For the past 7 years, Suzanne Dupuis, a member of Local 60603 in Moncton, New Brunswick, has been a Training Administrator for Nav Canada. She is an important part of UCTE as she has now been president of her local for over five years. Prior to becoming president, she was vice-president for one year. Her inspiration for her interest in unions was her father and grandfather who were also activists for the rights of Canadian workers. Social justice has always been a strong theme in her family. When Suzanne was a little girl, she helped her mother bake muffins for her father’s local, which at the time was in protest.
Nav Canada was the workplace that changed her involvement as a social activist. Her local is not a big group. This is what pushed her to get on the committee and make sure they were recognized. Suzanne is a very positive and enthusiastic person. Her job in the ATS entails taking care of the students in the air traffic control programme as well as her colleagues. Coordination, administration and documentation are three words best defining her job.
“It’s never the same if I make a work plan. Everything changes according to the needs. I really manage my time according to the demands,” she says.
What motivates Sister Dupuis is the freedom, as well as the changing nature of her duties. Suzanne organizes her own priorities whether related to stationery, students, organizing classes, or communication with Transport Canada. “I teach gentlemen in their sixties to use an iPad, just as I teach them to write papers for Transport Canada”, she says with a laugh. The people she works with push her to become better every day. There are a lot of challenges in this kind of work. One has to adapt every day to the changes in technology. She makes sure that everything gets done and is properly supervised. The work environment at Nav Canada offers her the career she had in mind.
“I’ve been able to take helicopter tours, go into schools, teach young people, and introduce them to different careers. I feel it is an accomplishment if I can change the lives of young Canadians who are starting their careers. It’s very motivating, and endearing to see the advancement of each of them,” she says.
For some time now, Suzanne has been a member of the Nav Canada negotiating team. She is also proud to have participated in two conventions with UCTE. She was excited to learn that the airline industry is slowly recovering. Many people around her have lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, which makes her sad because she loves the people she works with.
In short, we can call Suzanne Dupuis the ‘school mum’. “I’ll even leave chocolates on desks before exams”, says Suzanne. She takes care of her team, seeking a good balance for young professionals wishing to make their career in this company. Sister Dupuis is a very human social activist with a heart for work. Her good humour is contagious at UCTE and we are fortunate to have her here. “The success of young professionals is our success.”