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World AIDS Day, observed on December 1st of every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the HIV infection. It is also a time for reflection on what has been achieved with regard to the national and global response to HIV – and what must still be achieved.

December 1st also marks the beginning of Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week in Canada.

On December 6th, 1989, we commemorate and honour the lives of the 14 women murdered at Ecole Polytechniques in Montreal. The gunman responsible for this massacre systematically targeted females at the school and remarked “I hate feminists”. This was a somber day that highlights the ongoing crisis of gender-based violence.

This week, over 300 activists will gather in Ottawa for the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s triennial National Leadership Training. As part of this event, some of these activists will meet with Members of Parliament about the federal public service pay system.

“PSAC activists will bring the stories of our members to Parliament Hill so that MPs don’t lose sight of the impact the Phoenix debacle is having on the personal lives of federal public service workers,” said PSAC National President Robyn Benson. “They will also share our demands for what the government must do in order to get people paid correctly and on time, as well as provide redress for the toll this has taken on the our members.”

The Public Service Alliance of Canada welcomes the government’s apology and redress for Canadians who were fired from their job or criminally charged for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, two-spirit or trans.

“This apology is well overdue,” says PSAC National President Robyn Benson. “Far too many federal public service workers have been persecuted in the workplace due to their sexual orientation or identity. This is a necessary step in creating a safe, respectful and inclusive work environment for our LGBTQ2 members.”

Historically, the federal public service has been a hostile place for LGBTQ2 people. In the 1960s, the RCMP developed a list of 9,000 “presumed homosexuals” in the National Capital Region alone.

As per the Public Service Labour Relations Act, our FB Bargaining Team filed for conciliation earlier this year when it became clear that the employer was not prepared to seriously address our issues, including parity with other law enforcement agencies and matters related to hours of work such as protections for compressed work weeks, VSSA’s and telework. 

A tentative agreement between Public Service Alliance of Canada and Canada Post Corporation has been reached early Sunday morning in Ottawa. The deal, covering more than 1,300 workers, provides for continued job security for CPC employees who are members of PSAC/UPCE and includes other improvements to the collective agreement.