The Atlantic region held the first ever Regional Equity Conference of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The region decided to follow the lead of PSAC at a National level and host an equity conference to bring together equity-seeking members in the region.
The regional equity conference was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Halifax Convention Centre. This conference started in a plenary session with all five equity-seeking groups of the PSAC, then split into five individual equity conferences: Access, Indigenous, Pride, Racially Visible and Women.
In addition to providing a conference space for all five groups, the Atlantic Regional Equity Conference included opportunities to discuss human rights more generally, allyship, and explore areas of intersectionality.
Under the theme “Engage, Empower, Unite”, members had the opportunity to discuss strengthening the union’s work to advance the human rights and working conditions of all PSAC members.
PSAC Atlantic members took action by mobilizing outside the office of MP Andy Filmore. Mobilization is key to reaching a fair contract with the federal government. Mr. Filmore’s office promised to meet with our members and REVP Colleen Coffey to discuss Treasury Board bargaining – proving that mobilization works!
The conference featured two keynote speakers: Mary Shortall, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, and El Jones, a poet, journalist, professor and activist living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was Halifax’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015.
Members also heard from their Atlantic Regional Executive Vice President, Colleen Coffey, PSAC National Executive Vice President, Sharon DeSousa and National President, Chris Aylward.
“Cultural awareness, allyship, and inclusivity, these are all incredibly important to the work we do as a union. I am excited to continue to build on what we have accomplished these past few days to create a more equitable and inclusive union going forward!”– REVP Colleen Coffey in her closing remarks