2016 Edition 2
In This Issue...
I could have written about the essential services legislation that was just passed and which will return the right to strike to many of our members. But I have no more information than covered in my annual report. But then Brandon University came into the picture. The Ghomeshi trial happened.
March 21 marked the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, a day to reflect on racism in our communities and redouble our efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination. Although the Syrian refugee crisis had been building since 2011 due to the civil war that led millions to flee their homes, the haunting picture of a dead three-year-old boy lying on the beach in Turkey finally made the rest of the world aware of the tragic reality.
Like people all over the world, members of HSAA’s board of directors were moved by the refugee crisis and voted to approve $27,000 in funding to sponsor a family of four Syrian refugees. This funding will come from the HSAA Humanitarian fund, which was created after the 2004 tsunami.
It’s important before you retire to figure out what your income will be and what your expenses will be. Yarrow and Marston, who both served on HSAA’s ad hoc committee on retirement and advocacy, stress the need to track your spending habits in the years leading up to retirement so you can create a workable budget when you finally quit work.
HSAA is here for you – not just when you’re dealing with your employer, but also when you have problems with your professional college. When the Alberta College of Paramedics (ACP) declined to renew the licence of at least one EMS member who had reported a diagnosis and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), we launched an investigation of the college’s renewal process.
How can we get HSAA’s name out into the community? When our union’s Social Justice Committee considered this question last year, it decided to strike an ad hoc committee for community events to find a charity event that HSAA could sponsor and through which members could participate.
By now, many of you have heard that we are proposing a change to the makeup of participants at our Annual General Meetings (AGM). After almost two years of study, meetings, discussions and focus groups, we think we’ve landed on a model for a delegated system that will increase member engagement and input into the most important decisions that our union makes.
These guys are making HSAA history! Pictured here are the members of the first graduating class of HSAA stewards – the vanguard of what we hope will become a wave of work-site stewards to help provide better service to members all over Alberta. The board of directors unanimously endorsed the steward concept in 2014. Meaghan McNeil, Labour Relations Consultant (Education), started with the development of the first level of a three-level training program.
I have recently been given a new opportunity to become more involved with HSAA and the members employed by DynaLIFEDX. I completed the HSAA Steward Level I training in December 2015. I am the only DynaLIFEDX HSAA Steward at this time, but I encourage those who are interested to contact your local-unit representative or myself to find out more about becoming a steward.
Are you in a conflict of interest? Did you know that if you’ve taken a temporary out-of-scope position for longer than three months with your employer that you should not continue to serve as a member of your local unit executive or as a representative of HSAA on any committee, whether that be with the union, a partner group or the employer?
Canada’s health-care system is in a precarious position and needs immediate action from the federal government to protect it. That was the message delivered to 140 MPs as part of the Canadian Health Coalition (CHC) National Lobby Day in Ottawa in January, in which four HSAA representatives took part.
Former president bids farewell to work and HSAA
Albertans are getting to know you better and value you more. That’s the clear result of HSAA’s continuing Caring Hands communications campaign. In 2015, HSAA produced a multi-layered campaign that underscored the importance of the expert hands of HSAA members.