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Committed to Serving Those Who Serve: A Heartfelt Call for Understanding

March 27, 2024

Dear members of our community,

At Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, our commitment to Serve Those Who Serve has never been stronger. We stand unwavering in our mission to support the physical, mental, social, and financial wellbeing of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, and their families.

Today, as we mark the 73rd day of the PSAC/UNDE strike by many of our valued employees, we find ourselves facing immense challenges. While we respect and support our employees' right to strike, we must share the profound impact this strike is having on our dedicated non-striking staff and the critical services we provide.

Despite the PSAC work stoppage, we are working tirelessly to ensure that the crucial services we deliver continue to be available to all who need them, whether regular or reserve force Canadian Armed Forces personnel, Veterans or family members. Unfortunately for all these people, the ongoing strike has led to difficult decisions. We have been forced to modify, suspend, or discontinue some of our programs. These changes have been particularly heart-wrenching, as they directly affect the support we can offer to men, women and children in all the affected communities. Some of those affected are:

  • Cancellation of children and youth programming in Petawawa and Kingston
  • Cancellation/reduction of many fitness programs impacting our ability to keep our troops healthy and fit
  • The closure of sports stores
  • Reduced recreation programs and entertainment activities
  • Reduced hours at the Centre Castor in Valcartier
  • Reduced hours for CANEX 
  • Closed CF One Membership Registrations

We have communicated openly with the union that there are no additional funds available for wage increases beyond what has been presented. Our offer of a 12% increase over three years aligns with successful previous negotiations we have conducted with nine other bargaining units in the last six months.

This offer is not just a number; it represents our unwavering commitment to our employees, the financial sustainability of our operations, and the realities of current economic conditions. We believe this offer reflects a fair and balanced approach to this challenging situation. It is disheartening that the union's decision to walk away without exploring this offer does not align with our steadfast dedication to reaching a fair agreement.

As the strike continues, the strain on our programs and services grows, impacting our ability to fulfill our mission. We are approaching a critical juncture where we may need to make even tougher decisions, including the possibility of canceling children's summer programs—a thought that deeply saddens us.

Yet, in the face of these challenges, we remain resolute. We are doing everything in our power to serve our members and the community we hold dear. We are committed to finding a resolution and returning to providing the full quality of service our exceptional Canadian Armed Forces members and their families deserve.

In these difficult times, we appeal to our community to understand the depth of our dedication, and to support us as we navigate these uncharted waters. Your support and understanding during this trying time mean everything to us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this important message. Together, as a united community, we can overcome these challenges and emerge stronger on the other side.

With respect and warm regards,

Ian Poulter