The Public Service Alliance of Canada is seeking significant changes to the Workforce Adjustment Appendix, the rules that govern how staff reductions are achieved in the federal public service.
The union tabled almost 30 improvements to the document during negotiations with Treasury Board on Wednesday.
“The way in which public services were cut placed a huge stress on our members. We need to learn from our experience to make improvements to the system, by better consulting the people who actually deliver the services and treating them fairly if cuts occur,” said Robyn Benson, PSAC National President.
“The result is severe and long-lasting damage to the overall morale of the federal public service, and there has been a profoundly negative impact on the mental health of thousands of employees,” she added.
PSAC is calling for a more transparent process, and increased consultation, on how to best meet the mandate of the federal public service, and minimize involuntary departures. Canadians deserve more transparency on the impact of job reductions on the public services they depend on, and on the employees who deliver them.
This would include a better system for facilitating voluntary departures, which the union says will result in less anxiety for employees, a healthier workplace, and higher morale.
The union is also proposing that seniority be used when employment reduction goals cannot be reached through voluntary programs. This is common throughout the private and public sectors in Canada.
“Seniority is a fair and transparent tool to use – everyone understands the rules,” said Benson. “It is far preferable to the current agonizing system which requires employees to compete against each other for their own jobs.”
According to the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), employment in the federal public service dropped by 36,900 full-time equivalent jobs in the three-year period ending in July 2014.
For further information please contact:
Shelina Merani, PSAC Communications, 613-293-9324