Protesters gather outside Trudeau’s Liberal fundraiser in Edmonton to call for more action on Phoenix pay system

But as the prime minister entered the Delta Hotel Edmonton South on Wednesday evening, he was greeted by dozens of protesters bringing attention to another unsettled problem his government has presided over: the problem-plagued Phoenix pay system.

“Hey, hey, whoa, whoa, Phoenix pay has got to go,” protesters chanted, followed by, “‘Trudeau, Trudeau! What do we want? Paycheques! When do we want them? Now!”

The Phoenix pay system was implemented over two years ago with the goal of saving taxpayers money. However, the system has had serious glitches and more than half of all federal employees have either experienced being overpaid, underpaid or not paid at all.

The system is currently on track to cost more than $1 billion and earlier this year, the auditor general blamed the Phoenix pay system issues on a pervasive culture within government where bureaucrats are hesitant to report problems to their supervisors.

READ MORE: Senators defend decision not to call execs in hearings on botched Phoenix pay system

“This is real people who work everyday to serve Canadians and they’re not getting a paycheque,” Marianne Hladun, regional executive vice-president of PSAC Prairies, told Global News at Wednesday’s demonstration.

“Federal public service workers haven’t been paid properly for almost two years now and when we heard that the prime minister was going to be in town, we thought that it was important for him to actually see the faces of the people that he’s not paying.”

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