Members of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union representing staff members employed by Minister Diane Finley are outraged by the comments made by the Minister to the Editor of the Charlottetown Guardian on November 21, 2011, and they are demanding an apology.
Cornwall - December 13, 2011 - As members of the Canada Employment and Immigration Union representing staff members employed by your Ministry, we are outraged by the comments made by you to the Editor of the Charlottetown Guardian on November 21, 2011, and we demand an apology.
For you to imply that workers are doing less than they are expected because of an alleged work to rule campaign is false, hurtful and, as per Treasury Board policy, constitutes a type of harassement which is unacceptable from our employer. Our members take their jobs very seriously and are committed to delivering the best possible service. Your comments have served to further demoralize an already overworked and highly stressed staff for whom you appear to have little regard.
The facts are clear. You have closed offices, failed to renew term staff, suspended the policy which would have allowed term staff to attain indeterminate status after three years of service and failed to fill positions vacated by permanent staff. All of this has resulted in disrupted services to the public and is compelling evidence that your department has not developed a sound business plan.
In Ontario alone, you have reduced claims processing staff in London by 17 to one. Half of the staff in the Windsor office has been cut and all but four in the Kingston have been let go. We expect service to worsen in view of your plans to close the Hamilton call centre and front-end delivery offices in Sturgeon Falls and elsewhere.
Similar cuts are taking place across the country. Who is to pick up the work no longer being done by those who have lost, or will soon lose, their jobs. Response rates have fallen below acceptable standards, the workload is unmanageable and the delays in processing claims and providing other types of service are growing daily. To further compound the issue, overtime work by remaining staff is not available to allow members to catch up even on a temporary basis.
You state that all will be well because the work will be done by computer automation. Really? How has that been working for us to date and, more importantly, how has that been working for our citizens of Canada?
The faults and delays in processing claims are of your making, not ours. The entire responsability lies with you. Fortunately it's alos within your power to change direction and provide our members with the resources and the numbers they need to give the best of services to Canadians. Please do so.
If you are truly interested in resolving these issues, CEIU would welcome the opportunity to meet with you. You can contact me by telephone at 613 236-9634 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CEIU, Local 621 President