Regional Directors Report BC/Yukon Regional Council

MAY 31-JUNE 1, 2019

Dear Members and Delegates,

No regrets…

That is one of my favourite sayings as a youth soccer coach.

As some of you know, over the past 17 years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to coach all three of my kids. Many of these teams have been tournament, league and provincial champions. In fact, my 2002 boys will be returning to provincials this July for the fourth time in five years. As you can tell, I am a very proud old coach.

In some years, these teams would train up to three times a week for ten months of the year. As we prepared for a tournament or a championship, I would remind the players - after your last game, win or lose, you want to have no regrets. If you tried your hardest, trained your best and were prepared, then you will have no shame. Often, during important games, a player on the field would yell ‘no regrets’ to their teammates, encouraging them to dig a bit deeper.

Today, I can’t help but say to our Union and our Region… no regrets.

As we enter the second half of 2019, PIPSC is deep in the trenches with group and central bargaining, settlement discussions for Phoenix damages, negotiating the Employee Wellness Support Program (EWSP), along with several important initiatives (Contracting Out, Fair Taxation & Professionals Canada). On the horizon we have a federal election that may return us to a “Harper 2.0” era! Think about the ramifications this will have on anyone employed by government.

Now more than ever, we as members, have a duty to support our Union to help deliver.

Over the coming months, I urge all members to make additional times in their busy lives to:

1) get involved, organize and attend events;
2) change the conversation with your family, friends and neighbours; and
3) most importantly – get out the vote.

As PIPSC members, we are in the best position to protect public professionals, the important work they do and the institution where they work.If we don’t stand up, who will?

Maybe it is my ‘advanced’ age, but I can’t help but wonder what happens the day after the October 21 election? Will we have a new government that again will go after our union rights (remember Bill C377), our sick leave and our pensions? Will Canada become another ‘right to work’ jurisdiction, where unions are attacked. Will we see new rounds of cuts to services, jobs and programs? Will we see federal scientists muzzled again?

What will happen when we wake up on the morning of October 22? Will we have regrets?

If we have done everything we could and left it ‘on the field,’ that is one thing. But if we did little or expected others to look after us… well, the shame and consequences is on us.

No Regrets…

Regional Summary 2018-2019

On behalf of the BC/Yukon Regional Executive and our wonderful Regional Office staff, I would like to welcome you to our 75th Regional Council, being held again at the Delta Burnaby in beautiful Burnaby, BC. We have a great program including a focus on election preparedness, our Do Better Campaign and a presentation from VP Aubry on our “One Big Union.” We are also fortunate to have Mr. Peter Julian, Member of Parliament, New Westminster – Burnaby as our special guest speaker
It has been a busy and productive year since we last met in Whistler for the 74th Regional Council. Below is brief synopsis of our highlights! Don’t forget, I provide a Regional Director Report / Newsletter five time a year at each Regional Executive meeting and these are posted on the BC/Yukon web page.

Community Outreach

As mentioned in my last year’s report, we started to roll out Better Together efforts in our smaller communities. Your Regional Executive held activities in Agassiz, Kamloops, Whitehorse and Prince Rupert. In addition to connecting with many members, we were able to recruit four new stewards in Kamloops and Prince Rupert. These are locations that have been without stewards for several years!

Training and Development

We hosted two successful Basic Training sessions that included an additional evening presentation focused on engagement. Our Advanced Training School was also held in Burnaby this year and included a new innovative and regionally developed session on Common Grievances. This new session was extremely well received. Last October, our Steward Council included presentations and “ED Talks” on resilience, pensions, engagement and kindness. Again, we had a record breaking participation rate by our stewards.Stewards, make sure you keep an eye out for your invitation to our 2019 Steward Council, being held on October 18 and 19 in Victoria. It will include all new “ED Talks” focusing on wellness, skill development and steward knowledge.

National Initiatives

As a Director of the Board, I have been elected as the Chair of the Executive Compensation Committee, a Governor for the 250 Tremblay Building Trust and a Trustee for our Life Insurance Trust. In addition, the President has assigned several duties to me as outlined in my mandate letter including: innovation, governance, board orientation and a member of the Professionals Canada Task Force.

Before I close off on this report, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, our stewards, activists, leaders and the Regional Executive, for your time, effort and commitment to PIPSC and serving our members. Of course, we as a Region would be lost without the incredible support and devotion of Mr. Ernie McLean and his team at the regional office – Cynthia Pang, Patricia Fung, Harinder Mahil, Dulce Cuenca, Simon Cott and John Ehinger. Sometimes I feel we are luckiest and best Region in the country!

Finally, I would like to wish all the delegates a successful, productive and enjoyable Council.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions, need additional information or have something to discuss.

In Solidarity,


Robert K. MacDonald, B.A., MRM
Director, BC-Yukon Region, PIPSC
Home of the PIPSC Legacy Cup