Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Civilians working on military bases will be on strike Monday

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Some 500 civilians who work on military bases plan to strike Monday. (File photo)

The Canadian Press

About 500 civilians who work for the Non-Public Fund (NPF) on military bases across the country. Ontario and Quebec have planned to walk out on Monday.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Union of National Defense Employees (UNDE) presented at the 27 ;employer a strike notice earlier this week. The two union organizations claim that the employer refused to make an effort to resolve the main points of dispute.

The main demands presented by the union concern salaries, in particular a pan-Canadian salary scale. In a press release, the PSAC indicates that these are the lowest paid workers in the federal public service.

People who work for the Non-Public Funds provide essential support to military personnel and their families, but they earn little more than minimum wage and often have to find second jobs to make ends meet, the statement said. Chris Aylward, the national president of the PSAC.

Members of the NPF are part of the public service, continues the PSAC, but they are significantly underpaid compared to other federal employees who do the same type of work.

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For example, fitness and sports instructors at the Bagotville base, in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, earn 62% less than their counterparts at the Treasury Board, maintains the PSAC. She adds that accounting clerks at the Valcartier base earn almost $10 less per hour than those who do the same work for the NPF in Ottawa, which represents a difference of 31%. p>

The union deplores that no progress has been made in relation to the adoption of a single grid salary for Non-Public Funds staff, whose salaries vary widely from one military base to another.

He emphasizes that the pan-Canadian salary scale is particularly important for equity since it would ensure that all people who do the same work have the same salary.

The PSAC has announced that the members' benefits plan has been suspended, as have additional benefits paid to people on maternity leave. The union says it has found, in the meantime, another social benefits plan for members on strike.

The employer abandons the the most marginalized workers by eliminating their social benefits. This is hypocrisy for a government that boasts of being feminist, denounced June Winger, national president of the UNDE, in a press release. Clearly, the Department of National Defense still has work to do to create an inclusive and diverse workplace.

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