moved for leave to introduce Bill C-372, An Act to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act (members’ staff).
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have an opportunity to reintroduce my bill to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act. I hope that all members representing all caucuses in the House of Commons will support what is a matter of simple justice.
My bill proposes to amend the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act to ensure that staff of senators and members of the House of Commons who serve in the capacity of member, leader, House leader, or whip, would enjoy the benefit of being permitted, if they so choose, to organize a union, to belong to a union, and to enjoy the benefits of collective bargaining.
I do not need to tell members that this is a set of rights and privileges that is considered fundamental in a modern democratic society such as Canada. In fact, we work long and hard to ensure that those rights are protected and advanced for all working people.
I must say that I was astonished when I arrived on Parliament Hill to discover that only the NDP caucus had voluntarily recognized the organization of its staff on Parliament Hill. In spite of that, they still do not enjoy the full benefits of collective bargaining. It remains true to this day that neither the employer nor the employee enjoys the full recognition of a union or an employer that is engaged in a collective bargaining process, and has obligations that go with that under the current legislation that governs this House.
As I said, this is a matter of fundamental justice, and for that reason, I hope that all members of the House will support my bill.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)