It is with sincere pleasure that I submit my report for the past three years as Regional Vice-President for Charlottetown Head Office. First of all, I want to say how much I have enjoyed working with and for this Union over the past three years. It has been great working with everyone on the many files and issues that we have faced together. We have been very active to ensure the wrongs are put right and we work tirelessly to help our members fight the many struggles. Together we continue to make change that benefits all of the membership. We hold the employer to account and we make sure that we have the respect that we deserve. COVID-19 has thrown both our working world and our personal world upside down. On the positive note, I am very impressed at how quickly our members have adapted to this new way of working and to providing the services our Veterans depend on. The members of UVAE have made Veterans Affairs one of the leaders among Federal Departments in these unprecedented times. Veterans Affairs has regained some of its good reputation, mainly on the hard work of UVAE members. There is still a way to go, but things have improved. There have been many new resources added but Human Resources has been challenging. There have been so many issues with regard to the Phoenix fiasco that it has affected everyone. I work hard on the many types of grievances filed for our membership. We have filed many in particular with regard to pay issues due to the Phoenix Pay Centre issues over the last three years. I also have grievances on Work descriptions as well as Classifications. I also have many concerns over the wellbeing of our members. I have worked on harassment cases that really take its toll on both the member and the union as it is quite difficult to go through this arduous and painful experience. I will continue to advocate for changes to this horrific ordeal that is in place in order to correct the toxic workplace. Health and Safety is a key Portfolio that I hold for UVAE and I have been pushing extremely hard to bring Veterans Affairs substandard level of Health and Safety up to the levels required in the Canada Labour Code. This has been a very difficult and an over whelming challenge, but I am happy to report that we are finally moving the marker in a positive direction for Health and Safety in the department. In my Health and Safety role, I have many cases that require research and discussion. I have contributed as much as humanly possible and put my heart and soul into every issue. I continue to be involved on a regular basis on the many committees. I Co-chair the Veterans Affairs Health and Safety National Policy Committee, I Co-chair the Local Head Office Health and Safety committee, I am a member on many National Working Groups for Health and Safety. I was extremely honored to be asked to be a guest speaker at the PSAC Atlantic Health and Safety Convention in Moncton N.B. I am a member of the PSAC Human Rights committee, Area Council and also an elected Executive Board Member on the PEI Federation of Labour. I have participated in many UVAE/PSAC training courses (PSLREB Staffing Tribunal Advanced Representation Training, Mental Health First Aid training, Violence Prevention in the Workplace, UVAE President’s Conference, PSAC Investigating Training, PSAC National Health and Safety Conference, Unionism on Turtle Island, just to name a few). Each and every one of these experiences was exceptional. I learned so much from fellow activists and it is true that one is always gaining more and more as time goes by. I have attended Local meetings as well as all of the National Executive Officers meetings and several PSAC Atlantic Council meetings. We have held regular LUMCC meetings over the past three years and have raised the many issues that we face on a day to day basis. Whether it be staffing, health and safety, security, workplace imbalance, or whatever the issue, we always keep our Veteran clients front and center as well as the wellbeing of our workforce. We continue to bring our issues to the forefront in order that they can be resolved through collaborative efforts. I would like to thank the National Office for their guidance during this time, assisting with many issues that now face workers in the workplace, It allows us to fight the fights that we could never do alone. I am fortunate to have such a great network in the union movement. I am confident in the hard work and dedication that I have provided in my role over the past three years, taking action on the many issues that have been brought to my attention. It is a lot of extra time and effort but I have looked after things to the best of my ability through it all for the benefits and help to the membership. My vision over the next three years as RVP is to strengthen the lines of communication, educate and engage the membership, along with ensuring that UVAE remains well-structured and balanced to carry our UNION into the future.
In Solidarity,
Jody LaPierre,
RVP Charlottetown, H.O.