In response to Conservative Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre’s stated intentions to introduce legislation that would allow members to withdraw from paying dues to their union, PSAC/Union of Defence Employees member Glen Whalley wrote this open response.
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I have been a Federal Public Servant for 23 years and an active member of the PSAC and UNDE at the local, regional and national level. To be sure, I have not always agreed with some of the policies and decisions of the union but it is a democratic institution in which I believe. I chose to become a public servant knowing that it was a unionized position and that meant certain responsibilities and benefits came with that decision.
More to the point at hand, and to be clear on your position, as a member, by choice, of a communal entity that negotiates on my behalf for wages and benefits, represents me on issues in the workplace, and provides legal services, you feel that I should have the ability to opt out of paying for these and other services. You believe that if I do not completely agree with any or all of the actions and policies of this organization, I can be free of any financial responsibility and still enjoy the benefits of the said organization.
That’s wonderful! Please let me know when I can expect to stop paying my taxes. You see, I kind of need some extra cash so that I can build a big fence around my property. I want to start my own country because, quite frankly, I’m not completely in sync with my government’s political agenda or its international affiliations. Oh, but I can still use my Canadian Passport, right?
Union of National Defence Employees