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Our message to the government – use your professional public service

Publish date: Thursday, July 12, 2018 presidentsMessage

Today, Ontario’s new government laid out its priorities in its first Speech from the Throne. As your representative at that event, I can tell you it was long on pomp, circumstance, grandeur, and tradition. Though it spoke to what we have heard on the campaign trail as citizens and voters, it was short on substance and detail for all of us as Public Servants and union members.

Our message to the government is clear: use your professional public service.

Whether you’re a policy or financial analyst, program supervisor, communications specialist, IT architect or in any other AMAPCEO-represented position, whether you’re in the OPS or one of our BPS units, you do critical work planning and providing for our growing province. AMAPCEO members are an incredible resource for this new government, and capable of providing independent advice and expertise on all issues of concern.

AMAPCEO has worked with PC, Liberal, and NDP governments to provide independent, professional policy and program expertise across all ministries and in six broader public sector agencies. The new Cabinet would do well to consult with you thoroughly.

I’ve heard from some members that they are feeling the pressure of a new government having said it’s going to cut public spending – with no indication of where those cuts will occur. While the Premier campaigned on there being no public-sector job losses, and we’ll hold him to his word. We’re also concerned about the effects of any cuts on Ontario’s public services and its most vulnerable citizens.

As Public Servants, we appreciate that every government has its ideological priorities. However, it can’t go unstated that the repeal of programs always comes with fallout, direct and indirect. No Ministry, or program is an island unto itself. The recent decision to end cap and trade and carbon taxing not only makes for a policy shift, but also a loss of revenue – revenue that pays for other services, like capital repairs to schools. Before changes are enacted, they should be thoroughly analyzed by Ontario’s professional employees, who are experts in their field and bring advice, evidence and recommendations to the table prior to decision-making.  

I want to reassure all of our members that it was with strategic forethought that we negotiated early renewals of our Collective Agreements with our OPS Employer and the majority of our BPS units – that run through 2022. Rest assured we will vigorously defend those contracts if required.

Ultimately, we are all dedicated Public Servants whose primary goal is to provide professional expertise to the government. Our message to the new government is that when the Province makes use of its professional employees for evidence-based policy decision-making and top-notch program supervision, Ontario is better prepared, and Ontarians are better served.

Stronger together,

Dave Bulmer

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in eleven cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth; Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; Public Health Ontario; Health Quality Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner.

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