USGE Local 40009 in Regina held an information picket on December 2 and got some good local coverage. About 25 USGE members marched for just under an hour, despite heavy snowfall and -30 weather.
"Not withstanding the weather––or maybe because of it––people were fired up," said Alan Beasley, Local President for USGE Local 40009. "It's important to keep the membership mobilized, especially in the context of all the cuts to public services and other challenges we're facing with our employer and this government."
One of the primary reasons for this information picket was to bring attention to the announced cuts to the Community Corrections Liaison Officer positions, a position meant to assist in the coordination of the most dangerous criminals.
"We've got a lot of newer and younger members who are paying attention to benefits such as sick leave and pensions," said Beasley. "We're working to protect what we have and expand upon the benefits that the membership depend on."
Based on the enthusiasm and motivation of members who participated, Beasley is certain there will be more actions to come leading up to the next federal election. A similar event was held by USGE Local 50081 in Winnipeg on November 19.
The termination of the community corrections liaison officer is just the latest in a series of reckless cuts by the Conservative government. Employment in the federal government has already shrunk by 36,900 people since 2012. The job cuts will total an 8 per cent reduction in the federal workforce by 2016, including a 25 per cent reduction at Veterans Affairs and a 20 per cent reduction at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.