Grinding it out at Phoenix Pay: the backlog shrinks again

The latest tally from the folks who gave us the Phoenix pay system shows more evidence of a shrinking backlog.

At the end of the Nov. 28 pay period, Public Services and Procurement Canada had whittled down the number of unresolved pay transactions to 289,000 — which at first doesn’t seem very impressive.

But perhaps it’s time to cut the pay group a little slack.  Not only is this the 10th consecutive monthly pay period in which the department has processed more transactions than it has received, the backlog has shrunk by nearly 100,000 since Jan. 24.

Of course, these signs of progress relate only to transactions that involve a financial impact. Other requests by government employees for information and advice have also piled up, with relatively little sign of improvement.

There were 84,000 of these non-financial queries in the queue as of Nov. 28 compared with 94,000 at the beginning of the year. And, while Public Services is close to cleaning up the backlog of transactions having to do with collective agreements, new rounds of union negotiations are on the horizon.

The upshot: the Phoenix pay system doesn’t seem likely on current trends to achieve anything approaching normal activity anytime soon.

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