May 28, 2007
The year was 1967. The Beatles reached number 1 on the charts with Penny Lane and All You Need is Love. In Montreal Expo '67 welcomed the world to Canada and in Ottawa, for the very first time civil servants won the right to bargain collectively with the Federal government.
One of these newly formed bargaining groups was made up of two classes of workers; first, those who performed the same work and were paid the same regardless of where in Canada they worked and lived and then the second group made up of General Labour & Trades, General Services and Hospital Services. These workers were paid different amounts based on local private sector rates of pay. This first round of collective bargaining produced 36 different regional pay zones for this second group. The Zone system was supposed to allow adjustments to be made from region to region based on local market trends. In fact over the years it was never really applied because as a 1969 Arbitration Tribunal found it was just “too complex” to be workable.
And so it began. With each successive round of bargaining our union fought to eliminate these unfair pay zones.
This is about dignity and respect. This campaign is a campaign long in coming. We have fought regional rates of pay for many, many years. Our members have gone out on strike to eliminate regional rates of pay. We're now looking at a national rate of pay and this is the round to do it. We will lobby all MPs. We will fight at the negotiating table not only for the Treasury Board members but for CFIA, Parks and the Canada Revenue Agency. This is the round to eliminate regional rates of pay.
I don't understand why there should be a difference in the pay. If we all work for the same employer and we all do the same job then we should all get paid equal amounts of money.
I think actually what happened is we all got left out from the area of about 1990 to about 1999. Our Salaries were actually frozen for a number of years Where we got no salary increases at all and we fell dramatically behind the private sector. It has caused quite a hardship amongst quite a few of the members.
Equal work, equal pay.
I do just as good of a job as I can the same as everybody else. Why should somebody get paid more than me for doing the same work?
Well it's a simple fact we all work for our income and if you get paid more for doing the same job somewhere else you're going to go somewhere else.
I know that there is a huge variation in pay across the country. A lot of us think it is unfair and something should be done about it.
We've gone down to 3 zones now which borders on the ridiculous. There's BC and Northern Canada, and there is the Manitoba – Ontario border east that is all one zone? And us the Prairies that have the bottom zone now.
I have right now in my local, two different rates of pay within my local. I have people in Thunder Bay doing the same job as some of the people here in Winnipeg, where they are in the same local and getting different amounts of money to do the same job. That is absurd!
I am working for $2.58 and hour less.
The west coast gets $1.75 more an hour than we do here on the East Coast.
Nobody should be making less money for the same work.
The injustice is about wages. I think that in a working group, we should have the same wages for the same work.
Obviously it's a matter of numbers I'll be getting less pensions.
An EGS Tech is an EGS tech whether he is in Prince Edward Island or whether he is in Vancouver. He has that education to fill the position and he has the experience and this is what we should be getting paid for, not where we are doing the job.
All the whole maintenance programs are all basically the same right across Canada.
A Sheet Metal Worker is sheet metal worker whether he is in Halifax or BC, and for that I feel we should be paid equal right across the board.
We paint in Manitoba – in BC they paint. The paint goes on the same way as anything else so why is there a difference in pay?
It is almost to the point where I can't afford to stay.
Someone has taken the initiative to ensure that a clerk in the front office is making the same rate of pay as a clerk in BC and a clerk on the East coast. Yet how unfair is it they work right be side me and I am not included in that?
The MPs who work in the West or in the Maritimes have the same salary and we don't.
I was married to a military for 20 years and it didn't matter where my husband got transferred he got the same rate of pay.
When you have to work beside people who are being paid nationally, which is the fair way to go. And we are being paid differently than other parts of the country. No, I don't feel good about that.
It is absolutely despicable that 93% of the federal public service make national rates of pay or are paid on a national rate of pay. Whereas only 7 % of that population is paid on zone rates of pay.
Some of the ways to get rid of zones would be to letter campaigns to our politicians. Obviously they are the ones that have to influence Treasury Board and the negotiating table.
Convince the employer that Trades people are becoming a scarce commodity. These are people with choices and in order to retain them their conditions of employment need to be improved.
This next round of negotiations we have to stand strong and accept nothing less than No Zones!
Respect us – treat us with dignity.
If the government had some sense, they'd abolished the zones right now.
When I started my job here things weren't in that good a shape. We've brought it a long ways; I would like to leave it in better shape than I got it.
What was good back in the 60's is not necessarily good today.
They should respect us.
We all work the same job. We all live in Canada. We should all being making the same wage whether we are in Newfoundland on in Vancouver.
Same work – Same employer same pay
For the past 35 years we've been negotiating to eliminate zones. We've reduced them from 36 zones down to three. To finally eliminate all zones, every member will need to stand shoulder-to-shoulder to fight for their colleagues at Table 2 and at Parks. Our membership has demonstrated in the past that they're willing to stand-up until the end whether by going on strike or just pushing the employer until the very end of negotiations to achieve it.
Date Modified : 2010/07/28