The TJ has an editorial scolding the public servants for watching the World Cup and bringing down the provincial servers. It’s kind of funny in the context of that Roger’s advertisment that runs all day reminding people they can watch the World Cup secretly while in their office. The editorial praises David Alward for reacting negatively to the civil servants and wonders why Shawn Graham hasn’t spoken out against it.
I’ll give you two reasons.
The Tories were pretty good to the public service. New contracts had fairly good wage increases. There were no major shakeups. Lots of new money flowed into the coffers and when Brad Green got booted out of office in the Fredericton area – he lamented with exactly this point. One of the reps from the public sector union (can’t remember the name) stated something to the effect that the Conservative don’t respect the public service).
The civil service votes and I expect the percentage that vote is very high. Piling on the public service in public by a politician is likely to show up at election time. It may be low hanging fruit to pick on the public service but it isn’t exactly endearing to them.
If there are changes needed to the public service, if there are efficiencies to be had, if there is a need to re-engage them in a broader vision for New Brunswick, it seems to me the strategy should be to bring them along side rather than hack away. A demoralized and detatched public service is not in anyone’s best interest.
We spending barrels of ink every day demanding that the public service rise to the challenges facing New Brunswick and then we flip the page and load up with stories about how dumb them are.
You can’t have it both ways.
3 thoughts on “Don’t mess with the Zohans in the Centennial Building”
I cringed when I heard about the blocking of the World Cup. Over the course of a whole match there are so few rivetting moments that I doubt any public servants are watching through. But like many other people, myself included, alert public servants may well check in on progress in a match, while carrying out their business. I find it a condescending mark of disrespect for those in charge to take such a negative action. The World Cup is a phenomenon world wide, and to be dis-interested is to be cut-off from what’s happening globally. Challenged and motivated public servants aren’t sitting transfixed by any single thing on their screens. If there is a failure, it is the failure to challenge or have high expectations of individual and collective performance.
What I would like to see is some actual evidence showing that the productivity of a workforce decreases when it is allowed to do things like watch the World Cup. Evidence that looks not simply at the one-month period of the event, but overall productivity over the course of a year. Because I doubt any such evidence exists, and I have trouble believing that a workforce treated with disrespect is more productive than one treated with respect.
Asking people to do the work they’re paid to do and have undertaken to do is not an act of disrespect. Following streaming video of something completely unrelated to your job, that you could just as easily catch up on at home, is an act of disrespect, whether it’s in the public or private sector. It’s just that in the public sector, it’s also an act of disrespect toward the public, who are paying.
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