Please join PSAC Atlantic in wishing Sister Colleen Coffey best wishes in her retirement! Colleen will be retiring from her role as Regional Executive Vice-President (REVP) for the Atlantic on Friday January 27, 2023.
Colleen was elected REVP in 2017 and again in June 2021. While she is moving on from her role as REVP with the PSAC, Colleen will always support the labour movement that she has been passionate about for the last 30 years.
Colleen first began her union activism in the 1990s with the Goose Bay Women’s Committee and joined her sisters and friends in the long pay equity battle. She was workforce adjusted in 1998 and moved to the Airforce Base in Greenwood, N.S. After re-establishing herself and her family, she got involved in her union local UNDE 80403 and held many roles; Secretary, Treasurer, Shop Steward, Chief Shop Steward and finally President for her last 12 years in the local.
During her tenure as REVP, Colleen has worked tirelessly to help members in the Atlantic. She organized a campaign to stop the Department of National Defence from contracting out cleaning jobs at the Greenwood base, which resulted in saving jobs across the country. This was a major victory for the Atlantic region.
Those who know Colleen know that she is passionate about women in the labour movement, and as REVP Colleen has steadily increased the involvement of women activists in the Atlantic. She held the women’s portfolio for the Alliance Executive Committee and her dedication to empowering women shone through her work with PSAC. For example, Colleen’s pressure on the board of Bryony house ensured that our members kept their jobs. After damage from hurricane Dorian, the shelter was going to remain closed until a new shelter was built. Due to a PSAC Atlantic campaign to highlight the need for this women’s shelter in Halifax, the board agreed to keep it open. This ensured women had a roof over their heads, and our members kept their jobs.
This past cycle, Colleen’s vision of a regional equity conference came to be. All five equity seeking groups of the PSAC were brought together in one regional conference in Halifax, N.S. This was a first for our region, and hopefully something that will continue for cycles to come!
Chris Di Liberatore will be stepping into the role as REVP Atlantic. The region is excited to hit the ground running with Chris as we ramp up mobilization for our largest bargaining units.
Members across the Atlantic will miss Colleen’s integrity, openness, and her willingness to help anyone whenever they needed her. Enjoy your retirement, Sister!