Government corruption – or incompetence? What would you call it?
From my point of view from my lowly position as a public service employee who has been on disability from the Federal Government of Canada for over two years, it’s government corruption and incompetence all wrapped up in one big surprise package!
The only thing is – why is a surprise package from the Federal government always bad news for those of us in the public who exist within the lower end of the pay scale of the 99%?
Normally when one works and dedicates time and effort for an employer they would, (and should) expect some measure of appreciation and fair treatment.
However, we, as public service employees, have become accustomed to being the dependable, overworked, under appreciated, under valued, and continually downgraded and undercut ‘whipping body’ of the Federal government when they see fit to cut somewhere to foster a positive view from the general public. Each and every time, this positive view comes from placing the public service employees in the position of having to fight to maintain status quo, never mind any hopes of improving our lot.
The most recent collective bargaining that affected me prior to my leave, resulted in accepting virtual elimination of severance.
While working for the federal government, I had the opportunity to meet and work with some amazing, dedicated and hard working people. Unfortunately, when any cuts the government wishes to make go through, the effect trickles down to those of us working on the front lines, affecting our pay, benefits, and most importantly, our work environment. Where I worked, positions were steadily being eliminated outright or by attrition when management at all levels would elect to not fill positions of those who left.
I watched numerous professionals and staff members have to deal with the duties and responsibilities of others being dumped on them when they were already overworked with their own workload. This in turn caused a legion of unhappy employees who tried to find solutions to their own situations by in turn trying to ‘delegate’ the work to others they perceived as being in lesser positions (i.e. administrative support like I was). This placed all of us in adversarial positions whether we could see it as such or not. It’s only since leaving work that I’ve been able to reflect back with a relatively objective view and see things for what they were.
Every time the federal government makes cuts to the public service, it increases the stress, hostility and toxicity of the work environment for us all. It’s about time someone worked to adjust the public’s view of public service employees to eliminate the erroneous image the federal government has worked hard to support – that of a bloated, spoiled, over indulged, over staffed and under worked public service. Nothing – AND I MEAN NOTHING – could be further from the truth. Take it from me who is in a position to speak honestly and not be in fear of repercussions because I am in the process of taking medical retirement.
I only hope what I say here has some small impact in improving the perceptions of public service employees, which would be a start to stopping this kind of cannibalizing of the public service to support raises, large expense accounts, perks, skyrocketing pensions, and partisanship interests of the higher levels of the government, Ministers and appointed government officials, as well as elected public figures and politicians.
What prompted me to finally speak out? These articles on the CBC website did. They were all published on CBC within the last three weeks and taken in context and as a whole, it’s like an attack from all sides by the federal government.
Government proposes move to withhold two weeks’ pay from public servants – Shift to “payment in arrears” part of modernizing of pay system.
Currently, the federal government wishes to reduce the public service payroll of its employees by four per cent. They claim this would modernize the pay system and make it more comparable with the private sector. We all know the majority of the private sector (especially younger people taking entry level jobs) are living below the poverty level. Those of us working in lower levels of the public service in support positions are just barely living above the poverty line of approximately $35,000 for a family of four in Canada (as of 2009, four years ago). I’m just lucky I’m not a single Mom. I had (and still have) an amazing husband working full time in a private civilian job where he is wonderfully treated and makes enough to support us throughout my health troubles over the past couple of years.
The government’s goal is to recover a total of two weeks pay from public servants over the next year by reducing 24 pay cheques by an average amount that, over those 24 months, will equal a total of two weeks of pay. All new hires would begin their jobs by working the first two weeks for nothing since the federal government would permanently withhold this pay. There is something very wrong with this.
PSAC takes federal government to court over collective bargaining – Move to force border guards to vote on last offer can’t go unchallenged, union says.
Tories seek end to public servants’ banked sick leave – Government proposes short-term disability plan to tackle soaring absenteeism, help ill employees.
I also listened to this interview in which the government’s claims that recent cuts in staffing would total 19,000 was actually flawed and that there will be upwards of 29,000 jobs lost by 2016. The government claimed only back office services would be affected when in fact the cuts will be greatly affecting actual program services. Even if this were not the case, it only underlines what I’m saying about the lower level professionals and support staff suffering the consequences.
…and the federal government wonders why I’m only one of numerous individuals comprising an epidemic of disability claims? In my particular case the effects of my work situation are depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), stress, anxiety, agoraphobia, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Maybe if the government worked to improve working conditions in the public service, they’d reap the rewards of massively reduced costs due to health issues, disability, and workplace dispute management and mediation.