Brothers and Sisters:
I am pleased to submitmy activity report since the last meeting of the Atlantic Regional Council as the Regional Executive Vice-President, Atlantic. My activities are set out under the following headings: Regionalization, Negotiations/Mobilization and Political Action.
The next meeting of the Atlantic Council will take place October 17-20, 2013 in Saint John, New Brunswick, at the site of our upcoming convention. PSAC National President Robyn Benson will attend the council meeting, and Regional and National Component Vice-Presidents from the Atlantic have been invited to take part a special round table discussion on political action.
Regional Leadership Meetings
The Atlantic Region completed its Regional Leadership Meetings in the four provinces. I made presentations at all the meetings with the exception of one. Campaigner Training sessions were later given by Regional Representatives and the campaign work has been active throughout the summer.
The spring’s Regional Leadership Meetings sparked a series of invitations to local meetings and component regional events to discuss the union’s plan to protect union security. These included presentations to USGE members at the Westmoreland Institutution in Dorchester, NB, as well at UNE and Agriculture Union regional seminars.
Support for Elsipogtog’s stand against fracking
The Atlantic Region, in cooperation with the Miramichi Regional Aboriginal People’s Circle, actively supported the people of Elsipogtog, New Brunswick, in their protest of fracking and the presence of mineral exploration company SWN. PSAC Atlantic is opposed to the destructive and dangerous practice of hydraulic fracturing which puts profit before the environment, before our communities and before the rights of First Nation’s people.
We Are All Affected video project
The Atlantic Region is proud to have participated in the production and filming of two videos about the impact of cuts to jobs and services on Canadians. One deals with cuts to Veterans Affairs Canada and the other with cuts to Service Canada employees who administer Employment Insurance. Both videos are projects of the National Office, but were shot in Sydney, NS, with financial and staff support from region. PSAC Atlantic members and community stakeholders are featured in the videos. The Atlantic looks forward to participating in both video launches in the coming months.
Negotiation and Mobilization
St. John’s Airport
I am pleased to report that the prolonged strike at the St. John’s International Airport has concluded. A collective agreement was ratified by both parties, bringing an end to the strike at St. John’s International Airport on July 22, 2013. The parties accepted a collective agreement with a seven (7) year and one (1) month term, commencing on December 1, 2009 and expiring on December 31, 2016. The agreement provides a 39.5% weighted average wage increase for airport employees over the term of the agreement.
I would like to extend my thanks to the National Board of Directors for their support and cooperation during this very challenging dispute.
City Hall Employees Association (CHEA)
A provincial conciliator has been assigned to negotiations for Moncton DCL CHEA. Meetings are scheduled for September 3 to 5 and will continue from September 23 to 26, 2013. Strike mobilization is already underway with the local.
St. Thomas University Support and Administration Union
After over two and a half years of negotiations, STUSAU filed for conciliation on July 16, 2013, and the first meeting with the conciliator assigned took place on August 1, 2013. The local has put in place a communications committee and a mobilization committee, and has organized a number of activities to build member support.
Political and Social Action
Stephen Harper visits Moncton, NB
On August 8, 2013, PSAC’s Moncton RO organized a demonstration outside a Conservative Riding Association event attended by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Moncton. I spoke on against cuts to the programs and services provided by PSAC members and that all Canadians rely on everyday. The event received broad media attention by both French and English local outlets.
Nova Scotia Provincial Election
A provincial election was called on September 7, 2013, and the election will take place on October 8, 2013. PSAC Atlantic will be taking part in the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour’s election campaign through member involvement and financial support.
We are proud to continue to provide financial and promotional support to Pride activities throughout the Atlantic Region. I was honoured to attend the Pride parade in Sydney, NS.
PSAC Atlantic supported Labour Day activities throughout the region through financial contributions from the Political Action budget and through strong membership participation.
I have continued to be outspoken in the regional media. I have done a number of radio interviews, in particular on Treasury Board’s public attack on sick leave provisions in June and on the strike at St. John’s Airport.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the membership, PSAC Atlantic Council, RVP/NVP’s, local leadership and staff for their commitment and hard work in the Atlantic Region.
Lastly, you will find enclosed, the details of my activities from June through September.
Respectfully Submitted for your approval,
Regional Executive Vice-President, Atlantic