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Local woman dealing with cancer, facing tough life decisions due to Phoenix

As Lynn McDaniel continues to go through cancer treatment, she worries about the day she has to go back to work.
2018-02-28 Federal government building MV
A federal government building in downtown Ottawa, February 28, 2018. (Photo/ Mike Vlasveld)

An Ottawa woman, coming off of breast cancer surgery, doesn't know if she can return to her federal government job as problems with the Phoenix pay system continue to affect her life.

Lynn McDaniel works for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, and told 1310 NEWS' Ottawa Today with Mark Sutcliffe her life has been turned upside down ever since the pay system was implemented.

She described being plunged into debt for the last year, and having her credit score completely ruined.

McDaniel said her lack of a steady paycheque caused her to suffer from depression and other medical issues, which she ended up taking a leave of absence to deal with. Once she got back from that leave in April, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She explained that she did return to work for about six weeks, but the Phoenix system is still so backed up that it still hasn't recognized that she ever returned to work.

Now, McDaniel is looking to sell her house while grappling with the decision to look for a new job.

"And that's what really has me upset because no matter where I go, I'm not going to earn the money that I earn at the government, which means I'm going to have to spend more hours there," she said. "I don't even know what to do first -- do I sell the house to try and manage? But even without the house, I still have bills to pay, I can't sustain myself for seven months."

In the meantime, McDaniel is getting paid by her insurance company because she is still dealing with cancer treatments. Her cancer has been removed but she is waiting for chemotherapy and radiation treatments. That means she might have a bit of time before having to return to work, but she said it's still something that worries her.

"The day is going to come," she added. "I don't know what I'm going to do -- probably [drive for] Uber or, I've been joking saying I'll work at Metro across the street [from where I live], but I'm not really joking about that. However I can get a steady paycheque is basically what I need to do."

McDaniel has been wondering why the federal government has not moved back to its old payroll system while it sorts out all of the Phoenix pay system issues. She holds it accountable for the problems she and thousands of others have faced over the last year.

Listen to the full conversation with Lynn McDaniel:

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