Since my last report, the council has had two conference calls with plans to meet face to face February 9-11, 2018. During the conference call in September, the main topics discussed were strike actions taking place at the Winnipeg Airport, and Phoenix issues. I’m happy to say that the strike at the airport was resolved. Unfortunately, issues with Phoenix continue to happen and we will continue to rally and put pressure on the government until all issues have been rectified.
With all the continued issues with Phoenix, I’ve made numerous phone calls to my MP. I’ve explained my personal issues, as well as the issues many members across this region have been having. All Canadians deserve to be paid for the work they’ve done. I know there is still a lot of work to be done to fix all the errors with the Phoenix pay system, and I commit to standing behind PSAC and all members in this fight.
I continued my path to becoming a stronger leader by attending the PSAC National Leadership Training course held in Ottawa November 30 – December 3, 2017. There were some fabulous guest speakers and workshops to attend. My most memorable workshop was the Kairos Blanket Exercise. This is an interactive workshop that delves into the relationship between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples. It was a very emotional workshop, and one I’d strongly advocate for more members to participate in.
During this time, I also attended a Labour Leaders meeting on behalf of the RVP, Marianne Hladun, where leaders of different labour organizations meet with Minister Amerjeet Sohi. I spoke to the Minister about the closure of the Vegreville CPC. To paraphrase, I stated that I know he’s aware of the situation and has seen previous fact sheets and reports. But I wanted to reiterate that the closure of the processing centre would be devastating to Vegreville. There are approximately 240 employee’s working at the centre in Vegreville, but are you aware that the per capita equivalent would be an employer removing 55,000 jobs from Edmonton? The arguments made by the government to support the closure have been refuted, and as the Prime Minister campaigned on building strong rural communities, can we count on you to call for the reversal of the closure? Minister Sohi provided the same reasons for the closure that have been stated many times. I couldn’t get a satisfactory answer, so I waited around after the meeting to speak to him a little longer. I asked him if he would provide support and go back to Minister Hussen and request that there is serious consultation with the union to look at viable alternative to the closure of the Vegreville office. He did agree that he would bring it up to the Minister. I also suggested that he visit the office himself to dispel the “myths” of the building being in disrepair. At the time of writing this report, it seems like the intent is still to close the CPC office.
I’m also pleased to report that I was nominated and selected to be a delegate to the upcoming PSAC National Convention in April by the Edmonton Area Council. This will be my first National PSAC triennial and I look forward to representing the members for my region.
August 17 – Labour Leader Meeting with Alberta Federation of Labour & Minister Amerjeet Sohi
September 4 – Labour Day BBQ
October 14 – Edmonton Area Council Second Annual Solidarity Brunch
November 30- Dec 3 – PSAC National Leadership Training