Earlier this year, Institute members met in Ottawa with Steve Mackinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) Minister Carla Qualtrough as part of the February 5, 2019 PIPSC Lobby Day. He committed the department to consultation with the Institute and other affected bargaining agents on this critical issue.
Later that month, a follow-up letter outlining our specific concerns was sent to Mr. Mackinnon, to Minister Qualtrough and to Sonia Powell, PSPC Director General, Workplace Solutions, who is the public service lead on this initiative.
This led to a meeting between PIPSC project lead Sean O’Reilly and senior PSCP officials on May 2, 2019. These employer representatives committed themselves to working much more closely with affected bargaining agents in the future, and admitted that some of the existing open office pilots and implementations had fallen well short of the program’s objectives. They will be sharing a number of relevant documents with the Institute in the days ahead, and ongoing meetings with them are planned for the future.
Our government relations efforts on this issue are paying dividends. By working closely with PSPC and the federal departments that will be introducing open offices in the months and years to come, we will be able to ensure that our members’ concerns are heard and taken seriously at both the planning and implementation stages. Our objectives are to ensure that all such conversions take into account their specific needs, whatever their profession, and that the government’s future offices become truly healthy, collaborative and productive workplaces.