The Professional - April 2018 - Volume 44 - Issue 1
In this issue
Message from the President
The Beginning of Bargaining
By Frank Kohlberger
Member Profile: Here to Help
Veteran Legal Aid Lawyer Rod Holloway defends vulnerable British Columbians in life-changing cases
Words by Jessica Natale Woollard
Photos by Mark Marilla
PEA members rebuild from record-breaking wildfire destruction
Words by Jackie Wong
New Learnings, Fresh Perspectives
CLC Winter School jumpstarts the New Year
Words by Jackie Wong
Protecting our Natural Resources
A review of professional reliance in BC
Words by Scott McCannell
The Beginning of Bargaining
As we emerge from the winter period and look towards spring, I hope the beginning of 2018 has been productive for all of you.
The BC government is finally undertaking a review of professional reliance in the management of BC’s natural resources. The PEA is one of a large coalition of stakeholders that has prepared submissions to inform the review. Thank you to the Government Licensed Professional (GLP) members who contributed to the submission. We hope this review will lead to changes that protect GLP members and safeguard the natural resources of BC.
Our biennial education conference, Making Your Union Stronger, will take place in Victoria on April 13 and 14, 2018. The conference will include sessions on deep organizing and on sharing best practices from across chapters. We welcome Irene Lanzinger and Anita Zaenker from the BC Federation of Labour (BCFED), and Charlie Demers as the keynote for the conference, attendees will also be participating in the Victoria 2018 March for Science. I look forward to seeing you there if you are attending.
We also saw some changes to our Association executive. I am pleased to welcome Jackie Paquette, from the Hospital Employees’ Staff Union (HESU) to the PEA executive. I would like to extend thanks to Janine Brooker from the HESU chapter for her contribution to the PEA executive as she steps down.
Bargaining activities are well underway for the HESU chapter, with the ORL chapter voting yes to a tentative agreement. Preparations are also underway for the GLP chapter.
In this issue of The Professional, you’ll learn about Legal Services lawyer Rod Holloway’s illustrious career, read a follow up to the work conducted by GLP members in the wake of last summer’s horrific wildfires, and meet some of our members who attended the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Winter School this year. I hope you can take some time to read through the issue and that you find the articles engaging.
Here to Help
Veteran Legal Aid Lawyer Rod Holloway defends vulnerable British Columbians in life-changing cases
Words Jessica Natale Woollard
Lawyers say the courtroom is nothing like you see on TV. But the way Rod Holloway describes cases at the Supreme Court level, you can feel the drama, even if the courtroom performance isn’t Oscar-worthy.
“It feels very, very exciting. You’re going into a courtroom where there are nine judges who are very intelligent and very well briefed, and who know what they’re doing,” he explains. “It’s an intimidating place to go into—you have that great fear you’ll be exposed for the dimwit you maybe really are. But it’s also exhilarating, because it’s the final step in the legal process in Canada.”
Vancouver-born Holloway has defended numerous milestone Supreme Court cases over his 45-year career with the Legal Services Society (LSS). These are the cases that will be in the record books, the ones that make history and establish the law for all of Canada. But, Holloway says, it’s the modest cases—the ones that help people with housing, debt, disability and welfare—that are often the most satisfying.
Problems that appear small in the grand scheme of the law can be life-threatening for the clients involved, he says. “Cases don’t have to be in the big courts to be important.”
A CAREER HELPING OTHERS
Helping people resolve problems is what drew Holloway to work with LSS.
Law wasn’t his first choice for a career. After completing a bachelor of arts at the University of British Columbia in 1968, Holloway wanted to become a teacher, but his father, a teacher himself, encouraged him to go to law school. The dutiful son got his law degree from UBC and was called to the bar in 1973.
Years of articling had left Holloway “cold about the thought of practising law in a traditional setting.” Then he saw a position at LSS, at the time called the Legal Aid Society.
“Being a legal aid lawyer is part being a lawyer, part being a social worker, part being a policy analyst trying to facilitate changes in the law that will help people,” he says. “I thought it might be an interesting way of practising law.”
