2 federal tribunals make high-speed internet access a job condition
2016/12/23 1 Comment
Understandable requirement even though some will protest:
Two tribunals have begun making home access to high-speed internet a prerequisite for dozens of well-paid federal government appointments, despite the fact it could disqualify many Canadians living in rural and remote areas of the country where high-speed internet isn’t available.
The Social Security Tribunal and the Veterans Review and Appeal Board have both recently added high-speed internet access to the list of criteria for those seeking the lucrative appointments, which come with salaries ranging from $108,200 to $127,200 for full-time positions, and between $540 and $635 a day for part-time positions.
“You must work from your home office in Canada and have access to high-speed internet,” say the conditions of employment for the Social Security Tribunal, which resolves disputes involving employment insurance, the Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security.
Candidates expected to work in urban centres
The requirement appears to have been added in recent months. A similar notice of openings for the tribunal in June 2015 said candidates might have to work from home but did not require high-speed internet access.
The Social Security Tribunal has dozens of full-time and part-time members, including several vacancies at the moment.
On Wednesday, the CRTC ruled that access to high-speed internet should be a basic service across Canada. It said two million Canadian households lack access to proper internet service.
The Veterans Review and Appeal Board, which resolves disputes over disability benefits decisions made by Veterans Affairs Canada, also has this requirement.
Spokeswoman Alexandra Shaw said successful candidates for the board are expected to work in one of six urban centres across Canada and to work from home because the board’s only administrative offices are in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
“Members need high-speed internet to maintain a reliable connection to the secure systems that give them timely access to veterans’ documents in order to prepare for hearings and produce decisions,” she wrote. “The board provides members with cellphones with additional hotspot connectivity.”