Deborah Ferguson PRC Report (Jan. 2014)

Report of the Alternate Regional Executive Vice-President to the Prairie Region Council submitted for the Janaury 2014 meeting. This report covers the period from the last PRC meeting.

Deborah Ferguson, Alternate REVP
Report to the Prairie Region Council
January 2014

Since the last Prairie Region Council meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I was fortunate enough to have been selected to attend the National Equity conference. For the first time, PSAC had all their Equity groups together. At this conference it was also the first time that a woman’s representative was elected to attend National PSAC Convention. Our sister, Nancy Johnson was the successful candidate. Congratulations Nancy!

Although the Equity conference certainly had its challenges due to the fact it was the first time the conferences were held together. I believe the conference was successful as well. I, myself, certainly learnt some new and valuable information regarding the National Childcare Campaign –Kitchen Table Conversations, and the Bread to Roses seminar: the Fight for Equality.

During this term, I have been able to attend, both Edmonton Area Women’s Committee meetings. Some of the topics that we discussed were the: December 6 – National Day of Remembrance for Violence against Women, as well as a guest speaker was invited to address the committee about Mental Health.

Over the past four months, I have attended the Edmonton Area Council Special meeting where a new executive was elected and sworn in. During this same meeting “Bill C4” was discussed at length. From this meeting a request has been made to have more materials available for desk drops, containing information stating what the union has done recently, sample form letters so that they can be utilized to send to your Member of Parliament as well as “Did You Know Information”.

Not surprisingly, with the Government’s continual onslaught on public service members, “Bill C4” was introduced during this term. I have spent many hours attempting to learn  the different areas of this bill in order to educate not only PSAC members but my friends, my family, and my neighbors. During this time, with the help of Edmonton Regional office Representative,OneilCarlier, I was able to moderate a TownHall meeting in regards to “Bill C4”. From my understanding, approximately 45 people were in attendance at this meeting. I believe, it is fair to say that many people at this meeting were not happy with the current political environment.

While I was preparing and learning about “Bill C4”, I was able to contact every Member of Parliament’s office within the Edmonton area to request for them to attend our Town Hall meeting. I was advised that no Member of Parliament was available to attend. To date, my own Member of Parliament has not returned my phone call.

During this time, two communications committee meetings were scheduled. Unfortunately, the second meeting not enough members of the committee could attend, and once this was identified on the conference call, I canceled the meeting.

Ironically, to date, I had been able to attend all PRC conference calls. However, the Town Hall meeting and the Edmonton area Council meeting happened to coincide with the conference call schedule. Therefore, I was only able to attend some partial conference call meetings once the meetings I was physically at were concluded.

I am looking forward to this next term, where the Prairie Region will be preparing for Convention.

Please feel free to contact the undersigned with any questions, concerns, or comments.

In solidarity,

Deborah Ferguson