atlantic region logo



From the Director…

Welcome to spring/summer in the Atlantic region.

from the director

Thank you Manny Costain, Marilyn Best and Michael Basque for volunteering your time and supporting the region’s work. Your dedication to the Atlantic Region is greatly appreciated. Welcome to the newly elected members of the Regional Executive, Jennifer Cantwell, Gerald Hill and Matthew Lee.

Many Institute groups have been actively bargaining with the employer to achieve a tentative agreement before the writ is dropped for the election in the fall. Three groups have reached tentative agreements and ratification of these by the members will be taking place over the next month or so.

There has been a settlement reached for Phoenix damages. This agreement has been 2 years in the making. There are 14 federal unions who have signed this agreement. All members will receive a one-time leave credit based on how long they were working for the Federal Public Service since Phoenix was activated. There is also a monetary settlement for those directly affected by Phoenix, as a member you have to identify the issues and apply for these damages.

The Regional Executive sets goals each year to make the region the best it can be. We will be doing this exercise again in September at our first executive meeting after the Atlantic Regional Council. Our objective is to engage the members in the region. As your director, I will take issues raised in the region to the Board of Directors or the appropriate body to have them addressed. I look forward to meeting with the members throughout the region whenever the opportunity arises.

To each and every member I wish you a good summer, hoping you take the time to spend with family and friends.

In Solidarity,

Kimberley Skanes

Director, Atlantic Region

Atlantic Regional Training School

Submitted by Carolyn Hynes

atlantic training school

The Atlantic Regional Training School was held April 11-13, 2019, at Old Orchard Inn in beautiful Annapolis Valley, NS. Many first time stewards attended the school and took Advanced Grievance Handling and Consultation modules while our more seasoned stewards participated in Leadership and Duty to Accommodate sessions. As the Leadership course was hot off the press, the Atlantic Region was honored to pilot the course and provided valuable feedback to the Education Section. The courses were expertly facilitated by our regions ERO’s Paul Hartigan and Max Way who welcomed the assistance and expertise of Barry Hebért from National Capital Region and John Hanrahan from Edmonton. Participant feedback for all sessions was positive. Our hospitality event BBQ and “Mentalist” show was a highlight. With 40 stewards attending, the school provided a great opportunity for stewards to network, form mentoring relationships and learn new skills.

Donation to Fidelis House

During the Regional School, tickets were sold on an Apple Watch with the proceeds of the ticket sales going to Fidelis House in Kentville, NS.

Fidelis Houseprovides an affordable "home away from home” since1992 for patientstraveling across the province each year to access medical services. Situated on the grounds of the hospital in Kentville, Fidelis Houseis staffed around the clock by dedicated volunteers, and funded exclusively through donations, guests are only asked to contribute $20 a night towards their stay. In the past year alone Fidelis House has welcomed over 4000 overnight visitors.

Phil Wilson and Carolyn Hynespresented a cheque for $800 to the organization.Thank you to those who bought tickets in support of this fund-raiser.

donations to fidelis house

From left to right: John Calpin, Business Manager Fidelis House, Carolyn Hynes, Atlantic Region Training Chair and Phil Wilson, Treasurer, Atlantic Region

Moncton Branch Profile

Submitted by the Moncton Branch Executive

The Moncton Branch is the second largest branch in Atlantic Canada with over 780 members and counts amongst its diversity federal and provincial bargaining groups. The Branch recently welcomed into its midst 68 Dorchester Branch members. The Branch’s membership also grew with the addition of RCMP members.

The Branch has 11 Executive Members:

  • Jean Eugène Trahan (LA/NBLA), President
  • Ginette LeBlanc (AFS/CRA Retired), Vice-President
  • Francis Poirier (CS/SSC), Treasurer
  • Kelly MacKinnon (AFS/CRA), Secretary

Members at Large:

  • Frederic Basque (CS/AFS)
  • Isabelle Chabot (SH/CSC)
  • Michael Dixon (CS/ESDC)
  • Fernand Hébert (SP/ECCC)
  • Matthew Lee (NR/TRANSPORT)
  • Gerry Saunders (SH/CSC Retired)
  • Thane Reeves (CS/DFO)

The Moncton Branch held various activities and learning initiatives for members and their families.

Employee Wellness Support Program Sessions

An information session on the new Employee Wellness Support Program was offered on May 24, 2018, for approximately 35 members. An evening information session was also offered in August 2018 and 30 members attended.

