President's blog

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Firsts. I've been fortunate to experience so many in my two and a half years as president of the BCGEU.

Last Thursday, I delivered our annual submission to the B.C. Government’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. The committee holds annual province-wide public consultations on the next provincial budget. It’s made up of a cross-section of all-party MLAs.

October is HerStory month. It is a month to celebrate and acknowledge the extraordinary contributions that women have made throughout history.

Local governments affect many aspects of our members’ daily lives, from the services that keep our families safe, including fire, police and emergency preparedness, to issues of housing affordability and community recreation.

It was good to see Canada Post abandon its threat to lock out Canada Post workers, members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW). Since then the ongoing negotiations have been conducted behind closed door.

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the triennial convention of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) – our national union. NUPGE is a union of unions, with 360,000 members in nine Canadian provinces.

Tuesday we marked the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day – a day to celebrate the strong cultures of our First Nations, Inuit and Métis. It's also a day to reflect on the place of our Aboriginal people in Canada today, and honour their journey.

Once in a while an event happens that makes you rethink where you are. For LGBTQ+ rights, I thought we had come a long way: Canada has legalized gay marriage, popular culture has started to embrace LGBTQ+ characters, and like many unions, the BCGEU has a vibrant LGBTQ+ community.

As leaders in the trade union movement, we are constantly reflecting on how we can make the world a better place for workers. In Canada, we do this partly by ensuring we have a robust collective bargaining process, and bringing as many workers into our union as we can.

Next week is the sixth annual B.C. Child and Youth in Care Week. Children and youth in government care includes young people living in foster homes, group homes, housing for youth with mental health and addiction issues, and custody centres.