Phoenix pay problems still affecting 7,000 civil servants

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With tax season just around the corner, the federal government is still trying to clear a backlog of paycheque problems for thousands of its employees.

And it's urging employees who have been overpaid or underpaid by the troubled Phoenix pay system to reach out quickly, before T4 slips are issued next month.

At the same time, officials say their focus will soon shift toward trying to reduce the time it is now taking to deal with thousands of new pay change requests.

While basic payments are currently being made to federal civil servants, the government says it's taking far too long - sometimes months - for overtime, parental leave and other pay changes to be processed.

Marie Lemay, a deputy minister at Public Service and Procurement Canada, says the backlog of cases created shortly after the Phoenix system was launched nearly a year ago has been reduced to about 7,000, down from a peak of roughly 82,000 cases.

Lemay says of that 7,000, about 5,000 have received at least partial payments of what they're owed.

She says one critical concern is ensuring that employees who were overpaid or short-changed in 2016 don't face further problems with the taxman when they file their tax returns.