Following the release of the auditor general’s second report on the Phoenix pay system, a scathing report that cites “fundamental failures of project management and project oversight” by top bureaucrats at Public Services and Procurement Canada, the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) demands a federal public inquiry be launched as soon as possible. However, the union states the resolution of current pay problems must continue to be the main focus.
Since day 1 of the Phoenix fiasco, the union has asked for resources to be dedicated to the correctional service so that members can explain their issues verbally to trained public servants who are able to handle their files. “There are still thousands of public servants who have not received the pay they are owed, including several hundred correctional officers. All necessary resources must be deployed to put an end to this debacle,” noted Jason Godin, UCCO-SACC-CSN national president.
Regarding the findings in the Auditor General of Canada’s second report, UCCO-SACC-CSN would like them to result in a federal public inquiry. “It is completely outrageous to realize that this monumental mess was caused in large part by a lack of sound judgement and bad decisions by a few people,” added Mr. Godin. It is clear to the union that the government culture in place for decades, which aims to quickly implement systems without proper oversight in order to meet strict budgets, must change. “Conservatives and Liberals are two sides of the same coin. Their old way of doing things led to this colossal failure. Criteria has to be put in place to ensure this never happens again.”
Correctional officers believe that a culture change in government would also be beneficial in other files affecting them. “In the correctional system, the department’s lack of accountability, how decisions are made quickly with no consultation, led to the implementation of policies that undermine the proper functioning of institutions,” concluded Jason Godin.