As the ACFO Negotiating Team prepares for the first bargaining session next month we’re seeing more signs that the employer is committed to making this an acrimonious round of talks.

Some members have reported receiving “householders” from their respective Members of Parliament bragging about the government’s efforts to “roll back public service benefits.”  The flyers claim the government is making the public service “more efficient and cost effective” by, among other things, putting a stop to “sick day abuse.”

These flyers, which are ostensibly used by MPs to engage with their constituents on key issues of the day, are often transparently partisan. In this case, it’s clear the Conservative Party is intent on making attacks on the public service part of their public relations campaign in advance of next year’s federal election. If you’ve received one of these mailings, please let us know by emailing Scott Chamberlain at

While attempts to vilify the public service are hardly new (or, indeed, limited to the federal level, as evidenced by the Ontario Conservatives’ failed bid to win power by promising to gut public services), the timing is particularly unfortunate given we are preparing in good faith to begin negotiations next month.

It’s even more alarming that Conservative MPs continue to repeat widely-discredited claims about the sick leave program; the employer clearly intends to make sick leave a primary issue this round and perpetuating myths that have been thoroughly debunked only undermines our ability to have meaningful and fruitful discussions about what is fair and appropriate for our group.

We are proud to represent the FI Community. As a matter of course, you perform your jobs with professionalism and integrity and we have always sought to represent you in kind. We remain committed to this spirit of professionalism. Our job is to protect your interests, defend your reputation and secure fair and reasonable working conditions so we can continue to recruit and retain top financial management talent to the federal public service.

It’s a job we’re proud to do.


Milt Isaacs, CPA, CMA, CPFA
President, Association of Canadian Financial Officers