Family Skate

family skate

The Branch held two Family Skates at the Avenir Centre in downtown Moncton on December 2, 2018, and March 17, 2019. Approximately 30 brave souls attended each event and were rewarded with hot chocolate courtesy of the Moncton CS Sub-Group.

Seasonal Social

The Branch Seasonal Social was held on December 5, 2018, at Dooley’s in Riverview. We had a record 96 attendees: 67 members and 29 guests and all shared in a festive buffet, unlimited pool and darts. Feedback from this event was very positive, although we were victims of our own success and temporarily ran out of food!

seasonal social

seasonal social

Annual General Meeting

The 2019 Branch AGM was held on April 8th, 2019, where National Vice-President Norma Domey and Atlantic Regional Director Kimberley Skanes attended as guest speakers. A buffet supper was served to 40 attendees and elections were held for VP, Secretary and 4 members at large.

annual general meeting

St John’s Branch Christmas Donation

Submitted by the St John’s Branch Executive

A goal of the St. John’s Branch is to increase PIPSC visibility in the community. The Branch’s Christmas Social provided an ideal opportunity to raise funds for the Food Sharing Association. This year we raised $258.00 for the food bank. Tina Bishop, the association’s Office Manager, was very appreciative of the donation and provided us with some information on how they use the donations received to provide nutrition to community members. During our visit we had the opportunity to provide information on our Branch and PIPSC.

christmas donation

From left to right: Carolyn Hynes, President; Tina Bishop, Community Food Sharing Association Office Manager; Sue Harris, Member at Large.

Young Workers Forum

Submitted by the Atlantic Young Professionals Committee

Members of the Atlantic Young Professionals Committee (AYPC) as well as five other young professionals from the Atlantic Region had the opportunity to attend the 2nd Annual PIPSC Young Workers Forum in February. In addition to members from the Atlantic Region there were roughly ten young workers from each of the other regions. This forum was organized by a combination of PIPSC’s Better Together mobilization team and an organizing committee made up of youth from each region’s youth committee. The forum included speakers, panels and campaign training centered on PIPSC’s Do Better campaign. Forum attendees ranged in PIPSC experience levels from beginner to highly experienced. This allowed for a variety of different, and interesting, perspectives. It was obvious there was a high level of engagement from forum participants, no matter their experience level. The highlight for most participants was a talk by the CEO of Abacus Data, David Coletto. He spoke on the topic of millennials and how best to engage them. The forum seemed to inspire a lot of young workers to go back to their respective workplaces and promote the Do Better campaign. It also was a great opportunity to network with young professionals from across the country, sharing ideas on how best to mobilize today’s young workers.

Atlantic Young Professionals Committee

Following a call for expressions of interest in February, the members of the Atlantic Young Professionals Committee are as follows:

Erika Isenor NS 2 year term
Leslie Nasmith NS 1 year term
Marcus Peck NB 2 year term
Evan Pemberton NB 1 year term
Kathy McLellan PE 2 year term
Justin Murphy PE 1 year term
Christine Newhook NL 2 year term
Kimberley Keats NL 1 year term

Many thanks to outgoing members Josh Fox, Allyson Garrison, Nick Isenor and Colin O’Brien for their participation in the formation of the Atlantic Young Professionals Committee.

76th Atlantic Regional Council

76 regional council

The 76th Atlantic Regional Council opened to a lively tune performed by the Celtic Fiddler’s group at the Sheraton, Newfoundland Hotel in St. John’s at 1:30 pm, May 24th, 2019.

Friday afternoon, the 87 delegates participated in a session on Member Engagement delivered by local presenter, Barry Lewis Green of Epic Engage. Barry delivered the message that the goal of engagement is action, the vehicle of engagement is motivation and the fuel of is connection. Executive nominations and candidate’s addresses took place as well as the presentation of the Executive of the Year Award.

Friday evening delegates gathered at the hotel for refreshments and an opportunity to network with fellow PIPSC members.

friday night delegates

Saturday morning the business portion of the 76th ARC got underway at 8:30 am, chaired by Marilyn Best with Manny Costain as Parliamentarian. Reports were received from Carolyn Hynes, Training Committee Chairperson; Paul Hartigan, Atlantic Regional Manager; Debi Daviau, PIPSC President and Kimberly Skanes, Atlantic Regional Director. Highlights from the Provincial Group Presidents’ reports were presented by Misty Mathews-Emery and for the Branch Presidents’, Gilles Comeau provided a report overview. The morning concluded with the Regional Executive Elections conducted by Micheal Basque.

