What is your role (s) in the union?
I am the interim Present of Local 70041 of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees.
When did you first get involved and why?
I first reached out to my RVP, JP Surette, last December seeking any opportunity to get involved. He put me in touch with the Local 70041 President and I was invited to sit in on a local executive meeting. A month after that, I was elected as First Vice President at the AGM. When our President left in summer, I became the interim President. So I have not been involved with the union for very long at all!
But why? I truly believe that employees are the heartbeat of an organization and that people come first. I feel that by being part of the union, I can somehow contribute to that idea. I also believe in individual justice and that the mental health of employees are so important. I think that when each individual is taken care of, the whole organization benefits. We are only as strong as our weakest link.
After I returned to work after a second period of maternity leave and after taking some course in management, I wanted to do something that could help people in the workplace. I want to help offer a neutral, safe space for individuals to have a voice and to be heard.
What are some of victories and campaigns you’ve worked on?
I haven’t really had any victories or worked on any campaigns yet. Our local is busy getting organized to hold our first member event this fall.
What would you say to others who are thinking about getting involved?
Getting involved in the union gives you a new perspective of your workplace. You really get to know how your management operates. You get to know a lot of people within your own workplace (and other workplaces too through training and conference!). You will learn new skills that you can apply to your own career development. It can be hard and draining, but also very rewarding!