The 8 most exciting things about 2014

This past year was a big year for PSAC members in the Prairies. As a little refresher, here’s a list of the 8 most exciting things (in no particular order) to happen in 2014.

Calling all Prairies members

On April 30, we hosted a live and interactive telephone town hall. Nearly 4,000 members throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba participated in the one-hour call to discuss important information about the attack on sick leave. Listen to the audio on the Prairies website.

Additionally, multi-local meetings were held in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina, Brandon, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, CFB Suffield, and Lethbridge to discuss our plan for dealing with attacks from this government. The meetings were a huge success, with hundreds of members attending to hear updates from leadership and bargaining team members.

In 2015, we plan to host quarterly telephone town halls on various issues, as well as hold another round of multi-local meetings. We will also hold monthly, interactive webinars as an outlet for members to learn about critical issues and get important updates. The webinars will also be an opportunity for members to ask questions and give feedback. 

Union Pride. Prairie Wide.

PSAC members showed Union Pride, Saskatoon Wide as the 6th Triennial Prairie Region Convention took over the “City of Bridges” June 27-29, 2014. More than 320 people attended the three-day event, including 268 delegates, 32 observers, 11 NBoD and 11 guests. View photos from the entire weekend on the PSAC Prairies Facebook page.

Marianne Hladun was elected Prairies Regional Executive Vice-President. She previously served for two years as REVP after Robyn Benson, former Prairies REVP, was elected PSAC National President at the PSAC 16th National Triennial Convention on May 4, 2012 in Ottawa.

Read a complete Convention update on the Prairies website, and check out the election results from the various component conventions held over the summer.

Award winning video series

PSAC collected several awards at the Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM) Awards in May, with the PSAC Prairie Region taking home the award for “Best narrative video, or video series documentary” for the Prairies Video Project and honourable mention for “Best photograph”.

The annual CALM awards recognize excellence in union publications and productions in a variety of categories and classes. Entries are judged by independent experts and awarded at the annual CALM conference. 

We released several videos throughout the year. Watch the entire series on the PSAC Prairies YouTube Channel and be sure to share the videos with your friends, family and coworkers.

Young Workers Conference

Nearly 40 young workers from across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba gathered in Regina for the PSAC Prairies Young Workers’ Conference, held September 23-24, 2014.

The event 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.Separate employers conference

The last region-wide gathering of young workers in the Prairies was the Young Workers Conference held in May 2011 in Edmonton. In 2013, dozens of young workers attended a series of meetings held at PSAC regional offices throughout the Prairies. The meetings brought young workers together to strategize on the establishment of young workers committees, which stems from a resolution passed at the 2012 PSAC National Convention.

Separate Employers Conference

From September 23-24, PSAC welcomed 22 members from various Separate Employer Locals and Directly Chartered Locals for the Prairies Separate Employers Conference in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The gathering was the first of its kind in almost six years, since the last Prairies Separate Employers Conference was held in October 2008 and the scheduled 2012 conference was cancelled due to low registration.

Conference objectives included learning about the PSAC structure, how to deal with management, grievance-handling techniques and develop leaders to lead others in the locals.

Charting a way forward

More than 60 union leaders from across the Prairie Region gathered in Regina for the Prairies Summit to discuss priorities for our union and strategize for the coming year.

The National Board of Directors (NBoD) 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.

Attendees included the Prairie Region Council, component national officers, and representatives from the various human rights committees, regional women’s committees and area councils throughout the Prairies.

A steering committee was established with representation from each group who will monitor the progress and ensure we’re working strategically to implement the plans and ideas developed at the Summit.

Sign the pledge

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 31,300 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.

19th day of action

The next federal election is scheduled to be held on October 19, 2015. To act a reminder of this, we are calling on members to mark this day on the 19th of each month with actions in their workplaces and locals. November was the kick off for Prairies members and several locals participated. 

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.

These types of actions and events will only continue to grow throughout the region and across the country as we head into the 2015 federal election.