OTTAWA — Two years into the Phoenix pay system “fiasco,” the federal government needs to apologize to the tens of thousands of civil servants who have been living a paycheque nightmare and compensate them for what they’ve lost, the opposition New Democrats demanded Monday.
The demands coincided with the second anniversary this week of the launch of the troubled electronic compensation system, and come in advance of Canada-wide protests planned for Wednesday.
It’s outrageous that, after 24 months in which civil servants have been underpaid, overpaid or not paid at all, the government still doesn’t have a solution, said NDP finance critic Peter Julian.
“We’ve had public servants, who are working for the people of Canada, who have lost their home,” Julian told a news conference in Ottawa. “We’ve had public servants who have been unable to put food on the table for their families.”
An apology won’t bring back the cars and homes that some public servants have lost after not being paid, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of formally declaring that government employees endured something that should never have happened, he added.
Julian introduced a motion Monday calling for an apology and compensation. A vote on the motion was expected Wednesday.
“The only way, as part of our motion, we think the government can truly atone for what they’ve done is by a formal apology in the House of Commons.”