OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 25, 2013) - The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is challenging the Conservative government to withdraw the provisions in Budget implementation legislation introduced this week that will have the effect of further undermining labour relations in the federal public service.
Earlier this week, the government introduced Bill C-4, yet another of the undemocratic Omnibus budget bills that have become its stock in trade. Buried within the legislation are measures that will dramatically change the rules governing collective bargaining and undermine the rights of Canadians who work in the federal public service, as well as put at risk the public services that all Canadians depend on. These include unlimited and unilateral power to declare what constitute essential services and removing the option of settling contracts through independent arbitration, thereby promoting confrontation and disruption.
"We share the view that change is needed, but this government is hell-bent on erasing at least fifty years of progress in labour relations," said Gary Corbett, President of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. "Real modernization should result in more efficient and constructive labour relations and benefit all Canadians. It should be fair, open and transparent, not smuggled in through a back door."
Corbett added: "After slashing government jobs, programs and services related to health, safety and protection of the environment, the government has no credibility to now deem what is essential."
The Professional Institute, which represents more than 55,000 scientists and other professionals, is calling on the federal government to withdraw the proposed changes to the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA) and other associated measures from Bill C-4. Instead, the government should sit down with the Institute and other bargaining agents to flesh out a modern labour law for the federal public service modeled on labour legislation that applies to other workers - public and private sector alike - across Canada.
"Our members would welcome a labour relations regime where the deck is not stacked against hardworking and dedicated professionals who serve Canadians every day," concluded Corbett. "This government should take up this challenge and signal that it respects the fundamental values, such as fairness, that have defined our country for generations."