New Year Message
January 06, 2010
2009 is now behind us. At the beginning of this new year, and on behalf of myself and the entire organization, I would like to send you our best wishes for health, happiness, and prosperity.
If 2008 and 2009 have taught us anything, it is that the Harper government will stop at nothing to attack the Canadian civil service. Indeed, we saw a parody of collective bargaining in 2008, followed by a virulent attack on women's rights in the Budget Implementation Act, and then a blatant infringement of the EC group employment contract between the Association and the Treasury Board.
And now this minority government is announcing it will go after its civil servants' retirement plan. In particular, it is challenging the right to retire after 30 years of service and provided the person is 55 years of age. This unilateral way of managing one of your most important fringe benefits is unacceptable. Mr. Harper gives us reason to challenge in court the prohibition on federal civil servants' bargaining their retirement plan, the classification system, and staffing.
Have our elected officials forgotten the two forms of retirement from which they personally benefit and which they provide to their friends? The first is the retirement benefit for Members of Parliament: a 4% credit per year of service, which means that after ten years an MP will be entitled to 40% of his or her average salary from the five best years. For a civil servant, twenty years are required. For others, the system is simpler: they need only be appointed to the Senate, which is what the Prime Minister is preparing to do for 18 new Senators.
Before penalizing civil servants, Harper should undertake a serious cleaning of his own house. In 2010, CAPE will take charge of reminding him that he cannot flout your rights without consequence.
We’ll be in touch.