Auditor General asked to investigate the Corps of Commissionaires

    OTTAWA, Sept. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Corps of Commissionaires is making
excessive profits at the expense of both the Commissionaires they employ and
Canadian taxpayers, according to Ed Cashman, Regional Executive Vice-President
for the National Capital Region of the Public Service Alliance of Canada
(PSAC), the union representing the Commissionaires in Ottawa.
    Cashman made the statement this morning. For Cashman, it is unacceptable
for the Corps to be pocketing money that should go to its workers.
    "The Corps receives 80 cents an hour per Commissionaire from Public Works
and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) to pay its workers a bilingual premium
while the Commissionaires receive only 35 cents an hour, a difference of
45 cents," says Cashman. "In Ottawa alone, there are about 3,000
Commissionaires. This represents a huge amount of money."
    In a letter to Auditor General, Sheila Fraser, Cashman has requested an
investigation into that practice by the Corps.
    "Our membership believes that Canadians must receive value for money when
purchasing goods and services," Cashman wrote. "While suppliers may be
entitled to reasonable profit margin, we question why there is such a
considerable difference between the bilingual premiums paid by PWGSC to the
Corps and the premiums received by the Commissionaires to provide bilingual
    The PSAC is currently negotiating a first collective agreement for the
Commissionaires providing security guard services at the Health Canada
buildings in Ottawa. The negotiations started 14 months ago and the Corps
still refuses to negotiate the monetary aspects of the contract.
    "The Corps of Commissionaires has made the entire process extremely
difficult,." says Cashman. "But we intend to persevere because our members
deserve a fair and equitable collective agreement."
    Corps representatives recently walked out of a meeting with a
conciliation officer when the time came to discuss salaries.
    "The managers of the Corps want to impose salaries on the workers without
any discussions," says Cashman. "It's unacceptable. They need to move into the
21st century and update their approach to labour relations."

For further information:

For further information: Jérôme Messier, (613) 292-2310

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