In a recent appearance before the Senate Human Rights Committee, PSAC regional executive vice-president (Atlantic) Jeannie Baldwin outlined some of our union’s concerns about the current government’s lack of commitment to employment equity in the federal public service.
Under the Conservative government, responsibility for employment equity has been delegated to departments which has led to inconsistency and very little information, consultation or collaboration.
“It is becoming very difficult, if not impossible to determine if employment equity goals are being met because Treasury Board’s reports have been providing less and less information”, Baldwin told Senators. “PSAC has regularly asked for the critical data and analysis that is currently lacking in the reports.”
In 2013, the Senate Human Rights Committee recommended that Treasury Board include specific information in its annual report but they haven’t complied.
Baldwin noted that due to the cutbacks in the public service, there are no longer specialized persons, nor a section within Treasury Board, solely responsible for employment equity. “Employment equity is no longer a priority,” she said.
The 2014 Public Service Employee Survey results show that employees in equity groups are more likely than other employees to respond negatively to questions about training, being accepted as an equal member of the team, harassment and discrimination, among others.
Our union is continuing to push Treasury Board on employment equity issues but the government will not commit to meaningful consultation.