March 7, 2023
A diverse group of UNE Local activists gathered in Victoria from March 2-5 for their annual Regional Seminar. Shirley Torres, UNE Deputy Trustee for the BC & Yukon Territory Region opened the event with a powerful message for all the delegates : ‘’Your commitment to the union is a commitment to yourself’’. UNE Trustee Sharon De Souza gave an update on the ongoing trusteeship and answered questions.
It was the first time attending a UNE event for many members and learning about Local finances and the grievance process provided by UNE staff was the perfect opportunity for them to dig into what a UNE Local representative does as a volunteer. Denis St-Onge (Local 20088) explained the basics of bargaining and gave a brief update on the Parks Canada ongoing negotiations. James Little, from the BC PSAC Regional Office, went through strike mobilization.
During the second day of the event, Johanne Labine, from PSAC, held an interactive and energetic session on governance. The all-day session called UNE: Empowering our Future was the opportunity for the delegates to brainstorm, engage and learn about good union governance and sound leadership.
Youth Delegates Elections for Convention also took place. Congratulations to Sterling James (Local 20278, Delegate), Jonathan Shivam Jeet (Local 20278, Delegate), Oscar Rodriguez, (Local 20214 , 1st Alternate), Alexandra Lausanne (Local 20280, 2nd Alternate), and Carina McDonald (Local 29266, 3rd Alternate)!
The last day, Ann Birnie (Local 20278) gave a practical presentation on how to engage with members at the Local level, with plenty of useful examples for the delegates to take back to their respective Locals.