Report Of The Women’s Committee To The Atlantic Council, October 2013

In attendance:
Angela Decker, Co-Chair
Rhonda Doyle LeBlanc, Co-Chair
Shanny Doucet
Sandy Cake
Dawn Hardy
Cathy Murphy, Staff Advisor
Jeannie Baldwin, REVP-Atlantic

Regrets: Charlene Vidito-Milne

    •    Report of the Regional Women’s Conference
The report of Atlantic Region Women’s Conference was provided and discussion ensued.
The conference took place May 24 – 26, 2013 at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The theme was “Telling our Stories”. Sandy, Angela, Shanny, & Dawn were at the conference and all commented on the Conference.  Eighty sisters participated. It was an awesome Conference. Evaluations were provided and discussed. Learning and processes were also discussed and the best practices to note for next Conference.
    •    Regional Women’s Committees :
A discussion was held on how Women Directors can assist and be involved with the RWC’s in their respective Regions.  If more information is provided to the Director’s from the committees, it can then be shared with the other RWCs and women activists to provide ideas, encourage involvement and motivation. One method of improving the communication with RWCs when Director’s cannot attend meetings or events in person, is to participate via conference call.  When emails go to the REVP’s office, including the yearly minutes and budget planning, women’s directors should be copied. It was also suggested that the Directors themselves contact the RWC’s in their Regions to provide their availability to the meetings, events, etc of the RWC’s, and to advise that they should be kept in the “know” of what’s happening with the RWC’s.
 It was suggested that each RWC from the Region showcase their activities at the upcoming National Equity Conference, and the 2015 PSAC Convention. The Atlantic Region’s “Harper” & “Gail Shea” will be on display at the National Equity Conference, and can be highlighted as part of the Atlantic Women’s Committees projects/activities , along with other projects RWC’s are involved in.

    •    National Equity Conference
The National Women’s Conference, (NWC) will be part of the large, combined National Equity Conference, (NEC). It will take place November 18 – 21 in Toronto.  Jeannie shared the process on how selection of delegates is/was made. A discussion ensued on the confusion around the selection of what equity group was selected for the Resolution’s debate.
A discussion was held on the decision to alternate the two Women’s Director’s to sit on the National Human Rights Committee, (NHRC), on a yearly basis. There was further discussion on both Directors’ not are involved in the Steering/Organizing committee, and Resolutions Committee of the NWC, due to the alternating process. A discussion also ensued around the need of sharing of information and communication of the ongoing process of the Organizing/Steering Committee, and Resolutions Committee of the National Equity Conference amongst the two Directors.
    •    Union’s Work for Women  Course
The “Union Works for Women” Courses have begun to roll out. The first course is being held in Moncton, NB to include PEI this week-end, Oct 18-20. Janice Grant & Mary MacNeil will be facilitating the English session with 11 women participating, and Anna Goguen will be facilitating the French session with 7 women participating. Posters were circulated and advertized on the website and Twitter. A discussion followed on the number of applications and how the selection process was done. The selection process used was the same as for other courses. The budget was a consideration.  A question arose of the two Women’s Director’s being involved in the selection process, and it was confirmed that the Women’s directors can be involved in selection process.
There was a concern of the scheduling of the course as the same time as Council, and UTE Conference in Ottawa. A discussion ensued on the short time frames of offering the courses, and it was noted that Council dates were overlooked.
    •    December 6th
A reminder was given to encourage people to attend or organize activities around Dec 6th, “National Day of Action and Remembrance of Violence against Women”.
It was also noted that an e-mail from Andree Cote, who provided a survey on Domestic Violence in workplace that will be launched on Dec 5th. It is encouraged that RWC’s use the Survey at their Dec 6th events.

    •    Federation of Labour Conferences & Events:
Discussion followed on the Federation of labour’s Women’s Conferences.
Rhonda provided a brief on the NSFL Women’s Conference that was held March 1 to 3 in Greenwood, NS. The theme was “Women and the Media”. It was attended and received.
Angela shared an update of the NLFL Women’s Conference that was held Oct 6-8 under the theme “Why Be Involved”.  This Conference was jointly held with the NLFL Youth/Education Committee. Both were well received and attended.
The NBFL’s Women’s conference has been postponed, and PEI has nothing scheduled at this time.
    •    Round Table
Rhonda provided the Fact Sheet “Violence against Women in Canada”, and encouraged the use of during the Dec 6th activities.

Respectively Submitted,
Angela Decker, Co-chair
Rhonda Doyle LeBlanc, Co-chair