There has been many concerns on the forefront over the last few months, but the most active issue has been fighting the Harper government. With everything from trying to take our pensions to job cuts, the Harper government has been very busy, which means so has the union.
In November, 2011, there was a billboard erected in Gander, NL, encouraging PSAC members and the general public to contact MP Peter Penashue, the only Conservative representative in the province, to keep EI Processing in Gander. I have attempted speaking to him, as many others have, but to no avail.
Another cut that is in plans is the closing of the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John’s, NL. There has been several rallies in the area in which I have attended to raise awareness and show the discontent with the decision. The latest of these was January 26 when a search party was organized. MP Peter Penashue came to St. John’s and attended the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Canadian Coastguard. I was one of about 40 protesters outside the coastguard building waiting to greet Mr. Penashue but unfortunately he exited through a back door to avoid everyone. We did at least make our views known.
In January, I visited the PSAC regional office in St. John’s as they celebrated the grand opening of the new office. I attended after work and had the opportunity to meet a few members that I normally wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet. As it is important to get new and different people involved, I welcome every opportunity to meet all PSAC members.
Currently, I am working with the PSAC regional office staff to organize visits by myself and other members to discuss some concerns that we have as a union. I’m sure it will prove to be a challenge but one that we will continue to work on.