A New Message From the AJC President: United More Than Ever :: Association of Justice Counsel News
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September 5th, 2013
September 5th, 2013

A New Message From the AJC President: United More Than Ever

I hope you had a great summer and took some time off with family and friends. Fall is already at our doorstep and we are looking ahead to a very busy 2014. As you know, this will be a bargaining year for the AJC.
No less than 17 of the 27 collective agreements that Treasury Board negotiates expire in 2014. And with a federal election in 2015, being tough with federal employees will surely be part of the Conservatives' campaign platform.

Further, recent measures announced by the Treasury Board - such as the conversion to a pay in arrears system, the performance review initiative, changes to our pensions, and anticipated retooling of our sick leave and disability benefits - are additional indications that this round of negotiations won't be a walk in the park. More than ever we will need to be united.

Over the last few months, we have felt the impact of the federal government's deficit reduction and work force adjustment measures: 49 of our AJC members within the Department of Justice were declared surplus. This past summer, we were notified that 17 of our members in British Columbia will be affected. DOJ also asked 30 volunteers in the Tax Law Portfolio to leave their positions.

And so, this is the backdrop we have in place as we embark on another round of negotiations. As we prepare for these negotiations, we will soon be consulting you through an online survey.

In addition to the survey, we want to engage members as we approach these crucial negotiations. Thus we will be launching a Member Mobilization Campaign in coming weeks. The AJC has also joined the Canadian Labour Congress and other unions in CLC's Together FAIRNESS WORKS campaign. I invite you check out the campaign and its important message.

The AJC remains a young organization, but we can take pride in the great strides we were able to make in such a very short period of time. Obtaining significant salary adjustments in our last collective agreement, which finally began to close a 20-year wage gap, was no small feat, especially in light of the political and economic climate of the day. Trust me, we would not have obtained such a deal if we hadn't joined forces.

The AJC is a financially sound organization with a clear direction. Further, the AJC has the opportunity to take a more outward focus. We are convinced of our cause; we now have to tell the public about it. The AJC will soon be making the jump to social media. Decision-makers, influencers, the media and other public sector groups are on Twitter and Facebook, getting their message across. We have to be there too.

I'm honoured to be given the opportunity to lead the AJC. It's a crucial time for our members. Your Association needs your support more than ever. I'm counting on each of you to remain strong, dedicated and united as we continue to face a government intent on playing hardball with public sector employees.

Lisa Blais, President of the Association of Justice Counsel

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