NBoD Report (Oct. 8-9, 2009)
REPORT OF THE REGIONAL EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT PRAIRIES
TO THE NATIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Oct. 8 – 9, 2009
This report covers the period from the last NBOD meeting.
The Prairie Region Council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 15th and 16th in Saskatoon. The Council will have the opportunity to meet with the staff of the Region on the 16th to do some strategic planning and committee work.
The summer months were very busy with the “Think Public” campaign. The Saskatoon Area Council and Regional Women’s Committee were involved in the “Day of Caring” which is a day that they volunteered their time at the local YWCA Day Care to rotor-til and plant a garden. Our members wore their Think Public bandanas and explained to those in attendance that Public Services are important. Participation in these types of events demonstrate to the community that Public Service employees are active volunteers. For “Public Service Week “our members set up a Think Public display table at the Public Service Appreciation BBQ. Over 300 PSAC members visited the table and were treated to an ice cream along with the Think Public brochure, fans, balloons and bandanas. The “Summer Snack Program” is something that we have done for many years. This program provides nutritional lunches at inner city community pools. This year the members provided information on our Think Public campaign to parents of the children who benefited from this program. Every Wednesday in July and August our members gave freely of their time to assist their community.
The Prince Albert Area Council and Regional Women’s Committee planned on volunteering for “Habitat for Humanity” and a “Tools for School” drive.
The Edmonton Area Council took the lead in organizing a float in the Capital Ex parade. The members had a great time decorating the float with Think Public as their theme. For the first time members participated in the Vegreville Agricultural Society Parade. This is held during the week and although the employer did not grant time off we still had a presence with several pounds of candy being given to children and seniors. In Grand Prairie the PSAC organized a BBQ to generate interest in forming a District Labour Council. We only have one Local there but the members have expressed a desire to be a part of the greater labour movement.
The Winnipeg Regional Women’s Committee took the lead on the “Habitat for Humanity”. They had volunteers for two days in August. I was very honoured to work with our members on one of those days and found it to be a very worthwhile experience. The School Supply drive is proceeding on schedule with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and we believe it will be as successful as last year. The Winnipeg Area Council supported the CRA Ball Tournament and promoted the PSAC and the Think Public campaign by supplying water bottles with the Think Public logo.
The Dauphin Country Fest is a large event that takes place every year. This year thousands of country music fans not only experienced the sounds of great music but had the opportunity to see a campsite decorated with PSAC Think Public flags and banners and of course read the Think Public brochure.
Calgary Area Council, Regional Women’s Committee and Human Rights Committee were very busy this summer representing PSAC at a number of events. At the Harry Hays Building pamphlets and fans were handed out to the participants and a Think Public cake was shared with those in attendance. At the Corporate Call Center – Calgary Airport and CIU Local cake was enjoyed by all with a visit from Buddy the Bear and Think Public information was distributed. Banff Canada Day Celebrations was a huge success. Hundreds of people received Think Public fans, pamphlets and cake. The Calgary Stampede is always a crowd pleaser. PSAC members were front and center at the pancake breakfast. We once again provided Think Public information and free face painting and tattoos for the children. The Regional Women’s Committee sponsored a Think Public cake for dessert at the Calgary Women’s Centre. The luncheon was for families, immigrants and the unemployed.
We were very fortunate in our Region to hire a student to work out of the Winnipeg RO. He worked on the Student Campaign “Protect Student Workers! PSAC Works for You.” We were very successful obtaining names on the petition at a number of events such as the Winnipeg Folk Festival, CRA Ball Tournament and at various work site visits.
Labour Day BBQ’s
There were a number of Labour Day BBQ’s this year in the Region. For the first time Calgary District Labour Council partnered with their Unions, PSAC included to hold a BBQ. It was an overwhelming success and PSAC was front and center with a Think Public booth. Prince Albert and Saskatoon members set up a Think Public display table at the BBQ’s and treated the participants to Think Public frisbees, balloons, fans, tattoos and brochures.
Save our Farms
USGE Local 40023 planned and hosted a community rally and BBQ with the help from other PSAC members and staff. PSAC members came out from Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina and Estevan to support the Save our Farms campaign. Brother John Edmunds was the key note speaker and Sister Warriner of the District Labour Council brought a strong message of support. Sister Marianne Hladun spoke on my behalf and that of the SFL. As well, Brother David Neufeld read a message from the National Farmers Union. Over 200 people attended and supported us by signing the petition and completing the postcards.
I am very pleased to report that our 2009 Prairies Union School was a great success. Our theme “Building our Union – Yes We Can”, and the five courses: Growing Our Union, Building Equity, Popular Economics, Unionism on Turtle Island and Building a Greener World were well received by the 83 members who attended.
The Prairie Region Council Health and Safety Conference is Sept. 18 – 20 in Regina. The theme is “Health and Safety Activism – Making a Difference”. The conference is designed to provide assistance and resources to PSAC members who are Workplace Safety and Health Committee members, Workplace Safety and Health Representatives or Policy Committee members. We received over a hundred applications which tells me that the members in the Prairies have a great commitment to Health and Safety. Although we were only able to have approximately 60 members accepted we will endeavour to create a network so that information sharing becomes a norm.
Regional Executive Vice-President – Prairies