Many members have been asking questions as to why the USGE has not been in the news regarding announcements of job cuts affecting their particular departments. Has USGE been quiet? Quite the opposite.
In fact, USGE has been quite busy these days dealing with the cuts throughout the 17 departments under our jurisdiction. Sometimes though, no matter how many interviews we do, or where or how we do them, they sometimes don’t reach our membership; leaving our membership to think that their union is doing nothing.
The hardest hit membership to date in USGE is the Correctional Service of Canada and the Department of Justice. Some of our departments have no cuts and our second largest department, the RCMP, has yet to announce where the majority of their cuts will take place, although they have advised that three Crime Laboratories will be closing.
In addition to attending National Work Force Adjustment Committees and National Labour Management Consultation Committee meetings, we have responded to at least 14 media requests for interview; participated in at least four television interviews; responded to the Justice cuts in the Law Times at the same time as filing a policy grievance with that department; held town hall meetings at both Kingston Leclerc Institutions which are due to close in the near future. The list goes on, however, our members either don’t see the news reports or these reports are only seen in various parts of the country.
The PSAC and USGE are actively involved in the “We are All Affected” campaign. The purpose of this campaign is to draw attention to the public on how these job cuts will affect not only federal public service employees but the communities in which we all live. This campaign will not be effective if our members do not join in and let their voices and concerns be heard. Members must get involved in activities sponsored by Area Councils, District Labour Councils and other labour organizations. To this end, the USGE National Executive has just passed a motion to donate $2,000 to any local to assist in the fight-back campaigns in their area. If your local would like to be involved in the fight-back campaign, simply send the details of your activity to your RVP who will follow up with the National Office. An e-mail outlining the prerequisites of obtaining this $2,000 will be sent out to locals later this week.
We have to let those working in our community know that our union is not campaigning just to keep our jobs. We are campaigning to ensure that people know how the negative effects of Bill C-38 will affect them. The fabric of our communities is being destroyed and once it is, the face of our nation will change as well.
If there is anything that you believe USGE should be doing, by all means, send us your suggestion and we will be more than happy to entertain it.