Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

March 17, 2009 16:24 ET

Union Has Concerns About New Brunswick Budget

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 17, 2009) - The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has serious concerns about the budget delivered today by the Government of New Brunswick. The government has announced the elimination of public service positions, a two-year wage freeze and an indefinite hiring freeze on all open competitions for permanent positions.

As we saw in the federal budget, public service employees are the scapegoats for government financial difficulties. This is a sad reflection on the value the government places on its employees, especially its professionals. Public service employees understand that the economy is in trouble, and are willing to do their fair share during difficult economic times. They are willing to negotiate in good faith and find a negotiated solution suitable for both parties. "It is not necessary for the government to undermine the right to collective bargaining in order to solve its economic woes," commented Gary Corbett, Acting PIPSC President.

The collective agreements for the members of the Institute's New Brunswick bargaining groups expire on February 28, 2010. The New Brunswick government has promised to honour the conditions of existing collective agreements. If the government insists on overruling the right to collective bargaining, it will be contradicting the Supreme Court of Canada decision rendered in June 2007 that collective bargaining is a constitutionally protected freedom under the freedom of association guarantee set out in Section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

"The Institute is investigating all legal avenues to challenge this unfair approach to labour relations," added Mr. Corbett.

A strong and effective public service is critical to maintaining the infrastructure which the public relies on every day for their safety and well-being. Furthermore, the public service will be essential for the effective and timely delivery of programs in which the government has injected millions of dollars. Any short-term costs savings the government hopes to achieve will be wiped-out by the lasting impact of these ill-advised decisions.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is the largest multi-profession union in Canada with a membership of 57,000. In the New Brunswick civil service, PIPSC represents engineers, architects, land surveyors, veterinarians, and agrologists.

Contact Information

  • Laureen Allan
    613-228-6310, ext. 2230
    613-864-6700 (cell)