Report of the Regional Executive Vice-President, Prairies to the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council submitted for the December 4-5, 2014 meeting. This report covers the period from the last MFL meeting.
Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairie Region
Report to the Manitoba Federation of Labour Executive Council
September was a busy month for us, with several regional meetings and conferences held in Regina, including the Prairies Summit held September 20-21.
More than 60 union leaders from across the Prairie Region gathered to discuss priorities for our union and strategize for the coming year. PSAC’s National Board of Directors had previously identified some priorities for our union as a whole, which set the framework for discussions and planning at the regional level. Leaders brainstormed innovative strategies and identified tools and resources needed to be most effective. Additionally, bargaining team members gave updates for the various bargaining units.
Later that week, from September 23-24, we held two regional conferences, including the Prairies Young Workers’ Conference and the Prairies Separate Employers Conference.
Nearly 40 young workers attended the Prairies Young Workers’ Conference, which was an important networking and educational opportunity for young members. During the two days, participants spent time learning more about their union, getting to know other members and sharing workplace experiences.
Meanwhile, 22 members from various separate employer locals and directly chartered locals gathered for the concurrent Separate Employers Conference. The gathering was the first of its kind in almost six years. Conference objectives included learning about the PSAC structure, how to deal with management, grievance-handling techniques and to develop leaders to lead others in the locals.
PSAC members continue to fight back against the attack on sick leave. The Royal Canadian Mint tabled their short-term disability program to replace earned sick leave credits during bargaining in Winnipeg in October. Bargaining will resume in the new year, as will bargaining with Treasury Board on behalf of more than 100,000 members.
Members are sick and tired of this government’s disrespect for them and for the vital services that they provide to Canadians. On October 30, PSAC members throughout the Prairies and across the country held events to speak out against concessions and promote healthier, more productive workplaces that deliver high quality public services.
In Manitoba, members working at Stony Mountain Institution (USGE Local 50026) dressed up as workers sick on the job. Administrative staff proudly wore stickers in support of sick leave. USGE locals are organizing future information pickets at worksites throughout Manitoba to continue spreading the word and building momentum.
PSAC launched an online petition asking people to take the pledge to support paid sick leave for federal government workers, and for all workers across Canada. Over 30,000 people have taken the pledge to date. Treasury Board’s plan would encourage people to go to work sick, passing the germs onto their co-workers or the public they serve. No one should face a choice between going to work sick or losing pay. Take the pledge today.
As you all know, the next federal election is scheduled for October 19, 2015. To act a reminder of this, we are calling on our members to mark this day on the 19th of each month with actions in their workplaces and locals. These actions are meant to shed light on the destructive policies and reckless cuts of the Conservative government. Actions will also demonstrate solidarity and support for PSAC bargaining teams and will continue up until the 2015 federal election.
On November 19 several locals joined in to contribute to the discussion about the importance of the upcoming federal election. In Manitoba, members from USGE Local 50081 along with other PSAC and PIPSC members rallied in front of Union Station to show support for bargaining teams. The rally was also meant to call attention to cuts to public services such as the community corrections liaison officer position, which will be terminated nationally at the end of this month. The position is meant to assist in the coordination of the most dangerous criminals. Members from the Local also led an information picket the day before to spread their message and ramp up for the 19th.
PSAC was proud to sponsor the ChildCare2020 National Conference, the first national childcare policy conference in a decade, held in Winnipeg November 13-15. We brought a strong delegation of PSAC sisters from across the country together for the event. PSAC National President Robyn Benson officially launched PSAC’s video on what childcare could look like in 2020 if governments really invested now. The video underscores the fact that all Canadian children deserve so much better than the patchwork of care that is available now. Watch the video and share it among your networks.
For more information on anything mentioned in this report, please visit the PSAC Prairies website.
Regional Executive Vice-President
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Prairies