Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

October 13, 2010 08:48 ET

PSC Report Sounds the Alarm on Contracting-out Abuses

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 13, 2010) - The Public Service Commission report on the government's use of temporary help services, released on October 5, affirms the long-standing claim of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) that the government is creating a permanent, parallel public-service workforce with limited rights and transparency to Canadians.

"I salute the Commission for shining some light on Canada's shadow public service, and I commend the courage of Commission President Maria Barrados in documenting the abuse of the staffing process. The government's resort to temporary help agencies compromises public-service values of integrity, merit and fairness, violates employee rights, and contravenes the terms of the Public Service Employment Act (PSEA) and Treasury Board's own policies," commented PIPSC President Gary Corbett.

From the budget to the bargaining table, the government has chided employees, while spending on temporary help services grows twice as fast as public-service salaries. On every occasion, the government declares the need for belt-tightening, while diverting money to temporary help agencies for staffing functions that public service managers should themselves be doing. Cynically, it has failed to provide its own workforce with badly-needed resources, while engaging temporary help services to cope with increased workloads and staffing shortages. Preaching accountability, does the government then propose to circumvent the PSEA with impunity?

Corbett added: "To all appearances, this government employs a double standard when it comes to its HR practices. It is using temporary help contracts to lower standards in the entire public service, rather than fostering the healthy workplace needed to meet recruitment and retention challenges and promote the government as an employer of choice."

PIPSC recommends that, as part of its 5-year review of the legislation, the government amend the PSEA to extend rights and formal status to the 'permanent temps' of the federal public service. PIPSC also urges the government to immediately issue clear guidance to departments on how to reduce outsourcing, and to respect the letter and spirit of the law.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents 59,000 professionals across Canada's public sector. It has provided written submissions on this matter to the pre-budget consultations of the House of Commons Finance Committee, and expects to testify on the issue this fall.

Contact Information

  • Johanne Fillion
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