Message from the President

Publish date: Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Dear members, 

On May 4 at Convention, I was successfully elected as President to represent members of the Professional Employees Association (PEA). I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with the PEA Executive with a focus on organizational and member needs.

For those of you that do not know me, my name is Shawna LaRade and I work as a Professional Agrologist with the Government Licensed Professionals (GLP) Chapter. My work as an agrologist is focused on Natural Resource Management in the Rocky Mountain Trench (East Kootenays) as an employee of​ the Province of British Columbia. My family and I are proud to call Cranbrook home, it is a place to enjoy and explore the majestic Rocky Mountains at the headwaters of the Columbia River. 

I am honoured to represent the diversity of professionals that makes up the social structure of our association and will work to meet our common interests and objectives. I am so thankful for the work that PEA members do to

  • improve the lives of our children, youth, and young adults;
  • manage infrastructure and natural resources;
  • care for the emotional, physical and social well-being of our families;
  • advocate in our legal systems; and
  • provide services and learning centres to our communities.

Over my ten years of involvement with the PEA, I have heard from many members and have learned about the interesting work that you do. I look forward to hearing from many more of you. 

At this time, I would like to thank Frank Kohlberger for his commitment to the PEA and its members. Frank has been a longstanding advocate for members and their concerns. As president, Frank elevated the Association’s profile with our employers and the provincial/national labour communities. Thank you for your dedication to improving the working conditions for our members. 

In a time where expectations are higher than ever and the rate of change is exponential, it is essential that members look to support one another. I encourage you to stay engaged and support your Chapter and the PEA. Explore the PEA initiatives designed to promote and enhance the value and work of professionals. I also encourage you to take the time to reflect on the positive things that we have accomplished by working together. And as the organization moves forward, I look forward to collaboration to achieve common interests and goals.

Please feel free to contact me with your ideas and concerns.

All life’s best.

Shawna LaRade

In this section

The PEA was formed in 1974, by a group of professionals working in the public sector. The story goes that the founders of the union mortgaged their houses to fund negotiations of the union’s first collective agreement. 

Now, the PEA is BC’s union for professionals. We represent a wide range of professionals including lawyers, foresters, engineers, agrologists, teachers, veterinarians, fundraisers, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists program managers, librarians and more.

Our union is led by the PEA Executive. They represent members from across the chapters of the PEA and set the overall vision and direction for our union.

Resources for our members

Navigating a union can sometime be a challenging process. Under this section of the website you will find resources to help you navigate the PEA. In the members section you'll find expense claim reimbursements, information on the PEA's scholarship and bursary program and our grants and donations program.

Collective bargaining and job action resources explain the process of collective bargaining and what to do in the unlikely event of job action. 

Local reps can also find resources to help them complete their job more effectively. This includes ways to welcome new members, how to take notes in investigation disciplinary meetings and more.

The heart of our union

The PEA is made up of nine chapters, or groups of members who either work for the same employer or are in the same field of work. Each chapter has an elected executive tasked with running the affairs of the chapter. Each chapter is entitled to representation at the PEA Executive, the governing body of the union. 

Our members work for a range of employers: the Province of BC, the University of Victoria, St. Margaret's School, the Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, the Oil and Gas Commission, the Law Society of BC, Legal Services Society, the Okangan Regional Library and health authorities across BC.

Professionals need unions now more then ever

Since the 1970’s, when the PEA was formed, our mission has been to ensure our members can work in safe, productive environments and receive fair and reasonable wages and benefits for the valuable work they do. We help individuals and groups of professional workers to understand the challenges they face in their workplaces and some of the solutions available to them. 

We work with potential members to become certified as a union and achieve the wages, benefits and respect they deserve. 

The Professional | Volume 46 Issue 1

The Professional is the PEA's award-winning, quarterly magazine for members.

The January-February 2020 issue includes a Vancouver Sun op/ed piece from PEA Executive Director Scott McCannell on the Legal Services Society strike.

Read the January-February 2020 issue



The PEA was formed in 1974 to represent licensed professionals in the BC Public Service. Since then the organization has grown to include a wide range of professionals from across BC. Find our more about our governance, staff and strategic direction.

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