Thank you for the question and, of course, thanks for having me and our officials here to answer your questions. We will of course endeavour, as always, to give you the best and most considered answers we can.
I'm pleased to say that we continue to make progress on the Phoenix file. We have decreased the backlog by about 209,000 cases since January 2018, which represents about a third—a 33% reduction—of the backlog in that time period. We've increased the number of people working at the pay centre and in our regional offices to around 1,500 employees, plus an additional 200 employees working in the client contact centre.
We now have, as of last Friday, transitioned all client departments serviced by the pay centre to the pay pod model. I was in Moncton for the last transition, where it was quite a significant accomplishment for our public servants. I'm pleased to announce that the early pods, pod zero and pod one, are at a 48% reduction in their respective client departments. We are seeing results—of course, as I've said many times to this committee, not as quickly as we would like.
I would say that client and customer morale is up. Certainly, public servant morale is up. I felt that first-hand last Friday in Moncton.
Overall, we are seeing a steady decline. We are cleaning up files. The pay pod model is definitely proving to have been the special sauce, if you will, in taming this dragon.