National Public Service Week was held from June 11–17, 2017 to mark the importance of federal public service employees and recognize their service to Canadian society. During the week, members throughout the Prairie Region organized alternative NPSW events to call the employer on their hypocrisy and tell the federal government to put its money where its mouth is and demonstrate real respect, rather than empty gestures.
Several different events were held at various worksites throughout the week. On Monday, UHEW Local 50012 held a lunchtime event at 391 York with almost 250 workers in attendance. They handed out stickers and flyers, and had members sign postcards while they waited for food.
The postcards, distributed at all alternative NPSW events, call on Treasury Board President Scott Brison to fix the Phoenix Pay System. The postcard reads: “Federal public service workers are proudly committed to providing the services Canadians depend on. Yet thousands are still having financial troubles because they are not being paid correctly or on time.”
The next day, approximately 60 members from USGE Local 50015 visited the PSAC tent outside the RCMP D-Division on Portage Avenue. The event created awareness about the Phoenix Pay System problems, but also gave members the opportunity to discuss the national PSAC/USGE organizing campaign for Civilian Members of the RCMP.
On Wednesday, dozens of members showed up for a march and rally, despite pouring rain. The march began at the Manitoba Legislative Building and ended at Upper Fort Garry Heritage Park. The skies had cleared and the sun was out for the rally and BBQ at the park, and PSAC National President Robyn Benson was in attendance to speak about the postcard campaign. She told members she’ll be meeting with Scott Brison next week and will present him with the postcards. There was also a separate event held by UHEW Local 50012 outside the National Microbiology Lab.
UTE Local 40023 and the Saskatoon Area Council hosted a lunch event. Approximately 150 members came out to the rally in support of the Fix Phoenix campaign. Members were treated to a sandwich, drink and a cookie. They also received stickers and the postcard, which they committed to sending on.
During the employer-organized BBQ at CFB Suffield in Alberta, Local Executive members from UNDE 30910 and UNDE 30907 handed out letters addressed to Glen Motz, MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, condemning the Phoenix Pay System and the delay in signing the ratified collective agreements with four Treasury Board bargaining units. Many of the members were personally affected by Phoenix and almost 150 people participated in the letter signing action.
The Calgary Area Council held a Boycott National Public Service Week event in the Atrium of the Harry Hays Building. Area Council members distributed 450 Dairy Queen Dilly Bars to members to help them cool off after being Burnt by Phoenix. All of the ice cream bars were handed out in under an hour, along with hundreds of stickers, flyers and post cards to mail to Scott Brison. The participation was phenomenal and members committed to taking postcards and mailing them in.