Dear PIPSC Okanagan Branch member,

The year 2020 has been a completely different type of year than any of us in the Okanagan Branch was expecting. As Branch President I am saddened and disappointed that I was not able to get out and meet with you as I had hoped and planned back in February. Meeting with members and hearing how things are going in their workplaces is something I have very much enjoyed and I look forward to when I can do so again.

As you may have noticed, no Okanagan Branch AGM was held in September this year due to Covid-19 and PIPSC decision to suspend all in-person meetings. As per PIPSC policy regarding constituent body annual general meetings and elections the Branch Executive decided not to hold an AGM this year and to extend the terms of all members of the executive whose terms were expiring until such time as an AGM can be held. The Branch Executive will provide an update to you when a new AGM date is chosen. An AGM will be held in 2021, however, we don’t at this point know whether we will be able to meet in person or virtually.

Also, due to the prohibition on all in-person meetings and events there will be no pre or post Christmas social events this year, which means for those of you in the South Okanagan, no bowling night. Again, I hope that we will be able to hold some social events in 2021.

PIPSC nationally is working on doing basic steward training virtually over the next while and the BC/Yukon Regional Executive is hoping that we can get that training in the region sometime in the spring of 2021. So if you know of someone in your workplace (even though many of you are working from home) who is interested in becoming a steward, or whom you think would make a good steward, please give me a call or fill in and submit a steward application. Just because many of us are working remotely does not mean that there is not a need for workplace representation. Having some new stewards in place in the Okanagan Branch’s region would be wonderful and very helpful.

Finally, I, and the rest of the Okanagan Branch executive, wish you a joyous Christmas season and all the best in the New Year. I look forward to meeting with you as soon as that becomes possible again. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

In Solidarity,

Philip Mantler
President, Okanagan Branch