MFL Executive Council Report (Dec. 2013)

Report of the Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies to the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council submitted for the December 5-6, 2013 meeting. This report covers the period from the last MFL meeting.

Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairie Region
Report to the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council, 

December 2013

The federal government is moving ahead with Bill C-4, which takes away democratic rights of federal public sector employees and undermines the health and safety protections in the Canada Labour Code covering workers under federal jurisdiction.

In order to ensure our members have the information they need, the PSAC Prairie Region hosted a telephone town hall on November 7 with thousands of PSAC members across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta who joined the live and interactive telephone town hall and were able to ask questions about how the proposed legislation would affect them.

One week earlier, on November 2, PSAC organized a rally (“Crash The[ir] Party!”) across the street from the BMO Centre where the Conservative Party of Canada held their 2013 policy convention. Hundreds of devoted activists and concerned Canadians protested the Conservative’s convention and their impaired judgment and reckless policies. While in Calgary, convention delegates debated and passed policy resolutions to support “right to work” legislation and severely limit how unions can spend members’ dues.

In addition to their attacks on workers, the federal government is betraying Canada’s veterans by shutting down nine Veterans Affairs offices, including one in Brandon. This means the 1,934 clients served out of the Brandon office will have a harder time getting the support and services they need and deserve and will be forced to travel for face-to-face service. PSAC’s members include the workers at Veterans Affairs who provide these frontline services. These workers are worried about what will happen to their clients.

Dozens of young workers recently attended a series of meetings hosted by the PSAC Prairie Region, aimed at bringing young workers together to strategize on the establishment of young workers committees. Young workers who attended the six meetings throughout the Prairies were enthusiastic and interested in getting involved, but identified a need for education geared towards young workers. There was also a determination to ensure unions remain a strong voice for workers.

For the second video in our series, PSAC Prairies members share past experiences and how invaluable sick leave was to them and their families when faced with unexpected circumstances. Phrases such as “peace of mind” and “insurance policy” were conveyed.

PSAC launched a new, contemporary national website last month, which we have re-designed and re-engineered to serve PSAC members better. We also held our National Equity Conferences in Toronto in November where nearly 600 members committed to political action in the fight for human rights.

For more information on anything mentioned in this report, please visit the PSAC Prairie Region website.

Respectfully submitted,

Marianne Hladun,
Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairies