Federal union calls on new government to restore services, repair relations

Repeal anti-union legislation: PSAC

Canada’s largest federal public service union is calling on Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau to repair labour relations with its employees.

On the morning after the 42nd federal election — which saw Trudeau and the Liberals sweep a 184-seat majority in Parliament — the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) called on the new government to restore bargaining rights and repeal anti-union legislation.

“The new Liberal government has a strong mandate for change,” said PSAC’s national president Robyn Benson. “That change needs to include restoring public services and building a positive relationship with the federal public service.”

It also includes repealing Bill C-4, Bill C-10 and Bill C-59, particularly the provisions that eroded labour laws, imposed wage reductions, weakened workplace health and safety protections and changed sick leave clauses in negotiated collective agreements, the union said.

Other laws, such as Bill C-525 (which amends the Labour Code to eliminate card check certification, thereby making it more difficult to organize) and Bill C-377 (which forces unions to publicly disclose how they spend their money), should also be repealed and deemed unconstitutional. The government said Bill C-377 would increase union transparency and accountability. 

PSAC also demanded the restoration of federal public services, including the re-opening of Veterans Affairs offices that closed last winter.

In the weeks leading up to Oct. 19, the union carried out an aggressive “stop the cuts” campaign against the incumbent Conservatives.

“We know from our own campaign work that voters were fed up with the Harper Conservatives’ attacks on the public service,” Benson added. “We look forward to sitting down with the new government as soon as possible to discuss how to repair the damage done including how to improve labour relations in the federal public service.”

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