To describe the career that followed as interesting would be an understatement. Since 1973, Holloway has held numerous positions with the board-run organization that provides legal services to British Columbians who can’t afford a lawyer. He’s worked in management, served as a director of regional offices and of the Vancouver intake office, and worked as a managing lawyer for appeals, the position he currently holds at the head office in downtown Vancouver. He intends to stay until he reaches 75 in 2021.
In this role, Holloway assesses whether people who want an appeal have a strong enough case for LSS to fund them. He also carries a light caseload, to keep his courtroom skills up to snuff.
An avid biker, skier and hiker, Holloway coached rugby at UBC for many years and was the assistant coach of the Canadian national senior men’s team from 1990 to 1996, during which time he accompanied the team to two World Cups in France and South Africa. He also bikes to work in Vancouver every day.
Holloway’s experience in unions goes back to his high school and university days when he worked in the fishing industry, first on a boat and then in a plant in Vancouver. He cut his teeth on solidarity work as a member of the United Fishermen and Allied Workers’ Union, where he experienced several strikes and an injunction imposed against the union by union leaders.
Over the years, he has been in and out of the PEA as he flipped between management and staff positions. He would like to be part of the bargaining committee to represent LSS staff lawyers when the next round of bargaining begins.
There are interesting things brewing on the union front, he says. He’s curious to see if the external lawyers LSS hires on contract will organize themselves. When he first started at LSS, he encouraged the support staff to unionize, which they did, joining the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCEGU).
“[The contract lawyers] haven’t had a raise in pay in 15 years,” he says. “They need to be organized to bargain collectively to achieve something better.”
WHERE HAVE ALL THE LAWYERS GONE?
The PEA has been representing LSS staff lawyers since 1981. Since then, the landscape has changed dramatically. At one point, the chapter included 80 lawyers across 50 regional offices; today, the province has just eight staff lawyers based in two regions, Vancouver and Terrace.
“We’ve had huge cutbacks in BC since 2002,” Holloway says. “Many offices shut and have never been reopened. Lawyers and paralegals lost their jobs and have never been replaced.”
The area that has suffered the most, he continues, is representation for poverty law—people facing issues with housing, welfare, disability and debt. He hopes that change will come with the $26 million increase to legal services announced in the February 2018 budget.
As Holloway enters the final stretch of his career, he reflects on cases that have staying power in his mind, usually the ones that have had a lasting impact on individuals.
There was one case involving a man found not criminally responsible by reason of insanity. A psychiatric hospital refused to treat him; Holloway took the case to the Supreme Court, where he convinced the judges that the hospital should be compelled to treat the patient.
Then there was the time Holloway, with two other lawyers, represented Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka who were convicted of people smuggling after they helped transport undocumented passengers on board the Ocean Lady and Sun Sea to Canada in 2009 and 2010. The team convinced the Supreme Court that people assisting refugees should not be seen as taking part in illegal human trafficking.
He’s also worked on projects to improve the justice system. He helped introduce the Gladue principle, which requires courts to take into account the details of an Aboriginal offender’s history in sentencing and bail decisions. Gladue sentencing reports have become an important tool in efforts to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in Canadian prisons.
Holloway says nearly everything he’s worked on has made him glad he went into law.
“Actually, helping someone resolve a problem that is absolutely crucial in their life is really satisfying. When people are poor. . . being able to get them help is make or break for them.”
Adds Holloway: “We have very, very little for people who are poor and have a small civil problem. That’s the part of legal aid I’d like to see restored.”
PEA members rebuild from record-breaking wildfire destruction
Words by Jackie Wong
As we emerge from a frosty winter in BC, the searing temperatures of summer 2017 seem like a distant memory. But for residents of the Cariboo-Chilcotin, the record-breaking wildfires that swept through the area last year continue to loom large. And for many PEA members, ongoing wildfire response efforts continue to occupy the centre of daily working life.
