Non-Public Funds staff treated like second-class workers by the Canadian Forces

Our Non-Public Funds (NPF) members have been on strike for over a month. We have yet to hear from the Canadian Forces in this entire time, though they have stooped to using replacement workers. Their attitude speaks volumes about how they view the employees who serve and support military personnel and their families. 

“The Canadian Forces’ message is clear,” says Yvon Barrière, PSAC-Quebec’s Executive Vice-President. “By tossing their employees out into the street for over a month and refusing to come to the bargaining table, the Canadian Forces is showing its contempt for the employees who serve and train them, treating them like second-class workers.”

This treatment is nothing new. In 1982, the Public Service Commission passed an order excluding all staff of the Non-Public Funds from the Public Service Employment Act, thereby relegating these workers to a second-class status. As a result, they are deprived of the working conditions, protections and fair pay scales enjoyed by so many of their colleagues doing equivalent work in the federal government.

The order has had preposterous effects. Some examples:

  • A financial services assistant in Valcartier earns $10/hour less than someone doing the same work in Ottawa.
  • These same assistants earn 1/3 the salary of their counterparts at the Treasury Board.
  • Bagotville’s fitness and sports instructors earn 62% less than their federal counterparts.
  • The pay scale for Bagotville’s kinesiologists ranges from $16–$26 an hour. Mere blocks away, their colleagues in Quebec’s long-term care centres earn $26–$43 an hour.
  • Shipping and receiving clerks earn barely $1 more than the federal minimum wage.

And the list goes on.

These absurd discrepancies make life extremely precarious and burdensome for NPF employees, who struggle to earn a living and often have to take on second jobs to make ends meet. 

We are asking the government to immediately annul the 1982 order so that NPF workers can be treated with the same respect that we show the Canadian soldiers that they serve and train.