|Happy New Year! It seems a bit unusual to wish you happy new year in such a time of uncertainty, but I am optimistic that 2021 will bring many positive changes for members of UNDE.
We have a lot of work ahead of us in this year. I do want to take a moment to recognize and to thank you, for the work that you have been doing in your jobs, and for your union, in such trying times. Our country and our union are better for it.
A highlight of 2020 for me, was the launch of our Uncover the Costs campaign to stop the contracting out of public sector civilian defence work. We know that our campaign is getting noticed. The Minister of Defence and local MPs have received hundreds of letters from you. Just before the holiday break, the National Labour Management Consultation Committee dedicated a lengthy discussion to the topic, at the request of the Deputy Minister. Many of you have told me that your local committees are having similar discussions and that your Commanders understand they need to be paying more attention to these issues. I’ve enjoyed talking with you on regional webinars, and we will have many opportunities to engage with you on the campaign again soon.
Right now, however, we have a matter of immediate urgency. The House of Commons will resume on January 25, and the 2021 Federal Budget will soon follow. We need every MP in the country to be aware of this campaign, and to be ready to ask tough questions of the Minister about why he is continuing to allow good public sector work to be contracted out to the lowest bidding mega-corporations. Defence critic Randall Garrison has already started this discussion at the Parliamentary Defence Committee – it’s up to us to now keep the pressure on.
Please take the time right now and send a letter to your local MP and to the Minister of Defence. The 19,000 of us, members of UNDE, can make a critical difference if we all act now.
I look forward to our continued work together and will be in touch again soon.