Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
September 2, 2011

Gone, but far from forgotten: Kingston says goodbye to term staff

Better Service: Time's Running Out!

CEIU’s Kingston Local marked the loss of term staff as a ‘black day’, wearing black armbands and hanging black balloons to honour coworkers that were leaving. When the Local learned of the impending cuts, they mounted, on short notice, a public campaign against them. While the cuts were not stopped, the union’s Better Service campaign, which will grow in the coming months, got its start.

In August, Local Steward Marie Ferguson, herself a term who lost her job, organized a public demonstration, a meeting with the Kingston MP and interviews with local media. The action raised awareness in the community which, along with the surrounding area, will now suffer a decline in service. As with all declines in service to the public, the union’s campaign is aimed at making the government pay the political price for their actions.

On the last day of work for the Kingston terms, a black balloon was displayed for each member that was leaving. And in recognition of other offices losing term staff, a separate cluster of black balloons was mounted.

“Please keep in touch and don’t forget us (the terms) and all of the hard work we have done for Service Canada…” said Ferguson in an August 31 email to CEIU National President Jeannette Meunier-McKay. “We won’t forget this work for Service Canada,” said Meunier-McKay, “and we won’t forget the fine example of local campaigning that our Kingston members have given us. In plain terms, they showed the courage that locals across the country will need as our ‘Better Service’ campaign unfolds.”


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