Dear colleagues and friends,
Last month, Parliament passed Bill C-5, to declare September 30th a federal statutory holiday, called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Like all Canadians, this day provides an opportunity for each public servant to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. This may present itself as a day of quiet reflection or participation in a community event.
Our current collective agreements include provisions to allow for an additional designated holiday if one is proclaimed by an act of Parliament. As a result, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will become a designated paid holiday and will allow employees in the federal public service to observe and participate in this important day starting September 2021.
Employees do not have to take any action to request this leave (no system entry) – it is to be treated in the same manner as all other statutory holidays.
We express our solidarity with Indigenous Peoples who are reliving the trauma of the colonialization of free people in North America and their cultural genocide carried out through the residential schools. Many non-Indigenous people have also experienced a taste of colonization or neo-colonization to varying degrees, which has seriously curtailed social, economic, political, religious and cultural freedoms while their natural resources over centuries were being exploited. That is why the trauma of Indigenous Peoples touches our hearts, and hurts us deeply.
We also support concrete actions to ensure that Indigenous Peoples are fully represented at all levels of the Federal Public Service, so that all Canadians see themselves fully reflected in the Federal Public Service, according to Canada’s current and evolving demographics. This is only possible if the Clerk’s Call to Action is accompanied by robust accountability and transparent monitoring and public reporting of progress.
If you have Indigenous colleagues at your workplace, please let them know where you stand…..shoulder to shoulder with them! Let’s stand up together against racial prejudice and intolerant attitudes in our workplaces, schools, society and online. Be a human rights champion, fight racism and hate, and stand up for human rights!!
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, or anyone of your PIPSC Stewards, if you have questions, suggestions or comments to share.
Stay safe, stay well!
President, National Consultation Team