'THEY CANNOT BE ACCEPTED': Federal employees sending too many English emails


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'THEY CANNOT BE ACCEPTED': Federal employees sending too many English emails
Aidan Wallace
Published:
October 25, 2019
Updated:
October 25, 2019 5:16 PM EDT
A new report from the Official Languages Commissioner claims federal employees are writing too many emails in English, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.
In an Access to Information letter, Commissioner Raymond Theberge says his complaints on the issue were ignored by service managers saying, “Over the past three years we have noticed an ongoing and repetitive increase in language of work complaints.”
Theberge also said meetings were “English only” and counted a total of 157 staff complaints in the past five years alone against Shared Services Canada (SSC) — Canada’s IT agency.
In the letter, Theberge explained there has been a “significant increase in complaints” against the SSC and that the support of the SSC is needed to “resolve systematic and repetitive problems” related to written work communications.
However, on July 3, the federal court ruled English-speaking employees cannot be compelled to use French. Justice Peter Annis wrote in the ruling: “The reality in many so-called bilingual environments is that the language of work is English.”
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Theberge appeared to disagree with the judge in the letter, writing any claim that “the language of the work environment is predominantly English” does not excuse English emails.
In 2014, Theberge had his decision that federal employees in Toronto offices who are primarily English speaking should write French-language reports for French-speaking co-workers dismissed.
The Court wrote of the decision: “This effectively contradicts the fundamental right of employees to use their first language.”
A similar scenario occurred in 2015, when the Federal Court dismissed a Canadian Revenue Agency employee’s lawsuit after the individual was reprimanded for translating English calls into French.
The employee was told to log calls in the language used by the taxpayer.
According to research done in 2018 by SSC, on average, federal employees receive 25 to 100 emails per day — equivalent to nearly one every five minutes.
http://torontosun.com/news/national/...-emails-report
 
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