OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 13, 2012) - Some 900 federal government professionals represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and working at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) received the news today that their positions will be "affected" by the government's continuing cuts to programs and services. This brings to over 5200 the number of PIPSC members who have received a Workforce Adjustment (WFA) notice since the tabling of the 2012 federal Budget.
These professionals include 7 Medical Adjudicators, Nurses who use their medical knowledge to determine applicants' eligibility for CPP disability benefits, and 886 Information Technology Specialists, the majority of whom are with the Innovation, Information and Technology Branch. According to HRSDC itself, the Branch is notably responsible for "business applications that support and streamline work processes, access data, and process millions of benefit-related transactions to address Canadians' needs". The work performed by these PIPSC members supports departmental activities across the federal government, including those of Service Canada, which administers Employment Insurance, Old Age Security, the Guaranteed Income Supplement, the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), and child care benefits (UCCB & CCTB).
"We are concerned about the impact of these cuts on our members and on the key services they provide Canadians" said PIPSC Vice-President Debi Daviau. "It may well be yet another step towards outsourcing public service work to the private sector, where data privacy and security are an issue. Just a few days ago, it was reported that the Department of National Defence is looking at spending $100 million on contractors to perform the work of staff who have just been let go. Why should we expect anything different this time?"
This is the second round of cuts this year at HRSDC. Over 5000 employees, or close to 22.5% of its workforce, have now received "affected" notices from the Department. Earlier this spring, approximately 100 PIPSC members received similar notices from their employer. "If the government wants to replace thousands of public service employees with contract workers, it certainly won't achieve the savings it is looking for. Professional public servants remain the most cost-effective, and trustworthy way to deliver the programs and services Canadians depend on", concluded Daviau.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some 60,000 professionals and scientists across Canada's public sector.