In anticipation of a federal election, we invited PSAC members to participate in a survey in June 2021, where we asked which election issues mattered most to them, and what they wanted their union to provide to support them in casting an informed vote.
Eighty per cent of respondents supported PSAC playing a role in election work by analyzing party platforms and providing information about their rights as voters in the federal public service. We also asked members to identify their top issues and order them by priority.
Respondents were able to check multiple options and write in their answers.
In order of priority set by PSAC respondents, here’s what we heard:
The majority of members identified healthcare as their top issue, and many singled out pharmacare and affordable prescription drugs.
A just pandemic recovery
Not far behind, more than half of members described a just pandemic recovery as one of their top issues. This includes the introduction of a wealth tax and stopping further privatization of public services as major concerns for members. Many also demanded a more robust paid sick leave program for all Canadians.
Half of all members ranked the climate change crisis as a top concern, with a focus on what the federal government and military can do to reduce their impact.
Many members flagged the ongoing need for a universal, affordable, and high-quality childcare plan that reduces fees creates more childcare spots and helps women return to work. We’re seeing major headway on this and it’s not the time to reverse this progress.
Nearly two thirds of respondents prioritized human rights issues as a top priority— including Canada’s ongoing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and closing the gender pay gap.
In addition to the issues members identified as their top priorities, PSAC represents nearly 30,000 workers in the academic sector and we’ll be paying close attention to announcements and commitments related to universities, colleges and the academic workers who are the backbone of post-secondary education.
And of course, we’ll be looking for commitments that will support workers including, but not limited to, strengthening worker’s bargaining power, increasing the minimum wage and improving health and safety protections.
As the election unfolds, PSAC will be analyzing the platforms, commitments and track records for all the major parties and will be focusing closely on the issues members have highlighted as their top concerns.