The Cariboo-Chilcotin was the site of BC’s most extensive fire devastation in the worst wildfire season in provincial history. Approximately 996,000 hectares were burned by 273 fires, at a cost of over $170 million. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes, hundreds of buildings were destroyed and much of the area’s natural resource base was put at risk.
Those numbers paint a picture of the vastness of the fires’ destruction, but the impact of wildfire recovery on the personal and professional lives of PEA members working in forestry, silviculture and agriculture remains largely unquantifiable. Last summer, many members were evacuated from their homes due to wildfires, and many more left their regular jobs to join the front-line response in emergency operation centres across the province.
Today, these workers are fully engaged in implementing the province’s extensive multi-sector recovery initiatives. That’s on top of continued recovery efforts for wildfires that took place in 2009 and 2010 and their usual already full workloads.
AN INTEGRATED APPROACH
Recovery work is essential, often under-recognized work, particularly as the wildfire season dips out of the media spotlight and public conversation.
“A lot of us do what is needed because we feel very passionately about our work and about our clients and communities that we live in and work in,” says Nicole Pressey, a regional agrologist in the Cariboo-Chilcotin with the Ministry of Agriculture. “Generally, humans just want to help.”
Pressey works with agricultural producers—people who make a living producing beef, forage and other agricultural products. Many producers’ incomes and livelihoods depend on the condition of their cattle pasture and forage crops, thousands of hectares of which were destroyed by the wildfires. In response, the provincial government launched its AgriRecovery fund, part of the $20 million 2017 Canada-British Columbia Wildfires Recovery Initiative. The fund provides financial assistance to agricultural producers impacted by the wildfires.
Pressey’s work involves coordinating the efforts of provincial and local-government recovery staff, Emergency Management BC and agricultural producers to ensure that communities are aware of resources available through the AgriRecovery fund. Her work is part of a larger effort to “be as integrated and inter-connected as possible,” she says, “rather than doing double duty or missing people.”
“I have worked for all the different ministries, so that helped put the pieces together under stress,” she says. Despite the tough circumstances that drew them together, Pressey says the Ministry of Agriculture has strengthened its relationships with agricultural producers. “We want to ensure we maintain that rapport through our recovery work, and after recovery,” she says.
Strong ties to the region and long-standing bonds with agricultural producers fosters a personal attachment that makes the work both rewarding and challenging.
“The pro is that you are connected and you feel a little more personally attached. The con is you are more personally attached,” she explains. That at- tachment “gives you a bit more of a human touch because it’s a bit more closer to your heart. So as a human, you go that little extra step with something you’re closer to and a little more intimate with.” And the work they normally do doesn’t go away while they’re out in the field. It waits for them. It piles up.
LOST TIMBER, LOST TIME
The wildfires displaced numerous PEA members from their homes. Sam Davis, a planning forester with British Columbia Timber Sales (BCTS) in Williams Lake, was evacuated to Prince George, where BCTS had set up a temporary office. “They found space for us and computers and we tried to do what we could from there . . . to maintain our program,” Davis says. A number of Davis’s colleagues left their desks and threw themselves into front-line work. “Quite a number of our people came, stayed and fought fires,” he says.
The fires resulted in BCTS losing both people power and the timber central to their work. “As a provincial group, we set the market price for the timber sold in BC,” Davis explains. “When the fires occurred, some of our timber sales burnt. Not only did we lose the volume that was supposed to be coming up on market and contributing to that new price structure, but we also lost about a year to a year-and-a-half’s worth of development time.”
The fires have created a new volume of work in recovering saleable timber from the wreckage. “We’ve had to go through the burnt areas and re-evaluate these areas and re-evaluate if they could be sold,” Davis says. “Some of these areas are, or were, what we called marginal, or the sale was on the edge of being able to make a profit or not. If the remaining trees had not been destroyed, we may have still been able to sell those areas. So if we got the right bid, we might make a set amount of money, and if we didn’t, we couldn’t sell because we’d lose money. So we’d have to look at different options.
Like the staff of British Columbia Timber Sales, people working in the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNORD) have seen a formidable rise in workload since the wildfires began last summer.
“The fires have probably tripled our workload,” says stewardship forester Kevin Trott. “We already were busy. We were already scrambling and juggling resources to make it work.”
Trott estimates that the disturbance caused by the 2017 wildfires will require at least 10 years’ worth of reforestation work. That’s on top of existing reforestation work that he and his colleagues have been tackling as a result of significant wildfires in the Cariboo-Chilcotin from 2009 and 2010. In those years, he says, “We had significant fires. But nothing on this scale.”
NEW REALITIES, NEW PRIORITIES
The 2017 fires destroyed hectares of Douglas fir in the Cariboo, which meant the destruction of winter habitat for mule deer. “That’s our major priority, due to the wildlife habitat implications,” Trott says. “Historically, we don’t clear-cut those areas, and essentially the fires kind of resulted in clear-cuts.”
The wildfires have shifted timelines and priorities for foresters like Trott, and the volume of reforestation has resulted in people like Marco Sylvain moving from his previous work in the harvesting department with BCTS to a new position as a practices forester in silviculture with FLNORD.
Like Davis, Sylvain was also displaced from his home in 150 Mile House last summer. He and his family stayed with friends in Williams Lake until it, too, was evacuated, and he started work at the Cariboo Fire Centre, delivering fire suppression equipment to fire bases throughout the region.
“The fire has created a lot more work in silviculture,” Sylvain says. “We anticipate the amount of work to increase by probably 30 to 40 per cent in my department.”
Sylvain estimates his department’s salvage and recovery efforts will take up to two years. “Within the first year, we will be dealing with areas that are totally black, where I would say around 90 per cent of the stems have been burnt,” he explains. “We’re hoping to be able to meet the milestones and the deadlines that are typically in place,” he adds. But he’s aware that the new challenges wrought by the wildfires may necessitate extensions.
In the wake of such extensive destruction, the collective determination to make the most of what remains speaks to the resilience and connectedness of Cariboo-Chilcotin residents that some say is even stronger in the wake of the wildfires. “That’s been something that’s pulled it together: a very strong sense of community,” says Sam Davis. “You’ve shown us your worst. Ok, next!”
CLC Winter School jump-starts the New Year
Words by Jackie Wong
The everyday demands of working life don’t always give us room to pause and consider how meaningfully engaging with our union and the labour movement can provide a renewed sense of focus, empowerment and shared purpose in our jobs. That’s why the PEA endeavours to make educational opportunities available to members whenever possible—they know how enriching and valuable such occasions can be for personal growth and for fostering new leaders within the membership.
In January, twelve PEA members attended the Canadian Labour Congress’s (CLC) Pacific Region Winter School at Harrison Hot Springs, a series of week-long courses offered each January and February. This year’s school included workshops on collective bargaining, labour community advocacy, labour arbitration, mental health in the workplace, standing up against gender-based violence and many other topics. For those who attend, it’s an opportunity to take part in an immersive week of learning while mingling with members of unions from across the province.
“It was an intense week of learning and a bit of an eye-opener,” recalls Marc Schuffert, an agrologist and member of the Government Licensed Professional (GLP) chapter in Smithers, BC. “The first thing, that was almost overwhelming, was the diversity of people and unions represented. I had the impression that every member and every union was met with respect and acceptance, while at the same time we focused on commonalities within the labour movement.”
Schuffert participated in a workshop called Collective Bargaining Level 1, where he learned about the legal frameworks that govern bargaining, the role of bargaining committees, and strategies for meaningfully engaging members in the collective bargaining process. “The most interesting part of the course was the role play,” Schuffert says, noting that acting out the part of different parties during negotiations gave him a better understanding of the adversarial employer-union relationship. “This experience will certainly benefit me as a bargaining committee member when we meet with the employer,” Schuffer says. “I also learned that there is a lot more to learn, but I do feel way better prepared for my role to represent GLP members at the bargaining table.”
Sheldon Martell, a timber tenures specialist in Nanaimo, BC, who is also on the GLP and PEA executive, attended the four-day Benefits Bargaining session.
