a recent case involving a public servant who is subject to a complaint for comments made on facebook has me thinking about the level of restrictions on our public service.
i don't believe choosing to work in the public sector should lead to a person having to give up the right to political views or political activism. there may be a very few sensitive jobs where it would be entirely inappropriate, but for the vast majority of public servants, i can't see why it should be a problem. the problem would be if they were using work time or work resources to carry out their activism or make their statements
on the whole, i'm particularly concerned that public servants are not able to advocate on issues about which they have knowledge and experience. that is made much harder in an evironment where public service jobs are being cut, and being a vocal activist can make you an easy target for redundancy. [it's another issue that we were promised no cuts, only a cap on the public service; and that the public service is now effectively paying for the bailout of failed finance companies, gifts to warner bros and unaffordable tax cuts].
i've already blogged before about CYFs workers who were prevented from going to a protest during their lunch hour regarding cuts to the pay equity unit. it's funny how those very vocal free speech advocates don't seem to be quite so vocal when it comes to this kind of silencing.