On April 11, 2012, 5,561 of our members in 23 departments across the country received notices saying they could lose their jobs. Those included 775 members from the Prairie Region.
This is only the beginning of the 19,200 jobs to be cut, as announced in the 2012 Conservative federal budget, and we must connect with members immediately to give them an opportunity to discuss what's happening and ask questions about the WFA process.
To help us engage thousands of Prairies members at once, we will be holding a Telephone Town Hall on Thursday, April , 19, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (Manitoba) / 6:00 p.m. (Alberta/Saskatchewan).
Submit your advance questions about Work Force Adjustment now and we'll answer them live during the event on Thursday. Answers to questions (from the Telephone Town Hall and submitted before hand) will also be posted on the PSAC Prairie Region website following the event.
A Telephone Town Hall offers us the opportunity to speak with – and hear from – thousands of PSAC Prairies members at once. It's a cross between an extremely large conference call and a private talk radio show that helps to create an energy and mobilize members beyond the Telephone Town Hall.
To ensure all members are aware of this event and able to participate if they choose, we will send a recorded telephone invitation a day or two ahead of time. We will also be plantgating work sites with information about the Telephone Town Hall and future Work Force Adjustment sessions in your regional office area.
On Thursday, PSAC Prairies members will be called directly by phone and are asked to stay on the line for a Telephone Town Hall meeting beginning now. Participants are immediately connected to the live conversation where they can press a number to ask the featured speaker a question. In addition, all participants can respond to polling questions within the call, and get the results in real time.
Sister Robyn Benson, Regional Executive Vice-President for the PSAC Prairie Region, will be hosting the call. Her union involvement dates back to the 1980 strike by the Clerical and Regulatory (CR) bargaining unit when she was a term employee. She has held a variety of union positions including Regional Vice-President in the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE), a position she held until 2000 when she was elected REVP for the Prairies.
Joining us as a guest speaker is Brother Howie West, PSAC Work Reorganization Officer in Ottawa. Howie was a PSAC member and activist from 1988 until 1999 when he began working for PSAC. His responsibilities include Work Force Adjustment, privatization and contracting out, technological change (including telework and call centre work environments), public policy analysis, and workplace training around workplace change.
Also on the call as a guest speaker is Sister Allison Pilon, PSAC Work Force Adjustment Officer. Alison has worked for PSAC for nearly four years as a resource person on Work Force Adjustment and cuts to public services. Her role includes drafting materials and tools on WFA, responding to inquiries from members and regional reps, and delivering training on WFA.
We will be using existing member data to call Prairies members to participate. To ensure your information is up to date, or to give us an alternate/preferred number to reach you at that evening, please contact your regional office by Wednesday, April 18 at 4:30 p.m.
The Telephone Town Hall technology is provided by Strategic Communications Inc.:
Stratcom and VocalFi have joined forces to combine their vast telecommunications and campaigns expertise to introduce this highly effective and innovative communications tool to Canada. Stratcom has nearly 20 years experience as a key Canadian leader and innovator in communication techniques for the non-profit and political sectors. VocalFi, a relatively new entrant to the marketplace, was founded by experienced, tech-savvy business professionals to provide a better platform for conducting Telephone Town Halls. And, VocalFi has chosen Stratcom as their exclusive partner in the Canadian marketplace.