I’m submitting my RVP activities for the period of May 2020 to September 2020. I would like to thank my brothers and sisters on the National Executive team for their patience during my first year as RVP Quebec. Working with a strong, experience and engaged team has contributed positively to my learning. One thing that I would like to mention is that I’m extremely proud to be part of this team and especially proud on how quickly the National Executive team reacted to the coronavirus pandemic to ensure members safety.
I also want to thank my local executives for their hard work and commitment. They worked hard in getting their locals up and running efficiently to support our members during this exceptional circumstance that the coronavirus pandemic created.
May and June were a bit chaotic. We were having daily meetings at the National level as the situation and information was changing almost by the hour. I had daily communications with the local’s executives to ensure they were well informed of all changes for them to be able to answer members questions and concerns. I’m unable to put a number on the amount of activities that required my actions during these months. The pandemic created a new way of doing business and Telework became the new norm. During the period of this report I have presented grievances at the first and second levels, all in relation to the pandemic and declined leave. In addition, I have been supporting the Local Presidents by responding to their inquiries and assisting them with the increased work generated by this exceptional circumstance.
As I mentioned in my last report, the Quebec region was without a permanent Area Director for a long time. Finally, in August 2020, the position was filled and we are hopeful that stability in Senior management will fostered a more stable working environment and, above all, consistency on how daily operations are managed.
I am still actively working on two ongoing complex files with Sun Life and the PSAC National Pensions and Disability Insurance Officer to ensure members’ rights are protected.
I continue to be part of the UVAE NEO Human Rights Committee. The committee issued a list of events that highlights important dates that pay tribute to human rights. The committee will commemorate these events with a short article to raise awareness and promote human rights through education.
In terms of other Union activities, I have done the following:
• I was part of the “Preparing the Infrastructure Working Group”. The working group was solicited to share questions, concerns or solutions on the return to work plan.
• I attended weekly Webinars with PSAC Quebec in the months of May and June; discussions on different issues related to the pandemic and the impact on our members.
• I attended different Webinars related to mental health; Domestic violence in times of confinement, Preserving your mental health during a pandemic, and mental health impact on return to work
• I attended a Webinar related to Black-lives-Matters; Introduction to anti-racism for white people, Systemic racism and Understanding Nations Decade for the African Descent
• As a trained facilitator for Union Joint Learning Program (JLP) I facilitated a series of conversations, employees and their managers, about different situations, ongoing stressors during the pandemic, and ways of moving forward and rebuilding the workplace in the post COVID-19 world.
o Discussion Session 1 – Grounding Ourselves in Uncertain Times
o Discussion Session 2- Returning to the Workplace: Now What?
I’m entering my second year of my mandate with a positive outlook for what is to come. I will continue to work closely with the locals to strengthen the lines of communication with the department, promote education to enhance knowledge to better support all our members.