Essex-Kent Branch President Report – John Purdie

I’m sure 2020 will be a year none of us will ever forget.  I hope you are all safe and well during our historic battle with the COVID pandemic.

Like many of you I have had my share of disappointments.  It’s a stressful time as both my wife and daughter are front line care givers.  Gone were the planned summer trips to Muskoka and Vancouver.  Pool side get together with friends, summer sports at the Highland Games, dining at our favourite restaurants and family events were missed.  I enjoy giving back to the community and coaching hockey so that too was put on hold after a teasing taste.  I had one child graduating from University and another from high school so those celebrations were gone along with a prom and school trip to Europe.  Making things worse were the passing of a close friend and family member where we couldn’t properly celebrate their life.  As we approach Christmas, I can’t celebrate with my immediate family and a planned reunion with my siblings, the first in 45 years, is cancelled.

All our PIPSC in person functions were cancelled.  All the plans and guest speakers I gathered for our April Regional Council which we were hosting in Windsor were put on hold after months of work.  Steward council was cancelled as were all the Regional and National committee work which allowed us to plan for members.  I always looked forward to visits with Windsor Regional Hospital and Harrow Research Station, unfortunately not this year.

I like to think of the silver lining in any situation and as a PIPSC member I think we can count on ours.  

Our Union has provided us with a strong collective agreement which has allowed us to maintain our jobs and pay during a time when many have been less fortunate.  PIPSC has worked hard so that we are allowed to work remotely where possible.  Our benefits include health care and family provisions which are even more important today and came as a result of PIPSC negotiations at the bargaining table.  Our Union still works on our behalf and I’ve been working diligently on member grievances and medical retirements for members.  I take pride in PIPSC front line workers who are so important, nurses in Chatham and radiation therapists at Windsor Regional Hospital to name a few.  

As a vaccine arrives with hope it is PIPSC members at Health Canada who are leading the charge.  PIPSC is working proactively to address issues relating to depression and isolation due to the pandemic.  Nationally we are fighting for PPE, family accommodations, government subsidies and programs for everyone.  We are making plans for 2021 with the hope PIPSC activities will return to normal, a reference that will forever be associated with 2020. 

So in a time when it would be easy to look at the bottle as half empty, take time to celebrate what PIPSC has done for you and some of the benefits we take for granted as a proud member of a Union.  Enjoy all the time you get to have with family as we return to a simpler time.  Or like me, enjoy the dry cleaning savings because I’m working in sweatpants☺  Know things will get better and that PIPSC is here working for you.

As your Branch President I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas this holiday season.  Know that you’re important and this is a time to reach out with a call, text or email to bring a little cheer to someone’s day.  If there is anything I can assist you with or information you need please don’t hesitate to contact me as I look forward to serving your needs.

In Solidarity

John Purdie CPA, CMA