Actions across Canada defend scientific integrity and collective bargaining

Gatineau

Workers in the federal public sector demonstrated across the country May 19 addressing the concerns of Canadians with the Harper government’s interference in public scientific research and refusal to engage in real negotiations for public sector collective agreements.

Members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and Canadian Association of Professional Employees (CAPE) among others have been protesting on the 19th of every month leading up to the October 19 federal election date.

PIPSC President Debi Daviau said in a May 19 press release that the Harper government “has no respect whatsoever for Canada’s public scientists. 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.” 

Federal scientists also drew attention to the more than $2.6 billion and 7,500 positions which will have been cut from science-intensive departments and agencies by 2017 according to the government’s budget. They pointed out that whole departmental science libraries have already been shut down, with their contents in some cases ending up in dumpsters. In their efforts to have the government negotiate on collective agreements, federal scientists are also demanding contract language to protect scientific integrity against the ongoing muzzling of scientific research.

Quebec City

Dorval

Vancouver

At the protest in Gatineau, where many federal public service workers are located, a demonstration was announced against Bill C-59, the Harper government’s latest omnibus budget implementation bill. Among other things, the bill unilaterally removes $900 million from workers’ collective agreements and undermines sick leave rights.

Source: Renewal Update

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