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May 17 is marked worldwide as the day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. PSAC stands in solidarity with our GLBT members against all forms of hatred and prejudice.

Protect trans rights now!

Trans people are among the most marginalized persons in our society, and too many encounter obstacles and barriers in finding employment, housing, and health-care services. They also face extreme violence, prejudice and hate, which have sadly resulted in high rates of suicide.

PSAC is proud to announce that two leaders in our union have been elected to positions in the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

New CLC executive vice-president

Former NCR Regional Executive Vice-President Larry Rousseau has been elected as one of the CLC’s executive vice-president.

A staunch labour activist, Larry had been a member of PSAC’s Alliance Executive Committee from 2011 to 2017.

Canada’s unions have been working for ratification for decades, but since 1949 and until now, successive Canadian governments have refused. The decision will make Canada the 165th country to ratify. The United States, Mexico, and 20 other countries have yet to ratify.

For years, PSAC has been advocating for the federal government to formally prohibit discrimination against transgender and transsexual persons.

Bill C-16 amends the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code by adding protections against discrimination and violence based on gender identity or expression.

On October 18, 2016, the House of Commons overwhelmingly adopted this bill. It is currently before the Senate, where it faces opposition from many Conservative senators.

We need to ensure that the Senate passes the bill unamended, so it can be officially adopted into law.

The latest annual report on the federal public service notes the failure of the Phoenix pay system as one of the biggest challenges that faced the public service last year.

Failure to plan properly

The Clerk of the Privy Council’s Twenty-Fourth Annual Report on the Public Service of Canada states that the “urgency” of going forward with Phoenix “led to an unsuccessful launch” and that “planning and implementation… fell short.” The Clerk admits that “the resulting hardship faced by public servants and their families is deeply regrettable and unacceptable.”

Our bargaining team met with SSO during the week of May 1. The team started the week in caucus, where we had planned to review SSO’s proposals, but unfortunately the documents provided by our employer contained many errors and lacked clarity. This made it impossible for us to do our work of analyzing their proposals.

Tuesday, we were pleased to meet all members of the employer’s bargaining team. We communicated the problems with their proposals and the lack of professionalism this demonstrated. In response they requested the rest of the day to review their proposals, but first, SSO’s Director General Geoff Bowlby presented us with an overview of SSO operations.