“In addition to the wealth of knowledge each facilitator brought to the session, each instructor created an atmosphere of high engagement and deep learning,” Martell says.
He came away with new, practical knowledge about collective agreements, prescription drug costs and the complexities of group health plans—knowledge he’d like to find ways to share more widely with his chapter. To that end, Martell says he favours the idea of PEA chapters having access to the services of an actuary during collective bargaining, to assist the bargaining teams with analyzing their benefits plans. The actuary would provide recommendations on the plan’s strengths and weakness and “suggest improvements the bargaining team can champion forward to benefit both the employees and employer,” Martell says.
Winter School sessions highlight the connections between the on-the-ground work of union members and the broader, community-minded aims of the labour movement. This was one of the take-aways GLP member Tory Ross gained from the Labour Community Advocate workshop she attended. A forest technologist in Merritt, BC, Ross came away from the session with a renewed sense of the value of advocacy skills for addressing problems in the workplace or community and of “the importance of being a leader in everything you do.”
Mark Louttit, an engineer from the GLP chapter, attended the Shop Steward Level 1 workshop, which introduces stewards (or local representatives in the PEA) to the key points of representing members in the workplace.
“The local rep is a vital role, as they are the front line between the managers and the members, and they are expected to be knowledgeable in areas such as the collective agreement, grievances, complaints and problem solving,” Louttit says. “This workshop will help any local rep improve their note-taking skills during a grievance meeting, gain a stronger understanding of labour law, and understand their role within the workplace. The course is filled with union members across a broad spectrum of workplaces, so it’s also a great networking opportunity.”
That new knowledge, on top of an occasion to kick back and enjoy the hot springs in the company of like-minded colleagues, provided an energizing start to 2018—a year we hope will be fruitful, productive and meaningful in the lives of PEA members at work and at home.
A Review of Professional Reliance in BC
Words by Scott McCannell
Professional reliance is an impressive sounding term that actually is not all that impressive, especially in British Columbia.
In BC, the term describes a legislative framework introduced by the BC Liberal government in the early 2000s to accommodate a one-third reduction in the number of PEA scientists and licensed professionals working for the province.
Professional reliance put decision-making oversight for natural resources into the hands of contractors or employees working for mining and forestry companies. Essentially, the foxes were guarding the henhouse.
We’ve all seen the outcome, with the Mount Polley mine disaster being the most visible example of professional reliance gone wrong.
For years, the PEA and various public watchdog agencies have sounded the alarm about the risks posed by professional reliance to the environment, public safety and the integrity of our publicly owned forests, with little effect.
In its 2017 report Oversight at Risk: The State of Government Science in British Columbia, Evidence for Democracy reflected on findings from its survey of 403 government scientists and licensed experts working in ten BC ministries. The report concludes, “The main challenge for scientific integrity in BC is the cutbacks to capacity within the public service, which impedes the government’s ability to fulfill their responsibility for regulatory oversight.”
Other findings from the survey include:
- 68 per cent of those surveyed believe there are insufficient resources to effectively fill their branch or ministerial mandate.
- 71 per cent agree that cutbacks in the number of PEA licensed professionals have undermined their ability to produce expert reports and documents.
- 59 per cent think capacity reductions negatively impact environment research and regulation.
- 57 per cent believe professional reliance compromises their ministry’s ability to use the best available evidence in decision-making.
The study noted that the lack of capacity is a particularly pressing issue in the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operation (FLNRORD) and the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM). As one employee—a policy maker in FLNRORD —stated, “The reduction in staff and financial resources has caused us to not be able to conduct the scientific work that would best support changes in policy. Instead, policy is most often developed as a result of political pressure from select interest groups, in particular, forest industry stakeholders.”
After numerous campaigns by the PEA and others to increase public awareness of science capacity issues, we finally saw progress in 2017 with the new BC government’s announcement of its plan to conduct a review of professional reliance.
