Union for federal scientists breaks neutrality, will campaign against Harper

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Union for federal scientists breaks neutrality, will campaign against Harper

The Canadian Press 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

OTTAWA -- The union representing scientists and other professionals in the federal public service is abandoning its tradition of neutrality in elections to actively campaign against Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) says delegates to its annual general meeting have agreed the union should be more politically active heading into next year's federal election.

In particular, delegates have agreed that the union should energetically expose the damage they believe the Harper government has done to federal public services.

Members of the union have complained bitterly about what they claim is the muzzling of federal scientists and political interference with their work.




Lord Palmerston

Good to hear.


Yup, this is historic for PIPSC.


I went to a meeting of a group called "Evidence for Democracy," formed by scientists fed up with not only the muzzling of government scientists, but also the defunding of all sorts of research, and the dismantling of libraries, that is quietly going on across the country as a part of the Harper government's war on the truth.

One of the scientists, a guy with a doctorate in physics, told us about an international conference where government scientists literally had minders following them around to make sure they didn't say anything off-message. Scientists from all over the world were like, "Canada? Really??"

Much of damage perpetrated by the government is going on out of the media spotlight. We have only heard about the tip of the iceberg.

In recent years, federal funding for science has decreased drastically1. Because of these cutbacks, many federal research programs have been scaled back or shut down completely, including important programs that monitor air quality and ocean contaminants2. This lack of monitoring and collection of crucial information prevents us from understanding our world and adapting to it when it changes. It also creates a gap in evidence that will impact public policy decisions for many years to come. This research is essential for protecting our health, safety and the environment.




radiorahim radiorahim's picture

PIPSC has been gradually moving into the mainstream of the labour movement.    They affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress in 2011.

Prior to this, only the main federal union, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) was in the CLC.

One of the good things that comes out of very bad things...like the Harper government is that people and organizations begin to realize how important it is to work together.