Phil Wilson, Carolyn Hynes and Marcel Journeay were re-elected to the Atlantic Regional Executive with new members Gerald Hill and Jennifer Cantwell joining the team. Special recognition goes to outgoing Executive members, Marilyn Best and Micheal Basque for their many years of service to the Executive and membership in the Atlantic Region. Manny Costain resigned from the Executive the following week and Matt Lee joined the Executive for a one year term. Thank you Manny for your valuable contribution to the Regional Executive.

The afternoon business continued where four resolutions were debated and carried. Craig Bradley, gave an informative and entertaining profile on the Prince Edward Island Branch. Completing the business for the 76th ARC was Chris Roach’s review of the PIPSC Budgets and Phil Wilson’s tabling of the Financials andBudget for the Atlantic Regional Executive.

chris roach review budget

Saturday evening, delegates and their guests participated in the “Rally in the Alley” where they were treated to some traditional Newfoundland hospitality. Bused to one of the oldest streets in North America, George Street, a local pub provided a Fish and Chips dinner for our members. The evening continued with a pub-crawl to three different venues – each with interactive entertainment: step dance lessons, sing-a-long and a screech-in. Word is a good time was had by all!

Donation to the Gathering Place

Delegates at the 76th ARC participated in a fundraiser with the proceeds being donated to The Gathering Place. The Gathering Place is a service centre committed to building community, promoting equality and providing nourishment. It exists to meet the needs of people whom society has failed. The programs and services offered are to people 25 years and older who are homeless or live in less than desirable housing conditions, people who are often unemployed and who do not have adequate social supports.

Many Guests have complex issues ranging from physical illness and mental health problems to learning disabilities and addictions. Guests are victims of abuse, income support recipients, or are low income earners. Guests are male and female, younger and older, street people, and people falling through the cracks.

delegates donations

From left to right: Joanne Thompson, Director, The Gathering Place, Kim Skanes and Carolyn Hynes,

For 20 years, the Gathering Place has provided a caring and nurturing environment with services that include a noon meal program serving up to 250 Guests each day, a clothing supply boutique and social activities. Through community partnerships, professional services in health care, housing and social work are provided.

Executive of the Year

The purpose of the Executive Member of the Year Award is to recognize the outstanding contributions of a PIPSC member from the Atlantic Region who is active as an executive member of a constituent body within the Region. This year’s recipient, nominated by the St. John’s, NL Branch is Carolyn Hynes.

A member of the St. John’s Branch executive for a number of years, Carolyn was elected to the position of President in 2017 and was recently re-elected in April 2019. Other constituent body roles include:

  • President of the St. John’s SH Sub-Group
  • Member of the Atlantic Regional Executive
  • Atlantic Regional Training Committee Chair
  • Atlantic Representative on the National Training and Education Committee
  • Member of the PIPSC 100th Anniversary Committee

As a member of the St. John’s Branch executive and in her role as President, Carolyn is constantly thinking of new ways to engage members. Innovative thinking is something we often overlook in our union involvement, but Carolyn challenges members and executive alike to be innovative when it comes to member engagement, member representation and the union’s role in the community as a whole.

executive of the year

Like other organizations, PIPSC has to come to grips with changing demographics. We must encourage our younger members to become engaged and participate in their union. While representing all members, Carolyn is especially focused on the youth within PIPSC. She actively encourages members of her executive and others to serve on the various youth committees and ensures these members and committees can count on support from the Branch.

Carolyn is always thinking of new ways to engage members and to encourage them to become more involved in the Institute. This can be seen with the increase in local steward numbers – many of which are young women.

The St. John’s Branch, under Carolyn’s leadership, has taken steps to reach out to Sub-Groups ensuring the Branch is not at odds with their efforts and that the constituent bodies speak with a united voice on behalf of the membership. The Sub-Group and Branch structure has often been a tricky path to navigate. Carolyn always encourages Sub-Groups in the area to become part of any Branch activities as she recognizes member engagement is one of the Institutes greatest strengths. Whether members lean more to the Sub-Group or the Branch “streams” of engagement is irrelevant – just as long as members are active within PIPSC and the labour movement. Carolyn encourages the Sub-Groups and Branch to co-host events such as the annual Christmas Party, Public Service week activities and family fun days. By combining resources both financial and human she realizes we can reach a wider audience.

