I am amazed that in 2013 I am still feeling the need to write this but Kathryn May in today’s Citizen is covering a PSLRB (the board that handles issues related to federal government labour-management relations) decision upholding management’s right to stop the union from using its email system. So I guess it still needs saying. Dear sisters and brothers: your work email belongs to your employer. They can do what they want with it. Any time and for any reason. And now – if they let you know first – they can read it.
I understand people who are not that into the union who feel the bulletins and updates are part of work and they like to keep work and home separate. If they stop getting union bulletins one day it probably won’t break a strike or lose a grievance because they were going to ignore them anyway.
But the folks who are involved, who do want the bulletins who still use the employer’s email because “it’s my email” and balk at the idea of getting their own because “the employer provides it” and “it would be like buying your own hammer or boots for work” – them I do not get.
Thirty years after the onset of email, twenty after its broad adoption I think it’s pretty safe to say that email is not a work tool. It is a life tool.
And in the era of Gmail, Yahoo and even Hotmail there is is no earthly explanation for not having an email address that you and you alone control.