Canada Employment and Immigration Union - https://ceiu-seic.ca/en/campaigns-and-issues/public-service-week-%e2%80%93-2011/
June 8, 2011

Public Service Week – 2011

We provide important services to Canadians and our work deserves to be recognized. This year, however, the government’s Public Service Week (June 12-18) is a particularly poor way to give this recognition. The theme for 2011 is “Be the Change!” but in view of the Harper government’s planned cuts, this theme will strike the wrong note for many staff. Members don’t want to “Be the Cuts” and equally have no interest in seeing a lower quality of services for Canadians.

CEIU will work to protect quality public services and defend the jobs of those who deliver them. Despite having a majority, the government must still be held to account for its choices that include operating a growing shadow public service. In its 2011 study titled The Shadow Public Service: The swelling ranks of federal government outsourced workers, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives concluded:

If the federal government wants to get serious about spending controls, it needs to look critically at its ballooning outsourcing costs. This study finds that over the past five years, personnel outsourcing costs have risen 79%. While federal departments have had their budgets capped, expenditures on outside consultants have not been touched and remain above $1 billion a year.

The Harper government has also chosen to purchase expensive fighter jets rather than preserve the services that Canadians need. The jets will cost at least $16 billion, and in a March 2011 poll 68% of Canadians, including 56% of Conservative voters, thought that “now is not a good time” to make such a purchase. Cuts to the public service are not a necessity, they are a choice, and in the months ahead CEIU will work with other Canadians to have the government make better choices.

We carry out important work for Canadians and our work deserves to be recognized. Because CEIU locals differ in their outlook on Public Service Week as a way to recognize the value of our work, we offer two suggestions. Locals that see Public Service Week as an empty gesture can boycott activities and hold their own celebrations instead. For locals that wish to participate, our messages about defending the public services we work hard to deliver can be added to those offered by the employer. “No matter which approach is taken, we can celebrate our work for Canadians,” said National President Jeannette Meunier-McKay, “and we can prepare for the coming battle to preserve the public services that Canadians count on.”

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