). I've exhausted my credit and savings trying to stay afloat and pay for childcare.

I've reached out to so many different parties to help- my union, managers, pay centre, HR, even my MP's office. No one seems to be able to do anything except provide forms to fill out which I've already done multiple times. There's no way to reach an actual compensation advisor to get information or status on your file or even a vague idea when you'll get paid. It's so demoralizing to work day after day never knowing when you'll ever get paid. I was told to expect a pay next week, but I was told so in the past and received nothing.

This situation is incredibly stressful and so unfair.


With the recent news that Department needs to rush to pay off EX bonus, I think you guys should do a bigger story on it by getting comments and frustrations from employees.

EX are already receiving their salary of 130000$ and yet they demand to have their bonus pay by year end, what about the thousand of people who aren't receiving any pay? Why can't the focus be having them paid first to aliviate their living expenses rather that helping those EX save taxes?!?

It is sad to see all the employees without pay having their holidays ruined because EX has made the decision to help pushed or implemented Phoenix. For some who are on LWOP, it might be the first Christmas with their kid or family, and yet they won't be able to enjoy it. Money helps but it won't be able to fix all the physical, emotional and mental problems that employees and their family is enduring.

I am also being affected by Phoenix but rather than just focusing on myself, I feel bad for all those who are really should the EX and the government!!!


Mother of two with eight years of service who went on medical leave without pay due to disability brought on by a car accident. I'm still getting my pay direct deposited after almost five months. I haven't received an ROE; this holds up both EI and disability insurance. I heard on the news we have to pay it back gross... I've already spent it on my rent etc or I'd be homeless. End of year is coming and who knows how his will affect my taxes, child benefit, etc. I am extremely overwhelmed and not able to figure out the steps to get this sorted. I have not had any help or response from the Phoenix call-centre management, and employees don't know how to help me. What a huge mess and it's causing paralytic anxiety.


I retired from Service Canada on March 30th,2016 after 34 years of service. On separation I was owed my severance pay and annual leave estimated to be over $20,000.00. Since April I have emailed them, I have called multiple times, only to be told that they do not have access to my file, all they can do is forward my issues by email to the compensation section, and someone should be calling me back in 48 hours. This has been on going since April and no one has called me and I am still waiting for my money. I was even told that my situation was not a financial hardship because I was in receipt of my pension, and that my case falls in the 3rd category and right now they are working on issues in the 1st and 2nd category. I was a little bit offended by that statement. Today I called again, and spoken to a representative and he took all of my details and said that he would forward my enquire to the pay centre compensation. I do not know what else to do, since I am out of the government pay system I do not have a contact person, I can only use the link provided on their website.


12 months and counting. Still unsure if I'm just now being paid correctly. Owed in excess of $12000.00 yes! that is the correct # of 0's. I received a portion of what is owed last pay but according to the track my case feature of what the payment is for it's a GROSSE overpayment!!! If it's supposed to be the full amount it's a GROSSE underpayment! Multiple calls to the paycwntwr are fruitless as I've been told that the calls have been routed to people who are just there to answer the phones and have no access to our files whatsoever. My own HR officer can't even decipher what the payment is. I have a compensation advisor supposedly looking after my case who after 12 months finally emailed me to let me know I was being looked after. This compensation advisor kindly told me that if i had any questions I could contact her directly. I've since emailed 3 times regarding the recent payment and called 4 times. All left unanswered! It's ridiculous! How are they still getting away with this??!


I fear the amount of people who are still having pay issues is far higher than reported in the media. I am helping my employee resolve pay issues and have called the Pay Centre 3 times and also contacted them via the online form but have never received a case and/or reference number. Each time we are asking for someone to contact us regarding a period of leave without pay, acting pay and also a mysterious overpayment. Still we wait, our case not tracked, without a reference number and the tax year coming to an end.

I wonder how many other employees have called and not received a tracking/reference number? If they are not logging these inquiries how can they accurately report on the number of outstanding cases?


I too am a retiree who is still being paid after 3 months of retirement and when I called, at first they weren't aware but then told me I'm still considered as active employee. This also will be added to my salary and I'll be forced to pay extra taxes on this when I do my taxes next year. I am also still waiting for backpay from March 2014 owed to me and my severance pay. What a mess!


My story is a bit of a long one but here it is:

December 14, 2015 my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4, terminal, metastic melanoma.

