Friday, May 23, 2008

Does the Harper gov't really want another fight right now..

Who woulda thunk? The CPC clashing with a union!
Maybe the one good thing is that it might "upset" a lot of public servants in Ottawa and they take it out on statesmen like Baird and Poillevre. A boy can dream.

Full article from the above link, because I felt like it:

May 23, 2008
News release
PSAC tells Harper government to get real
OTTAWA – After a year of bargaining, negotiating teams for the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) are less than impressed with the Harper government's wage offer tabled this week. The government has offered increases of 1.5%, 1.5%, 1.2% and 1.2% in a four year agreement retroactive to 2007.
“The government's proposal is an insult and a joke,” says Patty Ducharme, PSAC's national executive vice-president. “The wage offer is below current inflation and well below projected inflation rates. It doesn't even allow our members to stand still.”
Gas prices alone have risen by over 25% over the past year and are projected to rise by another 15 to 20% before the summer is over. “A wage offer that reduces our members' real income also has a ripple effect on sectors such as manufacturing and tourism that are already being hard hit by the high Canadian dollar and rising gas prices.”
“How does the government think it can recruit and retain workers with this kind of offer,” says Ducharme. “Wages may be moderating in the face of an economic downturn but both public and private sector wage settlements were much higher in 2007 than the 1.5% being offered by the Harper government.”
“When gas hits a dollar fifty a litre or more, we will have to pay. When food prices rise, as they are around the world, we will have to pay. When our children's tuition fees increase because of government cutbacks, we will have to pay.”
According to Ducharme, the Harper government already has a dismal record on the economy and this is just one more example of its failure to protect workers' jobs and incomes.
“Our members provide quality services to Canadians from coast to coast to coast. What we expect is a fair increase that protects our purchasing power and compensates us for increased productivity.”
The Treasury Board offer is in stark contrast to a settlement between PSAC and the Canada Revenue Agency reached last fall. The union negotiated a 2.5% increase in each year of a three-year agreement starting in 2007, in addition to another 1.6% average increase resulting from a new classification plan.
“Our members at Treasury Board are continuing to fall behind their counterparts at the CRA, thanks to an out-dated federal classification system,” says Ducharme. “This latest offer just compounds the problem. In addition, the offer does not address an ongoing problem in the Operational Services unit. Unlike 93% of the federal public sector, these workers are still paid on a regional basis.”
PSAC represents over 100,000 workers in five Treasury Board bargaining units.


Anonymous said...

Tsk Tsk Tsk. The average Canadian is not unionized, does not have job security, does not receive yearly inflationary raises, and, will not come close to recieving the pensions these people will receive...and your actually wondering why he would pick a fight with them? Union people rarely vote Conservative, so, just who is he going to piss off?? billg

Dante said...

Make it an election issue and see who wins

Anonymous said...

That would be on page 30 of the Liberal Red Book...tell Canadians that we agree with giving 100,000 PSAC employees exactly what they're asking for...while most of them worry about job security and how to make ends meet, and, then make it an election issue. The PSAC probably deserve the raise, I'm not saying they dont, but, fighting a union right now makes good political hay. Its all optics baby. billg

m5slib said...

Well if Harper is going into an election, roughly within the next year and there is a labour dispute, do you think Canadians who rely on these unionized government workers to process things like EI, CPP, OAS, Child Tax benefits and a host of other services are going to admire Harper's defiance. I suspect the more it hits them in the wallet the more they'll look for a solution. Given that this bargaining process has been going on for over a year, people will wonder why Harper's gov't hasn't done something more expedient to ensure order and good government.

dennisn said...

Just to note, this isn't just any kind of union ... it's a union of "public" servants (ie. our slave-masters who rob us of ~30% of our money, and do things with it that many of us are wholly opposed to.) These people should be kept as lean as possible -- they shouldn't exist at all, really!

So, even though I hate Harper on many other levels, on this one, it's a baby step in the right direction.

m5slib said...

actually dennis, that's not correct.. the CRA are the ones who collect your taxes and they're not included in this union, nor is the upper level executives who actually help to set policies and gov't objectives, so you're kind of off point.

dennisn said...

What are you talking about? They're negotiating with the government --- am I wrong to assume that these are government-payed employees (unions)? Either way, the vast majority of PSAC members /are/ federal employees, and thus are payed through my taxes. (At gunpoint. Can't forget that crucial detail.) So, either way, the majority of PSAC is illegitimate -- if you concede one easily missed detail -- that forcing people to do things against their will is wrong. (Taxes.)

You (and most people, really) seem to miss the fundamental issues, and only focus on the trivial details.

One fundamental issue is the very idea of a "public servant". PSAC pretends that it's members "provide quality services to Canadians from coast to coast to coast." Says who? Most Canadians didn't vote for this government, so it wouldn't be too unfair to assume that most Canadians don't agree with the way this government is currently spending our money. But none of this would even be an issue if they left the money in our pockets in the first place, and let us decide for ourselves!

dennisn said...

Just to throw in /some/ idea of who PSAC are, they include:
* Immigratoin workers
* National defence employees
* Postal workers
* Taxation employees!?!
* Veterans' affairs employees

... all of whom I am passionately opposed to. I'm sure there are others, and maybe even a *few* that I'm not totally against. Nevertheless, you see my point.

m5slib said...

sorry i'll correct myself about the CRA... they are included in the union, but they're not paid by the treasury board so they're not included in this round of negotiations

... and you're totally entitled to your libertarian views, but regardless of how you or i think a libertarian society might function, i think we can both conceded the reality that it's not gonna happen anytime in the foreseeable future and beyond... so i think that debate is more trivial

dennisn said...

I will not concede that :). !.

If people were actually aware of the situation (legalized slavery) -- if the mainstream media stopped pandering to the status quo, and actually made people aware of alternatives -- or at the very least that a *serious* problem exists -- I think change would follow pretty quickly.

I've spoken to many people about this (taxes, intrusive government, etc) ... young and old ... they ALL agree it's bad. NONE of them were aware that libertarian alternative parties exist. I agree that it's ultimately each individual's responsibility to teach himself and decide -- but the media is hugely complicit in the propaganda.

And, just to conclude ... I don't think people really understand the seriousness of the situation. People have been brainwashed into accepting slavery, thanks to ingenious marketing tactics. It really is slavery! It is more than Just Another View(tm) that I have -- it's a cry to break these shackles that bind ME! You can't say "regardless of [my views]" ... because there is a crime being committed here. Individual freedom is /supposed/ to be enshrined in the constitution. It cannot be so casually ignored. It must be respected, no?

The libertarian view is the only just view! The solution to the aforementioned problem is simple: people should voluntarily pay for whatever services they want. Period. If they don't pay enough, the service providers can't be allowed to force them to pay. They must respect the people's decision. But, for this to occur, it cannot be a so-called "public service".

Even if 29,999,999 people (of a pop. of 30M) think it's ok for 1 person to be a slave (for the good of society), it cannot be permitted. And so long as this seemingly trivial injustice goes overlooked -- so long as individual freedom is so casually ignored -- well, you no longer have the rule of law. You'll have a bunch of hypocrisies piled on top of hypocrisies. Which is what we have now. And this will provide an endless source of trivial political discussions, since there will actual be an endless source of contradictions. An endless source of problems. ... All because of this trivial nuissance called "individual freedom".

Le fin.