YOUR PIPSC ATLANTIC REGIONAL NEWSLETTER
From the Director…
It seems like yesterday I was writing for the spring/summer newsletter. Time is certainly passing by quickly. The weather has turned colder and Christmas is not that far away.
Welcome to our newest members from the RCMP. In the Atlantic we have gained just under 200 new members. If there is anything we as the Regional Executive can provide in the way of assistance to you, please reach out to us.
Phoenix continues to be one of the major issues our federal members are facing. The government has taken on an aggressive procurement process to have a new program selected by the Spring 2019 for approval by all parties. It is still a wait and see process. If you are having difficulty with your pay, speak with a local steward or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming up in 2019 will be another federal election. The board will be holding a strategic planning session in January and the election will definitely be part of our strategic goals for the coming year.
I have received a few invitations to speak at Branch AGMs coming up soon. It provides an opportunity for me to speak with members that I normally would not have the opportunity to talk to. I welcome all opportunities to visit the members and can send an alternate if I am unable to attend. Thank you to Manny Costain for stepping in and being my alternate a few times this past Fall.
Have a look at our Facebook page operated by the Atlantic Regional Executive, PIPSC Atlantic Members. Anything of interest in the region we try and be sure to post it here. Posts could be PIPSC related or union in general. If you are not a member of the group, please consider joining.
In closing, thank you for your support over my past three years as your Regional Director. Your continued support for another three-year term is appreciated. I will continue to promote our region at the national level and represent the needs of membership in the region. Once again, my heartfelt thanks.
Atlantic Regional Steward Council
The Atlantic Regional Steward Council was held at the Delta Halifax, October 19th and 20th. The event began with guest speaker Vicky Smallman, National Director, Women and Human Rights Department of the Canadian Labour Congress who spoke on violence and sexual assault in the workplace. Group breakouts followed for the remainder of the afternoon. Friday evening Stewards and guests celebrated Steward achievements where Craig Bradley of the Prince Edward Island Branch was named Atlantic Regional Steward of the Year.
Saturday morning began with Eddie Gillis, PIPSC Chief Operating Officer and Executive Secretary presenting Professionals Canada followed by questions from the floor. The morning continued with Vice President, Steve Hindle giving the Presidential address on behalf of President, Debi Daviau. The morning session concluded with a video on the Atlantic Region’s Legacy Foundation Scholarship Award winners – Patricia Kennedy and Melanie Arsenault.
On Saturday afternoon Employment Relations Officers, Max Way and Barry Hèbert provided a presentation on Harassment in the Workplace. The Steward Council concluded with our closing speaker, florist, comedian and entertainer, Neville MacKay who ended the Council with laughter and a message to reduce stress, maintain balance and promote respectful behavior.
Saturday evening the Atlantic Region hosted a Halloween themed hospitality event where Stewards came in some “interesting” costumes.
Thank you to the Atlantic Regional Training Committee and staff for organizing the Council and to the Stewards who participated.
Halifax Branch Profile
The Halifax Branch is one of the most diverse Branches within the 6 geographical regions of PIPSC. Within the Halifax Branch there are 1268 members from 14 different groups. Currently there are 90 RAND members. Recently this year our membership count grew when we welcomed members from the RCMP who are in the process of signing their membership cards. As a Branch we are committed to the future of our members and proudly support the Atlantic Young Professional’s Committee (AYPC) in which Leslie Nasmith (BI) currently sits as a member.
The Branch has 11 executive members. The current executive includes:
- Sabet Makhoul (AFS), président
- Chris Coghlin (AFS), vice-président
- Paul Hubley (AFS), secrétaire-trésorier
Members at large :
- Cathy Hebert (AFS)
- Hashem Abou-Shahla (AFS)
- Andrew Deshaw (SH)
- Thomas Fleet AFS)
- Leslie Nasmith (SP)
- Fay Cormier (SH)
- Paul Hubley (AFS)
- Vicky Mackenzie (CSD)
- Tony Purchase (RMG)
During the year the Halifax Branch have included their members and families in the following initiatives:
Members and their families enjoyed a skate around the outdoor Emera Oval at the Halifax Commons on March 3, 2018. Everyone enjoyed the beautiful weather along with hot chocolate to warm up after the skate. To allow all members and their families to enjoy the night, skates and helmets were provided to all. This was a joint event with the Halifax DND Branch. During the event funds were raised for the Legacy Foundation.
Pension Information Session
On May 31, 2018, members and their spouses were invited to attend a Pension Lunch and Learn session. To provide flexibility, members were able to attend in person or via WebEx. This was also a joint event with the Halifax DND Branch.
