National Component Members at CLC Canadian Labour College

Union education in action!

The National Component is very pleased that four of its members have been selected to participate in this year’s Canadian Labour Congress Canadian Labour College. The first session is taking place in Port Elgin, Ontario from April 8-21. The four members are (left to right):

Michèle Milotte is President of Local 70080 in the National Capital Region. Michèle works for the National Capital Commission and is also the Assistant Regional Vice-President for the National Component in the NCR (Separate Employer) Region, among many other union activities.

Jennifer Ho is Vice-President of Local 20088 in Vancouver. Jennifer works for Passport Canada, and is also the National Representative for Racialized Members on the National Component Human Rights Committee. She is very active in her community and within the labour movement.

Layne Carr-Wyatt, Occupational Health & Safety Representative for Local X0150 in Iqaluit. Layne works for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and is very involved in the Iqaluit Regional Women’s Committee and Area Council, among many other union activities.

Sandra Bello is President of Local 00394 in Hamilton. Sandy works for the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. She is also the Assistant Regional Vice-President for the Ontario Region and very active in the labour movement.

Standing together against racism

Standing together against racism
Geoff Ryan, ARVP for AB, NWT and NU taking part in an anti-racism protest

March 21 is the International Day for the Elimination of Racism. This day reminds us that racism still exists in our society – and that is unfortunate.

On March 18 and 19, the National Component was holding a regional seminar in Calgary. For the past few years, a white supremacist group called Blood and Honour has held “white pride” rallies to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Racism in Calgary.

That morning, when I read the article in the Globe and Mail describing the white pride rally and the leader of Blood and Honour, I became angry – angry that there are people who feel that they are better than everyone else because of their skin colour or their religion. I was angry that these people felt they could go march the streets to spread their message of racial supremacy.

I had to do something; I could not let this go. I asked members at the western seminar if they would join me in protesting the white supremacist rally. I was happy have about 30 National Component members join this anti-racism protest. We met up with about 170 other like-minded folks who shouted slogans towards the Blood and Honour group for about an hour. At least I felt like we had done something positive.

Racism in any form is just wrong. We all have a responsibility to help eliminate racism, whether it is taking part in an anti-racism protest, speaking up against inappropriate jokes, or just accepting people as individuals and getting to know them a bit better. Talk to someone who is different than you and you will learn about that person – you will also be helping to make our society a better place for the next generation.

– Geoff Ryan
Assistant Regional Vice-President for the Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut Region.

Flickr More photos are available on our new FlickR site! Please click here!

Get your resolutions in!

It's your chance to make it better!

As a National Component member, you are empowered to guide the leaders you elect and provide direction and ideas to build the union. The union – our union – is not an abstract concept; it is made up of real people who band together to protect and promote their rights. Your involvement is precious; it shapes our union and determines our priorities.

Between now and April 8, 2011, you have a key opportunity to make your voice heard.

We highly encourage you to submit resolutions. A short guide has been created to facilitate this process for you and members of your local. An online form will enable you to quickly submit your resolutions; a PDF version of the form is also available for those who prefer to send us their resolutions via fax.

Please consult the links below – and don’t hesitate to contact us if you require any assistance!

pdf Convention Resolutions – Guide
html Online Convention Resolutions Submission Form – Plain Language
html Online Convention Resolutions Submission Form – Traditional
pdf Convention Resolutions Submission Form – Plain Language
pdf Convention Resolutions Submission Form – Traditional

The Francophone Committee

The Francophone Committee

The National Component is proud to announce the creation of a new standing committee: the Francophone Committee.

During last January’s National Executive meeting, the creation of a new standing committee was approved. We are proud to announce that the National Component will henceforth feature a Francophone Committee within its official structure. More information will be made available shortly, via the Francophone Committee’s webpage on the National Component’s website. Please note that you may contact the committee via this email address:

Present on the Committee’s photo: Ben René (technical advisor), Larry Rousseau, Jean-Pierre Naud (co-chair), Patrice Rémillar, Francine Auclair, Jean-Pierre Ouellet, and Louise Parice (co-chair).

