Federal Public Service Unions Call for Partnership with Canadians

MONCTON, NB, Sept. 19, 2011 /CNW/ - Leaders of 18 unions representing hundreds of thousands of Canada's public sector employees are calling on the federal government to reverse plans to cut valuable public services and jobs which Canadians depend on from coast to coast to coast.

The bargaining agent members of the National Joint Council held a summit in Moncton, New Brunswick to discuss ways in which they can promote and defend public services in the face of unnecessary and damaging austerity measures being implemented by the Harper Conservatives.

"We came together today to demonstrate that our members will stand together with Canadians across the country to work to strengthen the public services on which we all depend," said John Gordon, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. "Public services reflect the fundamental Canadian values of fairness and equality of opportunity, and must be protected."

The representatives of Canada's public service workers met with Atlantic Canadians who deliver vital public services to the region, as well as community leaders who know of the negative impact that cuts will have on the local economy.

"The government's obsession with austerity in fragile economic times and its suspicion of the public sector will damage the health, safety and well-being of Canadians", said Gary Corbett, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

By signing the Partnership with Canadians declaration, federal public sector unions are committing to continue to put the public interest first in their efforts to strengthen Canada's future.  They are also launching a country-wide petition to call on Tony Clement, the President of the Treasury Board, to put critical services and the viability of the long-term social safety net ahead of short-term concerns for reducing the deficit in a fragile economy.

"The programs and services our members collectively deliver to Canadians improve our nation's standard of living, help Canadians build vibrant communities, and protect the environment," said Claude Poirier, President of the Canadian Association of Professional Employees.

National Joint Council bargaining agents call on the government to hold meaningful consultations with its employees to ensure that the public interest comes first.

SOURCE PSAC

For further information:

Lesley Thompson, PSAC Communications, 902-471-6201 (mobile)

Pierre Villon, PIPSC Communications, 613-864-6700 (mobile)

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