Another priority of Carolyn’s is the Institute’s visibility within the community. She actively encourages and organizes Branch involvement in events such as Gay

Pride Parade, Day of Mourning ceremony support of

Ronald MacDonald House. Carolyn feels an organization such as PIPSC needs to give back to the community. All of the Branch events include a fund raiser for local charities and Carolyn may be the biggest supporter of the Institute’s Legacy Cup. While this is done out of a sense of commitment to society in general, there is a realization that in times of labour strife, PIPSC’s public profile is important in achieving our member’s goals.

Carolyn actively supports the Branch’s participation in the St. John’s District Labour Council, the Canadian Labour Council and has supported several initiatives to reach out to colleagues with the PSAC locally. The Branch will often participate in PSAC events (if appropriate) and in return we can expect their support.

Carolyn leads by example and encourages those around her to participate. As one of her fellow Branch Executive says . . . “During the time I have known Carolyn and especially over the last year as vice president, she has encouraged me personally to become more involved in the Institute – running for Branch Vice President and attending the AGM – things I have not done in 25 plus years. I certainly consider her a mentor, a difficult task – teaching an old dog, like myself, new tricks.”

Congratulations Carolyn as recipient of the Atlantic Executive of the Year Award

Science Initiative

Submitted by the Halifax DND Branch Executive

In June 2015 PIPSC released a 10-point plan “Restore Canada’s Federal Public Service”. Two of those 10 points were allowing Federal Scientists freedom to present their work and saving Public Science. When I became a member of the Halifax DND Branch Executive in May 2017, I looked for a way for our branch to support Science in the Halifax area. I reasoned that if the union could be seen encouraging Science-related activities in our own area using our own money, it would give PIPSC more credibility as a supporter of Science on the national level. I proposed to our union executive that we might promote Science by supporting a High School or University Level Competition that had a Science theme. They heartily agreed and we chose a math competition that one of my sons had attended years ago.

John Irving sees the Nova Scotia High School Math League as a team-oriented mathematical problem-solving competition. He has been running the Math League in his position at the Math Department of St. Mary’s University since the 2007-2008 season. Each school year, there are three local league competitions and then a provincial final. The final this year will involve teams from Halifax, Truro, Yarmouth, Bridgewater, Wolfville, and PEI. A team is made up of four students and a teacher advisor.

Science initiative math league
John Irving (centre) and two volunteers at a NS Math League Competition

In the local league games, there are six team questions and then two relay questions. With the team questions points are awarded based on whether they got the correct answer in the time allotted. After each team question, a student is invited to explain at the white board how their team got the correct answer and John offers some math insights as well. Relay questions split the teams into to two and have one half of the team find an answer that is then part of the second half’s question. In the relay questions the first teams to get the all the correct answers gain the most points. The points from both types of questions are totaled and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams are determined.

everett scott

Everett Scott, President of the Halifax DND Branch (centre) awarding a winning team some PIPSC prizes

I attended the first two competitions and look forward to the final Halifax league event on March 2nd. Everett Scott, our Halifax DND branch Chair, joined me at the January 19th competition and we tackled the questions. They were difficult! At the end of the competition, we presented prizes of a PIPSC lanyard and $20 Sobeys gift card to each of the students on the 2nd and 3rd place teams as the Math League provided a prize for the 1st place finishers. The funding for this initiative came from Halifax DND Branch and the Halifax NR sub-group.

Next year, 2019 – 2020, our branch plans to support Science locally by supporting a Health Sciences based event(s). There are already plans to talk to the Halifax SH group about providing funding for this initiative. It might be a good discussion within your own branch or sub-group executive. Are there ways your branch can show support for Science or another worthy PIPSC national objective in your local area? I hope whatever you come up with is as fun as the Nova Scotia Math League.


Kevin Jack
Halifax DND Executive member

Your Regional Executive

Kimberley Skanes

Vice Chair:
Marcel Journeay
902-765-1494 ext. 5658

Chair of Training Committee:
Carolyn Hynes

Phil Wilson

Christine Newhook

Members at Large:

Jennifer Cantwell

Gerald Hill

Matthew Lee

Scott McConaghy

Michael Pauley

Jason Rioux