Press Release — PIPSC Survey Reveals Most Members Don’t Have an Office to Return To

Acting President to Address Issues with Minister Anand at Mayor's Breakfast

OTTAWA, May 22, 2024 – The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) has released preliminary data from a recent survey of its members, highlighting significant challenges faced by federal public service workers under the new Return to Office (RTO) mandate.

"Our survey results reinforce this order's lack of evidence-based decision-making and nonsensical nature,” states Eva Henshaw, Acting President of PIPSC. “The vast majority of our members do not even have an adequate office environment to return to."

Key findings include:

  • Fewer than 30% of respondents have a dedicated workstation.
  • Less than half feel their current working conditions meet their needs.
  • 50% of racialized, LGBTQ2S+, and people with disabilities are likely or extremely likely to consider leaving  the public service due to the RTO directive.

“There is a clear contradiction between the government’s RTO mandate and the government’s goals on increasing equity, diversity, and inclusion within the public service,” says Henshaw. “It’s time for telework agreements that will diversify the workforce and truly reflect the geography and demographics of Canada."

Further, one of the primary rationales behind the increased push for RTO – opportunities for collaboration – is not supported by the data. 

"91% of PIPSC members said their meetings are always or almost always virtual,” Henshaw noted. “The public might imagine teams working closely together in the same space, but the reality is employees are sitting on video calls all day – rarely even in the same building as their teammates."

PIPSC will be attending the Mayor’s Breakfast event in Ottawa this Thursday, where Treasury Board President Anita Anand is the invited guest. "Our attempts to engage with Minister Anand have been met with silence," Henshaw said. “It is concerning that we are forced to buy tickets to a municipal breakfast event to initiate a dialogue.”

In May 2024, PIPSC conducted a survey of more than 60,000 of its members working for Federal Departments or Agencies, to assess how the members feel after returning to the office. More than 20,000 responded to the survey. 

PIPSC calls on the federal government to reconsider its Directive and work with unions to develop smarter policies representing the present and future of work.

PIPSC represents over 75,000 public-sector professionals across the country, most of them employed by the federal government. Follow us on Facebook, on X (formerly known as Twitter) and on Instagram.


For more information: Johanne Fillion, 613-883-4900 (mobile),