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Since 1989, the Association of Canadian Financial Officers has represented the FI Community with the same sort of professionalism and decorum that the Community itself shows in its day-to-day work for Canadians.
And for 25 years, ACFO has been able to count on receiving an appropriate amount of professional courtesy from the parties across the table. No matter the political stripe of the government of the day, ACFO has been able to negotiate, in good faith, deals that are fair. We’ve been able to do this because we’ve negotiated with an employer that respected the professionalism of our group; respected the principles of fairness under which we made proposals; and respected constitutionally-protected collective bargaining rights.
With Bill C-59, introduced yesterday in the House of Commons, the Harper Government has completely undone 25 years of good faith bargaining and violated the constitutional rights of each and every member of the FI Community.
In the coming weeks and months, you’ll be hearing politically motivated talking points from your employer and government.
The Harper Government has willfully violated your constitutional rights. They have placed themselves above the law, above the Charter and Rights and Freedoms, all so they can keep a political promise to be seen to be balancing the budget.
It’s illegal. It’s immoral. And it’s an affront to the professionalism and loyalty of the FI Community. In the coming days the ACFO leadership team will evaluate all options and plan the next course of action. Options already being assessed by our legal team include:
The FI Community is known for its professionalism and its commitment to serving Canadians. Professionalism should not be mistaken for weakness. The right to assemble and to bargain collectively is not a mere inconvenience that can be legislated away at will. It’s a fundamental right enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that serves as the very bedrock upon which our Canadian society is built.
We won’t stand idly by as it’s trampled upon in the name of cheap political points.
Milt Isaacs, CPA, CMA, CPFA
President, Association of Canadian Financial Officers