April 30th, 2016
To the Membership (2016)
We have all come through a very difficult year with many changes to the way our jobs are now done and to a very long battle regarding our contract. Our Local has had to endure many additional hardships with the construction zone surrounding our building at one Front Street and the uncertainty of both Front Street and Bay Street moving to new locations in the next few years. These may be rumours, but they have had a negative effect on the membership.
Your Local Executive has put in many hours dealing with grievances, disciplinary issues and accommodation issues in the past year. These situations are often very emotional and time consuming for the union representative who is trying to protect the welfare and rights of the member. The Executives for this Local have worked many personal hours on membership issues which they are not paid for. They have spent time away from family for conferences and training on behalf of the Local. We have been very fortunate to have Executives and Stewards who are dedicated to the welfare of all our members. For this, as the Local President, I would like to thank each one of the Executive and Stewards for all their hard work over the past year.
The membership has now been presented with a contract which took over four years of negotiations with the Government to obtain. Now it is up to the membership to decide whether this is a deal that can be lived with or not. I would ask that each one review the proposed contract very carefully and ask yourself if it is something that you can live with for the next few months as this contract will end October 2016. Think carefully of what the alternatives are, to you, if this contract is not ratified. It will mean more months of negotiations and a possible strike vote, as stated by the National President, with no guarantee as to what would be in a new proposal. Your Local is not recommending ratifying or not ratifying this contract as it is each member’s right to choose. I’m asking that you put rumours aside and if you have a question or need clarification on a point, ask one of the Executive. If we don’t have an immediate answer, we will contact the National Office for one. I quote from one of our past National Presidents who always said “vote with your head and not with your heart”. Sound advice.
This Local is very fortunate to have members who dedicate themselves and their personal time to the betterment of all the Staff. Because of their efforts, we have been able to provide many lunch and learns on several different topics, a Wellness Fair, workshops on mental health issues and the Local’s favourite, our very own therapy dog, Honey-Bee. Thank you to all that have been supportive and giving of their time to providing these events to the staff.
Your Annual General Meeting will take place on May 25th at the Courtyard Marriott. This will be your opportunity to ask the National President, Bob Campbell, and the PSAC Representatives questions on the proposed contract and what will next steps be if it is not ratified.
Looking forward to a better year….
President – Linda Collins and the Local Executive