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The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada > News & Events > Communications Magazine > Vol. 36, No. 2, Spring 2010 > Perspective
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Fellow members,

As you read this issue of Communications Magazine, our 2nd Symposium on Public Science will already be over. This was an extremely successful event featuring high-caliber speakers who triggered thought-provoking debates and discussions with politicians, members of the media, guests and members. We continue to herald the importance of public science as a core government function. Our next issue will feature the highlights of the Symposium.

In April, I appeared before the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates on your behalf. Union leaders were invited to comment on the effects of the freeze on departmental budgets imposed in the federal budget. This was an opportunity to remind our politicians of the important work being undertaken by our professional members throughout the country. We remain of the view that reducing the funds invested in the public service will have detrimental long-term effects. We also suggested that important economies could be realized by limiting contracting-out by the federal government. I direct you to the brief and my speaking notes on our website.

On the National Day of Mourning, on April 28, I joined Ken Georgetti, President of the Canada Labour Congress, and other union leaders to honour those who lost their lives in work-related accidents. In 2008, 1,036 deaths as a result of work-related accidents or occupational diseases were recorded in Canada; more than 2 deaths per day... Unbelievable! Another 942,478 were injured or became ill. Accidents rank as the 5th leading cause of death in Canada. We need to continue to work diligently to eradicate workplace accidents and deaths.

Another important event in April was the launch of Poor No More, a compelling documentary hosted by popular CBC personality Mary Walsh. The Institute is a proud sponsor of this film, which is an important milestone to increase the understanding of the value of unions in society and to Canadian prosperity. It provides a glimpse of what the workplace is becoming for a lot of workers. Sadly, most of the people in this film are not or were not members of a union. This documentary will be shown at various PIPSC functions and meetings in the coming months.

On another front, we were pleased that the government did not introduce changes to our pension plan in the March budget. Nevertheless, we continue to be vigilant on the issue. We encouraged our members to participate in the government’s public consultations on retirement security where possible. We also developed a position paper entitled “Ensuring the Ongoing Strength of Canada’s Retirement System” for consideration by the Retirement System consultation process undertaken by the federal Department of Finance. Our recommendations encompass a broad range of proposals aimed at ensuring the government’s continued ability to fund the key social programs, and to safeguard the retirement security of all Canadians, no matter their employment background.

Finally, as PIPSC President I have the pleasure of meeting many different members each and every day. By far, this is the most enjoyable duty of this office. I encourage you to discover more on what our members do For the Public Good.

Read on!

Gary Corbett