Pacific Rim National Park Reserve staff and local Canadian Coast Guard supporters stand in solidarity at the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction on Feb. 28 to call on the federal government to solve the disastrous Phoenix pay system. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Parks Canada employees protest Phoenix pay system at Tofino-Ucluelet Junction

“Every month I get underpaid by $1,000.”

Over 20 Pacific Rim National Park Reserve employees and local Canadian Coast Guard supporters gathered at the Tofino-Ucluelet Junction on Wednesday, Feb. 28 to protest the Phoenix payroll system debacle.

Hundreds of thousands of federal public service workers have been underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all since the pay system was implemented two years ago.

Jenny Touchie, a Parks Canada employee, says the federal government owes her $25,127 in lost wages and counting.

“All last year I worked five days a week, but I only got paid 1.5 days a week,” said Touchie.

“I racked up thousands of dollars on my line of credit just to make ends meet. It’s still $25,000 and counting. Every month I get underpaid by $1,000.”

“I don’t know why they haven’t been fixing it. They have every power and authority to hand the payroll system back to the departments and agencies but they’ve chosen not to. Employees are suffering the consequences,” she said.

Parks Canada staff Lorri Touchie and Jenny Touchie were burnt by the Phoenix Pay System.

Lorri Touchie claims she is owed $7,000 from the federal government.

“I worked as a PM3 and got paid as a CR4 for seven months,” said Lorri, adding she also racked up a line of credit.

“I did renovations on my house based on the letter of offer that I signed and wasn’t paid appropriately.”

“I want them to convert back to the compensation advisors. The payroll system doesn’t work. They are wasting billions and billions of taxpayers’ dollars and I don’t think it’s right. We’re tired of being ripped off,” said Lorri.

CJ Schmidt started a new job within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve last year. For the first three months of employment, he said he was not paid.

“I was owed over $5,000,” Schmidt told the Westerly News. “I lived off credit. Eventually I got a sum of money, but I’m unsure if it’s right.”

Parks Canada staffer Josée Tremblay led a chant during the hour-long protest.

“Pay us for the work we do! We can’t eat an IOU!” the chant started.

Tremblay said they’ve been having problems with the payroll for a long time.

“We are all affected if not directly our families are also affected. We just want our pay,” Tremblay said.

Rallies by federal service workers were held across the country to call on the government to take concrete measures necessary to ensure workers on paid correctly.

Josee Tremblay was burnt by the Phoenix Pay System.


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