|Defence Association Grows Fast
All eyes may have been focused on the famous subway series in New York in 1956, but further to the north the fledgling National Defence Employees Association (NDEA) was making a bit of history of its own. Born at the previous Civil Service Federation (CSF) convention, the feisty three year old returned to the next gathering with a vengeance. Its membership had already quadrupled to 16,000, which entitled them to 24 per cent of voting power on the floor.
Right off the bat, NDEA delegates embroiled themselves in a controversy. They took exception to a completely revised CSF Constitution prepared by the Taxation Association and the Ottawa-Hull District Council. The debate grew so heated, they marched off the floor for about 10 minutes – in concert with the Postal Employees. Taxation later retaliated by walking off during the introduction of successful amendments by NDEA – claiming they were receiving advice from a visiting Canadian Labour Council representative.
A convention highlight saw Jim Wyllie, NDEA National President, elected to the position of Fourth Vice President of the CSF Executive Council. Several other NDEA personnel were also elected to CSF positions. Civil Service Commissioner A J Boudreau, a guest speaker, hinted of things to come when he discussed the possibility of grievance arbitration under special collective bargaining legislation.
Other items of interest at NDEA’s coming of age session were the defeat of a motion in support of “zone” pay, support for a contributory national health plan for Canada, a motion to support a reduction in the pension “average best years” from 10 to five, and the adoption of a no-raiding pact so as not to disrupt the ongoing unity talks.
|The History of the Union of National Defence Employees|
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