Shakespeare by the Sea
Members and their families were invited to enjoy Shakespeare by the Sea at Point Pleasant Park on August 2, 2018. A live outdoor performance of Alice in Wonderland was enjoyed by all.
On November 16, 2018, the Halifax Branch is planning a hockey night out in Halifax with members and their families attending a match between the Halifax Mooseheads and the St. John’s Seadogs. Over 300 members and their families will be in attendance to cheer on the Moose!
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
In celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Halifax Branch will be planning a talking circle, Aboriginal style, for members to discuss and share their experiences at work. The event will take place on December 3, 2018, and all are welcome.
99th PIPSC AGM
'The 99th PIPSC Annual General Meeting, the supreme governing body of the Institute, was held at the Hilton Lac Leamy, November 2nd and 3rd, 2018.
The night prior to the start of the AGM, Atlantic delegates attended a caucus meeting to review the AGM resolutions.
The AGM certainly had an Atlantic regional flavor at the head table with current Atlantic members Marilyn Best as co-chair and Scott McConaghy as the parliamentarian of the event.
Friday morning began with guest speaker Steve Kreisberg, Director, Research and Collective Bargaining for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). He discussed how unions are under attack in the US and now 27 US states are right to work. Private sector union density in the US is now below 10%. Public Sector Unions are much stronger so they are facing the brunt of the attacks.
President Debi Daviau gave the President’s address and took questions from the delegates before we adjourned for lunch.
Friday afternoon began with the presentation on Professionals Canada followed by debate on the resolution until a motion to table it until all financial resolutions were debated with the exception of the budget. Debate was suspended until Saturday.
Friday afternoon continued with the presentation and debate of several amendments to the PIPSC bylaws. The highlight of the afternoon was the presentation of the service awards to Doug Mason (AFS), Ginette Tardiff (SH) and Robert Tellier (CS) and and life member awards to Luc Carrière (CS) and Brian Hassall (AFS).
On Saturday morning we continued debate on resolutions and the presentations of the NCR, Quebec and Atlantic Stewards of the Year. In the afternoon the presentations of the Ontario, Prairie and BC/Yukon Stewards of the Year. Following those presentations debate of resolutions continued. The resolutions for Professionals Canada was un-tabled and debate continued until a motion to refer to the Board of Directors was proposed and carried. Late in the afternoon motions to refer the remaining resolutions were proposed and carried. The AGM wrapped up with the presentation of the Legacy Cup which went to the BC/Yukon Region, President Debi Daviau’s final remarks and the results of the Institute National Elections.
The Atlantic Region had all three of its resolutions passed. The Atlantic Region did lose the Legacy Cup to the BC/Yukon Region. Or should we say allowed them to have the Cup for this year? At the AGM each region had a display to sell additional tickets for a draw for prizes with proceeds going to the Legacy Cup fund. The Atlantic display highlighted all four provinces and was the most creative and raised the most money of any region. Be proud Atlantic, we will get that extra scholarship next year!
One final note, during the AGM several videos of hard working PIPSC members were played. One such video was of our very own Mike Pauley of the New Brunswick Engineering Group.
Barriers to Engagement
Submitted by Colin O’Brien, Atlantic Young Professionals Committee
In April 2018, the Atlantic Young Professionals Committee (AYPC) circulated a survey to the Atlantic Region members under 40 years of age. One of the questions asked was: What do you think is the biggest issue for young workers in PIPSC? Over 54% of members that responded indicated they were concerned about career development and work-life balance.
As a member of the AYPC, and a parent of two pre-school aged children, I can attest personally to the challenge in striking a work-life balance. However, I can also comment based on my personal experience that the PIPSC’s Atlantic Region recognizes the challenges for member and where possible - through the representation and efforts of our Regional Executive and support staff - attempt to develop policies and procedures to facilitate volunteer participation by members.
In regards to career development, our survey results indicated the majority of young members either have or would attend a Lunch and Learn event; specifically, those that focus on skills and professional development. Given our vast geography and population disbursement within the Atlantic Region, finding time to participate in PIPSC activities can be barrier to engagement, particularly with the added travel burden. Like many of our members, we are often actively involved in various groups and volunteer initiatives in our respective communities.
For myself, I live in a rural northern community and due in part to other commitments, I’ve focused my union engagement on areas of personal interest, as well as accessing tools and resources available from PIPSC to support hosting local branch activities. Our Regional Executive and Training Committee Chair have been supportive and responsive in our local efforts to encourage member engagement and information sharing. There is also an active network of stewards across the Atlantic Regions whom are available to support members with questions or concerns regarding workplace issues, they can also offer suggestions about available resources. Stewards are fellow members whom have volunteered their time with a genuine concern to ensure all members are aware of their rights and have representation when needed to protect their right under your collective agreement.
