Members speak out following Bill C-4 telephone town hall

Thousands of PSAC members from across the Prairie Region joined our telephone town hall last week on Bill C-4, the government’s latest omnibus budget bill that will dramatically change health and safety laws for workers under federal jurisdiction. It represents a fundamental shift that will make federal workplaces more dangerous, and make it more difficult for workers to refuse dangerous work

The live and interactive event certainly had an impression on members. Here’s some of the feedback we received from members who stayed on for the entire one-hour call and left us a message at the end.

*Note: Last names have been omitted for privacy reasons. Not all callers left their name or city, and may only be identified by province.

Members prompted to take action:

  • “I know that my next step is to contact my MP and ask for a personal meeting and talk to him directly. I’m planning to encourage everybody that I work with to do it on an individual basis.” –Lynne, Lethbridge
  • “We do need to get out there and get our message out. I work hard in my job. I do a good job for Canada and for the Canadian public.”
  • “I think this is a prime opportunity to go after the government, especially with what’s happening with the Senate. Harper’s credibility is at a low point.”
  • “You have my full support and I will call my MP and express my sentiment on these issues.” –Jackie, Winnipeg
  • “I will definitely be contacting my MP and I will be talking to my coworkers and recommending that they do the same.” –Winnipeg
  •  “I do hope that a majority of my members contact their MPs about all the changes that are potentially going to be made. It’s very disappointing to see the changes that are proposed. I look forward to learning more and hope that we’re successful in this campaign.” –Michelle, Manitoba

The importance of sick leave:

  •  “In 1997 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). It very much concerns me that they want to threaten my sick leave. I have over 1,500 hours of sick leave and if I have a flare up of myMS and I don’t have sick leave, I’m going to be devastated. So I will do anything to preserve our sick leave benefits.” –Banff
  • “My sick leave benefits are really, really beneficial to the lively hood of myself and my family. It has really contributed to me getting better after being off for five years fighting cancer. Now I’m back at work after having that time to recuperate and get my health back.” –Edmonton
  • “One thing that had not been said about sick leave is if you have accumulated sick time, that means that you are at work. It means you are not abusing your sick time, if you have accumulated sick time. People went without raises, sick leave replaced money, and people went on strike. All of the work that people have done in the past will go to waste if we all don’t stand behind this.” –Saskatchewan
  • “Many of us in the workplace are very concerned about the government attack on us in the media. It seems very skewed to whatever interpretation they want of the stats, specifically around sick leave. I feel very strongly about this employer attacking our pension, our sick leave, our dignity and our work,” –Lesley, Calgary
  • “I think we should stand together to fight for that sick leave and especially our pensions.” –Diane, Estevan

We Are All Affected:

  • “With these changes proposed in Bill C-4, it will make the workplace a much more unsafe place. It’s going to make it a lot more difficult to voice your concerns.” –Peter, Winnipeg
  •  “The public doesn’t realize the services that they’re losing and it’s very sad. I feel bad for them. They can’t go and talk to anyone anymore, they have a hard time getting through on the phone to speak to somebody, even print outs of letters take three months. It’s just really sad what’s happening.” –Julie, Winnipeg

Change of heart:

  • “I’ve always been a little bit lukewarm, to be perfectly honest, about unions. But after 26 years and with all the crap that’s happening lately, I must say this is one of the first events that I attended. I think it was an excellent idea so members can listen and learn. I will definitely be calling my MP about this and a couple other things. I’m feeling much more revved up about all this. Enough is enough. This is crazy.” –Alison, Edmonton
  • “I was basically an uninterested member and now you’ve piqued my interest and I look forward to finding a way to communicate this to my colleagues.”