Response to the Throne Speech

Publish date: Thursday, July 12, 2018 update

Union to Government: Make use of professional civil service for critical policy and program expertise

TORONTO, ON – As Ontario’s new government lays out its priorities in its first Speech from the Throne, AMAPCEO, the union representing 14,000 professional workers in the Ontario Public Service (OPS), has a message for Cabinet: use your policy and program experts – the professional civil service.

“Our members— policy and financial analysts, program supervisors, communications specialists and IT architects—do critical work in planning and providing for our growing province,” said AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer. “They are an incredible resource for any new government, and capable of providing independent advice and expertise on all issues of concern.”

“The new Cabinet would do well to consult with them thoroughly,” he added.

The second-largest bargaining unit in the Ontario Public Service, 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.

“Ontario’s professional employees are already 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,” said Bulmer. “While the Premier campaigned on there being no public sector job losses, we’re concerned about the effects of any cuts on Ontario’s services and its most vulnerable citizens.”

As Public Servants, AMAPCEO members appreciate that every government has its ideological priorities. However, it can’t go unstated that the repeal of programs always comes with both direct and indirect fallout. 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 in revenue – revenue that pays for other services – like capital repairs to schools. Before such changes are enacted, they should be thoroughly analyzed, so that decisions can be made in light of all considerations.

AMAPCEO is also concerned about the effects of back-to-work legislation for workers on strike at York University. In isolation, legislation tramples on workers’ constitutional rights and sets a dangerous precedent. While no union prefers a strike, and no employer a lockout; legislation is a last resort that’s been necessitated by the lack of an arbitration mechanism that would address lengthy disputes.

AMAPCEO will remain vigilant with its Ontario Public Service and Broad Public Sector employers to ensure that political promises of no job loss are in fact honoured.

“Ultimately, our members are dedicated Public Servants whose primary goal is providing professional expertise to the government of the day,” President Bulmer said. “We believe the province would be well-served to have its civil service and its government working together. We look forward to doing so.”

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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