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Offline NewCenturion

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Union of National Defence Employees
« on: August 09, 2005, 10:56:37 »
PUBLICATION:  The Hamilton Spectator
DATE:  2005.08.09
EDITION:  Final
SECTION:  <Canada>/World
PAGE:  A8
BYLINE:  Murray Brewster
SOURCE:  The <Canadian> Press
DATELINE:  HALIFAX

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Civil support in war zones worries union

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The union representing <Canada's> civilian defence workers is bracing for a battle over compulsory service in war zones, as hundreds of uniformed soldiers pack their kitbags for lengthy stints in Afghanistan.

The president of the Union of National Defence Employees said yesterday that the chief of defence staff, General Rick Hillier, told him during recent talks that civilian support personnel on bases across the country could be called on for extended overseas deployments.

"In turn, I put the chief of defence staff on notice that these assignments will in no case be mandatory," said John MacLennan, in a speech to union members in Halifax.

The union's main concern is that workers who refuse foreign assignments could face either formal or informal penalties, especially in terms of career advancement and opportunities.

MacLennan said the union is still uncertain whether it will support some form of overseas deployment for its members, where unionized staff are offered a choice, during the deployment to Kandahar.

The <Canadian> military has used civilians as cooks and technicians on overseas deployments in the past.

But MacLennan said unionized Defence Department employees have generally done short stints, lasting no more than a few days or weeks, on specific assignments, such as equipment repair jobs.

"Now with this vision of deployable public servants, you're looking at months," he said. Underscoring longer-term commitments is becoming a recurring theme for the military.

On Sunday, Major-General Andrew Leslie, land forces commander, predicted at an international conference in Ontario that Afghanistan will become 20-year duty for the <Canadian> <army>.

His comments echo similar warnings last spring from Hillier.

The debate over the use of civilian labour also comes as the first contingent of 1,500 <Canadian> troops touch down in Kandahar for an extended, dangerous mission.

Since the late 1990s, private civilian contractors have helped fill long- term support positions, particularly during the <Canadian> army's operations in Bosnia. But military planners say having day-to-day base staff around during deployments is something that makes sense from an operational and budgetary point of view.

Hillier was away on leave yesterday and unable to respond to MacLennan's comments. But a Defence Department spokesman said he can't speculate on how civilian deployments will be handled.


Here we go. The joys of having civvies in the military  ::)

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Offline Bograt

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Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 11:00:18 »
Civilian defence staff role not yet clear

By MURRAY BREWSTER / The Canadian Press
http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2005/08/09/f187.raw.html

Quote
The union representing Canada's civilian defence workers is bracing for a battle over compulsory service in war zones, as hundreds of uniformed soldiers pack their kitbags for lengthy stints in Afghanistan.

The president of the Union of National Defence Employees said Monday that the chief of defence staff, Gen. Rick Hillier, told him during recent talks that civilian support personnel on bases across the country could be called upon for extended overseas deployments.

"In turn, I put the chief of defence staff on notice that these assignments will in no case be mandatory," said John MacLennan, in a speech to union members in Halifax.

The union's main concern is that workers who refuse foreign assignments could face either formal or informal penalties, especially in terms of career advancement and opportunities.

MacLennan said the union is still uncertain whether it will support some form of overseas deployment for its members, where unionized staff are offered a choice, during the current deployment to Kandahar.

The Canadian military has used civilians as cooks and technicians on overseas deployments in the past.

But MacLennan said unionized Defence Department employees have generally done short stints, lasting no more than a few days or weeks, on specific assignments, such as equipment repair jobs.

"Now with this vision of deployable public servants, you're looking at months," he said.

Underscoring longer-term commitments is becoming a recurring theme for the military.

On Sunday, Maj.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, land forces commander, predicted at an international conference in Ontario that Afghanistan will become 20-year duty for the Canadian army.

His comments echo similar warnings last spring from Hillier.

The debate over the use of civilian labour also comes as the first contingent of 1,500 Canadian troops touch down in Kandahar for an extended, dangerous mission.

Since the late 1990s, private civilian contractors have helped fill long-term support positions, particularly during the Canadian army's operations in Bosnia.

But military planners say having day-to-day base staff around during deployments is something that makes sense from an operational and budgetary point of view.

Hillier was away on leave Monday and unable to respond to MacLennan's comments.

But a Defence Department spokesman said he can't speculate on how civilian deployments will be handled.

"We're still at the very early stages on this whole notion," said Jae Malana, who's a civilian employee, in an interview from Ottawa.

The details, including contractual issues, will have to be worked out by the military and the defence workers union, he said.

Just what rights and benefits non-military staff would have in a war zone is something that remains unclear and of concern to the union.

"The department must understand that any one member who goes abroad shall receive the same benefits and rights as our military counterparts enjoy when deployed to operational theatres," said MacLennan.

"Any member who enters a high-risk theatre will be exposed to potential life threatening situations, full liability must rest with the employer."

In 2004, Ottawa made serving in a war-zone income tax-free for military members - a perk that was aimed at improving morale in the Forces.

Also during his speech, MacLennan also tore a strip off Hillier, accusing the country's top soldier of trying to "Americanize our Canadian military" by making it more aggressive and shifting the focus away from the country's traditional role as a peacekeeper.

"But are we American? No, we're Canadian and we do things the Canadian way."

He is referring to the radical restructuring of the Canadian Forces, which was proposed recently.

Ah..... sevice to one's country, loyalty, pride in doing a job well done, I see these values are still being articulated by the leadership within the labour movement.

"Americanizing" our military. Where have I heard that before? Hmm. I beginning to believe that we have a nation of people who eat a lot of fibre. They have to in order to be able to stick their heads so far up their behinds. Anyone know where I put my country? I seem to have misplaced it... I don't know what the frigg I have know.
Hannah and Robbie's Dad

Offline Springroll

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2005, 11:10:59 »
This article has given me mixed feelings. On one hand I can understand what they are saying, but in the same, why should they receive the same benefits as military service members who are over there and in constant danger??

I don't know what to think of that right now. I will have to re-read it later and comment on it then.
"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline Roy Harding

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2005, 11:20:24 »
This article has given me mixed feelings. On one hand I can understand what they are saying, but in the same, why should they receive the same benefits as military service members who are over there and in constant danger??

I don't know what to think of that right now. I will have to re-read it later and comment on it then.

Have another cup of tea, re-read it.

They'll receive the same benefits BECAUSE they'll be "over there and in constant danger"
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Offline Springroll

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2005, 11:31:53 »
Have another cup of tea, re-read it.

They'll receive the same benefits BECAUSE they'll be "over there and in constant danger"

This is what I don't get though.
They will be performing the duties of cooks and such.....
why should they get the same benefits as those who are out patrolling etc?

Sitting by a stove does not qualify(in my eyes) as a dangerous job. I do that job everyday in my home.
Now if their base was under constant attack and such, then I could understand, but just because you are over there does not mean you should get those benefits.... JMO

I definitely need another cup of tea though..I'm starting to nic out again..hehehe
I love the light headness ;D
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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2005, 11:43:56 »
This is what I don't get though.
They will be performing the duties of cooks and such.....
why should they get the same benefits as those who are out patrolling etc?

Sitting by a stove does not qualify(in my eyes) as a dangerous job. I do that job everyday in my home.
Now if their base was under constant attack and such, then I could understand, but just because you are over there does not mean you should get those benefits.... JMO

I definitely need another cup of tea though..I'm starting to nic out again..hehehe
I love the light headness ;D


Military cooks get the same benefits as the infantryman patrolling the streets.  So why shouldn't the civy who cooks with military cooks ?  It may be news to you but regardless of ones trade ( civillian or military) being in a conflict area is inherently unsafe.

Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2005, 11:44:41 »
Things he said I agree with...

Quote
"The department must understand that any one member who goes abroad shall receive the same benefits and rights as our military counterparts enjoy when deployed to operational theatres," said MacLennan.

"Any member who enters a high-risk theatre will be exposed to potential life threatening situations, full liability must rest with the employer."

