Posted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:02 am Post subject: Fed civil service union threatens to campaign against Libs!
As bargaining restarts, largest federal union threatens to campaign against Liberals if talks go south
By EMILY HAWS MAY. 23, 2018
PSAC has set bargaining dates, which extend from late May to mid-July, for groups representing about 90,000 of its 140,000 federal public service members.
PSAC national president Chris Aylward says that if the government drags out the negotiating process for years during this round of talks, the union could decide to campaign against the Liberals in 2019. It has already threatened to do this if the troubled Phoenix pay system isn't fixed. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
The Public Service Alliance of Canada has set bargaining dates for groups representing the majority of its federal workers to negotiate their next contract, and newly minted national president Chris Aylward says if the government doesn’t fairly negotiate, it will be more ammunition for PSAC to use, should they campaign against the Liberals in 2019.
He said PSAC, the largest federal public service union, is optimistic the government will come ready to play ball. Other than the Phoenix pay system that has left the majority of public servants with pay problems for more than two years, he said PSAC’s relationship with the government is “no doubt” better than before the Liberals took the reins in 2015. This is a chance for the government to demonstrate its respect for the bureaucracy, he said.
“It is simply unacceptable number one, for the [pay] delays. And then [if] they come to the table and they’re not prepared to negotiate with us in a fair manner, then absolutely, we will certainly be looking at and considering that [in the] federal election in 2019,” said Mr. Aylward.
Treasury Board spokesperson Martin Potvin said in an emailed statement the government “will continue to bargain in good faith with bargaining agents, toward reaching timely agreements that are fair for all involved.” He wouldn’t comment on negotiation priorities or proposals.
Two points strike me about this -- it will be a bigger blow to the Liberals than most realize. It shows us how powerful these unions have become. They kept Dalton and Kathleen in power. But here, were see it on the table, in an explicit way, as part of a negotiating package.
The second point is ... the thing that probably distorts our politics the most is not the the first-past-the-post system, but allowing civiil servant unions to become big players in electoral politics.
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Fed civil service union threatens to campaign against Libs!