Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
September 29, 2011

Ontario locals step up fight against job losses, win back more than 70 term positions

Locals in Windsor and Richmond Hill recently took their message about service cuts and job losses to their communities. Their action followed earlier initiatives at the Timmins and Kingston locals and together this work has resulted in the extension of more than 70 term staff that were slated to go.

CEIU National President Don Rogers praises the Ontario locals for their action, believing that this is the type of work we need our locals across the country to carry out. We have a struggle on our hands and we need our members to be active and involved.

Better Service: Time's Running Out!In Windsor, CEIU members of Local 576 were joined by other PSAC members as well as those from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the Canadian Autoworkers Union (CAW). Along with NDP MP Brian Masse, the demonstrators denounced the move by Service Canada to cut 73 terms and called for the government to provide a business plan to prove that service to the public could be maintained in the face of these staff reductions. In a passionate speech, MP Brian Masse promised his support, and that of the NDP caucus, to stop the cuts. CEIU Windsor Local President Barb Lum vowed to continue the fight against the job losses that she said would be “…devastating to the services provided to the community of Windsor.”

At CEIU Local 569 (Richmond Hill), members rallied against the loss of term staff and, like the Windsor members, pointed out the serious effects that the cuts would have on service to the public. Local President Cathy Malone told the noon hour rally “Today it’s the term staff in Richmond Hill, but tomorrow it could be employees elsewhere in the country. Public sector workers everywhere have to speak out against these cuts that will hurt the public.”

The work of CEIU locals has clearly paid off. By the third week of September, management informed the union that more than 70 terms in Ontario that were to be cut as of September 30 would have their contracts extended. For the union, every job saved is a victory, and to save this many is a clear win – both for the members affected and for the public they serve.

Update: Following the demonstration by members in Richmond Hill, Local President Cathy Malone and CEIU’s HRSDC/Service Canada representative Paul Soeiro met with Conservative MP Costas Menegakis. The October 12 meeting focused on the 15 term staff that were not renewed at the end of September and the effects of this decision on service to the public. Pointing to a high EI claim load and growing backlogs, the union argued that service to the constituents of Mr. Menegakis was not at the level they deserved. Malone and Soeiro also briefed the MP on the planned reduction of 600 staff across Canada in the coming three years and the consequences for client service and employment opportunities in smaller communities. The MP agreed to take the concerns of the union to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Diane Finley.

Windsor Local President Barbara Lum

Windsor NDP MP Brian Masse

Richmond Hill demonstration

Richmond Hill demonstration


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