The review process attracted submissions from a wide range of stakeholders (more than for any of the government’s other reviews), including the PEA. We thank the GLP members who shared stories of their experiences under professional reliance for inclusion. The recommendations of the review will be made available in spring 2018.
As part of the PEA submission, we have called for the restoration of GLP positions eliminated over the past decade, legislation to ensure the public interest is reflected in natural resource decisions, and the introduction of whistle-blower legislation to ensure public servants and the public can raise concerns when laws are being flouted and policy ignored.
You can learn more about professional reliance at pea.org/chapters/glp/professionalreliance.
The PEA will continue to press politicians and senior bureaucrats for meaningful action and will collaborate with the BCGEU and other stakeholder groups to make sure the public is aware of the need for change. Stay tuned for opportunities to make your voice heard.
FAMILY MAINTENANCE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
MEETING WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL
PEA staff met with BC Attorney General David Eby on February 13, 2018, as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure politicians are aware of members’ interests and concerns. The review of FMEP service delivery was raised and the minister indicated that options for service delivery are being considered and the PEA will be consulted in that regard. We will keep FMEP members apprised of any developments.
GOVERNMENT LICENSED PROFESSIONALS
APPLY FOR A GLP GRANT OR DONATION
GLP members can submit requests for funding of up to $200 for activities that support and promote the Association and GLP chapter. Applications are reviewed and administered by the GLP executive. For information on eligibility and how to apply, visit pea.org/chapters/glp/grant-form.
2018 GLP ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The GLP AGM will take place in Victoria on Monday, November 5, 2018, 5:00 p.m. at the Coast Victoria Hotel and Marina. More details will be posted at pea.org.
CALL FOR AGM RESOLUTIONS
Resolutions can have a direct impact on the membership and the chapter. Any GLP member may submit a resolution for consideration. Resolutions must be signed by at least two chapter members and received by the PEA office by October 12, 2018. Resolutions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
PROFESSIONAL RELIANCE UPDATE
The PEA submitted a formal submission to the review in January 2018 and has been meeting regularly with a coalition of external stakeholders to inform the review.
HEALTH SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS
Thank you for taking the time to fill out your chapter’s bargaining survey. The results will be shared with the HSPBA and form part of the proposal package for negotiations with the employer. The PEA will notify the members when bargaining dates have been set.
HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES’ STAFF UNION
The HESU chapter submitted their bargaining demands, which were debated at the bargaining conference on February 24. The Bargaining Committee is going forward with the agreed demands and will meet with the employer in May and June 2018.
Aimee Cho was appointed to represent the New West District Labour Council on the BCFED Human Rights Standing Committee. Eilene Martin was appointed to the PEA Education Committee. Neil Monckton was appointed to the PEA Grants and Donations Committee.
LAW SOCIETY LAWYERS
The LSL executive met with management in March regarding transparency for the RREx program. We filed another FOIPPA request regarding executive compensation and bonuses and raised concerns over a lack of consultation with other Law Society workplace policies and initiatives, including the employee satisfaction survey and certain safety protocols. We indicated that we would like to serve notice to bargain earlier this year and that we’ll be requesting more data from the employer around benefits utilization and the results of the telecommuting policy pilot.
The LSL collective agreement expires on December 31, 2018. We will send out a bargaining survey to all members this spring to gather information on the issues you want us to raise at the table.
LEGAL SERVICES SOCIETY
FUNDING FOR LEGAL SERVICES
The PEA met with the Attorney General to discuss the need for expanded access to legal services across the province. While we were heartened to see a $26 million increase in the most recent budget, we hope these funds are allocated to hire more staff lawyers and help alleviate workload issues. We look forward to working with management to discuss this and other issues in the near future.
OKANAGAN REGIONAL LIBRARY
ORL BARGAINING UPDATE
The Bargaining Committee met with the employer for three days of negotiations with a tentative deal reached on February 16, 2018. The proposal package was reasonable and defensible and the committee was pleased with the productive negotiations between parties. The committee is satisfied with the deal reached and believes it fall within the mandate put forth by members. The proposal was put to a vote and 95 per cent of members voted yes to the new agreement.
