Sister Deb Ferguson elected Alternate REVP

Congratulations to Deborah Ferguson on being elected as Alternate Regional Executive Vice-President (REVP) for the PSAC Prairie Region.

Ferguson ran for the position in the regional by-election, after Marianne Hladun stepped into the role of Prairies REVP, vacated by recently elected National President Robyn Benson.

Ballots were sent to the 315 eligible delegates who attended the 5th Triennial Prairie Region Convention held in Winnipeg in June 2011. Of the 23 per cent of validated ballots cast, Ferguson was elected with 60 per cent majority.

Ferguson has been heavily involved at the Local level for years, with USGE Local 30010, and saw an opportunity to bring her experience and knowledge to the position of Alternate REVP.

“I feel I’ve been able to make a difference in my Local, and now I can do it on a larger scale within the Prairie Region,” Ferguson explains. “Since I’ve been involved as Local President, we’ve had a full executive and have regular executive meetings, we have a Facebook page, and people know who we are. We’re doing really positive work.”

She first became involved with the union a few years ago after encouragement from friends and coworkers. Difficult experiences with management over the years have emphasized the need for a unionized workplace and reinforced her role as a union representative. It’s also the reason she pushed for union training from her employer, and achieved a full-day training seminar.

“We noticed that people weren’t aware of the union and thought that this was something that was really long over due,” says Ferguson. “In my Local there are about 362 members in over 70 work locations. This union training brought everyone together for presentations on grievances, interpreting the collective agreement and working with your union reps.”

Ferguson will be sworn in at her first Prairie Region Council meeting next month in Regina, October 12-13. She says the biggest challenge facing our union, and one she plans to make a priority, is communication.

“We need more boots on the ground, so to speak; talking to people, getting people involved. Members need to understand why union issues matter to them and be willing to talk about it around the water cooler with their coworkers.”

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