14 Wing Green­wood hands clean­ing con­tracts back to union­ized work­ers

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - BY AN­DREA GUNN SALTWIRE NET­WORK

The Depart­ment of Na­tional De­fence has halted plans to con­tract out clean­ing jobs at 14 Wing Green­wood and CFB Kingston af­ter pres­sure from the unions that rep­re­sent the em­ploy­ees.

In Au­gust, The Chron­i­cle Her­ald re­ported seven term-con­tract, union­ized clean­ers at 14 Wing Green­wood were no­ti­fied that as of Sept. 30 their jobs would be ter­mi­nated be­fore their term po­si­tions could have rolled into full­time jobs.

In­stead, the govern­ment had planned to con­tract out their jobs to a pri­vate com­pany. The re­main­ing 25 full-time clean­ers would have had po­si­tions re­placed by con­trac­tors when they re­tire or leave the base, as would 186 union­ized clean­ers at CFB Kingston in On­tario.

At the time, Colleen Cof­fey, At­lantic Canada ex­ec­u­tive vi­cepres­i­dent with PSAC, said the move rep­re­sented a wor­ry­ing trend of con­tract­ing out these sorts of ser­vices.

A pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign, a let­ter-writ­ing cam­paign and sev­eral ral­lies in sup­port of the work­ers fol­lowed.

On Sept. 20, Union of Na­tional De­fence Em­ploy­ees (UNDE) and Pub­lic Ser­vice Al­liance of Canada (PSAC) an­nounced DND had shelved its plans and has com­mit­ted to cre­at­ing a new process for fu­ture re­views and the jan­i­to­rial staff would re­main em­ployed.

“We are glad to see that the govern­ment is liv­ing up to its com­mit­ment to pub­lic ser­vice work­ers fol­low­ing a ma­jor anti-pri­va­ti­za­tion cam­paign by PSAC,” said UNDE na­tional pres­i­dent June Winger.

“These are good jobs with a pen­sion and ben­e­fits that al­low work­ers to con­trib­ute to their com­mu­ni­ties and pro­vide sta­bil­ity for their fam­i­lies. It is also im­por­tant to note that our mil­i­tary per­son­nel and oth­ers who live and work on those bases will con­tinue to re­ceive the high-qual­ity ser­vice they de­serve.”

The unions are call­ing on govern­ment to en­sure union rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the plan­ning process for CFB fa­cil­i­ties main­te­nance.

“If we’ve learned one thing from the er­rors made with the Phoenix pay sys­tem, it’s that those mak­ing the de­ci­sions need to lis­ten to those pro­vid­ing the ser­vice,” Winger said.

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