January Monthly Member Profile, 2020 – Margarita Brovina

What is your role (s) in the union?

I am Shop Steward at Local 70013 and I’m also involved in the PSAC-NCR Young Workers’ Committee.

When did you first get involved and why?

I accepted an appointment at PSPC in March 2018 within Client Service Bureau, Strategic Engagement Sector. After a few months, I was interested to learn more about my rights as a public servant. Through my curiosity, I became involved with my union in May 2019 as part of the regional Young Workers’ Committee. I additionally completed union education courses and became a Shop Stewart. Throughout my involvement I’ve had the chance to meet great people and learn from their rich experiences, especially from members who are volunteering and helping youth. The members I volunteer with at the Young Workers’ Committee and my local are very organized and active which keep me busy.

What are some of victories and/ or campaigns you’ve worked on?

One of the campaigns I’ve helped with is on campaigning to address precarious work which is a project of thee Young Workers’ Committee The committee conducted outreach asking workers to fill out a survey so we could gather insight, learn more, and build our campaign to fight precarious work.

As a member of the Young Workers’ Committee I’ve volunteered with Operation Come Home, a social services organization in Ottawa that aims to prevent youth homelessness adults. With committee members, we spent the morning volunteering and serving breakfast. In addition, we learned more about the work of Operation Come Home.

As a Shop Steward, members ask me to attend meetings to represent members in crisis such as termination, disciplinary measures, harassment at work etc. Part of my role is also to educate members and management on their rights and obligations.

What would you say to others who are thinking about getting involved?

Getting involved with the union is a very rewarding experience.  I’m meeting great people in sometimes challenging situations and I enjoy assisting them. I’m always learning something new and I am afforded the chance to be a voice for someone who is going through a difficult situation. The union is also a great place to expand social skills as well as public speaking. There are tons of courses, educational programs, and committees that members can participate in or volunteer for.  My advice: be active, learn, share knowledge, participate, help, be a voice, and don’t just be part of change but influence change.