My name is Kris Klith and I am a fitness and sport instructor at the Canadian Forces Base in Kingston, Ont., where I work as part of the Staff of the Non-Public Funds.
I run fitness and health programs for the military community on and off the base as well as for the public in Kingston who have access to our facility. Specialized training programs and evaluations for Canadian Forces members help make sure they can deploy to do their jobs and be physically fit. This is an essential part of Canada’s national defense.
I like helping people improve their lives through fitness. Alongside a team of seven other instructors in my department, we cover a military population of about 5,000 people. The work doesn’t stop.
In addition to being a fitness instructor, I’m also a lifeguard, a sports official, a program coordinator, and more – but the Staff of the Non-Public Funds are some of the lowest paid public service workers in the country. Our wages do not match the value of our work.
Many of my coworkers struggle to make ends meet and need to take on second jobs to help pay the bills, or cover rent. It’s not easy.
Unlike other employees working with the federal government, my coworkers and I don’t work for National Defence or Treasury Board. Workers in similar jobs are paid much higher wages elsewhere in the public service.
Our bargaining teams are fighting to close that gap because our work is important, and should be recognized with fair wages and a good contract.
Strike votes and next steps
We are waiting for reports from the Public Interest Commissions for Ottawa, Kingston, Bagotville, Montreal-St. Jean and Valcartier bargaining units, and we will update members as soon as we learn more. Over the coming weeks, we will be conducting strike vote sessions for NPF members to make sure your voices are heard.