Federal employees protested outside Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr’s downtown Kelowna office Friday, upset about ongoing payroll problems and the moving of a federal office in Alberta.—Alistair Waters/Capital News

Fed workers fed up

Federal employees affected by faulty Phoenix payroll system protest outside Kelowna MP’s office.

Federal employees, upset at the ongoing pay problems with the government’s computerized Phoenix payroll system and the moving of the Canada Employment and Immigration office in Vegreville, Alberta to Edmonton, took their issues directly to Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr Friday.

While Fuhr was not at his downtown Kelowna office at the time, the 24 protesters from across B.C. and the Yukon, chanted and waved placards outside.

Vanessa Miller, regional vice-president of the of the Canadian Employment and Immigration Union, said despite assurances from the federal government that the long-running problems with Phoenix would be fixed, problems are still occurring.

She said as a result, some federal employees are either not getting their regular pay cheques or are having their pay delayed.

One worker, Stephen Klaver, came from White Rock for the protest. He said while his issues have finally been resolved, for a while he was not getting paid and that had a major impact on his health and his home life.

As a divorced parent, he said he could not have his kids stay with him because he could not afford to feed them and it was only because of understanding landlords that he did not loose his rented home.

He said he also developed health problems as a result of the stress.

Miller said the Liberals vowed to respect the civil service when they came to power two years ago but have not lived up to that promise.

“We are still seeing problems with Phoenix despite (the government) promising to fix it,” said Miller.

Virtually all the protesters said they have either had problems, or are still having problems, with the controversial pay system introduced by the former Conservative government.

In addition to Phoenix, the union is also upset the government is moving the office in Vegreville that deals with refugees to Edmonton.

The move will affect about 250 employees in a town of 5,000.

Eddy Bourque, the national president of the Canadian Employment and Immigration Union, who was on hand in Kelowna Friday, said the move goes against another Liberal vow, to respect rural Canada.

He said the majority of the employees affected by the move are women.

Vegreville is a rural community located about 103 kilometres east of Edmonton and Bourque said if the employees have to move, it could have a wider effect on the town, from its economy to its schools.

Bourque and his union members were in attendance at Wednesday night’s town hall-style meeting that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held at UBC Okanagan in Kelowna. But he said the prime minister did not call on any of his group to ask a question.

Just Posted

Annett finishes season on the podium at Ironman Arizona

Penticton triathlete sets new course record on the bike

McIvor left a legacy of community building

Former Penticton librarian, city councillor and school trustee dies at home.

Crash closes Eckhardt briefly

It’s not clear if there were any injuries resulting from the minor crash

Penticton vacation rental licences quadruple since 2015

More than 100 of the approximately 140 business licences handed out by the city came since 2015

Penticton reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Heavy snowfall expected on Coquihalla

Snow forecast for mountain highways

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour to roll into Kelowna

Monster Trucks at Prospera Place on Jan. 13-14, 2018.

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

B.C. VIEWS: China a better partner than U.S.

B.C. is slowly winning the softwood lumber war

Most Read