Absent: Yvon Beaudoin, Suzanne Cadieux, Géraldine Fortin, and Michèle Milotte.

International Women's Day – March 8th, 2011

Girls' Rights Matter

The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911; this year marks the 100th anniversary. Status of Women Canada writes the following regarding this year’s theme:

The theme for International Women’s Day and Week 2011 – Girls’ Rights Matter / Les droits des filles comptent – focuses on the importance of equality and access to opportunity for all girls and women throughout their lives. This theme encourages us to reflect on the situation of girls in Canada, and to look beyond women’s relative privilege domestically, to the international context. This theme also connects to the United Nations theme for International Women’s Day 2011: Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women. A girl who enjoys equality has a greater likelihood of being self-confident and aware of her own potential, and of being empowered to access the education, training and career opportunities that will contribute to her success in life.

For more information on International Women’s Day, please consult these links:

International Women’s Day 2011 – Status of Women Canada
Downloadable bilingual poster (PDF) – Status of Women Canada

Message from the National President – Tentative Agreements with Treasury Board

Daniel KinsellaDear Brothers and Sisters,

Your bargaining teams have recently reached tentative agreements for the EB, PA and SV groups. Many of you have undoubtedly read about the changes that would be adopted under these tentative agreements. Some changes are straightforward; the bargaining teams were able to secure wage increases, enhanced severance pay for layoff situations, better protection for term employees and more flexibility in times of bereavement or to attend to family-related responsibilities. That being said, a proposed change to voluntary severance pay on retirement and resignation is slightly more complex. As a member, you will soon have the opportunity to vote on your group’s tentative agreement. Therefore, in order to make an informed decision, we highly encourage you to familiarize yourself with what’s in your tentative agreement.

In addition to getting informed, members should ask themselves the following question: given the current economic and political climate, not to mention Prime Minister Harper’s “I make the rules” approach to governing, can we do better by waiting until next year for our regular bargaining?

As President of the National Component and a member of the National Board of Directors, I fully support the ratification of these tentative agreements. A number of factors were taken into account during the negotiations. However, first and foremost, the membership’s best interest was always our prime consideration.

The process by which these tentative agreements were reached was a result of exploratory talks between the PSAC and the Treasury Board. Late last summer, the Treasury Board approached the Union to engage in talks in advance of the regular collective bargaining process. The PSAC agreed, believing that we had an obligation to attempt to defend and further our members’ interests. PSAC President John Gordon remarked that this process would “provide economic certainty and improve working conditions for our members in this difficult economic climate.” The bargaining teams from the last round of collective bargaining were called back to the table to serve our members’ interests during this expedited process. While wage increases were a focus of negotiations, the teams were equally focused on addressing long-standing issues of concern to the membership at each table.

We are aware that the changes to severance pay have garnered much attention and debate in the media, in the labour movement and among you and your coworkers. Let me be clear on this: the bargaining teams would not have agreed to – nor would they have supported – a tentative agreement that would not be in the best interest of the membership, both in the short term and in the long term. Taking into account the current economic and political environment, the union leadership concluded that larger gains could be secured in exchange for severance. It is important to note that severance pay will continue to accumulate for employees forced to leave the public service due to layoffs, death, termination on probation, incapacity or incompetence. Given the complex nature of this topic, I highly suggest carefully reading the Questions and Answers on Severance web page on the PSAC website.

While at first glance, the changes in severance pay seem like a huge a concession, the truth is that upon a more thorough analysis of the tentative agreement, many members will actually gain more in the short term and in the long term. Most importantly, the wage increases will provide members with greater financial security in this difficult economic period and more than offset the changes in severance. For example, an employee making a $52,000 salary would receive an increase of $2,777 by the end of the three year wage increase period, an amount that would continue to be paid year after year. This increase is substantially more than the $1000 that would have been accumulated in severance. Moreover, this wage increase has the additional benefit of increasing overtime pay and translates to higher pensionable earnings.