Every employee of DND (including CFPSA, NOT including CANCAP) should have the same benifits if they are serving together overseas with soldiers. That means, they get the same pay, but live in the same crappy conditions...nothing more and nothing less, that is only fair.

What I don't agree with...

Quote
Also during his speech, MacLennan also tore a strip off Hillier, accusing the country's top soldier of trying to "Americanize our Canadian military" by making it more aggressive and shifting the focus away from the country's traditional role as a peacekeeper.

"But are we American? No, we're Canadian and we do things the Canadian way."

Gee, I wonder what happens when an employee in a civilian company publicaly critizes the policy desicions of the CEO?   I think Mr MacLennan should have an education session as to what his department actually is there for. If he doesn't like it, then he should take his hard earned union options of transfering to a more friendly gov't department, perhaps Fisheres and Agriculture...no wait, they kill animals for our food, can't have that...Immigration maybe then.
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aesop081

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2005, 11:47:41 »
Things he said I agree with...

Every employee of DND (including CFPSA, NOT including CANCAP) should have the same benifits if they are serving together overseas with soldiers. That means, they get the same pay, but live in the same crappy conditions...nothing more and nothing less, that is only fair.

What I don't agree with...

Gee, I wonder what happens when an employee in a civilian company publicaly critizes the policy desicions of the CEO?   I think Mr MacLennan should have an education session as to what his department actually is there for. If he doesn't like it, then he should take his hard earned union options of transfering to a more friendly gov't department, perhaps Fisheres and Agriculture...no wait, they kill animals for our food, can't have that...Immigration maybe then.

I could not agree with you more

Offline Roy Harding

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2005, 11:52:48 »
...
What I don't agree with...

Gee, I wonder what happens when an employee in a civilian company publicaly critizes the policy desicions of the CEO?   I think Mr MacLennan should have an education session as to what his department actually is there for. If he doesn't like it, then he should take his hard earned union options of transfering to a more friendly gov't department, perhaps Fisheres and Agriculture...no wait, they kill animals for our food, can't have that...Immigration maybe then.

Armymedic:   Although I agree with your sentiments, you're off-target.   The CDS is NOT the "CEO" of DND, the MND is.   To continue your analogy - the CDS is the "VP in Charge of the CF", the DM is the "VP in Charge of Non-CF DND Personnel"

Springroll:

I'm at work right now and can't really spend time on more than quick missives - expect further discussion tonight regarding your mistaken views of CS and CSS troops and what they do.   The delay will also enable my blood pressure to settle down, and may preclude my lamentable proclivity for "shooting from the lip" when angered.

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Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2005, 11:56:29 »
[quoteArmymedic:   Although I agree with your sentiments, you're off-target.   The CDS is NOT the "CEO" of DND, the MND is.   To continue your analogy - the CDS is the "VP in Charge of the CF", the DM is the "VP in Charge of Non-CF DND Personnel"][/quote]

I know this, but it was just easier to type CEO instead.

Thank you for sorting out my slack and idle (just returing from Afghanistan at 0300 hrs) frame.   ;)
« Last Edit: August 09, 2005, 11:59:23 by Armymedic »
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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2005, 12:03:34 »
Civilian defence staff role not yet clear

By MURRAY BREWSTER / The Canadian Press
http://www.herald.ns.ca/stories/2005/08/09/f187.raw.html

Ah..... sevice to one's country, loyalty, pride in doing a job well done, I see these values are still being articulated by the leadership within the labour movement.

Whatever the labour leadership thinks and says  is liklely different than most of the rank and file, who are generally decent, hard working and typically very conservative individuals who couldn't give a rats *** about the political musings of the union movement. The only thing they rely on the union for are wages, working conditions, benefits and the like ... other than that they have little time for the current direction of the union movement.

 
... Move!! ...

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2005, 12:12:01 »
Now that I have had my tea, and feel better and level headed and am not wanting a smoke....

Retired CC,

You seem to have some issues with your blood pressure...have you talked to your doc about it??
If you get that angry or frustrated over posts all the time, maybe it is time to take a short sabbatical?
There is no need to get so flustered over a post that had JMO at the end of it.
I am entitled to my opinion and if it bothers you, then don't read my posts.

