UNE Local 90023 is comprised of about 75 members. Their members work at various Parks Canada locations across Prince Edward Island, primarily along the North Shore, and in Charlottetown. Their day-to-day job consists of protecting and presenting Canada’s natural and cultural resources and this takes a varied team of people. Aside from advocating on behalf of their members, they also play a vital role in their communities and society as a whole.
Lobbying their Member of Parliament, Sean Casey, November 2017
On November 25th, 12 members of local 90023 met with Charlottetown MP, Sean Casey to discuss Phoenix pay issues and demonstrate the complexity of some of their members’ pay files. One by one, members told their stories about how the dreadful pay system has affected them. Obviously, Mr. Casey was already aware of Phoenix and the mess that has been created by this system, but he mentioned not having realized how varied some of the issues were. He had never heard stories from constituents in this way before.
Since that meeting, some members have begun to see movement on their files. That being said, there is endless amounts of work left to be done and local 90023 is already planning their next MP visit on Prince Edward Island.
Coats for Kids, November 2017
Lindsay Oehlke, local Vice President, coordinated this campaign, an effort to raise donations of warm clothing for children and youth in need this winter season. Local 90023 raised the bulk of the donations, contributing to a total of 92 items raised, including coats, hats, mittens, scarves, snow pants, and winter boots. The campaign was supported by various locals in the area, and also by PSAC’s Area Council in Charlottetown. They are looking forward to leading this campaign again in 2018.
The Creation of a PSAC Young Workers Committee on Prince Edward Island
Local 90023 has been leading an initiative to create a Young Workers Committee on Prince Edward Island. They have many young workers in their local, who are working seasonally, are term employees, juggling parental responsibilities, and dealing with other stressors targeted at this age group. Their local executive is a strong, young, and competent group. Of their executive, the local President, their Chief Shop Steward, Treasurer, and of course, their Youth Representative, Joel McKinnon, are all youth and collectively they want to bring more support to Young Workers on PEI. Joel McKinnon, local Youth Representative, has been working with other locals and with PSAC to begin this process and they are hoping to have an enthusiastic Young Workers Committee up and running in 2018 on Prince Edward Island.
PSAC Social Justice Fund
One of their members, Jessica Chaisson, has been chosen as one of four sponsored delegates to travel to Guatemala in the Spring of 2018 to work with (and learn from) grass roots organizations empowering communities.
“Through union education, I’ve become better equipped to advocate for myself and for others, and I’m better able to lead this amazing local executive. I’m proud of the initiative, time, effort, and consistent enthusiasm that Local 90023 brings to the table. Although we are a smaller membership, we have a mighty strong united voice and a willingness to be involved in helping to shape our workplace. Being a union member has taught me to appreciate the work that has been accomplished by those that have put the time in before me, and has also highlighted my responsibility to put the time in for future generations. It’s so important to work together. Collectively, we are so much louder.” – Kassandra McKinnon (President, Local 90023)
“Being a union member allows me to gain insight and understand varying perspectives. I like bridging gaps between management and employees, bringing labour concerns to the forefront for discussion, and challenging the employer when necessary to incite change in best practices for all.” – Lindsay Oehlke (Vice President, Local 90023)
“Being a union member allows individuals the opportunity to fight for what is right and challenge what we believe. It gives an avenue to help those who need it most.” – Joel McKinnon (Youth Representative, Local 90023)
“I have spent my life advocating for others without a strong voice. Union activism is much the same. Providing support and guidance to those who seek equity, fairness or resolution to issues helps improve circumstances for everyone.” – KimberLee Trainor (Occupational Health and Safety Representative, Local 90023)
“As an active youth member in the PSAC, I see the amazing benefits that come from being a part of the union everyday. Supporting our fellow members, creating working relationships and carrying these experiences with us throughout our careers is an asset to both our employees and employers.” – Jessica Chaisson (Chief Shop Steward, Local 90023)