In 2020, the Women in Science (WiS) team conducted a survey to learn more about real-life experiences of parental and family leave in the federal public sector. The team interviewed members of the Applied Science and Patent Examination (SP) group, the Audit, Commerce and Procurement (AV) group, the Architecture, Engineering and Surveying (NR), Health Services Group (SH) and Research Group (Regroup.
What they found is a faulty system – that relies on ad hoc management decisions, forces employees to make impossible decisions, and disproportionately penalizes women and gender-diverse people.
The findings underscore the need, and the work ahead, to build a culture that values care: a culture that promotes inclusive and friendly workplaces for all people with care work responsibilities. They also reinforce the strength of our position and our continued advocacy for better, clearer and more accessible Code 699 sick leave, parental leave and leave guidelines.
We know that many of the issues raised by the survey are not exclusive to the public service or the groups that participated in it. We encourage everyone – all our members, as well as employers, other unions and policy makers at all levels – to read the full report.
Here is an overview of the results:
“I chose not to have children because I don’t think I would be able to meet the demands of my job if I had a child.”
- 48% of respondents expressed concern about the impact of family responsibilities on their career
- 34% have considered delaying having a child because they think it will negatively impact their career
“I held a management position for 4 years. I declined to accept the position permanently due to the lack of flexibility to balance family responsibilities and work during COVID-19. »
- 41% said they believe maternity and parental leave can negatively affect career trajectory
- 22% of researchers surveyed say their funding is impacted by their maternity or parental leave
“I feel like there is no one to call for help. I don’t know where to start other than talking to my manager. I have received very little information from my employer.
- Only 2% of respondents who needed help said they had childcare at work
- Only 45% believe parental leave rights in their group’s collective agreement provide adequate support for families and new parents
Care leave is a top priority for PIPSC members, which is why we are mounting a multi-pronged campaign to address the issues highlighted in the survey and to advance the recommendations made in the final report. . We start with education and awareness. Webinars will continue to be offered to members on leave, how to access them and what to do in case of refusal.
We also collect evidence for collective bargaining. Starting with the work of the WiS team, PIPSC will expand its research to the full membership, then work with negotiators and bargaining teams to develop the evidence-based proposals we need to support and effectively defend these issues at the bargaining table.
READ THE FULL REPORT