Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

March 03, 2008 11:22 ET

Media Advisory/Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada: It's John A. Macdonald's "Time for Action!"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2008) - Archivists and historians employed at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and their colleagues, who are members of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, will be holding a rally to draw attention to their sub-par salary and to inform the Canadian public of how badly our national history is undervalued. The archivists and historians belong to the Institute's Research Group, which will be in mediation from the 3rd to the 6th of March.

When: Tuesday, March 4, 2008, at 12 noon

Where: In front of the Library and Archives Canada building
395 Wellington Street, corner of Bay Street, in Ottawa

Spokesperson: Michele Demers, President of the Professional Institute

Special guest: Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada and
founder of the Public Archives of Canada in 1872.

Archivists and historians form one of the lowest-paid groups in the federal government. They have also been without a contract since September 30, 2006. Archivists at LAC earn an average of $13,000 less than their professional peers across the country. Their undervaluation is a longstanding issue in the Government of Canada and is a constant and growing obstacle to job retention at LAC.

The role these professionals play in protecting the country's official documents is priceless: they help preserve the history of our families, our communities and our country, and they help all Canadians assert their legal and constitutional rights. The authors writing biographies of politicians like Sir John A. Macdonald base their works on research conducted on archives conserved at LAC.

However, because of the high staff turnover rate, knowledge about these documents is slowly but surely eroding. The LAC is in peril of no longer being able to fulfil its legislative mandate as guardian of the government's and the nation's documents. The compensation issue has been widely acknowledged by all parties, but the government continues to deny the need to pay them a fair wage. Its inability or lack of desire to resolve the problem is a good demonstration of how the Government of Canada continues to undervalue our national heritage.

The LAC archivists and historians are members of the Research Group in the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, a national union that represents 55,000 members from coast to coast to coast. Ten Institute groups are currently in talks with the Treasury Board and negotiations for all these groups are moving at a snail's pace.

Contact Information

  • Chantal Lecours
    Section Head, Communications
    613-228-6310, ext. 2229 or 613-864-4368