OTTAWA –Canadians rejected the Harper Conservatives and voted for change on October 19 and that is good news for Canada, says the Public Service Alliance of Canada.
“The new Liberal government has a strong mandate for change,” said PSAC National President Robyn Benson. “That change needs to include restoring public services and building a positive relationship with the federal public service. We call on the Liberals to practice a new kind of politics and to work collaboratively with the NDP and other progressives in Parliament to put Canada back together again.”
Before and during the election, the PSAC carried out a public information campaign to convince Canadians to vote to stop the cuts made by the previous Conservative government. A poll carried out just before polling day found that a large percentage of Canadians believed the cuts would affect the election outcome.
“We know from our own campaign work that voters were fed up with the Harper Conservatives’ attacks on the public service. As the largest public service union, we look forward to sitting down with the new government as soon as possible to discuss how to repair the damage done including how to improve labour relations in the federal public service,” said Benson.
The Harper Conservative government passed successive omnibus bills in its last four years fundamentally changing collective bargaining laws, as well as health and safety protections for federal workers. During the campaign the Liberal Party of Canada promised to restore the bargaining rights of federal government employees and to repeal the anti-union legislation passed by the Conservatives.
“We call on the new government to act on these promises without delay,” concluded Benson.
PSAC is calling on the new Parliament to:
- Restore and strengthen federal public services, including the re-opening of Veterans Affairs offices closed by the Conservatives in 2014.
- Repeal the parts of budget implementation bills (C-4, C-10, C-59) that changed labour laws, imposed wage reductions, took away pay equity rights, weakened workplace health and safety protections, and gave the Government the unilateral right to remove the sick leave provisions in negotiated collective agreements.
- Restore the right of unions to represent members with respect to pay equity claims.
- Repeal Bill C-525, which makes it harder for workers in the federal sector to organize, and Bill C-377, which is both unconstitutional and a violation of privacy rights.