A nice simple solution.   :)

Instead of getting into specifics, I will just bring up that the civvies already have many benefits that CF members do not.
So to treat them "equally" would mean to increase the CF standards as well. It would be great for you boys, but I don't see that happening any time soon. ::)

Sometimes I like unions, other times I despise them.
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Offline Roy Harding

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2005, 12:15:44 »
...

Thank you for sorting out my slack and idle (just returing from Afghanistan at 0300 hrs) frame.     ;)

Hey!!   Welcome home!

Get laid, get drunk, get some sleep - or whatever order YOUR personal SOP dictates!
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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2005, 12:38:05 »
Lets see:

How many ways can you hire a cook or a mechanic?

Hire an infanteer for the regular force and train them to do the above jobs.

Hire a cook or mechanic and train them to become regular force infanteers.

Hire a cook or mechanic and train them to become reserve force infanteers.

Hire an UNDE member as a cook or mechanic.

Hire a Canadian company like SNC to supply Canadian cooks or mechanics.

Hire an American/Brit/Whatever company to hire anybody willing to become a cook or mechanic

Hire from the local economy.

Rather a large slate of options.   All sorts of issues to be worked through (security versus the benefits of pumping Canadian dollars into the local economy and getting the job done more cheaply but with the added benefit of local goodwill.

I'd say that the CDS has a fairly strong hand to play, including whiskey's point concerning the inclinations of the membership many of whom have previous service.

On the otherhand what kind of a hand is MacLennan holding.

Godstrewth, my ancestors in the South Ayrshire Labour Party will likely roll over in their grave but  I cannae thole Scots unionists.   MacLennan? That's a Campbell name is it not?   That would explain everything.   ;D

Cheers.

Forgot a couple:

Take a released reg force cook or mechanic and turn them into reserve force infanteers

Take a released reg force infanteer and turn them into a reserve force cook or mechanic

The mind boggles.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2005, 12:41:22 by Kirkhill »
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Offline Gunner

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Re: Civil support in war zones worries union
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2005, 13:04:24 »
Quote
Here we go. The joys of having civvies in the military 

I don't think we have civilians in the military...  ;)
Had a wonderful ~26 years in the military and still miss it.

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2005, 13:07:09 »
Quote from Whiskey601,
Whatever the labour leadership thinks and says  is liklely different than most of the rank and file, who are generally decent, hard working and typically very conservative individuals who couldn't give a rats *** about the political musings of the union movement. The only thing they rely on the union for are wages, working conditions, benefits and the like ... other than that they have little time for the current direction of the union movement.

Thanks for that Whiskey, :salute:
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Re: Civil support in war zones worries union
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2005, 13:42:12 »
I don't think we have civilians in the military...   ;)

I should re-phrase. While they are a necessary evil I'm not a big fan of DND civilian employees for this very reason; when the going gets tough, the tough haul out the collective barginning agreement. Not to paint everyone with the "same brush" just my opinion.  My belief is if you can hire a soldier to do the job do it.
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aesop081

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Re: Civil support in war zones worries union
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2005, 13:48:47 »
when the going gets tough, the tough haul out the collective barginning agreement.

Yup...i've been the victime of that one in gagetown , dealing with the civy drivers from field support !  Just had to learn to use their book against them

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2005, 14:15:58 »
If the choice is between eating IMPs or sending civilian cooks to the warzone, I think I'll support sending the cooks over.  ;D

Also, there is no safe place in Afghanistan, the base is probably an easier target than a patrol through the city.

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2005, 14:37:53 »
Here are the points I agree with, for what they are worth. First, we are all part of the defence team, if civvies deploy they should get the same benefits and pays. Second, the head of UNDE has a right to speak out, as long as he is speaking for the majority of his union brethren. I equate it to supporting your troops.

