For immediate release
PUBLIC SERVICE ENGINEERS DENOUNCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S INDIFFERENCE TOWARDS DEPROFESSIONALISATION
Ottawa, October 1, 2009 – Safe structures, roads, railways, aircraft and ships seem of little concern to the federal government, whose Treasury Board representatives have expressed doubts about the value of professional certification for its professional engineers.
Membership in professional associations and recognition by governing bodies ensures that Canada’s public service engineers meet exacting educational and work experience standards. Yet the federal government has asked for a judicial review of an arbitration award that provides for the reimbursement of membership fees incurred by its engineers represented by the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC). This is a standard clause that plays a key role in ensuring that these federal government employees achieve the highest standards of professional qualification.
Astoundingly, the government is trying to portray its dogmatic and confrontational approach to labour relations as sound financial management by claiming that the reimbursement of these professional fees violates the Expenditure Restraint Act. The public interest is once again being sacrificed to financial considerations and political ignorance.
According to Gary Corbett, President of the Institute: “It is unbelievable that the government is trying to save a few dollars over the issue of professional certification. The safety of Canadians should be its foremost concern. This is clearly not the case, however, as its own negotiators have stated that they don’t believe that registered engineers are in the interest of Canadians. Fortunately, several provincial engineering associations are supporting our fight to restore the public good to its rightful place in the government’s decision-making processes”.
The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada represents 57,000 professionals across Canada’s public sector, including approximately 3100 professional engineers, architects and land surveyors.
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For further information: Pierre Villon