A new payroll system put into place for Government of Alberta workers has left many of them short money after issues with the changeover.
However, on Saturday, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees said that it believes the new system was launched for payroll before it was ready and has left as many as 5,000 workers owed money.
“Our members are angry and rightly so,” said Susan Slade, the vice-president of AUPE. “This system was introduced before it was ready and there was inadequate training for workers or managers.
“It is clearly incapable of handling the complexity of a large, complex workforce with members working a vast variety of different jobs and different shifts.”
AUPE represents more than 90,000 Alberta workers, including around 20,000 who are directly employed by the government.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Service Alberta said Saturday that the government is working to address the issues.
“During the support phase of this large-scale transformation, a small percentage of Government of Alberta staff was underpaid,” said an emailed statement from press secretary Tricia Velthuizen.
“We understand the concerns that staff have on this, we are resolving those concerns as soon as possible, and are confident that the issues experienced will not be a long-term concern.”
AUPE says that it has concerns because of the issues the federal government had with its Phoenix pay system. That system has been plagued with problems since its launch and led to some employees receiving no payments for months while others were overpaid.
The union added that it is working with the government to resolve the issues but believes the “unacceptable” situation could have been avoided.
“It’s bad enough that these dedicated workers have to go to work every day enduring attacks from the government, facing thousands of job losses and attempts to slash their wages, but to not pay them for their work is insulting,” Slade said.
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