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Labour Day is always an opportunity every year for me to take a step back and reflect on how fortunate I am to represent such a hardworking and well-respected group of public servants like the CT Community. However, it’s also an important time to recognize the challenges on the horizon, both for our community and the labour movement as a whole.
It’s safe to say that the “new normal” has brought its own set of unique challenges to the labour movement. The news cycle has been dominated recently by stories of workers from many unions going on extended strikes, with a consistent sticking point being the use of artificial intelligence to replace human labour. Artificial intelligence remains at the forefront for ACFO-ACAF as we look to both equip our members to seize the opportunities new technologies provide, but also protect against the potential threats they may bring.
Another key issue we continue to monitor is the growing cry for austerity measures in the federal government. While the CT Community is well-positioned to weather this potential storm as stewards of the public purse, it’s more important than ever for us to be well-skilled and adding value in every aspect of our work.
One of the major wins from the new CT collective agreement was securing additional funding for the Joint Career Development Program and expanding it to the CT-EAV and CT-IAU classifications. It has already enabled us to enhance our offerings, add new classroom courses, and re-introduce old favourites like the Interchange Program. By bettering both your technical skills and human skills at every opportunity, you’ll become an invaluable member of your team—so if you haven’t benefitted from the JCDP yet this year, make sure you don’t miss out on the next round of applications coming this fall.
Networking is also an invaluable skill for not only keeping doors open, but for opening future doors for your career. Attending our upcoming CT Symposium in October in person is a fantastic opportunity to network with your fellow CTs, attend our career fair with more than a dozen departments, and get a free headshot to update your LinkedIn profile. We also host regular Networking Nights across the country, so keep an eye on your inbox for the next one near you!
Despite the hurdles that lie ahead, our recent wins at the negotiating table will prepare us for the next round of fights shown by the many unionized workers around the world who are currently on strike or without a contract. While I’d love to take credit for all these wins, it’s the highly respected and professional work of the CT Community that has allowed us to build important relationships and play a key part in the future of the labour movement.
On behalf of myself and the rest of the staff at ACFO-ACAF, thank you for your service and Happy Labour Day!
Dany Richard, MBA, CPA, ICD.D