Jenn’s New Year’s Message to Members
The New Year is here and I want to take this opportunity to sincerely wish you all the very best in 2023 for you and your families.
This January also happens to mark my first full year as your President. It’s been an intense year, to say the least! Over the past twelve months, PIPSC members have faced many very difficult challenges.
Most recently, the Treasury Board’s Direction on Prescribed Presence in the Workplace, which the Employer also wishes to extend to federal organizations outside the Core Public Service, has shocked our members.
The Treasury Board’s one-size-fits-all approach comes despite previous commitments to continue consulting with unions and implement tailored plans for each department. It is the total opposite of what it had been promising: a hybrid approach that takes into account the unique circumstances of federal public servants. It has instead chosen to bulldoze through a very bad plan. Yet the Treasury Board has provided very little clarity so far around how it will implement it.
Thousands of PIPSC members have already started bargaining their next collective agreements with the Treasury Board, where telework is a critical issue on the table. This doesn’t set the stage for good faith negotiations with the Employer.
We have demanded a halt to the Treasury Board’s plan and continue to advocate for safe, flexible return to workplace policies for all our members. We are working with other unions, as well as our Legal team and our Labour Relations experts, to understand exactly what our options are.
We will of course keep our members updated on developments as soon as we know more ourselves.
Looking forward, 2023 will be a watershed year for the Institute and its members.
For example, we are about to head into many difficult rounds of bargaining, with 33 of our Groups negotiating new collective agreements.
We must defend our members in New Brunswick who are facing blatantly anti-union legislation that would enshrine unfair rules around job action notice, give the government the ability to bring in non-unionized scab workers, as well as more power to change the work schedules of essential workers.
We must defend our members in Ontario who have been under attack from their provincial government and whose wages have been essentially frozen since 2019. This past December, we took out a series of billboard ads in key locations urging the government to respect its workers and repeal its anti-labour legislation - which was actually struck down by the Ontario Superior Court in November!
And we must make sure that our members in separate agencies or in smaller departments receive the same quality of service from our union as their counterparts in the Core Public Service.
But our challenges can definitely lead to positive outcomes for our members.
The employer knows we are right on the issue of contracting out. It just doesn’t want to admit it publicly. But our message is being heard by Canadians across the country, who are increasingly fed up with their money being thrown out the door on hapless, expensive projects such as the ArriveCan app.
Our ongoing work on tax fairness and our push for more resources for the Canada Revenue Agency could lead to the recovery of up to $30B, money that could be used to support more and better public services. And index our wages to inflation.
The Future Of Work can be made more accessible and equitable for our racialized members.
Our work to defend public science is directly in support of the public good.
These are just some of the key issues we will be focusing on in the New Year.
As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and let me know what’s on your mind. That’s what I’m here for!
Looking forward to serving you to the best of my ability in 2023,