Bringing forward your ideas and prospective on real and perceived barriers in crucial to ensuring PIPSC remains relevant in the everyday lives of our members. Without your voice, the issues that face young professionals will suffer from balancing limited resources with competing priorities of our membership. As an example, PIPSC does have measures in place to help support childcare for members participating in some union activities. As a parent of pre-school aged children, I believe we would benefit from a thorough review and comparison with other like organization to ensure best practices are employed; it’s not necessarily about providing more resources, but aligning existing resources to better respond to the needs of members.
I would encourage young member to consider participating in a local PIPSC event or putting your name forward during a call for volunteers. I think you’ll find it a positive experience and likely get the opportunity to complete some form of training that
may assist in your career development aspirations.
The opportunity to meet and learn from other young professional with diverse backgrounds and opinions will strengthen PIPSC and ensure it continues to reflect the priorities of all members.
Please do not hesitate in contacting a member of AYPC, your local constituency body or a steward, with any questions or your interest in learning more about PIPSC.
Donation to Avalon Sexual Assault Centre
During the Atlantic Steward Council tickets were sold on an Apple Watch with the proceeds of the ticket sales going to the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre in Halifax.
The Avalon Sexual Assault Centre is an organization working to eliminate sexual assault/abuse, and to change the current socio-political culture that fosters sexism, social injustice and other forms of oppression.
Phil Wilson of the Atlantic Regional Executive presented a cheque for $1,100 to the organization.
The Atlantic Regional Executive thanks those who bought tickets in support of this fundraiser.
Steward of the Year Award
During the Atlantic Steward Council Award Dinner Friday evening, the 2018 Steward of the Year Award was presented to Craig Bradley.
Craig has been the PEI Branch President since 2010. As Branch President, Craig organizes many events for the Branch. Craig promotes member inclusivity by ensuring both the Charlottetown and Summerside main centres have the opportunity to host events and hence supporting local member participation. He also makes efforts to host events, such as Lunch & Learns where there is low steward-representation in an effort to make PIPSC visible in that office and to try and recruit new stewards.
Craig continually monitors the RAND lists and encourages RANDs to sign their membership cards. He also encourages his Branch Executive to reach out to RANDs to do the same. In addition, Craig has proposed numerous resolutions to the Atlantic Regional Council and PIPSC AGM.
Craig is the President of the SSC Consultation team and the Chair of the Advisory Council’s Working Group on Consultation. As the President of the SCC Consultation Team Craig, effectively deals with workplace issues at the local, regional and national tables. He has built respectful relationships with the employer which has helped CS members at Shared Services Canada. He is able to deal with many issues through consultation reducing the number of grievances that need to be filed. He is in continuous discussion with members, stewards and management to attempt the resolve issues at the lowest level.
Craig is constantly reviewing the CS collective agreement as well as the Treasury Board Secretariat policies to ensure that the collective agreement and policies are being followed.
A passionate PIPSC activist, Craig epitomizes the multifaceted role of a PIPSC Steward. Craig became an Institute steward in 2008. Craig was instrumental in recruiting new stewards. He is hard on the issues yet soft on people. He is calm yet firm. He is what all stewards should aspire to be, a respected steward, colleague, mentor and friend.
Congratulations Craig on being the 2018 Atlantic Steward of the Year.
Recognizing Extraordinary Stewards and Executive Members
Have you worked with an amazing steward or have you been dazzled by an executive on one of the tremendous constituent bodies (Branch, Sub Group, Regional Executive) in our Region?
The Executive of the Year is presented at the Atlantic Regional Council while the Steward of the Year is presented at the Steward Council. All you need to do is complete a form and say why the person is deserving of the award. It is just that simple.
The Atlantic Region hosted the Fall Basic Steward Training September 20th to 22nd at the Delta Brunswick, Saint John, NB. Fifteen new stewards were trained and now are the eyes and ears of the Institute in their offices.
The Region will also be hosting Constituent Body training November 23rd and 24th at the Delta Prince Edward, Charlottetown. There are 20 members registered for this popular course.
The Atlantic Regional Executive and Training Committee thank those who participated in the above sessions as well as the Atlantic Regional office staff who prepared and facilitated the training.
Your Regional Executive
Emmanuel (Manny) Costain
Chair of Training Committee:
Members at Large: