Regional Director’s Report – November 17, 2020 – Regional Executive Meeting
Home of the PIPSC’s Legacy Cup!
Period: September 22, 2020 to November 16, 2020
“We don’t learn what we don’t want to know or regard as unimportant” Lynton K. Caldwell (1988)
I came across this quote when I was reviewing the literature for my master’s research paper back in the late 1990s on environmental impact assessment. It resonated with me at that time as it seemed governments were making significant economic decisions in the absence of sound and comprehensive knowledge of the associated environmental impacts. Just some twenty plus years later, we are already living with the consequences of those decisions that were made in the vacuum of inadequate (or often ignored) scientific information. Climate change is the best illustration of this reality.
Unfortunately, it seems more than ever we are living in a world where many don’t want to learn, or at least want to ignore, what we don’t think is important.
Fake news, alternative facts, and social manipulation such as “nudging” was not invented with the 2016 election of President Trump. Although PIPSC has publicly championed evidence-based decision making and scientific integrity in its crusades against ‘bad’ government policies, it has also been known to make expensive and ‘slogan-based’ decisions in the absence of good evidence or any comprehensive review.
For example, at our AGMs over the past few years, we have seen many resolutions that add up to millions of dollars, with many of them being approved by the delegates. Such decisions are often made with less than a half page of justification (a term which is used loosely in this instance) and a mere 15 – 30 minutes of discussions. This reality reflects the incredible power of an AGM and the immense trust placed in its delegates. Shouldn’t our organization reflect a higher standard of care or a culture of learning that promotes decision making grounded in facts? It is our choice, as a union, to set that bar low or set that bar high. Setting the bar high will allow our union to reach its full potential.
Our 667 some AGM delegates each year become the custodians of this organization on behalf of over 60,000 dues paying members (our sisters and brothers). As we approach the AGM on December 5th, which is being held virtually this year, I encourage all AGM delegates to exercise a higher degree of scrutiny of the various resolutions being proposed. Be careful of slogan based pitches, that just tug on our emotions (often negative), that are not sufficiently supported by evidence or sound research. Our own supreme governing body should exercise the same level of evidence-based decision making and scientific integrity we as a union demand of others.
As we all know, the consequences and costs of uninformed decisions can be felt for many years, or decades, into the future.
These proceedings are just that important. Let’s set that bar high.
With the cancellation of in-person events in 2020, the BC/Yukon Region implemented a number of innovative and successful online information sessions this past month for our members and stewards including:
Steward and Better Together Sessions:
- October 20, 2020: How to Engage in the Virtual World – Roger Haskett, Engagement Unlimited
- October 20, 2020: COVID 19 and PIPSC Responses – Kris Hawkins and ERO Panel
- October 22, 2020: National Update with President Debi Daviau
- October 22, 2020: Consultation Team Caucus Meeting (new this year!).
- October 29, 2020: Group Caucus Meetings
- October 29, 2020: The 15 Commitments to Leadership - Christina Nikiforuk, Liberate Leadership
Stewards and Branch Delegates were provided with salary replacement to attend. Planning for 2021 is now underway, so please pass along any ideas for new sessions!
National / Board Initiatives
Pursuant to the Board mandate letters, and additional assignments, my national focus over this last period has included:
- Chair, Executive Compensation Committee (ECC): The ECC is continuing its work on: implementing the decisions from the Sept. BOD meeting; the performance review process and complaint process for the position of the President; the Triennial Review for the COO&ES, Chiefs and Excluded Employees; and, updates to various policies.
- Board Orientation/Governance: The Board established a new Governance Committee which includes board orientation in its mandate. The work of the former task force has been forwarded to this committee.
- Innovation / Building Trust / Life Insurance Trust: No updates during this reporting period.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments on my Board appointments (elected) and the specific portfolios assigned by the President / CEO. The Board mandates are on the PIPSC website.
- Regional Meetings / Events / Calls:
- Regional Executive Meeting – Sept 22
- TC Lunch & Learn (SP Leave) – Sept. 23
- Vancouver Branch Exec. Mtg. – Oct. 1
- Regional Office Meeting – Oct. 6
- Earnscliffe Webinar: BC Election – Oct. 29
- Board Meetings / National Events / Calls:
- Board of Directors – Sept 25 & 26; Oct. 1 and Nov. 4.
- ECC – Sept. 29
- Group Life Insurance Trust Mtg. – Oct. 26
- Pilot AGM Sessions – Nov. 5 and 6
Finally, I hope this report finds everyone safe, healthy and taking care of themselves and those around them. Now, more than ever we need to take care. As always, keep an eye on the PIPSC website (www.pipsc.ca) for information / updates on such matters as COVID and 699 Leave; Phoenix; and, your union. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please feel free to contact me at 236-888-8739 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robert K. MacDonald, B.A., MRM
Director, BC/Yukon Region