I stopped work completely, going on Leave Without Pay indefinitely. My husband died January 20, 2016. I was paid continuously, at the wrong rate of pay (over my pay scale) until sometime in March.

I came back to work progressively in April, the hours I was not working, were without pay. I was not paid until end of August, beginning of September. When I was paid, I was extremely overpaid. My employer had not taken my leave without pay off my earnings.

I have been getting paid regularly, still have not repaid my leave without pay, which I estimate is about 15,000$. I have tried on numerous occasions to contact Compensation and was repeatedly told that they would contact me to discuss a payment plan.

This is extremely stressful, I am dealing with the sudden loss of my 46 year old husband, now I am asked to deal with the financial impact that this has caused and is continuously to cause.


I haven't received my maternity top-ups from Feb - July and I haven't been paid since Oct. 3rd (my return to work).


I'm male, 39, engaged with two children under 7 years old, and have 15 years in with the Federal Government. Back on July 28th of this year I suffered an Aortic Dissection, basically I shredded my Aorta and had a 5% chance of surviving.

It's a life altering event. I am no longer permitted to lift anything over 10-15 lbs..... Long term and for the rest of life, down the road, maybe 20lbs on a good day. Then mentally stress of that alone has been immense, not being to lift my girls and play with them the way I used, combine that with being unable to enjoy the simple things in life, like going the movies as a family, out for dinner etc.... We're just stressed to the max about finances... It’s just unbearable.

I survived, but I needed months to recover. So in the world of Government, since we no longer have a short term disability plan, it's long term only. To achieve it, you must first wait out a 13 week waiting period. You may use your leave credits during this time. But, sadly I was told I couldn't use vacation, of which I had more than enough to cover, I was told I could only file whatever sick leave I had banked.

So, I essentially logged a sick day every day from July 28th until September 1st(basically until I ran out), then what do you do? I still hadn't reached the 13th week mark???. So you must apply for Employment Insurance (E.I.), as I did.

I normally make $82,000, so now I was forced to go on E.I. where there is a cap of 35k annually. Better than nothing I thought to myself, we’ll make due....

Problem though, In order for my E.I. claim to start, Phoenix must send in my Record of Employment to E.I. then wait a two week period and then I would begin to be paid.

To this day, Phoenix has yet to send in my R.O.E. my family went 2.5 months before I received anything from Employment Insurance, and that's only because after calling and complaining to both of them, E.I. was finally able to take pity on me and create my R.O.E. on my behalf.

All phoenix could do is offer an emergency pay in which I would owe them back, which was completely useless, all they needed to do was submit one tiny little digital file and that was it.... But they couldn't.

All I got from E.I. we're two measly payments over the 2.5 months tallying $1800, our mortgage alone is 2k including property taxes.... Tough pill to swallow when I'm used to clearing $4200 a month.

Imagine the debt we incurred... So, to save face and our credit rating, we exhausted all available credit and what little savings we had to all our bills on time, and the mortgage and the daycare for two kids. Friends, neighbors and family have been so amazing; they would randomly drop off grocery store gift cards, cards with money, gifts of clothes for our girls. Each of our places of employment took up a collection to help us out knowing how bad the Phoenix situation was.

All that say, that in the meantime, we are solely living of my fiancé's salary, I'm trying to stick to my Cardiac rehab program at the Heart Institute, keep up a smiling face for ours kids’ sake and not worry about money. All the while, the number one thing I'm instructed to do to avoid a "re-dissection" is stress...

To update my current situation: I achieved the 13 week period, so the Government's insurance plan for disability; Sun life, is now paying 70% of my gross salary, taxed of course. I have just begun a staggered return to work plan, so now Phoenix will pay me for the days I am at work only until I am full time, great, except for the fact it takes 6-8 weeks for my account in Phoenix to become active, which I don't believe will happen. I remember when they said; "Oh your R.O.E. sir, no problem we'll have that sent over in 5 business days."

Christmas is coming, we haven't bought a single gift, it looks like January 8th we be my next pay out from Sunlife which would be next to nothing and my work pay our won't be happening until mid-February if we're lucky....

And there is soooooo much more I haven't told you... Example, the Stittsville food bank we volunteer at has been helping us out, we mysteriously won a free driveway snow plow for the season, since I can't shovel anymore... It’s just insane, everyone in the beginning was saying, “Oh thank goodness you work for the federal government"..... I now laugh at that.


I am responding to your request for people who have been over/under paid by the Phoenix Pay System.

