Statement from PSAC National President Chris Aylward
National Public Service Week is an opportunity to recognize the outstanding contributions of federal public service workers over the past year.
It’s a time for the federal government – your employer – to thank you for everything you do.
There’s no doubt you’ve earned it. Faced with insurmountable challenges, you’ve risen to the occasion, never faltering in your commitment to helping Canadians when they needed you the most.
But this year, the government’s message rings hollow after we’ve seen how they’ve treated federal public service workers over the past year.
At the bargaining table, Treasury Board is asking you to take a pay cut when you need a raise the most. As we stare down record-high inflation across the country, you’re being forced to fight for a fair contract that makes sure you and your family don’t fall further behind.
The government vowed to end the Phoenix nightmare for tens of thousands of workers who are still grappling with Phoenix pay issues. Instead, the backlog of Phoenix cases has jumped by nearly 50,000 since last year, and they’re still trying to nickel and dime you by taxing your Phoenix damages compensation.
Rather than investing in strong public services, the government has continued to privatize the work of PSAC members and turn to predatory temp agencies to do your job. At the height of the pandemic, Canada Revenue Agency tried to contract out our members’ work at call centres, and we fought them and won. At Veterans Affairs Canada, we’re pushing back against attempts to contract out our member’s jobs providing critical rehabilitation and health care supports for veterans.
During National Public Service Week, I’m asking you skip your employer’s events and instead tell your employers – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Treasury Board President Mona Fortier – that you deserve better.
Send a letter to remind them how you’ve been here for Canadians and deserve a fair contract. Talk to your coworkers about bargaining and explain why this round of negotiations is more important than ever. Attend a PSAC event in your area to talk about how we can mobilize together for decent wages, stronger working conditions and more inclusive workplaces.
Through it all, PSAC has been on your side – fighting for the issues that matter most to you. Over the next few months, our solidarity and our resolve will be put to the test, but together – united – we can build better workplaces for everyone.
Thank you again for your continued dedication and service to Canadians.
PSAC National President