From September 23-24, 2014, PSAC welcomed 22 members from various Separate Employer Locals and Directly Chartered Locals for the Prairies Separate Employers Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan.
The gathering was the first of its kind in almost six years, since the last Prairies Separate Employers Conference was held in October 2008 and the scheduled 2012 conference was cancelled due to low registration.
Chad Kemery, Prairie Region Council (PRC) Separate Employer Locals Representative, opened the conference.
“A lot of what we see coming from PSAC is targeted at Treasury Board employees,” he said to the group. “Part of my job is to educate the Council and let them know who the separate employers are and what we do.”
Michelle Lang, PRC Directly Chartered Locals Representative, echoed this sentiment.
"The main issues that emerged were that members from separate employers feel disconnected from PSAC," said Lang. "I hope members learned where the fit within the PSAC umbrella and how we can work together."
Conference objectives included learning about the PSAC structure, how to deal with management, grievance-handling techniques and develop leaders to lead others in the locals.
A highlight for many participants was the panel presentations and ensuing small group conversations with each of the panelists. The panelists and their topics included PSAC Prairies Regional Executive Vice-President Marianne Hladun (PSAC priorities), PSAC Prairies Negotiator Tom Milne (trends in bargaining), Michelle Lang (preventing the privatization of Casino Regina), and SFL Community Organizer Kent Peterson (community organizing).