USJE National President David Neufeld, and RVP JP Surette conducted a site visit at the Ontario Regional Public Safety Canada office located in Toronto, Ontario. They were greeted by Local 70093 Chief Shop Steward Joe Contorsi who provided a tour of the site.
The tour was followed by an hour-long meeting with local members on site. The turnout was very good and included several members who attended the meeting virtually.
President Neufeld and RVP Surette spoke to the members about the recent USJE Triennial Convention and some of the progressive resolutions that were passed by the convention floor (such as the establishment of a USJE National Strike Fund and a fully funded USJE Equity Conference every 3 years). They also shared information about the creation of USJE’s Collective Bargaining Strategy Committee and how members can get involved in the submission of bargaining demands for the next round of collective bargaining.
President Neufeld led a discussion on the recent PSAC National General Strike and how USJE is looking to learn from its internal survey of members on the strike. The feedback given made it evident that the cost of living in Toronto is a primary issue for our members there, and that the Letter of Agreement on Telework is something that members remain greatly interested in. Members shared how working from home helps them to find a work/life balance while reducing the costs of commuting, which have almost doubled since 2019. In that way, telework helps households weather the effects of inflation.
The USJE representatives also provided an update on the union’s Presumptive Injury Campaign and how Bill C-357 was tabled in Parliament on September 20th. President Neufeld and RVP Surette emphasized the importance of this bill and how changes to the Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA) would greatly assist our members who experience operational stress injuries in their daily work.
The members were highly engaged and asked questions concerning the relationship between USJE and PSAC, the rocky transition to the Canada Life insurance plan and the implementation of the new Collective Agreement.
USJE is extremely grateful to all the members who took the time out of their busy schedules to join the session. Additional thanks to the Regional Director for the Ontario Region, Demetra Zouzoulas, for providing the time and office space for President Neufeld and RVP Surette to meet with our members.