On May 30, 2013, a meeting was organized by the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) Manitoba Region Council of Local Presidents and held at the Union Centre in Winnipeg.
The meeting was well attended by members who work for all branches of Service Canada, as well as members from the Canadian Immigration Commission and the Immigration and Refuge Board.
Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President for the PSAC Prairie Region, and Susan Norman, National Vice-President for CEIU Manitoba, were the featured speakers.
Members were brought up to speed on the myriad of issues facing the union including:
- 16,000 job losses, with more yet to come.
- The specific threat by this government to the negotiated and long held rights that our membership has fought long and hard to win, rights such as sick leave, family related leave, pensions and pay equity.
- Bill C-377, currently in the Senate, when it becomes law will strip all unions in Canada of their right to privacy and force them to report publicly how their members choose to spend their hard earned dues.
- The threat of a private member’s bill being introduced by this government with the intent to eliminate the Rand Formula, an attempt by this government to destroy all unions in Canada and to reduce Canada to a “right to work” world with no benefits, job security or union protection for workers and their families.
- How toxic our workplaces have become because of the way the job cuts were handled, the greatly increased and unmanageable workloads as a result of the cuts and the employer’s lack of planning.
- The cuts will affect Canadian citizens the most, who will now experience unconscionable delays in receiving the programs and services they pay for. The main target of their frustrations will be our front line workers who deal with Canadians every day. This will of course lead to much more stress and resulting illness in all workplaces.
- Members expressed frustration with an employer who states the public service is Canada’s most precious resource, yet cuts 16,000 workers, accuse employees of abusing sick leave, and threatens to cut anyone who does not “measure up”. Members expressed concerns that the employer has made it impossible for anyone to “measure up” due the vicious cuts and the resulting unmanageable workloads. Members asked “what exactly are we celebrating?” It was agreed that we are not going to “sell our souls for a piece of Public Service Week cake”.
Thanks to CEIU, PSAC and the Manitoba Region Council of Local Presidents for their support and to all the Manitoba CEIU Local Presidents who came together to make this meeting happen.