Students affected by Phoenix issues speak out about money owed

Students affected by Phoenix issues speak out about money owed

A pair of frustrated students are speaking out about the fact they still haven't been paid for work they did with the federal government due to delays caused by the Phoenix pay system.

"I'm really, sort of, orphaned by the system ... it's taught me what it looks like when systems fail and there's not a lot of accountability," said Emma Gibson, a public affairs student at Carleton University.

In its most recent update, the federal government says there are about 284,000 pay transactions still waiting to be processed, about a three-month backlog.

That backlog includes Gibson, who is currently finishing her second government co-op placement and says she's still owed $3,300 from her first work term in the fall of 2016.

Gibson told CBC News she's had to borrow money from her parents to make it through the school year. 

"Basically anywhere else, I could complain my employer is withholding my wages," she said.

"But when the government is withholding your wages, you can't exactly complain to the government about that."

'I'm really upset'

Michael Myers is studying library science in Toronto and said that while he hopes to work this summer at Passport Canada in Kitchener again, the government still owes him $1,500 from last year's placement.

That's forced him to work part-time and miss classes, he said.

"I'm really upset. I can't run into this situation again, where I budget and then [I have a] shortfall," Myers said.

"This whole Phoenix disaster becomes ridiculous."