Statement from the National Executive Board of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE).
Ottawa (13 Dec. 2011) - The National Executive Board of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) met on December 5 & 6, 2011 in Ottawa. During this meeting, members of the board unanimously adopted the following statement: Download as a PDF
The mission of the National Union of Public and General
Employees (NUPGE) is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good.
In recent decades the total economic pie in Canada has grown tremendously.
However, each slice of the pie has not grown equally.
Due to deliberate government policy choices, the slice of the pie given to the wealthiest has been getting a lot bigger, while everyone else has been getting a much smaller slice.
Today, in Canada, the income gap between the top 1% of Canadians and everyone else is greater than it has been since the 1920s.
Families and communities in Canada are paying a serious price for this growing gap:
• poorer outcomes on key health and social indicators such as life expectancy, infant mortality rates, mental illness and homelessness;• greater social division and unrest; and• a boom and bust economy which produces a few winners and a lot of losers.
It is wrong for governments in Canada to blame the current economic downturn and their deficits on the financial meltdown of 2008.
Of course, the financial crisis of 2008 made things much worse, much faster.
But the underlying problem is growing income inequality.
This trend began decades ago and continues today thanks to the following deliberate policy choices made by governments:
• an all-out assault on labour rights;• the lack of an industrial strategy;• the erosion of tax fairness; and• an attack on public services.
It is time for a different approach. Canada can do a lot better. Our governments must make smarter choices.
The evidence is overwhelming: rising union density, good jobs, quality public services and tax fairness create a more equitable and sustainable economy.
NUPGE and its Components across the country are committed to continuing discussions with governments and proposing alternative policies through our All Together Now! campaign.
However, if governments will not engage in a serious and honest discussion about the problem of growing income inequality and the need to address it, then we are prepared to take targeted resistance on a sustained basis up to and including industrial action.
Dialogue. Organizing. Industrial action.
Whatever it takes to get the job done.
James Clancy National President
Larry BrownNational Secretary-Treasurer
On behalf of the NUPGE National Executive Board:
Darryl Walker, BCGEUJudi Filion, BCGEUReid Johnson, HSABCElisabeth Ballermann, HSAAMelissa Field, HSAABob Bymoen, SGEUHelen Hrynchak, SGEULois Wales, MGEUStephen Roznowsky, MGEUWarren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEUPatty Rout, OPSEUDoug Evetts, OPSEUGlen Hamilton, CUBGWSusie Proulx-Daigle, NBUPPEJoan Jessome, NSGEUJason MacLean, NSGEUShelley Ward, PEIUPSECarol Furlong, NAPEBert Blundon, NAPE
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE