Robyn Benson, PSAC

Healthy workplaces: crunch time


This Thursday, March 19, stand up. Be seen. Be heard.

Do it for your workplace, for the valuable services to Canadians that you deliver—and for yourself. It’s time.

Today’s federal government workplaces are unhealthy and stressful, and Treasury Board wants to make them even worse. Members know that the Harper government wants to take away their sick leave and replace it with an inferior system run for profit by a private insurance company. If you want all the gory details, go here. It’s a system that will inevitably force sick employees who can’t make ends meet go into work, making the workplace unhealthy for everyone near.

We’re not just saying No to Treasury Board as we try to negotiate fair collective agreements. We’ve proposed positive union-management measures to make workplaces safer and healthier for all, by confronting harassment, discrimination, abuse, stress, unfairness and disrespect. That means, among other things, tackling the workplace stressors that are increasingly taking their toll on our members’ well-being. We want the government to take the escalating problem of mental health seriously, by adopting the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the workplace.

On-going cutbacks have left a significant number of members utterly demoralized. As part of fixing our unhealthy workplaces, we are looking at the larger picture: the services we provide to Canadians. Our members have always taken pride in their work, but for many that has been replaced by a sense of uncertainty and insecurity as the cuts continue. There has been no transparency as the government continues to hack away blindly at the Public Service. Many of our members no longer have the tools and resources to do their jobs properly. That’s why we have also tabled proposals to help address problems of workload and to make jobs and services more secure.

The PSAC is not alone in this fight at the bargaining table by any means. We are working in solidarity with other federal public service unions. We’re planning together and mobilizing together.

That’s what this Thursday, March 19, is all about. Like it or not, you, the members, are on the front lines of this struggle. It’s your sick leave that’s up for grabs. It’s your workplaces that are getting more and more stressful. It’s your jobs that are now far more difficult or even impossible to do well. I’m looking forward to joining our members and members of other public service unions in Winnipeg this Thursday. Events will be taking place all across Canada. Find out what’s happening in your area on Thursday, or get in touch with your Local union representatives and help to organize your own events!

Our bargaining teams will be all the stronger with a show of support from our members across the country. Their fight is your fight.

We’re all in this together—and it’s time to send the government that message loud and clear.

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This page contains a single entry by Robyn Benson, PSAC published on March 17, 2015 4:50 PM.

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