North-West Manitoba Geographic Representative, Heather McKinnon (February 2020)

Heather McKinnon
NW Manitoba Geographic Rep 
Prairie Region Council February 2020

I was approached at the USJE Prairie Region Convention in May of 2019 by Sister Hladun, and was asked if I, as first alternate, was willing to fill the position after Brother Weisgerber resigned. Once I received contact information for the Locals that fall under this position, I sent a brief introductory email to provide some background about myself. 

Being involved with the PRC, even for this short period of time, has been an invaluable learning experience that has enabled me to discover and understand better, the workings and facets of the PSAC. Most of my previous Union experience and involvement has been at the Component level, so this has helped immensely. 

I was involved in the PRC Teleconference meetings in both September of 2019, and February of 2020. 

I attended our face-to-face PRC Meeting in Regina in November of 2019, where we had our general meeting, as well as By-Laws Committee meetings, which I sit on. 

January 2020, I attended PSAC Strike Prep Training in Winnipeg. This training was very informative, and provided great information to put forth to the membership in regards to being prepared for the possibility of a strike, and to explain the importance. 

February 2020, I sent out an email to the Geo group, just to touch base, talk briefly of the upcoming Prairie Region Convention, and encouraged delegates attending to run for the position of MB North West Geo Rep. I also advised that if anyone was considering hosting an event, that the PRC may be able to offer assistance. 

February 12, 2020, I had an hour long, in person meeting with MP Niki Ashton. During our discussions, I explained the continuing debacle of the Phoenix pay system, that we deserve and demand a reliable pay system, and appropriate compensation for the suffering and strain our members have endured, and continue to endure. I brought attention to the lack of good faith bargaining on the part of Treasury Board. I outlined our asks (living wage and wage parity, relocation distances, administrative suspensions w/o pay, overtime, family leave, etc.), and their rationales. I explained that we are awaiting the PIC report, and that before this, the PIC committee had called both parties in for mediation, but that the TB appears to be stalling, and not on the same page as the 

Government at all. That in fact, Treasury Board walked away from talks on more than one occasion. I also spoke about the Isolated Post Allowance cuts and loss of delegations that are occurring, and explaining the negative repercussions on our members as a result. Niki has promised to make inquiries, and ensure that our concerns are made known, on all fronts. 

In Solidarity, 
Heather McKinnon