It is time Parliament called 'strike three' on Immigration and Refugee Board
appointment practices, staff union says

    IRB becoming a 'patronage sinkhole' while failing to respond to
    condemnation by both Public Service Commission and Auditor-General

OTTAWA, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The union representing staff at the embattled Immigration and Refugee Board is calling on politicians from all parties to take steps to arrest the IRB's continued descent into what it labels a 'patronage sinkhole'.

"That sucking sound is the efficiency and credibility of the IRB being dragged down by the failure of management to preserve the staffing integrity of a beleaguered but nonetheless essential government body," said Jeannette Meunier-McKay, National President of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union. "It's strike two and bottom of the ninth for senior IRB management and it's high time Parliament called strike three and brought them to account."

Meunier-McKay's sports analogy refers to the fact that the IRB has been raked over the coals by two impartial government auditing agencies for its failure to maintain transparency and merit in its appointment practices. Previously criticized by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), a recent audit by the non-partisan Public Service Commission (PSC) revealed that barely one in three appointments met merit and guiding values requirements.

"The PSC found an outrageously high use of governor-in-council appointments in a clear effort to circumvent merit-based hiring practices," Meunier-McKay said. "This not only raises questions of competence and political patronage, it serves to demoralize the great majority of IRB staff who have proved their suitability for their positions through a rigorous, merit-based staffing process."

Meunier-McKay noted that, rather than clean up its act, the response of IRB management was to attack the credibility of the PSC audit while continuing to make extensive use of the very governor-in-council appointment practices that were called into question by both the OAG and the PSC.

"Such brazen defiance on the part of senior IRB management demands that Parliament move quickly to put an end to these rogue hiring practices and restore managerial accountability," Meunier-McKay concluded.

"In the interim, at the very minimum, the government should order the Public Service Commission to exercise its legal mandate and assume direct responsibility for all staffing actions within the IRB."

The Canada Employment and Immigration Union represents more than 19,000 federal public service workers, including those who counsel clients, process employment insurance claims, oversee and administer the refugee system and provide income security program assistance.


For further information: For further information: Jeannette Meunier-McKay, National President, Canada Employment and Immigration Union, (office) (613) 236-9634, (cellular) (613) 762-1781

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