Now, what i disagree with and can not accept, is that the head of UNDE does not seem to understand that we are at WAR. :threat: We have been in a war against terror since 9/11. Politicians, Union Leaders, and the general Canadian public seems to have a hard time accepting that fact. :salute:
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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #20 on: August 09, 2005, 14:51:27 »
My My My... what has the CF come to.  As a medically released ex soldier (031 26 yrs) and a supporting member of Union (they get me my pay raises after all).  I now work for the CF as a civilian.  The CF must be in a world of hurt if they want this broken ex soldier to deploy. :)
I think we have at long last reached the bootom of the barrel. :) :) Over the top boys :salute: :)

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #21 on: August 09, 2005, 14:55:28 »
We should be careful in slagging the DND union types...

They might need more Bongo therapy and group hugs like they received during the First Gulf War.
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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #22 on: August 09, 2005, 15:39:46 »
Like Chimo said we are all part of the "Defence Team". One of the core values of 1 ASG states: "The Defence Team is the cornerstone of our success, and every effort will be made to leverage and enhance the military and civilian interface to the betterment of those we support." whew!   There's no "I" in team, I encourage the other half of the "Defence Team" to come in for the big win because if you don't you'll be standing tall before the man and he will take a giant **** on you. Remember inside every Afghani there's a Canadian screaming to get out.
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Offline Roy Harding

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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2005, 22:58:03 »
Now that I have had my tea, and feel better and level headed and am not wanting a smoke....

Retired CC,

You seem to have some issues with your blood pressure...have you talked to your doc about it??
If you get that angry or frustrated over posts all the time, maybe it is time to take a short sabbatical?
There is no need to get so flustered over a post that had JMO at the end of it.
I am entitled to my opinion and if it bothers you, then don't read my posts.

A nice simple solution.  :)

Instead of getting into specifics, I will just bring up that the civvies already have many benefits that CF members do not.
So to treat them "equally" would mean to increase the CF standards as well. It would be great for you boys, but I don't see that happening any time soon. ::)

Sometimes I like unions, other times I despise them.


Springroll:

Because you, at times, seem to be a fairly knowledgeable individual vis a vis military matters, I sometimes forget that you are, indeed, a civilian.  At those times, I don't have my "forgivable ignorance radar" engaged, and I react to your posts as if they had been written by a soldier/airman/sailor who SHOULD know better.  This forgetfulness gives rise to my raised blood pressure.

Firstly - don't worry about my health - you've got enough to worry about already, what with upcoming BMQ and all.

Secondly - I don't get angry or frustrated over posts all the time.  Just the ones that deserve such a reaction - as yours would have, had you actually had any military experience (and "hubby's" experience doesn't count - just ask my wife, who, at one time thought she "knew" about the Army because she had been raised by a soldier, then married one.  She found out different once she joined - as will you.)

Finally - I have never been "flustered" in my life - please don't use randomly ascribed transitive verbs to describe my (completely unknowable to you) state of mind.

In the interest of not hijacking this thread (any further than I already have), I've started a new one discussing the subject of CSS here:

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,33366.0.html
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Re: Union of National Defence Employees
« Reply #24 on: August 09, 2005, 23:16:36 »
First, I agree that civvies, if deployed, should receive the same pay/benefits/conditions as soldiers. I also think it's unfortunate we don't have enough military cooks to fill the jobs, but that is another topic.

I do not have a lot of military experience myself but this comment struck me as pretty out there even for a civilian.


Sitting by a stove does not qualify(in my eyes) as a dangerous job. I do that job everyday in my home.
Now if their base was under constant attack and such, then I could understand, but just because you are over there does not mean you should get those benefits.... JMO

Cooking supper for 'hubbie' and the offspring is in no way comparable to cooking in a mess in a war zone I'm sure the cooks and everyone else who were in the U.S. mess in Mosul on December 21, 2004 would beg to differ with your analogy. If you've forgotten the incident, you can google it but to jog the memory I've quoted part of one article below:

"An explosion ripped through a mess tent at a military base near Mosul where hundreds of U.S. troops had just sat down to lunch Tuesday, and officials said more than 20 people were killed and at least 57 were wounded."


JMO but I think any overseas deployment is dangerous. Any military base is a potential target.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2005, 23:28:20 by NavComm »