PSAC Prairie’s 8 Most Memorable Moments of 2013

It was a busy and exciting year for PSAC members. This year-end-list is just a snapshot of what happened in the Prairie Region, and across the country, in 2013.

It was a busy and exciting year for PSAC members. This year-end-list is just a snapshot of what happened in the Prairie Region, and across the country, in 2013.

Telling Our Stories

On August 6 we embarked on an 18-day road trip from Edmonton to Winnipeg with one purpose: to collect as many stories as possible from PSAC members throughout the Prairie Region. We want to preserve our stories and be able to share them with current and future members, as a reminder of where we’ve come from and where we’re going. The official videos will be released at varying intervals over the next year under a variety of themes.

Watch “Value of Unions” and “Telling Our Stories: Sick Leave”.

One Big Conference Call

On November 7 the PSAC Prairie Region hosted a telephone town hall with thousands of PSAC members across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba to discuss the government’s latest omnibus budget bill, Bill C-4, which proposes to radically change our rights as federal public service workers. Our guests on the call included Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President for the PSAC Prairie Region; Edith Bramwell, PSAC Representation Coordinator; and Denis St-Jean, PSAC National Health and Safety Officer.

Read more and listen to the audio from the call.

PSAC Crashes The(ir) Party!

On November 2, PSAC, working with various community groups and unions, organized the “Crash The(ir) Party!” rally across the street from the BMO Centre where the Conservative Party of Canada held their 2013 policy convention. More than 20cm of snow didn’t stop hundreds of devoted activists and concerned Canadians from protesting the Conservative’s Convention and their impaired judgment and reckless policies. While in Calgary, convention delegates debated and passed policy resolutions to support “right to work” legislation and severely limit how unions can spend members’ dues.

Read more and view the photo gallery.

From Catastrophe Comes Solidarity

Earlier this summer, Banff, Canmore, Calgary and much of Southern Alberta faced devastating flooding and evacuations. Not willing to stand idly by while flood victims dealt with the aftermath of the disaster, PSAC members took action. PSAC Local 30048 assisted with a Flood Relief Concert, which raised $8,740. Several volunteer days were also organized. In Calgary, members volunteered at the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre, while in High River and the Siksika First Nation, members helped with cleanup efforts to rebuild communities and repair damages to houses and personal property. Additionally, PSAC Prairie Region teamed up with PSAC’s Social Justice Fund to collect $22,800 in donations to provide assistance to the most vulnerable communities in Southern Alberta.

Read more…

The Power of Words

Sherry Hunt, a PSAC member of Agriculture Local 30048 in Lethbridge wrote this powerful poem, imitating the well-known quote from Martin Niemöller. She was reading about more cuts to public services and reflected on the past two years of a Harper majority and how our country has changed. After posting the piece to the website, members were inspired to add their own verses to help us paint a more complete picture.

Read more…

Sisters in Solidarity

On the first weekend of May, we welcomed over 60 Sisters to Banff for the PSAC Prairies Regional Women’s Conference. The conference theme, “Telling Our Stories”, encouraged conference delegates to share knowledge and experiences in an effort to move forward together and advance women’s issues. The group was diverse with a wide range of skills and experiences. The evening banquet featured local artists Cori Brewster and Lori Reid, with a screening of the video A Struggle to Remember: Fighting for Our Families.

Read more…

Ground Breaking Public Protection

The PSAC Prairie Region was a partner in the campaign to create a mandatory registry of public buildings containing asbestos in Saskatchewan, a campaign led by the Saskatchewan Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (SADAO). On April 18, Saskatchewan MLA’s unanimously voted to make reporting of asbestos in public buildings mandatory by law. The legislation to amend the Public Health Act was aptly renamed “Howard’s Law” in honour of former PSAC member Howard Willems. Now that this unprecedented legislation has passed, advocacy groups can pursue similar legislation in provinces across the country and talk to government officials about the importance of asbestos awareness.

Read more…

Idle No More

The movement is about building relationships to strengthen the country for all Canadians in areas such as education, environmental protection, and effective democracy, and there is still work to be done. Last winter, to help keep the momentum going, PSAC developed Idle No More buttons to distribute throughout the Prairie Region. William Singer III, a First Nations artist and activist who has been instrumental to the movement in Lethbridge and surrounding areas, devised the button’s original artwork.

Read more…