The Convention opened on Sunday, July 18, with a greeting by Métis Knowledge Holder and Teacher Lilyrose Meyers. She asked for a blessing upon the Convention as delegates gathered to do the important work of the Union.
Delegates then were presented with the National President’s Report. In the written report was noted varied accomplishments on behalf of the delegates by the National Executive; improvements made in communications from the National Office to the locals and amongst the different working groups; and the impact that COVID-19 has had on our membership. He also commented that the National Executive has been examining the way they work and ways to keep the Union relevant moving into the future. He noted that, despite all the achievements, there was still work to be done. Finally, Brother Clark thanked all members for their hard work throughout this unprecedented time in our history. To read all the reports from the National Executive members, and from the Human Rights Officer, please click here.
It was then on Monday July 19 that the members adopted that would make a big difference in the national office. UCET now has six full-time elected and paid Regional Vice-Presidents or Regional Vice-Presidents, designated as follows:
- National Capital Region (new)
- Prairies / North
In addition, the Human Rights Officer is now a voting member of the National Executive.
The Convention adopted the proposed budget for the period 2022-2023. Highlights include a reduction in dues for all members during this cycle.
Chris Aylward, National President, PSAC’s Presentation
Yesterday, members heard a keynote presentation from Brother Chris Aylward, PSAC National President, highlighting the critical importance of working
in solidarity during this pandemic. New tools to promote member engagement must be developed and implemented. All the work which unions have undertaken in recent years needs to be rethought and restructured in new ways. A portion of UCTE and PSAC members now work from home. The other portion are essential workers requiring assistance through this difficult time while, daily, they put their lives on the line.
Brother Aylward stressed that airports are the key to recovery in Canada, which is part of the reason why he is so supportive of UCTE members who work, or used to work, in this environment. He hails important events, such as the arrival of new members at the Calgary airport, the new collective agreement for firefighters at the Quebec City airport, demonstrations by members of the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority, and many others.
Members asked a variety of questions on several political issues, including work at home, and Phoenix. Chris Aylward pledged to be a part of whatever the UCTE needs from PSAC to get through this global crisis and to win all the battles for the rights of workers — our members.
PRESENTATION BY LARRY ROUSSEAU, CLC EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT
On July 20 Brother Larry Rousseau was the keynote speaker. He began his speech by thanking PSAC and UCTE for the support their unions have given him in his career as an activist. This is the first time that three women have been elected to head the CLC, a historic event of which Brother Rousseau said he was very proud.
While the pandemic has been a great upheaval, Brother Rousseau emphasized the need for a strong recovery plan. With a federal election looming, it is a great opportunity to hold political leaders accountable for what they have done and for what they will do for Canadian workers.
On Labour Day, September 6, the CLC is planning to launch a campaign with the theme: Working for Recovery. Many Canadians have put their lives at risk, while employers have gotten rich. Some employers have even taken advantage of the situation to cut wages. Brother Rousseau mentioned that two million jobs in Canada will likely never be recovered, which is why he and his team at the CLC want to urge political leaders to put recovery on the front burner. Canadian workers deserve to be treated with respect. The CLC has taken the time to create a web platform at https://canadianplan.ca/ listing all demands for a recovery plan. Members asked a variety of questions at the conclusion of the presentation.
Thank you all for your work over the past few days. We will keep you updated shortly on the results of today’s elections.