Report of the Director for Non-Treasury Board/Separate Employer Newfoundland & Labrador, Robert M. Lewis, September 2012 – January 2012

I am pleased to be able to present my Director’s report for the above period. I took over from Corina Harding on June 8th and I have continued in this position. I now sit on both the Council’s Education and Political Action Committees.

My understanding is that I am the first member of a Direct Charter Local (DCL) to serve as a Director on the Atlantic Council. With an increasing number of DCLs, I believe that this, in itself, is an important step forward for PSAC Atlantic Regional Council.

This has been my first full term as Director for Non-Treasury Board/Separate Employer Newfoundland and Labrador, activities to highlight include:

I attended the Regional Council meetings September 11th to 14th at Oak Island, NS; though the strike at the airport in St. John’s added an extra travel day at both ends. There I met with with the Education and Political Action Committees.

I participated in negotiations training for members of the LUMUN bargaining team who had not previously been on a bargaining team – all but me – and for members of the TAUMUN Executive who had also not been on a bargaining team – all of them. Lack of experience in bargaining and all issues related to being in a union for the TAUMUN Executive will always be an issue for their Union due to the nature of their work. This needs to be addressed and I am presently involved in the educational aspect of this (though it is not only a question of education) as a member of the Education Committee along with Cathy Murphy.

I attended the Annual General Meeting of the Teaching Assistants Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland (TAUMUN), representing the Council and LUMUN, November 22. I have also been involved in helping TAUMUN in setting up a more sustainable organizational structure.

I represented the Council at the DCL Conference November 24th and 25th in Moncton. Issues for DCLs and our/their place, now and in the future, in PSAC were discussed and debated. The place of DCLs in the Union continues to be developed. Again, an extra travel day was added at both ends.

I attended the 2012 PSAC Leadership Summit November 30th to December 2nd in Ottawa with travel on November 29th and December 3rd.

I met with the Education Committee met from January 19th and 20th at the Atlantic Region office in Halifax. As well as working towards finalizing the educational goals and schedule for the region, I have started to work with Cathy Murphy towards developing an education strategy and plan for the universities sector, in particular for those locals made up of contingent and/or part-time and/or limited term workers. 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.

As I am on the bargaining team for LUMUN’s two bargaining units negotiating our second (for the Per Course Instructors) and first (for Postdoctoral Fellows) collective agreements, I had to resign by position representing the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour on the Provincial Government, business, and labour Innovation Committeeand met once during this period.

I continue to represent the PSAC on the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour Political Action and Legislative Committee though there were no meetings of this (there never are).

As President and Chief Shop Steward of my union, I have been very involved with my local Union work. Collective bargaining began for us in September and has continued since. 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.

In Solidarity,

Robert Lewis

Director for Non-Treasury Board/Separate Employer Newfoundland & Labrador


President, Lecturers’ Union of Memorial University of Newfoundland