Report of the Regional Vice-President, Ontario

Convention took place in September 2021 and I was re-elected as RVP Ontario.  It is quite a humbling experience to know that members in my region feel that I am doing a credible job and have confidence in my abilities.  (I should not forget that no one actually challenged me).  Martha Josephian, President of Local18 – London, Ontario, was elected my alternate.

Before I start my report I will take a moment  to recognize two Local Presidents who passed away in 2021 and 2022.   Vanessa Buck, President, Local 16, and Alternate RVP Ontario and Deanne Gosselin, Local 18, London.  Vanessa and Deanne will be missed by all their members and myself.

Ontario’s membership has become quite apathetic about the Union and I don’t know if this is because of the challenges they are facing within their work environment and don’t have the energy to take on anything else, or if they feel that being involved in the Union is jeopardizing their advancement in VAC.  It is quite concerning and it is becoming difficult to fill vacant spots within the Local Executives.

During the past few months, I have had to hold Elections and by-elections for 4 Locals.  AGMs will start soon and it will be busy for a couple of months.  That is not to say that I have not been busy until now.

Members are becoming very demanding about what they require from us and some of them are unable to take No for an answer.  Most issues that have come up in Ontario are to do with denial of 699 leave requests, and a couple for denial of requests for Religious Accommodation for the vaccine.  These are very complex situations and needed to be handled with tact and discretion. 

The following are some of the files I have been involved in (a brief synopsis)

HR Sub-Committee         

RVP Quebec and I are members of this sub-committee and we met bi-weekly to work on the newsletter and other items of interest to members.  We have announced our winner of the Logo Competition we held last year and our most recent newsletter was sent out.  The next newsletter will have the logo on it.

By-Laws Sub-Committee

We are meeting regularly to look at the By-Laws to ensure that they are in compliance with the Constitution and that the language is bias free.

Finance Committee 

This Committee has not met since the Convention.

EOC

I have been fulfilling this role since the Convention and have attended one meeting of NDIAC.  During this time the VAC Diversity and Inclusion Champion retired and we are awaiting news of the new appointment. The next meeting is  scheduled for March 2022.

EOC Sub-Committee

This Committee was formed as per Convention Resolution direction and discussions are taking place.  Unfortunately, the Directions provided to the facilitator were not very clear and so mid discussions the Committee had to start their discussions afresh.

BPA LMCC

These are being held bi-monthly and issues pertaining to BPA are being addressed.

Local LMCC

I have attended a few and am planning to attend them on a quarterly basis, just to ensure that the Terms of Reference for LMCC’s are being followed and that Local Executives are bringing up current issues and concerns of their members.

Meetings with Local Presidents

I had been meeting with Local Presidents on a monthly basis, however during this term I am going to meet with Local Executives on a bi-monthly basis, as soon as all AGMs are completed and new Executives  are sworn in.

Training for Locals

I have arranged for all Locals to undergo training with PSAC and three sessions have been completed so far.  I will be arranging more sessions in the coming few months.

Working with Members

  • Consultation with Local Executives on grievance preparations and presentations
  • Answering calls from members on various issues like DTA, 699 Leave, Overtime Compensation; Workloads; member-member conflicts; etc.
  • Presenting 2nd level grievances (3 so far)

  • Preparing files to send for arbitration

  • Assisting members with Disability Claims and referring them to PSAC for further assistance
  • Assisting members with WSIB Appeal documentation.
  • Researching jurisprudence and other documentation for assistance with grievance preparations.
  • Assisting members with re-location requests and long-term remote work.

It has been busy and to be very honest quite frustrating at times as members seem to be taking out their frustrations on me.  I get sworn at, I have members crying on the phone, I have members demanding that I work with management to get them the results they want.

In Solidarity,
Zarina Khan,
Regional Vice-President, Ontario