Government Uses Omnibus Budget Bill to Once Again Infringe Our Constitutionally Protected Right to Collectively Bargain :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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May 11th, 2015
May 11th, 2015
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Government Uses Omnibus Budget Bill to Once Again Infringe Our Constitutionally Protected Right to Collectively Bargain

If government cannot help protect our constitutionally protected rights, who will?

Dear AJC members,

The budget implementation bill (Bill C-59) was tabled Thursday, May 7th 2015.  Bill C-59 overrides certain parts of the Public Service Labour Relations Act (PSLRA) which governs collective bargaining in the public service.

It gives TB President Tony Clement the power to:
    a) override existing terms and conditions and impose unilateral changes to sick leave provisions in federal public service collective agreements,
    b) introduce a future short-term disability plan, and,
    c) introduce unilateral changes to the existing long-term disability program.


C-59, if passed, will affect the future of collective bargaining. Among other things it would give Treasury Board full authority when it comes to setting:
    * the amount of annual sick leave public servants will be entitled to,
    * the amount public servants can carry over to the next fiscal year, and,
    * how the existing sick-leave banks will be handled.


In past messages, I have repeatedly highlighted how Bill C-4, a previous omnibus budget bill, dramatically changed the rules of collective bargaining.  The AJC lost its right to arbitration, the bargaining option we have always chosen in past negotiations.  Not only are we now forced to consider job action, our constitutional right to collectively bargain is being dismantled piece by piece.

We consider this a serious attack on the AJC and the entire labour movement and will do everything we can to challenge the bill before it is officially passed.  Our main focus will be to lobby and educate MPs and Senators directly, and through the media as best we can. We will do our utmost to encourage Conservative MPs and Senators to vote their conscience and represent the values of their constituents.

As a Canadian citizen, who values our well-recognized fundamental freedoms of association and expression in a free and democratic society, I have to seriously question:  Is our democracy in jeopardy.  If government cannot help protect our constitutionally protected rights, who will?

I invite you to read the following articles we have assembled in one document.

For more information, you can also read the budget bill by clicking here.

Your AJC President,
Len MacKay


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