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ISBN: 9781771134781

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Leading Progess

The Professional Institute of the Public Service Canada, 1920–2020


On February 6, 1920, a small group of public service employees met for the first time to form a professional association. A century later, the Professional Institute of the Public Service Canada (PIPSC) is a bargaining agent representing close to 60,000 public sector workers, whose collective efforts for the public good have touched the lives of every Canadian.

Published on the centennial of PIPSC’s founding, Leading Progress is the definitive account of its evolution from then to now—and a rare glimpse into an under-studied corner of North American labour history. Researcher Dr. Jason Russell draws on a rich collection of sources, including archival material and oral history interviews with dozens of current and past PIPSC members. The story that unfolds is a complex one, filled with success and struggle, told with clarity and even-handedness.

After decades of demographic and generational shifts, economic booms and busts, and political sea change, PIPSC looks toward its next hundred years with its mission as strong as ever: to advocate for social and economic justice that benefits all Canadians.


Jason Russell

Dr. Jason Russell holds a PhD in history from York University and is an associate professor at SUNY Empire State College in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of Our Union: UAW/CAW Local 27 from 1950 to 1990 and Making Managers in Canada, 1945–1995: Companies, Community Colleges, and Universities. He is currently working on several forthcoming books on North American labour history.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price


- 7 $0.70


In this chapter, the author discusses how the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada emerged and changed along with Canada during its first fifty years, when major external and … 27 $2.70


This chapter discusses who belonged to and led PIPSC in the 1970s, how collective bargaining took place, and what policy positions the Institute adopted. It also explores the collective … 33 $3.30


This chapter describes the issues confronting the PIPSC in the 1980s and how PIPSC responded to these new challenges, drawing on interviews with current and past PIPSC members. 30 $3.00


In this chapter, Russell details how PIPSC addressed the ideological changes of the 1990s, including a rightward shift in the Canadian political landscape, the growth of neoliberal policies, and … 39 $3.90


This chapter describes how the PIPSC dealt with issues in the first decade of the 2000s, including Y2K and the globalization of computer systems, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Canadian war … 29 $2.90


In this chapter, Russell explores how PIPSC dealt with issues and opportunities as it approached its hundred-year aniversary. PIPSC members confronted the Harper government’s muzzling of … 34 $3.40


In the concluding chapter, Russell suggests that the key moment in PIPSC’s history occurred in 1967, when the Public Service Staff Relations Act allowed federal public servants to unionize. 16 $1.60