Whether you work for a federal government department, an agency or a private employer, elections matter. Some of you are electing your employer who will negotiate the terms and conditions of your collective agreement. Others are electing one of your main funders and still more are electing the people who will regulate the industry you work in.

We know that candidates will be reaching out to you over the next few weeks. They may send you an email, give you a call or knock on your door. That is your opportunity to ask them the questions that are important to you and all our members. Below is a summary of some of the issues raised by UCTE members and questions you might want to ask the candidates.

Take the time to learn where the political parties stand on issues that directly impact UCTE members. It is important that you pay attention. And remember to vote.

Our Issues

  • Fair Collective Bargaining

Everyone deserves to have a fair collective bargaining process that results in good working conditions, a safe and healthy workplace, and a decent pension when we retire. And surely, it’s not too much to ask that we get paid correctly every two weeks. There are still problems with the federal pay system and lots of concerns about what will replace it. In all sectors, we still have to fight to maintain our hard-fought benefits and keep up with the rising cost of living

  • Transportation Safety and Inspection

We want to ensure that all modes of transportation are safe, secure, and efficient, that our airports have adequate emergency and firefighting services and that crucial ports like Churchill and our important canal system stay open for business and pleasure. Transport Canada’s Safety Management Systems place a higher premium on business interests rather than putting the traveling public first. That must change.

  • Safe and Healthy Workplaces

COVID demonstrated an inconsistency in health and safety applications across all agencies, departments, and federally regulated work sites. We need to ensure that all essential employees have the maximum protection when they must work, whether they work in a lab, on a ship, at an airport, in an office building, or even at home. We need better telework and return to work provisions and protocols so that those who choose to work remotely have the technological and ergonomic equipment they need.

  • Support for Aviation

The Aviation sector was devastated during the pandemic and has only begun a slow return to some sense of normalcy. This industry will need on-going support until the sector and travel stabilizes. There also needs to be assurance that we will return to normal when it comes to regulations governing civil aviation that were relaxed during the pandemic. That includes restoring airport firefighting and rescue services and maintaining these essential services at full capacity.

The Questions

  • Collective Bargaining

Where do you and your party stand on the rights of workers to bargain freely and would you support expanding worker and union rights in the workplace? Do you and your party support making it mandatory for workers whose jobs are contracted, to have full engagement in the union and protection of their collective agreement and their existing union representation?

  • Phoenix

What would you and your party do to ensure that the pay problems that have arisen through the Phoenix pay system never happen again? Do you agree that any damages negotiated from the Phoenix pay system should be non-taxable?

  • Transportation Safety and Inspection

Would you and your party support a return to the full inspection role for inspectors in the transportation sector versus the current SMS audit approach being pushed by Transport Canada? Would you and your party direct Transport Canada to make the safety of the travelling public their number one priority rather than one of many competing priorities?

  • Safe and Healthy Workplaces

Would you and your party support changes to legislation strengthening health and safety protections for workers who have to go to work during emergencies? Would you and your party recommend to Treasury Board and other federal employers to negotiate better telework and return to work provisions as well as protocols with their employees and the unions that represent them?

  • Support for Aviation

Would you and your party support demands by Nav Canada and airport workers for on-going support to Nav Canada, airports and airport workers until the sector and travel stabilizes? Would you and your party direct Transport Canada to fully reinstate all regulations governing civil aviation that were relaxed during the pandemic and to maintain airport firefighting and rescue services at full capacity?

 

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