Last week, the Ottawa Citizen ran a news story about the two largest Public Service unions in Canada (PSAC and PIPS) joining forces to urge Treasury Board to get the alternation program up and running quickly – moving from words to action. I believe that a well-functioning alternation program is critical for our affected members. Alternation offers a possible solution to deal with the current threat of lay-offs – one that could potentially be entirely managed through this program.
The intent of the alternation program is to allow those who want to leave the public service (such as those considering retirement), to swap jobs with those who received surplus letters, thus avoiding an heart-breaking lay-off situation. Delaying or standing in the way of a timely and properly managed alternation program, would not be in-line with the intent of the WFA directive as outlined in our collective agreements.
Some are speculating that the seeming reluctance to get this program moving could be because of the financial costs associated with allowing potential retirees to access the Transition Support Measures (available to opting surplus employees) should they be permitted to alternate.
Our union executives are aware of the issue and our members’ concerns about the WFA alternation program. They will work together to push for the alternation program to be put in place quickly, as a practical means to help save many of our members from job loss, while meeting the employer’s budget reduction objectives.
Local 70713 will continue to provide web updates on this and other issues that are of concern and affect our members. Members are also welcome to attend our weekly drop-in sessions every Thursday (see website for boardroom locations) to talk about this and other issues that may be of concern.
Rotha Lennox, President of Local 70713