There has been a lot of back and forth in the media and even within Union Locals about John Gordon, President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), and his decision to bring the new tentative collective agreements to members for a vote. Voting is well underway and will continue throughout the month of November. Members are voting on a tentative agreement that includes many positive enhancements, but some are expressing their concerns with the proposed changes to severance pay that would be implemented in the new contract. Some members have even started and are perpetuating campaigns to encourage members to vote NO to this agreement.
In my opinion John Gordon and the PSAC are working hard for all of us to ensure job and financial security. I am in full support of our bargaining team, who recommends a yes vote, and believe that they have negotiated the best possible agreement for our members under current circumstances. It is important that we recognize that Canada is experiencing a recession and there is little to no public or media support should we decide to move towards a strike.
Local 70713 supports John Gordon and his decision to let members decide for themselves whether they will accept the new collective agreement or not.
Putting things into perspective…
With so much job insecurity in our Country now is a time for solidarity and for us to be thankful for our level of job security, benefits, pensions and holidays, and a union to back us up in times of trouble. Many Canadians would love to have the security our members enjoy – and will continue to enjoy under the new collective agreement.
We are here to support our members and will stand behind either decision – and should a NO vote eventually lead to a strike, you will see your local executive members standing along side you on the picket line. But we fear for many of our members who would not be able to withstand a long strike and that hopes for a short 3 or 4 day strike in this climate are unrealistic – particularly with low public and media support. Recent trends for workers who have chosen the strike route have not been positive and have instead resulted in hardships for their members with little-to-no workplace/contract improvements.
Ensuring our members are informed…
Our Local has made every effort possible to communicate with our members to ensure that they are well informed on details of the agreement in order to make an informed decision – based on their personal situation while keeping in mind the current political and economic climate. In advance of our scheduled vote sessions, the Local made a point of holding numerous face-to-face information sessions, and posting content such as questions and answers, and links on our website. In addition, I have personally answered countless questions posed to her directly by individual members.
In the next couple of weeks we will learn more about how members have voted and I will be sure to keep our members informed of any decisions and related information as it becomes available.
President of Local 70713
Questions or concerns can be directed to Rotha Lennox at firstname.lastname@example.org