This report covers the period from the last PRC meeting in November 2019.
The federal election kicked off this reporting period. With the new elections act requirements, more coordination was required. Every member in the Prairies received a mailout with information on political party platforms. We launched an election page on our regional website to consolidate all election related event notices and information. While we were successful in getting some labour friendly MP’s elected, we also lost some great MP’s that were always ready to stand with our members.
I had the opportunity to visit many worksites and locals to provide bargaining updates and get feedback. Many questions but much support for our federal bargaining teams.
On Oct. 3rd, I attended the ratification vote for DCL 40005 members at the Casino Regina. After much preparation and a strong strike mandate, the employer with the assistance of a mediator came back to the table with additional funding. Members ratified the agreement.
Following discussion at the May 2019 Prairie Region Council meeting regarding building capacity within our regional committees and area councils, we undertook training throughout October and November. Committee executive members and PRC members attended a two-day training session and discussion that focused on financial training and requirements to be a committee in good standing. Significant time was also spent discussing challenges and successes of committees and setting a plan to ensure they have the resources needed to be effective.
On Oct. 29th with USJE reps, I attended a meeting in Edmonton for RCMP civilian members who will be transitioning to PSAC positions. On Nov. 4th, I attended a similar meeting in Regina for CM members at the RCMP Depot. Many of these employees have never been part of a union and we were able to answer many of their questions. Unfortunately, one of their biggest concerns is that they are currently not paid through the Phoenix pay system and are hoping that this will continue until the system is stable.
On Nov. 14th I attended the CIU Sask. Branch meeting along with negotiator, Morgan Gay. Many concerns of how CBSA is operating organizationally and challenges on getting members engaged in the bargaining process and representation on the ground.
Deer Lodge Centre
Effective December 13th, PSAC/UVAE no longer officially represents workers at Deer Lodge Centre in Winnipeg. Following the government imposed representation votes, our members will now be represented by CUPE and the Manitoba Nurses Union. Transition of files has been completed.
Several area councils participated in Remembrance Day ceremonies and placed wreaths on behalf of our members.
Several RWC’s participated in events to mark Dec. 6th as a day of Remembrance for the 14 women murdered in Montreal.
The Calgary RWC held their annual toy drive and volunteered to wrap presents at the Calgary Women’s Centre.
The Lethbridge RWC identified that there was no recognition of December 6th in their community so they organized a brunch supported by other unions. All proceeds from the event were donated to the Lethbridge YWCA Harbour House.
The Winnipeg Human Rights Committee hosted a CLIFF movie night with a guest speaker from the Anxiety Disorder Association of Manitoba.
Several attempts have been made to reconstitute the executive for the Winnipeg Young Worker committee.
Approximately 50 members from the Prairies attended the National Health and Safety Conference in Montreal on November 29 – December 1, 2019. With the assistance of the Regional Health and Safety Officer and the Regional Health and Safety Committee, the regional caucus provided valuable feedback for the committee to develop a more cohesive health and safety plan for the Prairies.
Standing Education Committee (SEC)
As Co-Chair of the SEC with Co-Chair Jack Bourassa, REVP North, we have been undertaking a full review of the PSAC Union Development Program. Following consultation with a reference group, the full SEC and with approval of the NBOD at the February 2020 meeting, the PSAC UDP Program will be re-named the Union Leadership Development Program and will focus more on leadership training for experienced members. It will be regionally delivered and will require a 1 year commitment from members accepted into the program. To meet the needs of the gap between TUB and UDP, we will be developing a formal Activist Training Program.
The UDLP will be launched later this year with applications being accepted in the fall and the training taking place starting early 2021. The SEC is also finalizing the agenda for the 2020 National Leadership training that will be taking place in November in Montreal.
Political Action Committee (PAC)
As the Chair of the NBOD PAC, we have been undertaking a mapping exercise of where political action is taking place within our structures. The purpose is to determine if we are achieving our national strategic plan goal of being more politically active and/or if we can be more effective and coordinated. Once the mapping is complete, we will be consulting with area councils, regional councils, the NBOD and components with a purpose of determining our needs.
As the AEC officer assigned to the PA and Common Issues bargaining teams, I attended the PIC hearings on December 3-7, 2019 and also the PIC mediation on Jan. 16-17th.
Notice to bargain has been issued for the Royal Canadian Mint Protective Services Officers (GSU) in Winnipeg and dates are being confirmed.
A tentative agreement for UNDE at Aramark 15 Wing Moose Jaw was reached in November. The agreement was ratified in December.
A tentative agreement for UNDE at Sodexho CFB Moose Jaw was reached in February. Ratification will take place later in February.
Conciliation continues to be ongoing for the UCTE Firefighters unit at the Winnipeg Airport.
Tentative agreement was reached and has been ratified for UCTE members at the Saskatoon Airport.
Notice to bargain has been issued to CAHRD (DCL Local at Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development). Currently seeking dates to begin negotiations.
Bargaining continues for the University of Winnipeg Academic Capacity unit. The employer is still under the provincial government wage mandate but progress is being made on non-monetary.
On October 3rd DCL members at Casino Regina ratified a tentative agreement.
Bargaining continues at the University of Saskatchewan for the TA, RA and Lab Instructor unit with bargaining dates set in March, April and May.
A tentative agreement was reached at the University of Winnipeg Academic Capacity unit. The agreement was ratified on Nov. 29th.
Members of UNE Parks locals in Alberta held a pre-strike training session. Along with UNE National President, Kevin King, RVP Jaisson Van Tine and a Calgary Regional Rep, discussions focused on preparing for a strike vote and engaging members.
Many, many conference calls regarding TB strategy as preparations are underway for strike votes. I have also attended several strike training sessions in Winnipeg to provide bargaining updates to the participants.
Strike training throughout the region has been very well attended by locals and we will continue to offer the training to meet the demand of the locals. We are also preparing to schedule strike vote and information meetings throughout the region.
Prairies Regional Executive Vice-President