A lot has happened since my last report; however, it is hard to put it into words. Along with all the regular day to day activities like consultations with Members; Local Presidents; Labour Relations Advisers; Area Directors; Preparation and presentation of Grievances; Co-ordination with PSAC experts on Disability Claims, Workers Compensation Files and Health & Safety Files I have also been very busy trying to update the membership lists for the 8 Locals in Ontario. I have completed updating 2 so far as the information changes so regularly and rapidly.
I attended a team building session with the NEO in Sydney, Nova Scotia. I feel it went well and the team was committed to working together in a much more collaborative way going forward. Of course, the location was great too. We had a real fun bowling night.
I have not attended too many LMCC meetings during these past 6 months, but plan to start attending in person as offices open. Many of the Locals need assistance with preparing their Regulations and I hope to get this done with them while I am at the location.
The Committee members have been meeting on a regular basis and have since released a newsletter with the PRIDE theme and also released small articles on Multiculturalism. These were distributed to members and were also posted on the UVAE Facebook.
A new competition for the logo was announced and we received only one entry. This will be presented to the NEO for approval and will be used as our new logo for the next year.
Equal Opportunity Coordinator
I have attended two meetings of the Departmental National Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Committee (NDIAC) and have attended two sessions arranged by them to promote Inclusion in the Department.
I also attended a presentation by Mobile Resource Group on their initial findings of the Employment Systems Review. I was disappointed to see that the newly appointed Champion for Diversity and Inclusion did not attend the meeting.
The Anti-Racism Task Force for the Department also held sessions to speak with members of the targeted groups and I attended all of them. The participation in these sessions was high and very open discussions were held. There were no surprises – VAC is not at all inclusive and a lot needs to be still done.
No meetings have been held by PSAC for their Human Rights Committee and no news is forthcoming from them directly either. We do see a lot on the PSAC website, which I share with Local Presidents in Ontario to share with their members.
The Committee met during this time and forwarded a proposal to the UVAE National President. This was shared with the National Executive Officers (NEO) and a decision was made not to accept the proposal, for various reasons. UVAE members have been informed accordingly.
There was not much activity for this committee. We did have a couple of quick meetings.
The By-Law Committee has been meeting on a regular basis reviewing UVAE By-laws to ensure that language and content is clear and to work on any additions or deletions that are necessary. The Committee will also look into the resolutions that were submitted to PSAC and not debated to see if any of these can be applied to enhance our own By-laws.
Bureau of Pensions Advocates (BPA)
Diversity & Inclusion Working Group
Regular meetings of this group are on-going, and an Action Plan was developed and approved by Senior Management. Unfortunately, most members of the original group have left VAC (most were members of the Visible Minority Group) and so a new call out was made. The Group now consists of 4 members – 3 of whom are based in Charlottetown Head Office.
The Group has decided to sponsor one target group per quarter and at present we are working on members with disabilities. In October we will have a speaker address the staff of BPA at their annual conference.
Regular meetings were held with BPA Management and information exchanged. These meetings are held bi-monthly. The Union will be doing a presentation on the Collective Agreement at the upcoming virtual BPA Conference. Toufic El-Daher will present with Deborah Bethell.
Review of Advocacy Officer Job Description
As a result of Classification review BPA is looking at all its job descriptions and I was involved with the job description review for the Advocacy Officers. We met weekly and drafted many versions and finally were able to have a version approved by Management, which has been sent to Labour Relations. It was a lot of work and very intense discussions took place.
Pandemic Response Unit (PRU) Meetings
As the alternate to the NEVP on this committee I attended a few meetings on his behalf. A lot of information was shared, and notes were shared with the NEVP.
A few of the Locals in Ontario had by-elections as executives resigned, went on maternity leave and other reasons. We are still awaiting one by-election for the VP for a Local and an election for an executive in another location. A couple of calls went out for this Local but there was no response. I am planning to hold an in-person meeting with the members in the Fall and a decision will be taken at that time as to the future of the Local, if I cannot motivate anyone to stand for elections.
PSAC Triennial Convention
The NEO members got together in Ottawa to attend this virtual Conference. It was not the best experience. It took over 3 plus days to just pass the budget and so not much business was conducted. Elections took place and the results can be found on the PSAC website.
I continue to facilitate JLP sessions virtually. JLP is looking at going back to in-person sessions next Fall. Recently, there has been a great demand for Understanding the Collective Agreement sessions. Unfortunately, VAC is not one of the Departments requesting these.