The names of three companies were revealed Wednesday as part of a solution to the failed Phoenix pay system.

Ceridian, SAP, and Workday are all described as “vendors” short-listed to come to the rescue of tens of thousands of public servants who have been facing pay issues for nearly four years.

However; the president of a union representing 140,000 federal employees says it could be another five to 10 years before Canadians can truly say bye to Phoenix for good.

“Our members are not going to be very pleased from what they have seen from this announcement because they did not see much at all,” says Public Service Alliance of Canada president Chris Aylward.

Aylward wasn’t in attendance at the announcement in downtown Ottawa; but the president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada was:

“This is another encouraging step on the long road to a new, reliable pay system,” says PIPSC president Debi Daviau.

Daviau adds, “the consultation process has been productive and our members will continue to participate in ongoing piloting and testing.”

Daviau mostly represents federal employees who work in IT. Meanwhile, Aylward says members of his union who work in the pay centres have not been consulted whatsoever.

Parliamentary Secretary Steven MacKinnon says he will visit the pay centre in Miramichi, NB in the near future.

Next Steps:

With a short-list of vendors, each one will come up with a replacement to Phoenix with one or two being launched in a pilot project after the summer. The pilot project will run parallel to the current system using real data and scenarios. Public servants, however, will likely be stuck with the Phoenix system for several years until there is confidence and stability in its replacement.

“We’ve learned the lessons of the past and have radically changed the way we are pursuing a modern, user-friendly and mobile HR and pay solution,” says Treasury Board president Joyce Murray.

Murray also saying Phoenix was “doomed” from the start.

This latest announcement comes during National Public Service Week.

Aylward reduces the update to a photo op for the government without a timely solution on the horizon.