HEU’s Provincial Executive (P.E.) is elected by delegates every two years during the union’s biennial convention.
The P.E. is responsible for implementing the goals and policies set by the union’s membership, and guiding the work of the union between conventions.
The 22-member Provincial Executive includes two full-time elected officers – the president and the financial secretary – as well as three vice-presidents, a senior trustee, a senior trustee elect (four-year term), an additional trustee, and 13 regional vice-presidents.
HEU’s top administrative staff person – the secretary-business manager – is also a member of the P.E. and is the union’s main spokesperson. The secretary-business manager is also the chief negotiator for the Facilities Bargaining Association (FBA). The P.E.’s recommendation for this position is subject to delegate ratification at convention.
Meet your Provincial Executive
President Victor Elkins, cardiac perfusion assistant, PHSA Amalgamated
This is Victor’s third term as president. An HEU member since 1990, Victor served in many roles on his local executive. First elected to the P.E. in 2006, he has served as 1st and 2nd vice-president, and on the FBA bargaining committee. He represents HEU as an officer of the B.C. Federation of Labour (BCFL) and sits on the National Executive Board (NEB) of CUPE.
Secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside
Jennifer was recruited as HEU’s secretary-business manager in 2015, coming most recently from CUPE’s Conseil provincial des affaires sociales, which represents health and social services workers. She has worked for HEU and other unions as a labour relations representative and a policy researcher, and has consulted nationally and globally on health policy and labour relations issues.
Financial secretary Donisa Bernardo, pharmacy assistant, Kamloops/Thompson
Donisa is serving her sixth term as financial secretary. A member since 1984, Donisa was elected to the P.E. in 1998 as a regional vice-president. She’s a BCFL officer, has served on its Executive Council since 2006, and co-chairs its women’s committee. A trustee on the Municipal Pension Plan board since 2013, she was an alternate trustee for the previous 12 years and served her local in many positions for nearly 20 years.
Barb Nederpel, 1st vice-president, clerk/care aide, Kamloops/Thompson
An HEU member since 2006, Barb was elected to the P.E. in 2012 as regional vice-president and later as 2nd vice-president. She served on the 2012 FBA bargaining committee and has held various positions on her local executive, including chief shop steward and chair. She is president of her local labour council, and has served on CUPE and BCFL political action committees.
Ken Robinson, 2nd vice-president, diet technician, Kelowna Amalgamated
An HEU member since 1998, Ken has served eight terms on the P.E., including two as president. Ken represented HEU as a BCFL officer, and as a member of CUPE’s NEB and its environment committee. He’s served on the FBA bargaining committee, several HEU committees, and has held many positions at his local, including chair and chief shop steward.
Jim Calvin, 3rd vice-president, mental health worker, Chilliwack Amalgamated
This is Jim’s third elected term on the P.E. He served as trustee from 2012 to 2014. An HEU member since 1993, Jim currently serves as his local chair, and has filled a number of other local positions. Jim has served on several HEU committees, including the FBA Education Fund. He’s also the co-chair of CUPE National’s health care issues committee.
Kelly Knox, senior trustee-elect, ward aide, St. Paul’s
Kelly has served on the P.E. since 1996 as a regional vice-president and a trustee. An HEU member since 1986, Kelly is a long-time shop steward at his local and has held various other positions. Kelly has served on the HEU and CUPE National pension committees and is alternate member of the Municipal Pension Plan Board of Trustees. He has served on many other HEU, CUPE and BCFL committees.
Betty Valenzuela, senior trustee, health records clerk, Vancouver General
This is Betty’s third term as a P.E. member. An HEU member since 1995, she was first elected to the P.E. as a trustee in 2012. A long-time secretary-treasurer at her local, Betty has also served on a number of union committees, including HEU and CUPE global justice committees. Betty has also worked as a facilitator for table officers’ training and on HEU’s bursary committee.
Talitha Dekker, trustee, accounts receivable clerk, Kamloops Thompson
As an elected alternate to the P.E., Talitha was called up to third vice-president in July 2016, and was elected trustee at the 2016 convention. An HEU member since 2005, Talitha is her local chair and has held a variety of other positions, including secretary-treasurer, vice-chair, trustee, shop steward, and others. Talitha served two terms on the P.E. clerical subcommittee.
REGIONAL VICE-PRESIDENTS – FRASER
Tracy Struck, portfolio clerk, Royal Columbian
An HEU member since 2003, Tracy was called up to the P.E. as regional vice-president in July 2016. Tracy has served as her local’s trustee. Previously, she served as Kitimat chair, secretary-treasurer, chief shop steward, shop steward, and OH&S representative. Tracy was on the 2010 FBA bargaining committee, and currently serves on the P.E. environment subcommittee.
Joanne Walker, booking clerk, White Rock
This is Joanne’s first elected term on the P.E. Joanne joined HEU in 1986. She’s currently local chair, chief shop steward and OH&S steward, and sits on her local’s labour-management committee. She previously served as vice-chair and shop steward.
Maria Rodriguez, resident care aide, Maple Ridge and Fraser Crossing
An HEU member since 1994, this is Maria’s first elected term on the P.E. as regional vice-president. Over the past 18 years, she’s been a shop steward at both of her locals. She’s held various positions on her local executives, including chief shop steward, chair, vice-chair, trustee and treasurer. Maria has also served on the HEU Ethnic Diversity Standing Committee.
REGIONAL VICE-PRESIDENTS – INTERIOR
Rhonda Bruce, rehab assistant-acute care, South Okanagan
This is Rhonda’s third time elected to the P.E. She previously served two terms from 2008-2012 as regional vice-president. An HEU member since 1992, Rhonda is currently local treasurer and has served in many other positions, including chair. She’s been on the FBA bargaining committee and served on a number of P.E. subcommittees as well as on the Women’s Standing Committee.
Shelley Bridge, care aide, Columbia View
Shelley is serving her third term as regional vice-president. Joining HEU in 1991, Shelley helped organize an HEU facility in Trail. She’s chair of her local and has served in many other positions over the past 23 years. Shelley has served on HEU’s resolutions and constitutional amendments committee and other union committees, including the occupational subcommittee.
Jody Berg, care aide, Hillside-Pioneer, Salmon Arm
This is Jody’s second term as regional vice-president. An HEU member since 2008, he has served on HEU’s bargaining committee, constitutional amendments committee, and occupational subcommittee. At his local, he’s been chair and chief shop steward since 2014. Jody has also served as OH&S representative, warden, conductor and picket captain.
REGIONAL VICE-PRESIDENTS – NORTH
Mike Cartwright, power engineer, University Hospital of Northern B.C.
Mike joined HEU in 2007. This is his second term on the P.E. as regional vice-president. Mike is a local shop steward, OH&S committee member and senior trustee. He has also served as vice-chair and local grievance committee member. Mike was on the FBA bargaining committee in 2012 and 2014, and has participated in several HEU committees including the OH&S subcommittee.
Lisa Crema, life skills support worker, Prince George
This is Lisa’s first elected term on the P.E. She joined HEU in 2003. Lisa is currently local treasurer and has served as trustee, shop steward and OH&S representative. She’s been a previous P.E. alternate, and has served on the union’s environment subcommittee.
REGIONAL VICE-PRESIDENTS – VANCOUVER COASTAL
Louella Vincent, community support worker, WHR Lower Mainland
A member since 1992, Louella is serving her sixth term on the P.E. She has represented HEU on the BCFL’s human rights committee, women’s committee and LGBT working group, as well as CUPE National’s child care committee. Louella has served on the Community Social Services bargaining committee. Locally, she’s been a chair, OH&S rep, trustee and chief shop steward.
Ernie Tanguay, maintenance worker, Vancouver General
An active HEU member since 1996, this is Ernie’s first term on the P.E. He has served 11 years as local chair, as well as chief shop steward, OH&S rep, vice-chair, trustee and shop steward.
John Fraser, dietary aide, Powell River
A member since 2004, this is John’s fourth term as regional vice-president. He was a member of HEU’s first Sodexo bargaining committee, is the chair of his local and has filled many other positions as well. He’s worked on the contracted support service workers bargaining committee, and served on other union committees – and has represented HEU on CUPE National’s OH&S committee.
REGIONAL VICE-PRESIDENTS – VANCOUVER ISLAND
Barb Biley, medical stenographer, Comox
An HEU member since 1991, Barb was re-elected for the third time as regional vice-president. Barb has served in many positions on her local executive – shop steward, chair, secretary-treasurer and trustee. She’s also served on the anti-privatization and trades and maintenance subcommittees.
Bill McMullan, residential support worker, Kardel
This is Bill’s third term as regional vice-president. An HEU member since 2002, he’s currently chief shop steward of his local and previously senior trustee-elect, chair and shop steward. Bill is on the labour-management committee for Kardel local and has served on his local’s OH&S committee. He’s also served on the P.E. environment and equal opportunities subcommittees.