Report of the Director for Non-Treasury Board/Separate Employer Newfoundland & Labrador, Robert M. Lewis, October 2013 – January 2014

I am pleased to be able to present my Director’s report for the above period. I continue sit on both the Council’s Education and Political Action Committees.

I believe that being from a Direct Charter Local (DCL) and from the University sector while a Director on the Atlantic Council has helped educate me on the workings of the Union and in imagining how those in the university sector can construct a space within the Union. With an increasing number of DCLs and of those in the university sector, I believe that this, in itself, is an important step forward for PSAC Atlantic Regional Council.

Cathy Murphy, Dave Shaw, and I have developed the start of an education strategy and plan for the universities sector, in particular for those locals made up of contingent, part-time, limited term workers and with Union executives that change every year or two. This work is only just beginning but is a challenge that must be met if PSAC is to adequately service the needs of those workers whose work situations are very different from those found among most members whom PSAC has traditionally represented. We helped refine this during a session at the DCL Conference October 12-13 in Moncton.

I represented the Council at the DCL Conference October 12-13. Issues for DCLs and their place, now and in the future, in PSAC were discussed and debated. The place of DCLs in PSAC continues to be developed.

I was on the bargaining team for LUMUN’s that completed a first agreement for the Postdoctoral Fellows (PDF) unit in our Union. This represents the first collective agreement for PDFs in the Atlantic region and can serve as a model for potential other PDFs in the Atlantic region that PSAC may organize in the future.

At our last Council meeting we had just entered the conciliation phase of collective bargaining for Per Course Instructors. We are now scheduled to sign a tentative agreement Friday, January 24 and we will have a ratification vote on Sunday January 26. As the only Union affiliated with PSAC in Atlantic Canada representing university instructors, this too can serve as a model for potential other university lecturers in the Atlantic region that PSAC may organize in the region.

I represented the PSAC at the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour’s First Triennial Constitutional Convention.

In October I stepped down as President and Chief Shop Steward of my union. However, as Secretary I have continued to be very involved with my local Union work. Collective bargaining, which began in September 2012, seems to be concluding for our present collective agreements. I also have a full time job with the same employer but in another union and I am teaching an extra course in the Master’s in Employment Relations program this term.

In Solidarity,


Robert Lewis