Winnipeg Regional Women’s Committee AGM Minutes (May 18, 2021)

Present: Faye Kingyens, Jennifer Chieh Ho, Mona Simcoe, Nicole Papineau,Tracy Thor (PSAC Regional Rep), Marianne Hladun (PSAC Prairie REVP)

1) Call to order: 7:21 PM

2) PSAC Statement on Harassment – Tracy is harassment contact.

3) Introductions
All members introduced themselves to the group explaining past union roles and workplaces. Faye explained that Committee and activities were on hold after Sheilagh Hanson’s passing.

4) Adoption of Agenda
Motion to adopt agenda: Jennifer Chieh Ho
Second: Nicole Papineau
Motion carried

5) Adoption of Minutes
AGM March 11, 2020 and meeting of June 10, 2020
AGM March 11, 2020 – currently not available. Faye will supply minutes based on notes. Meeting June 10, 2020 – no minutes available due to Sheilagh’s passing.

6) Treasurer report – 2020 Financial Statement
Current bank balance is $1213.99. No activity in the account since the last meeting.
Activities were planned in 2020 but didn’t materialize due to Sheilagh’s passing and the pandemic. Planned activities will be reviewed to see what can be implemented. Need for signing authorities at ACU were discussed. Tracy will do the leg work behind the scenes so new board members can visit ACU (True North Square) to finalize process. Faye will work with Tracy regarding financial statements to ensure they are available for the next meeting.

7) Guest speaker – Marianne Hladun – Prairies Regional Exec Vice President

Marianne had meetings with all the PSAC Women’s Committees across the prairies. She spoke about the importance of recruiting new members or reaching out to past members to encourage participation. She discussed the effects of Covid on family life, work life, work/life balance, mental health and the effects of the pandemic on those in the community who were already experiencing significant hardship. Their  situation was worsened by the Pandemic. She encourages members to investigate root causes of hardship and gaining an understanding of the need and the gaps in resources rather than simply assuming to know. She encouraged members to talk to organizations like she did at the West Central Women’s Resource Centre. They identified a need for sleeping bags and other emergency supplies as the ”no eviction legislation” put into place in the early months of the pandemic was set to expire and increase homelessness. As a result of this discussion, a donation was made in Sheilagh’s memory.  

She encouraged us to identify what resources are already available in communities and which ones need to be sought. One possibility is the opportunity to assist organizations by carrying out political action on their behalf so they can focus on addressing day to day “operations”.

Faye brought up the topic of childcare and the Federal Government’s plan. Marianne added that the program is being developed at the moment and will be presented to the finance committee. She doesn’t believe we need to action anything at the moment. More to follow. She cautioned that the program may not address the need to increase the number of childcare spaces, shift workers’ needs, cultural needs, special needs, rural family needs and so on and so forth. Marianne will share some material she has with the committee.

Faye spoke about mental health (MH). It has come to the forefront due to the pandemic. She mentioned the employer has talked a lot about MH and tried to implement training. She spoke of the strain on workers requiring to report to a physical work environment and the isolation of those working from home. We need to do a better job to take care of our mental health. There is help available through the union. She expressed her hope that some of the MH activities Sheilagh had planned with the committee will move forward.

8) RWC Elections: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer
Marianne conducted the elections on the committee’s behalf. As there were 4 attendees and 4 positions to be filled, they were not “formally” opened but volunteers were sought. There was a consensus by all members to combine the treasurer/secretary role unless an interested candidate(s) steps up in the future.

Mona Simcoe as Chair
Motion to nominate Mona: Faye Kingyens
Second: Nicole Papineau
Mona accepted.

Nicole Papineau as Vice Chair:
Motion to nominate Nicole: Jennifer Chieh Ho
Second: Faye Kingyens
Nicole accepted.

Faye Kingyens as Treasurer/Secretary:
Motion to nominate Faye: Mona Simcoe
Second: Nicole Papineau
Faye accepted.

9) Oath of office
Marianne conducted the Oath of Office and board members were sworn in.

10) New Business/Old Business – RWC activities
• Members stated their passions and what they would like to focus on. We agreed that we would bring our ideas and Mona suggested a calendar system as a way forward. PSAC members can participate in meetings discussing topics of passion rather than every meeting.
• Mona discussed the Manitoba Association of Women’s Shelters (MAWS) as a starting point. She mentioned the importance of education. She would like to have contact information for shelters on PSAC website.
• Nicole mentioned other potential topics of interests. Issues such as food insecurities in the North and the Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women topic.
• Nicole will finalize and submit the agenda a minimum of 2 weeks prior to each meeting to allow participants to register.
• Nicole will finalize and submit the minutes for current meeting no later than Friday May 21st.
• Committee Handbook with meeting info to be sent to executive.
• Tracy will update PSAC website with new executive info/contact information.
• Jennifer asked about Sheilagh’s plans. Marianne shared the following points:

1) Donation – MB Federation of Labour – Christmas Tree program – no longer required by organization
2) North End Clean-up – Not possible at the moment due to the pandemic.
3) MB Federation of Labour (lunch) – Tickets were budgeted but the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
4) Women’s Activist Self-Care workshop (Yoga, Meditation activities)

  1. Next meeting date
    Monday June 14th 7PM (zoom)
  1. Adjournment of meeting: 8:45PM by Faye Kingyens.