Canada Employment and Immigration Union -
June 26, 2012

CEIU Local 620 meets with MPs in Kingston to discuss continuing cuts and closures of offices

On May 24th, members of CEIU Local 620 met with the Kingston MP Ted Hsu and Liberal HRSDC critic MP Rodger Cuzner to talk about the continuing cuts to Service Canada and the impending closure of the EI Processing office in Kingston.  Two dozen members packed Ted Hsu’s office and spent an hour briefing him and Rodger Cuzner on backlogs, what their clients are dealing with, and the unnecessary expenses of moving EI processing jobs and workloads elsewhere.

This meeting was preceded by months of unanswered questions posed to Service Canada management, constant referrals to unclear and confusing messages, the referral to the rationale for such an illogical decision as “political”, and frustration by staff consistently getting a mish-mash of directions as to what is transpiring. These employees are faced with having to make the choice between keeping their homes, preserving family values and maintaining a work-life balance versus saving their jobs in order to keep pensions so they can retire after years of service with dignity and respect.

The members relayed their concerns over relocating employees and their families, shuffling people into other business lines, hiring and training new staff at the new location, retro-fitting a new office, breaking leases resulting in empty buildings and floors, and re-arranging mail and storage capacity and the outrageousness of how this can outweigh the cost-effective and simplicity of re-investing in an already functioning model and location.  Especially when austerity measures are being implemented by the current Federal Government, there are cuts to thousands of Federal  jobs and departments, cuts to valuable programs and services and the lack of caring or sympathy for the impacts being felt on local communities, small businesses and people served by the department makes absolutely no sense.

The meeting was beneficial for all in attendance, as the importance of a skilled and experienced workforce, maintaining local knowledge, staff, and jobs, eliminating needless and wasteful spending of tax-payer dollars, and keeping public values and services, encouraged everyone and showed  that “Yes”  – we can in fact all work towards these goals.

On behalf of the CEIU Local 620 Executive  / D.Glende, President.

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