Veterans Affairs has gone from bad to worse. Just ask its employees.
Four in 10 of the department's staff have lost confidence in their senior management -- a rate far higher than the broader public service.
While the Conservative government has been in damage control mode over the veterans file for the better part of the last year, recently replacing embattled minister Julian Fantino and trying to rehabilitate their image to "undo the damage done to [the] party's pro-military reputation," the new internal survey suggests the problems at Veterans Affairs Canada may run far deeper than they'd like to admit.
The newly released 2014 Public Service Employee Survey presents dramatic numbers showing that a plurality of rank-and-file public servants have lost confidence in the management of the Veterans Affairs Canada.
When asked if "I have confidence in the senior management of my department or agency," 41% answered in the negative while only 38% answered in the positive. That's in contrast to the broader public service, where only 27% answered in the negative while 53% answered in the positive.
Since 2008, the number of VAC employees who say they're not confident in management has increased by 19%, while the number who say they are confident in management has fallen by 23%. Noticeably, the number who "strongly disagreed" that they had confidence in managers also increased 12% since 2008:
Another sore spot for VAC employees is "lack of stability" in their department.
Rising sharply by 21% since 2008, 48% said their quality of work "always" or "often" suffered due to lack of stability at VAC, while an additional 29% said "sometimes." Only 20% said "rarely" or "never":
You'll start to notice a pattern developing here:
What about Conservative cuts to the public service? Could those be having an impact on morale?
When asked if their quality of work suffers from "having to do the same or more work, but with fewer resources," a full 58% answered in the negative while only 17% said lack of resources wasn't effecting the quality of their work.
This also marks a sharp increase from 2008 when 16% fewer VAC employees cited problems with resources:
Amidst ongoing criticism on the file, the Conservatives announced in December that they'd be making new hires to VAC.
But it doesn't sound like VAC employees are terribly confident management will "resolve concerns raised in this survey":