Workplace issues, Job satisfaction, Publishing and Collaboration

“Never had to think about retirement but now with all CFIA existing teams being dismantled, am actively looking at getting out........just like many senior CFIA leaders have done so recently, the rod is now the rule”

“For many years I was very proud to be a member of the public service as a scientist, and always felt very fortunate and satisfied with every day at the office......now I wait for retirement! The Harper government has been by far the worst for morale in my 30 years.”

“Meetings are very important in order for scientists to carry out their work and collaborate with colleagues, and to advance in their career. Research should receive more recognition and postdoctorates should be able to attend conferences; possibility of retaining highly qualified staff in labs. We’re losing the expertise of highly qualified people because of the hiring process. Furthermore, it’s hard to travel and send our staff on training, even though our research funding is external. Decisions are all made the same way, regardless of whether the funding is external and already earmarked for it. Decisions should be made separately, based on internal and external resources.” [FR]

“I love what I do. I work hard and I am often willing to sacrifice personal time to get things done on time. With the increased difficulties to get the work done (permissions needed to do anything/everything, the complete lack of trust in us, and the inability to travel and attend conferences), the lack of job security and the lower wages in comparison to private sector is slowly pushing me to look for a career outside the federal gov. I would love to stay and contribute, but I don't know if I can stand it.”

“I've never seen morale so low.”

“Regret working for CFIA - no respect for scientists and science since 2010”

“Morale is at its lowest and anxiety at its highest.” [FR]

“I'm probably quitting. Harper wins.”

“The lack of commitment and rigour to solving technical problems, and the inaccurate characterization of public servants by politicians in the media are ongoing stressors in my workplace. I am now considering leaving the public service in the near future.”

“My position has been 'affected' and I am competing in a SERLO [Selection of Employees for Retention or Lay-Off Assessment] process for the one position that will be kept. Several colleagues are competing against each other for the one position. Does not do much for morale.”

“I see a workplace where people are afraid to speak out about funding decisions and cutbacks because they are scared for their own positions, which fractures the workforce and lowers the morale. I see tired people who are resigned to the way it is and are just hoping to hang on quietly until things get better. I've been told it's not quite rock bottom yet...but we've been headed downhill since I started working for the federal service and I just have to hang on a bit longer and eventually workplace morale and support for science will improve. It is depressing as a young scientist in the first half of a career.”

“I have worked as a [REMOVED] biologist for over [REMOVED] years. Past employment with industry, municipal and provincial governments and a university. I have never experienced such a combative, negative, regressive and patronizing regime as our present federal government. I do not feel that I know my Canada any more. I plan to retire early to avoid being subjected to such a corrosive environment for any longer than is absolutely necessary.”

“I have decided to take early retirement this [MONTH REMOVED], in part because of my increasing dissatisfaction with the direction the department is taking, especially since the Fisheries Act and CEAA were gutted and re-constructed by industry and HQ and my increasing ethical qualms about being part of this and in essence validating the new direction.”

“Scientists from my department are regularly declined to attend conferences in which they are invited to give keynote lectures, and/or are convening scientific sessions. This is creating a reputation for Canadian government geoscientists in the international community that it is not worth the trouble to collaborate with us. Frustrating!”

“I believe publication in peer-reviewed journals and presentation of the data and our work at conferences is imperative. However, the publication process and approval process to present is a nightmare. I went to a very large scientific conference in the US and there was not one Environment Canada presenter…”

“Government restrictions on travel are preventing many federal researchers from attending annual meetings of scientific societies, thereby reducing the long-term viability of these organizations.”

“I might consider leaving the public service earlier simply because of the abusive way science and scientists have been treated.”

“In my opinion, Science in Canada is under attack by the Harper Government. I have never experienced such a low morale among DFO scientists. This has not been helped by the recent loss of the libraries which has dealt a major psychological blow.”

“The restrictions on travel by government scientists is having significant impacts on our ability to conduct cutting-edge research and establish collaborations that leverage the work we are doing. Restrictions on hiring staff and students will significantly impact our capacity to deliver on mandate-driven work.”