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Today on National Aboriginal Day, the Public of Service Alliance of Canada has partnered with the community of Grassy Narrows to launch a campaign demanding safe drinking water in First Nations communities. 

“Access to clean and safe water is a basic human right,” says Robyn Benson, National President of PSAC. “It’s appalling that in 2016, so many First Nations communities are forced to boil their water or drink from a bottle.”

The #ThirstyforJustice campaign video was developed in collaboration with an award-winning documentary filmmaker and focuses on the community of Grassy Narrows. 

The river water has been contaminated by mercury for over 40 years and the tap water is not safe to drink. Grassy Narrows is only one of more than 100 First Nations communities that do not have access to safe water for drinking, cooking and bathing. 

The threatened closure of at least two child care centres located in federal buildings and serving public service employees as well as other families put a spotlight on PSAC’s child care bargaining demand in contract talks today with the federal government’s Treasury Board.

“Treasury Board’s failure to properly implement its policy on workplace day care is putting centres at risk of closing and that’s a problem we want fixed in this round of bargaining,” said National President Robyn Benson.

The policy provides for child care centres to be set up in partnership with community child care organizations when a government department is willing to be a sponsor.  The centre is eligible for a rental subsidy as long as a significant portion of the day care spaces are filled by the children of federal government employees. 

As we begin another round of bargaining with Treasury Board, negotiations now will take place in a much fairer bargaining environment thanks to the efforts of our members.

Since 2013, our union and our members have been fighting back against the Conservative government’s changes restricting our bargaining rights that were contained in their budget implementation bill, C-4.

Our recent win with Treasury Board President Scott Brison’s commitment to take immediate steps to restore these rights didn’t just happen. It was the result of our members taking action – their protests and demonstrations, their letter writing and lobbying, their engagement in our election activities.  

Everyone in Canada is legally entitled to a work environment that is both inclusive and discrimination-free. That includes you.

This short video aims to raise awareness about the duty to accommodate. Accommodation means reviewing and revising rules, policies, practices or standards to incorporate alternative arrangements that eliminate discriminatory barriers.

The video also covers employer and employee positive obligations toward maintaining an inclusive and discrimination-free  work environment.

PSAC Executive Vice-President Chris Aylward sent a letter to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Judy Foote requesting immediate action to fix the Phoenix pay system. 

Our letter stated that the Liberal government has a clear and pressing obligation to fix these problems without further delay. 

This morning, Minister Foote announced that she will implement one of our key recommendations and will hire additional compensation advisors. We have been advocating for this since 2011. We welcome the Minister’s recognition of the scope of this problem and her commitment to a solution. 

The Public Service Alliance of Canada is pleased to launch a briefvideo to raise awareness about the duty to accommodate. It covers employer and employee obligations toward ensuring a work environment that is both inclusive and discrimination-free.