Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

July 06, 2010 12:09 ET

An Attack on the Professional Public Service and a Waste of Tax Dollars

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 6, 2010) - The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada denounces the federal government's decision to appeal a Federal Court ruling, another demonstration of how poorly the public service is being managed.

 "Canadians' hard-earned tax dollars are being foolishly wasted on onerous and lengthy legal expenses rather than being invested wisely in services for the public good of this country," states Gary Corbett, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, the union that represents some 600 professionals at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). "The government's refusal to pay registration fees for federal crown corporation engineers at the CNSC shows its utter disrespect for all its professional employees. Worse, it shows flagrant disregard for ensuring that Canadians receive the best possible protection by the most qualified professionals."

 On July 20, 2009 the government applied to Federal Court for judicial review of the NUREG arbitral award, specifically to quash the provision for the reimbursement of the registration fees of CNSC Nuclear Regulatory Group (PIPSC - NUREG) members in their professional governing bodies. The government took the position that the reimbursement of professional fees violated the Expenditure Restraint Act (ERA). However, in May 2010 the Federal Court dismissed the government's application for the judicial review stating "…the Registration Fees Clause provides employees with a reimbursement rather than a bonus or a similar payment ", clearly indicating that professional fees are not part of the ERA and therefore reimbursable.

 Yet, despite the sound decision of the Court and the relatively low cost of the settlement, the government appealed the ruling in June 2010, which precipitated the following response from President Corbett: "This move is really offensive to all Canadians who expect a very high level of professional service from their government. Canadians know all too well the importance of adhering to professional standards, and our members' registration in their professional associations guarantees the standard to which they must be held. In fact, many professionals such as lawyers and doctors must be registered with their associations to practice their profession. The government's appeal is particularly questionable at a time when the CNSC is holding public hearings to consider Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's application for the restart of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor".

 The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some 59,000 professionals across Canada's public sector, including approximately 600 Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission employees.

Contact Information

  • Chantal Lecours
    613-228-6310 extension 2229 or 613-864-4368 (cell)