Congratulations to the National Executive Officers elected at UVAE convention

UVAE held its 18th National Triennial Convention, virtually, from September 19 to September 22!

Congratulations to the National Executive Officers elected at UVAE convention:

  • Virginia Vaillancourt – National President
  • Toufic El-Daher– National Executive Vice-President; Zarina Khan Alternate NEVP
  • Jody LaPierre – Regional Vice-President (RVP) Charlottetown HO; Debi Buell, Alternate RVP
  • Edwin MacDonald – RVP, Atlantic; Amanda Logan, Alternate RVP
  • Rosa Martin – RVP, Quebec; Simon Renaud, Alternate RVP
  • Zarina Khan – RVP, Ontario; Martha Josephian, Alternate RVP
  • Lisa Nelson – RVP, Western Region; Damian Dorschner, Alternate RVP

We would like to sincerely thank all the delegates for their extraordinary work during the UVAE Convention.  The NEO is committed to working hard to defend UVAE members during this new mandate of two years.

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – 2021

Each year during the month of October, we celebrate Women’s History Month. This began in 1992 when the Government of Canada designated October as Women’s History Month, marking the beginning of an annual month-long celebration for the outstanding achievements of women throughout Canada’s history. As we celebrate Women’s History Month 2021, we reflect upon the advances women have made over the last decade. Women’s History Month includes International Day of the Girl on October 11, 2021. The International Day of the Girl Child is an annual and internationally recognized observance that empowers girls and amplifies their voices. Like its adult version, International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8, International Day of the Girl Child acknowledges the importance, power, and potential of adolescent girls by encouraging the opening up of more opportunities for them.  

We know that the pandemic has hurt more women since the work they perform is much more precarious in the part-time sectors. Without a National Child Care program, it has been a difficult period for the past 18 to 19 months. We urgently need to put women at the forefront of Canada’s recovery plans. We continue to honor the courageous women and girls who have made a lasting impact as pioneers in their fields. Whether as activists, teachers, nurses, business leaders, politicians, researchers, or artists, they have helped shape Canada into a thriving, diverse and prosperous country through their achievements and desire to make a difference. Women are natural nurturers and without their amazing ability to take care of households, children, families, pets and jobs, just to name a few, we would have a sad state of affairs. Women members of the labor movement encompass identities that resonate with the diversity of women including all immigrant communities, LBGTQ2+ rights, members with disabilities, as well as racialized voices.

The month commemorates the famous “Persons Case”, which on October 18, 1929, concluded with a ruling that Canadian women were ‘persons’ in society, with a right to vote. So, this day on October 18th, 2021 is an annual celebration of Persons Day in Canada. This holiday is connected to the case of Edwards v. Canada. The Persons Case opened the Senate to women, enabling them to work for change in both the House of Commons and the Upper House. Moreover, the legal recognition of women as “persons” meant that women could no longer be denied rights based on a narrow interpretation of the law.

Also, of importance and according to the organization Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) website which states: 

Until all women and gender diverse people have equitable access to good quality and affordable education, health services, food, clothing, and housing, gender equality will not be achieved. Until all women and gender diverse people are not disproportionately poor, gender equality will not be achieved.  

Gender discrimination intersects with other forms of oppression so that women living with multiple intersecting grounds of oppression are overwhelmingly poor: 36% of First Nations women (living off reserve); 33% of women who are visible minorities; 33% of women with disabilities; and 20% of women who identify as immigrants. 

LEAF works hard to address poverty issues and to call attention to how discrimination against women serves to make women even more poor. We are currently exploring the potential of a basic income to address gender inequality from an intersectional lens.

The rights of women must be reflected in all workplaces as well. Women’s History month is about consciously committing to gender equality in leadership positions and in asserting workplace rights with specific attention to a gender-based analysis. The changing roles and characteristics of Canadian women needs to be enshrined in policies as well as in collective bargaining language.

Just before Women’s history Month (WHM) this year, a Federal Election was held on September 20th, 2021 to ensure all women’s voices were heard across the country by making sure everyone got the chance to cast their ballot for those politicians who will keep Women’s rights at the forefront.

Despite the many victories, challenges remain but women will always continue to fight for a better world, better working conditions, better work/life balance and full respect for human rights.

UVAE Human Rights Committee

Congratulations to the UVAE Members Elected in their PSAC Regional Triennial Conventions

The Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees (UVAE) wish to congratulate the following members for their recent election at their Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Regional Conventions.


Atlantic Region

Edwin MacDonald

Alternate Director for LGBTQ2+ Members

Kim Asling

Provincial Director – Prince Edward Island (PE)

Debi Buell

First Alternate Provincial Director – PE

Valerie Boudreau Quinn

Second Alternate Provincial Director –  PE

Western Region

Shane Polak

Access (Persons With Disabilities) Coordinator – Vancouver

Donna Twemlow

Second Alternate Metro Vancouver Coordinator

Lorelei Sterling

First Alternate Southern Interior Coordinator

Ontario Region

Trevis Carey (Kirkland Lake)

Region 2 (Northeastern) 

Your commitment is remarkable and on behalf of UVAE we wish you an excellent mandate.

In Solidarity,

Virginia Vaillancourt

National President of UVAE

September 23rd is Bi Visibility Day

TO READ IS TO DREAM WITH OPEN EYES

This is what I did when I started to prepare my article in celebration of Bi-Visibility Day and I found lots of interesting information which I am sharing with you.  I thought of celebrating by learning a little more of what I didn’t know, like the meaning of different pride flags; what acronyms stand for and this is what I found.  I am sharing some of the websites below so that you may also take this journey and learn how to support each other.

September 23 marks the 22nd Bi Visibility Day.  It was created by three bi activists from the USA – Wendy Curry, Michael Page, and Gigi Raven Wilbur, and established in 1999 to help raise bi awareness and challenge bisexual & biromantic erasure.

The original pride flag was created by Gilbert Baker in 1977. Tasked by Harvey Milk, a historic figure in the fight for LGBTQ rights, to create a flag for the queer community, Baker created a rainbow flag with eight different colors.

Inspired by the classic song “Over the Rainbow” from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, Baker created a rainbow flag to represent LGBTQ folks. Each color in the flag also had a specific meaning.

Do you know that there are many different Pride Flags?

  • Hot pink symbolizes sex
  • Red equals life
  • Orange symbolizes healing
  • Yellow stands for sunlight
  • Green represents nature
  • Turquoise equals magic and art
  • Indigo stands for serenity
  • Violet represents the spirit of LGBTQ people

Just as there are many different Pride Flags there are also many different acronyms used for the community and the most common ones used within the Government of Canada are:

LGBTQ2        Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Two-Spirit.  (This is the acronym used by the Government of Canada to refer to the Canadian community.

LGBTI            Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex.  ( This is the internationally recognized acronym.)

SGM                Sexual and Gender Minorities

SOGI               Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

SOGIE             Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression

SOGIESC        Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression and Sex Characteristics

SSOGIE           Sex, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression.   (This is the acronym used by WAGE.)

https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/free-to-be-me/lgbtq2-glossary.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrate_Bisexuality_Day

https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/g32867826/lgbt-pride-flags-guide/

https://cadehildreth.com/pride-flags/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/style/lgbtq-gender-language.html

URGENT : CASE MANAGER SURVEY (TO COMPLETE BY AUGUST 3, 2021)

Dear UVAE Members

Veterans Affairs Canada is moving to implement its new RSVP/Rehab contract which was just awarded. Case Managers across the country have contacted their union with questions and concerns about this new contract and how it will affect services to Veterans and their jobs as Case Managers. That is why UVAE has decided to engage the full Case Manager community in a survey to get their views, opinions and concerns. We will use the information collected in our on-going discussions with VAC on this contract.

Please ensure that all Case Managers in your area are aware of this survey and encourage their participation. The greater the participation, the stronger our voice will be to protect them. Here is a link to the survey which will be open until August 3, 2021:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K392LB2

In Solidarity

Virginia Vaillancourt

National President

Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees (UVAE)

Joint Learning Program : Mental Health: Let’s Talk!

The JLP is proud to announce that the fourth guided discussion in its Empowering Conversations discussion series, Mental Health: Let’s Talk! has launched.We would deeply appreciate your support in letting managers and unionized employees know of this offering. 

The newest Empowering Conversation is a guided discussion of 3 to 3.5 hours that will bring public service employees and their managers together to discuss lessons learned on maintaining mental health in difficult times and to begin identifying additional strategies for supporting workplace psychological health and safety.

During this session, participants will

  • discuss mental health as a continuum and the factors that impact it
  • identify workplace practices that support mental health
  • plan for renewed attention to support psychologically healthy and safe workplaces.

As with all other Empowering Conversations, Mental Health: Let’s Talk! is designed for unionized employees and their supervisors/managers of the same work teams with no more than 15 participants. Mental Health: Let’s Talk! is designed to be held via videoconference or teleconference.

To host a facilitated discussion from the Empowering Conversations series, please submit a request on the JLP website or contact your local Regional Field Coordinators for more information. 

Toufic El-Daher

National Executive Vice-President (UVAE)