On the (Seemingly) Partisan Nature of Public Sector Unions

Friday, September 11, 2015
by Nick Charney RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Nick Charneytwitter / nickcharneygovloop / nickcharneyGoogle+ / nickcharney

Can someone please reconcile something for me?

How can public service unions engage in (seemingly) partisan activities such as "jump[ing] into the third-party advertising fray for the current federal election campaign" while still purporting to represent the interests of the professional and non-partisan civil servants who make up their membership?

Consider the following the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada's recent press release entitled "Radio ads poke fun at Harper government to raise awareness of the impact of government science cuts and muzzling" (click to enlarge):

Or, if you prefer, listen to the ads themselves. Their permissibility seems to stand in stark contrast to the non-permissibility of similar actions by individual civil servants (See: On Non-Partisanship and Anonymity in the Internet Era).

Am I missing something?