Atlantic Regional Director’s Report - October 2020

COVID 19 has definitely changed the way we do just about everything:   work, union, friends and family!  For some, but not all, interactions take place from a distance and through some technological means.  The Atlantic bubble has become the envy of the rest of Canada….we always seem to come out as the front runners.

For the past few months, I have been participating in meetings of the Board, chairing the Training and Education Committee where we have been working on adapting the Basic Steward Training to online and continuing to work on the Steward Framework project.  I also participate on the AGM Task Force Sub Committee, Executive Compensation Committee, Task Force on Board Orientation, Legacy Foundation Committee, Advisory Council and the CLC Education Advisory Committee.  These meetings all take place via Zoom and with the exception of the Board meetings, are typically two hours in length. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Below are some of the motions passed at the October Board meeting:

  • Establish a Governance committee based on the results from a Board self-assessment that has been ongoing this year.  This was conducted by the Institute on Governance. VP Corbett will chair the committee.
  • Effective January 1, 2022, the part-time VPs will receive salary replacement only for the hours missed from their substantive position. Retired members will not receive any salary replacement as they no longer occupy a substantive position.
  • The financial statements for the Legacy Foundation and the Building Trust were received by the Board.  These would be for the year ended December 31, 2019.
  • A proposed budget to go to the AGM was brought from the Finance Committee and approved by the Board.
  • Some members of the Science Advisory Committee will be participating in the virtual Canadian Science Policy Centre.
  • Human Rights and Development Committee (HRDC) will be establishing equity caucuses (subcommittees) within the main committee.  These include Indigenous, Disability, Workers of Colour, LGBTQ2S+ and Women.  These will operate under the budget that is already allotted to the HRDC committee. A Black Lives Caucus was established at the July Board meeting.
  • Indigenous Day Life and PIPSC sponsorship of this:  Originally approved for June 21st in Whitehorse which was cancelled due to the pandemic.  PIPSC has redirected its sponsorship to virtual events surrounding the winter solstice.  The events will be filmed and televised from Halifax and Winnipeg.  This will include ads run during the shows, which will air for 5 nights during prime time on APTN.

Any activities/sessions planned within the regions that would normally have been done at the Steward Council can avail of the Steward Council budget to allow for salary replacement for Stewards to participate. 

The Board will be reviewing and deciding on in-person meetings for 2021 prior to the AGM.

PIPSC AGM Registration for the virtual AGM on December 5 has taken place and delegates and observers were required to register.  The company facilitating the event needs to know the participants and whether they are a voting delegate or not in advance of the meeting. Resolutions to be presented at the AGM, should be available before the end of October. The Legacy Cup will not be awarded at the AGM this year, nor will any regional Steward of the Year Awards.  The AGM will only have the business portion of the meeting.  There will be no guest speakers and the only speech will be from the President. 

PIPSC MASKS The PIPSC masks are in the mail as of October 6.  For those who ordered one, they should be delivered soon.

VIRTUAL BASIC The Virtual Basic pilot will start on November 10 and run for 4 weeks.  There will be 2 classes, one English and one French with 25 participants in each.  A call for registration has gone out to all the stewards in waiting nationally and the selection of the participants will be based on the following criteria:

  1. An identified priority by the group and/or consultation president,
  2. Any steward in waiting at the RCMP,
  3. Diversity…. participants will have to self-identify  on the call for participants,
  4. Length of time on the waiting list.

After the pilot of both classes is complete, the Training and Education Committee will review the feedback received and more courses will take place in the New Year if we are still operating virtually.

SCHOLARSHIPS The Atlantic Region is proud to report we had 7 scholarships from the Legacy Foundation awarded to children or grandchildren of our members.  Congratulations to the recipients and best of luck in their future studies.

Sammi Szeto, University of Waterloo, Biomedical Engineering    
Parent: Ming Wai Szeto (SP), Environment Canada                                                            

Katie Stewart, Mount Allison University, Bachelor of Science
Grandfather & PIPSC Life Member: Brian Wolfe (NR), Public Works and Government Services

Hunter Hache, Acadia University, Economics
Parent: Alfred John Hache (SH), Health Canada

Gina Spencer, Queen's University, QuARMS Pathway Program
Michael B Spencer (NR), Public Services and Procurement Canada

Juliana Koen Alonso, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Bachelor of Science
Parent: Mariano Koen Alonso (RE), Department of Fisheries and Oceans  

Shyla Gupta, Dalhousie University, Bachelor of Science
Parent: Sanjeev (Sandy) Gupta (AFS), Canada Revenue Agency                                                  

Emily Meade, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Bachelor of Science
Parent: James Meade (SP)j, Fisheries and Oceans Canada    

VIRTUAL EVENTS We have held two Branch and Provincial Group Presidents’ meetings along with two Steward Check-Ins – all via ZOOM. These events were well attended and informative for the members who participated.   As long as we continue to operate in a virtual world, we will continue to schedule virtual events.   It is important to stay connected with our Stewards, Constituent Bodies and the membership and we will evaluate the benefit of continuing virtual meetings once we return to in-person events.

FACEBOOK A reminder for everyone, that the region does have a closed Facebook group, called PIPSC Atlantic Members, where we actively post information for the members.  If you are not a member of the group, please go to the page and request to become a member. To assist the administrator with approving the requests, if your username does not identify you, please provide your complete name.

Any questions or comments, please reach out to me. Stay safe everyone.

Submitted in solidarity,

Kimberley Skanes

Director, Atlantic Region