27 September 2023

CANADA: Survey finds PS staff unhappy

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Public Servants working for the Canadian Province of Manitoba are Manitoba’s civil servants are feeling less satisfied with their jobs and more concerned about a lack of information-sharing, according to the results of a questionnaire sent to all government employees late last year.

Premier, Brian Pallister (pictured), however, preferred to stress the high participation rate in the survey, saying it showed the Public Service was well-engaged.

The Employee Engagement Survey was distributed to approximately 14,000 Provincial PS employees, with responses received from roughly half the workforce.

Employees surveyed were about 16 per cent less satisfied with their respective Departments than those in 2015, the last time such an engagement survey was done.

According to the survey, 38 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their Departments, down from 54 per cent in 2015.

There was a 9 per cent dip in confidence in senior Departmental leadership (45 per cent, down from 54 per cent) and 10 per cent fewer people said they felt proud to tell people they worked for the Manitoba Government (53 per cent, down from 63 per cent).

Mr Pallister said the Government was doing a lot of outreach that had not been done in the past.

“So I think, in part, higher participation rates sometimes can result in higher percentages of negative comments,” Mr Pallister said.

“I will continue to involve and encourage our Government to involve in every way possible Civil Servants, and engage them in the progress that we’re making.”

President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union, Michelle Gawronsky said she was shocked by the Premier’s response.

“For him to say that … the survey is good and you can expect the numbers to be a little bit skewed because more people have opted in to do it … They’ve chosen to speak because it’s the only way they can actually say what’s on their mind and where they are,” Ms Gawronsky said.

“They don’t dare put their head up and they don’t dare put their hand up: it’s keep your head down, keep your back up against the wall and just pray to God you’re going to have a job tomorrow.”

Winnipeg, 12 May 2019

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