Report of the National Executive Vice-President – April 2022

I am presenting, in solidarity, the report on my activities as National Executive Vice-President (NEVP). This report covers the period from September 23, 2021, to February 1, 2022.

I would like to start off my report by sincerely thanking the delegates in attendance at the Union of Veterans’ Affairs Employees (UVAE) 18th Triennial Convention that was held virtually from September 19 to 22, 2021 for the confidence they have shown me in allowing me to continue to do what I love most, which is to advocate for you and the UVAE members. It is a tremendous privilege to serve UVAE members.

National Occupational Health & Safety Policy Committee (NOHSPC)

I sit on the National Occupational Health & Safety Policy Committee (NOHSPC) as a UVAE Representative. We meet monthly.

I have served as co-chair of the Working Group on the Implementation of the New Workplace Harassment and Violence Prevention Legislation related to Bill C-65. The Committee met one last time on October 4, 2021; most of the work was handled as a team and follow-ups will be done through NOHSPC.

I am Co-Chair of the Task Force for the development and implementation of a national health and safety training program. The work is just beginning, we are in the embryonic stage. You will get more information on the next steps through the NOHSPC.

I meet with bargaining agents who sit on the NOHSPC once a month to prepare as a team for the meeting with the employer.


On October 4, 2021, I met with senior management in the presence of the National President, Virginia Vaillancourt, regarding the Public Service Employee Survey. A PowerPoint presentation showing the results of that survey was prepared by Management and is available.

I attended a Town Hall meeting on October 6 with Maryse Savoie, Director General, Field Operations. The morning session was held in French while the afternoon session was held in English. I sent a report of what took place to the Regional Vice-Presidents (RVP).

As you know, I hold the National Contact Centre Network (NCCN) portfolio. I have raised concerns expressed by the National Contact Centre Network (NCCN) employees to management on several occasions to correct deficiencies that undermine the morale of members.


As Chair of the UVAE Finance Committee, I would like to extend my warmest thanks to Lisa Nelson and Zarina Khan for their continued cooperation and hard work. I would also like to thank our UVAE Financial Administration Officer for her ongoing cooperation with the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee has not met since the UVAE Convention. Scotia McLeod gave a presentation to UVAE Officers on the status of UVAE investments.


I attended the NBoD the week of October 19, 2021, as well as on February 15 and 16, 2022. Reports of these meetings are available as needed.


I attended a webinar on welcoming and integrating a person with a disability into the workplace and on more inclusive processes and practices. I attended several training and webinar sessions offered by PSAC, AFPC-Quebec, FTQ, CLC and other organizations on unionism, equity, diversity, duty to accommodate and mental health.


I remain available as a contact for members with Phoenix issues. In some cases, I forward files to the Phoenix Section of PSAC and to the Compensation Team at Veterans Affairs Canada. I have been in direct contact with the PSAC Representation Section regarding Phoenix grievances, remaining unresolved grievances; PSAC will be mailing a letter to members who have not responded to the emails sent by PSAC in August 2021 and to emails that I sent in January 2022 to make sure that the grievances can be withdrawn without prejudice.



I attended the PSAC-Quebec H&S Conference held virtually October 29-30, 2021.


PSAC Action plan against racism (my personal notes)

These acts of racism manifest themselves in so many ways within the government and in successive federal governments; the way First Nations communities are underfunded; the way housing and drinking water crises are ignored. How can they inflict racism on Black communities? They do it because they can, because there are not enough political consequences for governments. We have an opportunity here at the PSAC Equity Conference to spend some time together sharing ideas about what we do as an organization. If we don’t develop an anti-racism model within the union, we will not be able to change the world.

We cannot criticize a government that delivers rhetoric (lip service) without taking concrete action while doing the same as a union. I am confident that the current leadership is committed to this action plan and will support PSAC staff on the work that needs to be done.

That is why we are attending this conference, to recognize the barriers, to listen to the issues that members are experiencing in their workplaces and within a Component. We want to try to maintain safe spaces in this regard where people can speak openly without fear of reprisal. When this committee was formed, it was intended that inclusiveness and intersectionality be included in all aspects of the union’s work.

Sharon DeSousa, PSAC NEVP mentioned that she hears the frustrations of members, frustrations that she reports having experienced herself, and she knows without a shadow of a doubt what members are saying; that is why she is taking the lead on this issue. She wanted to give us some context, she mentioned that the PSAC held a Sex and Gender Equity Task Force that took an intersectional approach; the 13 recommendations that came out of that were all adopted by the Alliance Executive Committee.

PSAC is currently in the process of putting these into action and this task force included Asian people and people of colour. The information that came out of that was very clear about who they saw themselves as being in the union. They wanted representation, a voice at the table and when we do this work, this is a report that will not be ignored.

Allies are essential, you can’t work alone, but you must start by listening to the people who are experiencing these barriers, the people who are part of these communities, you must know what their challenges are and what those members are feeling.

The solution is not necessarily tailored to what you are experiencing as a barrier in your life, so PSAC wants to know what your considerations and concerns are. Sharon mentions acknowledging the frustration of support, whether you are a member of a Directly Chartered local, a Region or a Component, it takes everyone together and Sharon means that part of the plan we are talking about, we have representation and activism on racism and racial discrimination.

This two-day training session was developed in the National Capital Region; it has been amended and modified, and she hopes that it will be offered to every Component and Directly Chartered Local Executive; in fact, it will be offered to everyone.

When we talk about making sure that members who are experiencing mental health issues, who are racialized, who need help, well, it’s about making a case to the people representing them, about what is needed to support members and what is the legal framework that they need to understand. The training sessions will begin in 2022.

Since becoming NEVP, I have been very busy assisting RVPs in each of their regions providing advice and guidance and I am always available to answer questions and respond to requests.

Our reality continues to be greatly challenged since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and more specifically since March 2020. I meet weekly with the other bargaining agents, the VAC Pandemic Response Unit and report back to the RVPs following these meetings.

I participate in several meetings each week via MS Teams or Skype with:


Members regarding their Phoenix files.

Members who have filed grievances relating to accommodation issues.

I am also the main administrator of three Facebook pages two of which are public, and one is private:

UVAE QUEBEC (private group)

UVAE EOC SEAC CAE (public group)

UVAE National Office SEAC Bureau national (public group)

On these pages, I share union news and news about equity and diversity here and abroad.

I hope I have not left out any important information, as it is difficult to document all our work we do in a few pages. I look forward to answering any questions you may have at our April 2022 NEO Meeting.

I am ending my report with a saying from Desmond Tutu that is dear to me:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you choose to take the side of the oppressor.”

In Solidarity,
Toufic El-Daher,
National Executive Vice-President