Diversity with Equity and Inclusion
Ongoing systemic barriers in the federal public service continue to be of great concern. Some members of various minority groups report feeling excluded, unfairly treated, or discriminated against in the federal public service. The need for diversity with equity and inclusion continues to be a priority as CAPE advocates for better policies and practices in the federal workplace.
Federal Mandatory Vaccination
To curb the spread of COVID-19, the Federal government announced Friday August 13th, 2021, a unilateral decision to require mandatory vaccinations for all federal public service employees.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, many workplaces around the world pivoted to the telework and hybrid work models — the Canadian federal public sector included. As we learn to live with the pandemic, with no clear end in sight, the future of the workplace is changing.
Canada’s Federal Public Service is a powerful symbol of the national linguistic duality and plays a critical role in the protection and promotion of the official languages. Federal public service employees as a whole and the Translation Bureau specifically, are official languages champions but are not always empowered to lead effectively to live up to the expectations placed upon them by the employer and by Canadians who are expecting to receive high quality communication in both official languages.
Incidents of workplace harassment and violence are persistent, and often go unreported because people fear retaliation from their perpetrators or employers. As a result of research and concerted advocacy efforts by CAPE and many other groups and individuals, new regulations came into force at the start of the year that will address many of these problems.
Despite strong calls from unions to be more lenient, gradual restrictions on the use of leave with pay under Code 699 during the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely impacted some of the hardest hit federal public service employees.
COVID-19 and the Workplace
The rapid spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 disease in March 2020 forced the sheltering in place of non-essential federal public service employees. The sudden need for thousands of employees to telework led to a chaotic transition. Thousands called for improved communications, coordination and planning.
The Phoenix HR & Pay System will be remembered as the costliest IT blunder in federal government history. Since its adoption, CAPE has been actively advocating for the complete replacement of the Phoenix HR & Pay System in consultation with the labour union community.
Deeming of RCMP Civilians
The transfer of RCMP Civilian Members to the federal public service was planned for May 21, 2020. Many RCMP ESS and TRL employees, also CAPE members, opposed it, fearing that their transfer from a functional pay system to the Phoenix pay system would put their pay and leave at risk.
Virtual Parliament and Interpreters
In response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian Parliament rapidly moved its meetings online. The lack of proper technical infrastructure and poor practice caused several interpreters, CAPE TR members, to be injured on the job. This also affected their ability to effectively champion Canada’s two official languages.