Federal government not protecting Parliament Hill interpreters: tribunal


The federal government has been found in breach of the labour code for failing to protect Parliament Hill interpreters from workplace injuries.
A tribunal known as the Labour Program has ruled in favour of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees, a union that argued the translation bureau was not adequately protecting employees who are working in hybrid settings.
Experts have told Parliament that the staff who translate meetings between English and French are being put at risk of injury because they are straining to hear some voices and are exposed to sudden, loud noises.
Last October, a parliamentary interpreter was sent to the hospital with acoustic shock during a Senate committee meeting in which the chair did not enforce rules requiring remote participants to wear headsets.
So many interpreters were placed on injury leave last year that the department hired contract workers to make up for the staff shortages.
Public Services and Procurement Canada said it will comply with the tribunal's orders to test equipment being used during House of Commons and Senate committees and to uphold the rules on wearing headsets.