Lethbridge Area Council Rep
Prairie Region Council November 2018
Since my last report from the Lethbridge and District Area Council (LDAC) myself and the committee have been very busy!
Our biggest event of the summer was the Burnt by Phoenix dragon boat team. With support from PSAC the Lethbridge Area Council successfully entered the “Burnt by Phoenix” dragon boat team into the ATB Financial Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival. Registration was open to all PSAC members in Southern Alberta. There was a formal call out via email and posters were hung in workplaces across components. We had a total of 26 team paddlers from the Agriculture Union, Government Services Union, Union of Taxation Employees, and Customs and Immigration Union. We decorated a tent with PSAC flags, component flags, the Burnt by Phoenix Banner, other banners, balloons, streamers, and PSAC swag. In the tent we had a few refreshments and chairs providing members an excellent opportunity to get to know one another, make connections, and have important conversations about how individuals have been affected by Phoenix, workplace concerns, the upcoming provincial election and other union issues. Here we were able to explain how to get more involved with PSAC, i.e. described the role of the Area Council, when and where meetings are held and invite members to be a part of the Lethbridge Regional Women’s Committee. Our team bio was “A team supported by the Lethbridge District Area Council of the Public Service Alliance of Canada with a purpose to be out and about in our community promoting and celebrating the value of Canada’s Public Servants. Our team name Burnt by Phoenix brings attention to the on-going Phoenix pay-system debacle, whereby more than 200,000 federal public servant workers have suffered, and are continuing to suffer pay problems.” This message was frequently broadcasted over the PA system during the four races we had over the entire weekend. We received compliments from the public about our bio and several individuals stopped in at our tent to tell us their own horror stories about Phoenix as retirees or how they empathized with the Phoenix issues and how they cannot believe that this is still on-going.
Lethbridge Pride is a month long event with the culmination of the Pride Parade on June 23. The LDAC provided a financial contribution to Lethbridge Pride Fest Society. We walked in the parade with the Alberta Federation of Labour float. The parade route was about 3km ending the central park of Lethbridge called Galt Gardens. There were approximately 3000 people lining the streets leading up to the big party in Galt Gardens.
In August, the LDAC participated in the Whoop-Up Days Parade in conjunction with the Lethbridge and District Labour Council. Members of the committee wore our “Still burning – Burnt by Phoenix T-shirts” and carried our Burnt By Phoenix Banner. Our float was apart of 110 entries in the annual parade that kicks off Whoop-up week in Lethbridge. Hundreds of Lethbridge citizens lined the streets along the 3km route. Sr. Karen Mah, Sr. Krysty Munns and Br. David Person handed out Burnt by Phoenix stickers, Standing Together for Public Service lollipops, balloons and stickers, as well as PSAC ladybug tattoos. Our float captured third place the novelty category! A member from our float was interviewed for CTV. The news clip can be found here:
https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1467567. You can see our Burnt by Phoenix Banner at min 1:38!
Other Phoenix actions included workplace plant gates on February 28th. I lobbied our MP, Racheal Harder on June 8 about Phoenix. I told her that it was National Public Service Week and that several members of the Public Service were still not being paid at all, on time or correctly. She agreed with me. I told her that our latest asks were to demand a public inquiry which she was very supportive of. Also that PSAC calling on Prime Minister to follow through on his government’s commitment to address the undue hardships caused by the Phoenix pay system by coming to an agreement on damages. In August, MP. Harder hosted a community Pancake Breakfast. Several members wore our Burnt By Phoenix T-shirt, which did not go unnoticed by the MP. In addition, I spoke with an NDP MLA, Linda Duncan on the matter at CLC Labour Council meetings. At a workplace town hall, I asked our Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Branch – Dr. Gilles Saindon what the department was doing to ensure our government paid our members on time and correctly.
I had the privilege to sit on the PSAC National Convention Constitution Committee as an Area Council representative. I learned a great deal about the PSAC constitution on this committee and I am appreciative of the experience. At the end of April, I attended National Convention in Toronto as an Area Council representative.
For Labour Day the LDAC setup the Prairies PSAC pop-up tent and had a table with Burnt by Phoenix stickers, the Burnt By Phoenix petition and lots of treats for the kids, colouring sheets, crayons, tattoos, rulers, and lollipops. New this year we added cotton candy to our booth! That was a hit! There was a line up at our table for most of the event. This was great because it ensured people stopped by and while their kids were waiting for cotton candy, we could have a chat about Phoenix. We were all wearing out Burnt By Phoenix T-shirts. The BBQ overall served 800 members of our community. There was free face-painting and live music. The only downside was the chilly weather, but it didn’t stop those that came out to have a good time! The Lethbridge Area Council also helped to support an event in Medicine Hat. Sister Danielle Possiant recently helped her local (30907) affiliate with the Medicine Hat Labour Council. At their event she organized a bouncy castle as well.
