For immediate release
Federal Unions Come Together Across Canada to Protect Public Science Integrity and the Integrity of the Public Service
OTTAWA, May 19, 2015 - Federal public servants are gathering across Canada today to protest the muzzling of Canada’s public scientists, interference in the development of public science and obstruction of the collective bargaining process.
In Ottawa, the presidents of the three largest unions, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) participated in mobilization and information activities. Similar events are also being held today in Montreal, Quebec City and Vancouver.
“This government has no respect whatsoever for Canada’s public scientists,” said PIPSC President Debi Daviau. Right now our scientists are constrained in their ability to share their research and collaborate with their peers. They’re frequently “missing in action” at international conferences. They can’t speak freely to the media and the public about their work. These are all essential elements of performing science in the public interest and that’s how you protect our country’s environment and the health and safety of Canadians.”
In addition, federal government science has also faced dramatic cuts. By 2017, over $ 2.6 billion and 7,500 positions will have been eliminated from the top 10 science-based departments and agencies. Departmental science libraries have been shuttered with their contents sometimes ending up in dumpsters.
“In the face of this growing crisis, our members have stepped up and made scientific integrity in defence of the public interest a collective bargaining issue,” said Daviau. “Now, true to form, this government is barring them from discussing these proposals in their workplaces.”
“Facts shouldn’t be denied, they should be talked about. The government has to restore funding to world-class government research programs and facilities, negotiate scientific integrity provisions, and let its scientists do their jobs”, concluded Daviau.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents some 55,000 professionals across Canada’s public sector.
For further information: Pierre Villon (613) 228-6310 extension 2228 (office) (613) 794-9369 (cell)