Government misses Phoenix deadline

The federal government has failed to meet its October 31st deadline to deal with a backlog of tens of thousands of problem cases related to the new Phoenix pay system.

Public Services Procurement Canada deputy minister Marie Lemay said while workers have sorted out close to 60,000, more than 20,000 remain.

"The cases left in our backlog are complex and require time consuming manual calculations," said Lemay. "In fact 82 per cent of this cases pre-date Phoenix and some date back several years."

Ahead of the announcement more than 250 public servants gathered in front of the Prime Minister's Wellington Street office to express their frustrations with the ongoing issues.

It was the type of rally that drew more than just the usual crowd.

"I've never been to any rallies," said Grace Brown. "I've worked for the government for 26 years, but I came out today."

Brown is one of the thousands of public servants who have been impacted by Phoenix. She said she'd been waiting since August for salary information required in order for her disability claim to be processed.

"I'm hoping that everything will be resolved, so that I can have consistent income and be able to just concentrate on getting better, or dealing with the disability that I have now, which has resulted me not ever being able to return to work," she said. "I need this resolved and then on to medical retirement.

Sylvie Paradis with the Union of Solicitor General Employees said the federal government has been too slow fixing the issue.

"I think they should do better than that because there's a lot of people who didn't even get paid since March and April and I don't think it's fair for them," she said. "They're losing their houses in all this and I don't agree with that. They should do something faster for them."

Public servants also used the rally to speak out about the crawling pace of contract negotiations with the Treasury Board.