Do the officials take us for suitcases?

Where is the Prime Minister hiding, despite being a proud subscriber to all progressive causes? Does he not see that he has collective agreement ink on his hands? How can he tolerate the withdrawal of hard-won rights during the pandemic, this great normalizer of today’s world?

Enough irony. I think the government is right to assert its right to manage. The pandemic is over (that one has a broad back) and it is completely normal for Canadian government employees to return to work, as millions of much less paid and pampered workers do every morning. than federal civil servants.

In addition, they will not have to report to work five days a week, but only three. Except that for the unions, it’s too much. It’s a tragedy.

It seems that we will have to prepare to live a summer of “discontent”, threatens the national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Chris Aylward, who is asking his members to file tens of thousands of grievances to have their voices heard reason for this heartless government.

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National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Chris Aylward. (Patrick Woodbury/Archives Le Droit)

Several other unions are opposed to it, citing in passing the lack of premises to house all these beautiful people and the presence of “vermin” in those who remain. You see, the government is considering selling certain buildings to build housing. What next? Ah yes, the federal government would have complied with the demands of the evil Conservative Prime Minister of Ontario Doug Ford and the mayor of Ottawa who are worried about the devitalization of the capital’s downtown.

A very real issue, but that’s not all. The question of productivity – another dirty word – keeps resurfacing when it comes to debating the issue of teleworking. According to unions, people are more productive at home because they have fewer distractions at home than at the office.

And I have a beautiful gold-plated handle on my back…

I’m a freelancer so I work from home. I know how things are in the basement offices. It is the capital of entertainment. A little brew here, a sweep there, a more or less quick glance at the news on TV. Schoolchildren who come home around 4 p.m. and who must be served a snack and a bit of listening before going to dinner.

When the kids are little, teleworking is a good joke. It is impossible to take care of toddlers at home and work at the same time. When unions talk about the savings made for “hybrid” workers who do not have to pay for child care, they laugh at us.

But the government also knows how to make us laugh: it seems that the productivity of civil servants is not measured by the employer, whether they are at home or at work. Afterwards we will wonder why there was a passport crisis and gigantic delays in the management of immigration files. No one takes into account the pace and volume of work, everything being left to the discretion of civil servants.

What joke! Without subjecting state employees to surveillance, there is a good way to know who is doing what and in how long! The cat is out of the bag.

Yes, but, we hear, several private employers allow teleworking. No one will deny it, but when taxpayers foot the bill, they have the right to know if their money is well spent. That’s the difference. Civil servants are privileged: job security, indexed pension fund, generous benefit programs, paid vacation all year round, unsanctioned absenteeism and so on.

On top of all this, the employer would have to give up its right to manage! And that we, taxpayers, accept being threatened with service cuts so that a privileged caste can work peacefully at home. What next?

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press Archives)

Oh yes, the unions even went so far as to ask the New Democratic Party to support their cause, even if it meant bringing down the government by tearing up the political agreement between Jagmeet Singh’s party and the Liberals. Nothing less. We would go to an election to protect federal civil servants from a “government which so blatantly disregards the rights and well-being of workers” write the unions to the Treasury Board. I tell you, let’s call the Blue Helmets.

What about the well-being of employees who cannot avail themselves of the “right” to telework: nurses, teachers, restaurant servers, housekeeping employees, cashiers, crane operators and other construction workers, landscapers, pilots and flight attendants and so many others who must leave home to earn a living.

Teleworking is a Source of social injustice. But the civil servants who will have to show up at the office more often can enjoy it as long as they are left alone three days a week.

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