In closing, I wish to reaffirm my support, as well as the union leadership and the bargaining teams’ support, for the ratification of these tentative agreements. Given the government’s pressure to balance budgets, the general feeling of global economic uncertainty and countless austerity measures being put in place across the world as we speak, the union leadership feels that these tentative agreements offer better provisions than could be reached at a later date. If we factor in Mr. Harper’s growing habit of imposing his will on Canadians, I feel these provisions offer a better choice than the alternatives we may be forced to accept during regular bargaining.

In solidarity,

Daniel Kinsella
National President
National Component (PSAC)

For more information on the tentative agreements and upcoming voting dates and locations, please consult the following sections of the PSAC website:

Vote on Treasury Board dates and locations
What’s in the tentative agreements: overview
Questions and answers on severance
Questions and answers on the tentative agreements
EB – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for EB
PA – PSAC reaches tentative agreement for PA
SV – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for SV

Three tentative agreements reached with Treasury Board

As a result of the early exploratory talks initiated by the Treasury Board, the PSAC has reached three tentative agreements. As an opportunity to vote on these is fast approaching, the National Component wishes to encourage its members to get informed about the proposed changes.

The National Component strongly supports the bargaining teams’ recommendation to ratify these tentative agreements.

The PSAC’s website features comprehensive details of the tentative agreements reached for the three groups affected: EB, PA and SV. As the exploratory talks did not yield tentative agreements for the FB and TC groups, regular bargaining will take place in 2011.

For greater clarity, we also recommend that members peruse the Questions and answers on severanceand Questions and answers on the tentative agreements sections found on the PSAC website.

Important PSAC links:
Treasury Board bargaining
What’s in the tentative agreements: overview
Questions and answers on severance
Questions and answers on the tentative agreements

EB – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for EB
PA – PSAC reaches tentative agreement for PA
SV – PSAC Reaches Tentative Agreement for SV

FB – An Open Letter to CBSA Workers from the PSAC FB Bargaining Team
TC – Message to TC Members from your Bargaining Team

World March of Women

On October 18th 2010, the World March of Women drew thousands of women who took part in the national rally.  The World March of Women is a movement that binds together 4500 women’s groups across 151 countries. An important gathering was also held at Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The National Component is proud to have been represented by sisters from various Regional Women’s Committees across Quebec.

In this photo: Sister Louise Patrice, Regional Vice-President of the Outside Canada region, surrounded by sisters from the Regional Francophone Women's Committee (National Capital Region): Claudine Lance, Johanne Gosselin, Marie-Françoise Bertrand and Lisa Rossignol.

Revised National Component Policies

During the 2008 National Component Convention, the National President identified that our governance documents required a review and rewrite. Some of these documents had not been subject to an examination for 40 years. For the past two years, the Bylaws and Policies Committee have been actively working with an external contractor (Stiff Sentences) to conduct a comprehensive review and rewrite of the English version of all Component governance documents.  The revised policies were adopted by the National Executive in September 2010.

The Revised National Component Policies feature:

  • Clearer language which makes the document more user-friendly
  • Thematic organization which places related topics together for easier reference
  • The amalgamation of all regulations, policies and guidelines into a singular set of directives entitled ‘Policies’ to reduce the complexity of the document
  • Alpha-numeric policy identifiers to allow for easier identification and positioning

Please note that the Bylaws have undergone a similar review and revision.  However, only the Convention has the authority to adopt those proposed changes.  Therefore, they will be tabled, for consideration, at National Component Triennial Convention in 2011.

N.B. Similar to the English process, a French Editorial Committee will be struck to develop a French Manual of Style to be applied to the review and revision of the French version.

Therefore the French version is a to be treated as a draft only at this point  (non-official translation).