I have been on medical leave since February 2016 and ran out of personal sick leave/vacation in April. That is when Long Term Disability (LTD) was to begin and my pay cheques from the Government should have stopped.

However, the Government Compensation Centre took until August to send my information to the insurance provider despite my employer sending it immediately after I sent it to them in April.

Following receipt of the information from the insurance company they began to pay me Long Term Disability (backdated to April). However, the Compensation Centre has yet to stop my regular pay despite numerous phone calls by both myself and my manager.

The fact that I am currently being paid by LTD and still receiving my regular pay cheque is extremely stressful. I am trying hard to keep each pay cheque aside which is not easy given that LTD is less than my regular pay.

Most stressful, we are nearing the end of the year and I will have earned nearly twice my normal salary. I am extremely worried about what is going to happen with my taxes. I have been phoning them and my manager begging for someone to assist me as the amount of stress they are causing me is awful.

I just wanted to get all of this sorted out before the end of the year but the days go by and nothing happens.


My story is that our office is short staffed due to 1 person leaving for another department and 3 other are on sick leave.

That being said. I have been acting in another position since January. I have not seen more than 3 to 4 weeks of acting pay since March 2016.

I also have over 30 hours of overtime which I have not been paid for either.

Unlike some I have been receiving my regular pay but obviously would be nice to be paid for all the extra work that has and is still being done.


I have been overpaid and under paid because of Phoenix.

In April my salary was supposed to be increased. Hasn't been done yet.

In August I left for my maternity leave, I had informed Miramichi back in May of that upcoming leave and was never ever contacted by them to set this up. This led to unnecessary stress. They never sent me a ROE even though they are legally obligated to do so for me to set up employment insurance with the provincial regime. Thankfully, the Quebec gov temporarily fixed the problem in order to avoid issues. So up until last week I had been overpaid and all of a sudden without warning my pay was stopped.

At least someone called me the next day to solve my pay issues. Was told that I owe 14 000$. I believe they also owe me a big chunk but I can only guesstimate. Right now, I have no idea of when things will get fixed and I have to manage on what the qc regime is giving me which is much lower than what I'm entitled to.

I'm a single income family, I wish my employer would get their s**t together and quick.


How about a retiree who is still being paid after 4 months of retirement and when I called, they told me I'm still considered as active employee. This will be added to my salary and I'll be forced to pay extra taxes on this when I do my taxes next year.

Awful system.


I haven't received a pay since sept. I was getting regular pay through the system but won a competition and since I received my promotion the system failed and I haven't been paid. I have been receiving emergency pays but that is only 60% of my salary and takes a week to receive it. I am also owed acting pay from last year that has yet to be paid out.

I'm not sure if this is the kind of story you were looking for but wanted to share.


I was first under paid for months and then they fixed it, paid my back pay and then it messed up again and repaid me my back pay a second time. I am currently trying to get that reimbursed, they were supposed to take that amount at the last pay but they did not, now they are supposed to do it next week.

I am hoping that works as we are nearing year end.

It’s also important to understand this issue is way beyond the pay issue. I did not get my insurances until very recently also. Everything HR related gets delayed and requires many hours or interventions, forms to fill, etc.


I saw on Facebook (Federal Public Servants Burned by Phoenix) that you are looking for people who are over or underpaid by Phoenix.

I am underpaid, by 25k per year (or 1200$ after taxes, per month).

I have returned from two years educational leave (after my position was abolished by Work Force Adjustment) and have an elderly parent to support in Montreal (my mom…and my dad died leaving me financially responsible for my family).

I am barely scraping by and I am literally living off of lentils and rice. In other words, I am still living the student life. I can’t pay back my student loans until this is fixed so this is going to cost the taxpayer lots in terms of interest as well as all of the person hours I am logging trying to fix my HR/pay debacle. So far, just north of two weeks of work. Let us not even talk about the anxiety this is causing me.

This is hurting me financially and I have no idea when this is going to be adjusted.

In fact, everything is screwed up since I have come back (my leave, my pay, my dental coverage, etc. ).


I'm a civil servant, working for DND owed 175 hours of overtime worked in FY 2015 that was supposed to be paid out by Sept 30th this year (as per my collective agreement).

This was hours worked and not paid - not bonus pay or anything of the sort.

I'm still receiving my regular pay so I'm not as bad off as many. Most people with pay issues aren't even in the system. I'm a union steward and local president so I can tell you that I've spoken to many people about their issues.