ST. MARGARET’S SCHOOL
Thank you to the members who attended this year’s AGM. For those who didn’t attend, please note that the PEA plans to conduct an anonymous survey of the membership this spring on the subject of workload. The results of the survey will be used to facilitate discussions with the employer about this issue.
UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA
FLEXIBLE WORK SCHEDULING AND CTO
Thanks to all members who attended our Lunch and Learn session on work scheduling, compensatory time off (CTO) and the UVic holiday closure. These are among the topics most frequently asked about by UVic members. All of these issues can be complicated to navigate. Please refer to Article 10 of the collective agreement for the PEA language on these topics and do not hesitate to reach out to your local rep or LRO if you have questions about the interpretation.
PARENTAL LEAVE POLICY CHANGES
The PEA has agreed to new language surrounding maternity and parental leave supplementary top-up benefits following recent changes in federal legislation. These changes include a reduced EI waiting period, the ability to access maternity leave earlier and an option to take an extended parental leave of up to 61 weeks.
As of January 1, 2018, MSP premiums have been reduced by half. The PEA has asked UVic to hold any savings from this reduction in a trust for us to bargain over in 2019.
JOB EVALUATION AND SALARY CLASSIFICATIONS REVIEW
The Association and UVic have held meetings to discuss issues with the job evaluation process. PEA job-factor weightings and point ranges for salary bands are now posted on the employer’s website to improve transparency. We are awaiting data on the distribution of PEA positions across salary grades before beginning a review of staff salaries. The PEA is advocating for stronger institutional equity and a more effective system to deal with recruitment and retention issues.
2018 PEA EDUCATION CONFERENCE
The theme of the 2018 PEA education conference is Making Your Union Stronger. The conference will be held at the Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria on April 13 and 14.
MARCH FOR SCIENCE 2018
The PEA will be supporting the March for Science in Victoria on April 14. As it coincides with day two of our Education Conference, delegates will be attending so they can show their support. We would also ask that members in the Victoria area come and support the March.
The theme of this year’s march is science is for everyone. Science impacts all of us by protecting our health and our environment, and providing us with facts and evidence to hold our governments accountable. When scientists are silenced, we all suffer. When knowledge generation is underfunded or suppressed, our communities and democracies suffer. Muzzling scientists through professional reliance impacts us all so let’s use this year’s march to support science and the professional reliance review to effect change for us and future generations. Further details on the march can be viewed on the PEA website.
IS YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION CORRECT?
Have you moved or changed your email address or work phone number? Don’t forget to let your union know! There are three easy ways to do it:
- Sign in at pea.org and edit your profile
- Send an email to email@example.com
- Give us a call at 1-800-779-7736 ext. 200
The PEA is looking for members to volunteer as scrutineers in the 2018 online elections. Scrutineers oversee voting procedures and ensure that all PEA policies relating to elections are followed. The time commitment is about one hour per ballot. Training and union leave to cover your time away from work will be provided. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to volunteer.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A LOCAL REP?
Several local rep vacancies are in need of filling, across all chapters. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a local rep, please contact your labour relations officer. You can find your labour relations officer by looking on your chapter page on the PEA website.
UPCOMING EVENTS FOR 2018
- Education conference, April 13 and 14
- March for Science, April 14
- Advanced local rep training, May 14 and 15
- Miners’ Memorial Weekend, Cumberland, June 22–24
- Pride Parade, July (date TBD)
- Labour Day, September 3
We welcome back Brett Harper, who returns from his leave of absence on April 2, and say goodbye and thank you to Emma Wright, who will leave the PEA on April 6. We also welcome back Al Gallupe who will cover for Sam Montgomery during her maternity leave. Welcome back Al and congratulations to Sam!
HELPING WOMEN IN NEED
The PEA staff were delighted to support Tampon Tuesday, an initiative by the United Way of Victoria to gather menstrual supplies for women in need. Here’s a picture of PEA staff member Marianna Azouri’s daughter helping out with the donations.