Statement on the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Publish date: Monday, May 31, 2021 news

We are saddened by the recent news of the 215 Indigenous children found in a mass burial site at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Territory. This loss of life must be acknowledged and grieved.

We share our deepest condolences with the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc, and we mourn with all of the families impacted by the Residential School System. Our thoughts and hearts are with the community. The PEA will continue to do the work to support meaningful reconciliation by providing education to our members on the history of the Residential School System, acting in solidarity with the survivors, and advocating for Indigenous rights. 

The atrocities these children faced are a reminder of the significant work that needs to be done as part of the calls to action that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada has made. These calls to action acknowledge the cultural genocide, loss of life, and intergenerational trauma that First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities continue to experience.

We call on the federal government, in support of the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, to take action on all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Report.  As individual Canadians, we all have a responsibility to do our part in supporting reconciliation and the mourning, healing, and recognition of this history and the lives that were lost.

If you aren’t familiar with this history, now is the time to learn. Read the TRC report, learn and research about whose land you live on, connect with elected officials and tell them to take action, and donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society of BC:

Shawna LaRade
PEA President

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 47 Issue 1

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

The May to June 2021 issue includes a look into what it's like to work within UVic's Theatre Department.

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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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