Throughout this term, I have attended several Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) Executive and Council Meetings both in Edmonton and Calgary. Here I report updates regarding PSAC including Phoenix and hear from other unions what about their victories and setbacks. The AFL is very involved in pushing forward legislative changes that are in favour of working people including raising the minimum wage and improving the labour standard code. This organization is also a driving force in getting the NDP re-elected in Alberta. They have developed a labour-friendly campaign called NextAlberta that focuses on energy transformation as an election issue suggesting that voters need to elected a government that is leading the way in this field (i.e. NDP).
During this term the LDAC held three regulars meetings and the Annual General Meeting on Oct 3th. A new executive was elected whereby I was re-elected president, Br. David Person (AGR) was re-elected Secretary/Treasurer and Sr. Kristy Slattery (CIU) was re-elected Vice-President. The LDAC also supported the Lethbridge Sister’s in Spirit Candlelight Vigil.
Should you have any questions about my report, please contact me directly at email@example.com or phone 403:393:2688.
February 9-11: 2nd Face-to-Face Meeting of the PRC in Edmonton, AB
February 13-14: Alberta Federation of Labour Executive and Council Meetings – Calgary
February 18-23: PSAC 2018 National Convention Pre-Convention Constitution Committee
February 15: Lethbridge and District Area Council – Regular Meeting
February 28: National Day of Action for Phoenix – workplace plant gate
March 5: Community in Crisis Coming together Rally around the Opioid Crisis
March 6: Lethbridge and District Area Council – Regular Meeting
March 6: Attended the Lethbridge Regional Women’s Committee Meeting
March 8: International Women’s Day – Workplace Day of Action
March 15: Participated in the Agriculture Union National Human Rights Committee Conference Call
March 16-18 Attend Agriculture Union Regional Seminar – Red Deer AB
March 20: PRC Conference Call
March 26-29: Treasury Board Bargaining Conference – Ottawa, ON
April 11: Lethbridge and District Council Monthly Meeting
April 16: Attended my local’s (AGR 30048) regular meeting
April 26: Participated in workplace UMC meetings
April 29-May 4: PSAC 2018 National Triennial Convention
May 4-5: Alberta Federation of Labour Midterm Forum
May 9: Elected President of the Lethbridge & District Labour Council at AGM
May 11-12: PRC Finance Committee Review Meetings, Winnipeg MB
May 16: Conservative MP, Racheal Harder Town hall
May 17: PRC Conference Call
May 30: Burnt by Phoenix Dragon boat – Team Practice #1
May 31: Lethbridge and District Area Council – General Meeting
May 31: Attended the Lethbridge Regional Women’s Committee Meeting
June 6-7: Alberta Federation of Labour Executive and Council Meetings – Calgary
June 7: Burnt by Phoenix Dragon boat – Team Practice #2
June 8: Meeting with Conservative MP, Racheal Harder RE: Phoenix and Pharmacare
June 9: Cardston 1st Pride
June 13: Lethbridge and District Council Monthly Meeting
June 17: AFL Fair Start for Families Childcare campaign – Father’s Day BBQ
June 19: Participated in workplace UMC meetings
June 21: Burnt by Phoenix Dragon boat – Team Practice #3
June 22-25: Burnt by Phoenix Dragon boat Weekend
June 23: Lethbridge Pride
June 30: #FamilesBelongTogether Rally
June 30: I Am The Opioid Crisis Book Launch
July 4: ALL Area Council Conference Call
July 11: Lethbridge and District Council Monthly Meeting
August 8: Lethbridge and District Council Monthly Meeting
August 20: Conservative MP, Racheal Harder Pancake Breakfast
August 21: Lethbridge Whoop-Up Days Parade
September 3: Labour Day Family Picnic – Lethbridge
September 3: Labour Day Family Picnic – Medicine Hat
September 11: Participated in workplace UMC meetings
September 12: Lethbridge and District Council Monthly Meeting
September 19-20: Alberta Federation of Labour Executive and Council Meetings – Edmonton
October 3: Lethbridge and District Area Council – AGM
October 4: Sisters in Spirit Vigil – Lethbridge
October 10-11: All Alberta Labour Council Conference – Edmonton
October 24: Local’s (AGR 30048) regular meeting
November 2-4: PRC Face-to-Face Meeting, Winnipeg MB
November 21: Local’s (AGR 30048) Annual General Meeting
In Solidary –
PSAC Lethbridge and District Area Council President