Delegates spent most of Day 4 electing rest of P.E. positions

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ON DAY FOUR OF HEU’s 27th BIENNIAL CONVENTION, the 612 registered delegates caucused by health authority to elect their regional vice-presidents, and then reconvened in the main plenary to continue debating constitutional amendments and resolutions, and elect alternates to the Provincial Executive (P.E.).

The 12 regional vice-presidents are: Bev Trynchy (staff scheduling clerk, St. Paul’s), Kelly Knox (porter/ward aide, St. Paul’s) and John Fraser (dietary clerk, Sodexo/Powell River ) for Vancouver Coastal; Lynnette Kingston (recreation worker, Chilliwack General) and Joanne Foote (recreation aide, Holyrood Manor) for Fraser; Pat Shaw (nursing unit assistant, South Peace) and Lois Doran (community health/lifeskills support worker, CMHA Prince George) for the North; Darlene Bown (charge aide/CPS, Victoria General) and Carol Bunch (community health worker, Home and Community Care Parksville/Qualicum) for Vancouver Island; and Margie Anderson (activity worker, Columbia View Lodge), Rhonda Bruce (rehab assistant, Sunnybank Centre) and Debera Willis (LPN, 100 Mile) for the Interior.

The eight alternates to the P.E. are: Betty Valenzuela, Laura Neil, Ruby Kendola, Jackie Woodley, Nikki Inouye, Ami Dosanj, Barbara Nederpel and Romea Morton.

Guest speakers to address Thursday’s plenary were CUPE National’s secretary-treasurer Claude Généreux and CEP 468 president Jacquie Janum.

In his keynote speech, Généreux echoed the words of solidarity expressed by CUPE National president Paul Moist yesterday, particularly around the BCNU raid on HEU’s LPNs.

“They’re wrong if they think it’s a B.C. fight,” said Moist, “it’s a national one. And they’re taking on the biggest union in Canada - CUPE.”

Added Généreux, “How do we know that this is a strong union – HEU – that works hard to protect its members and their rights in the workplace? Because the raiders could not get the support they needed to take your members away. LPNs know that this is their home, together with other health care workers in HEU, they belong in this house like all of you.”

Généreux acknowledged HEU’s leadership role in the living wage and seniors’ care campaigns, and spoke about the continued importance of mobilizing young workers and fighting to preserve Canadian pensions.

“Our members care for Canadians from birth until death… and our union has committed the resources so that we are now able to continually campaign to preserve and improve health care at every level in our hospitals, in the community and in long-term care.

“Most importantly, no matter what is thrown at us by the forces who would like to chip away at Medicare, to privatize our health services, we’re winning more battles than we’re losing… We’re resilient and we won’t go away.”

HEU members’ work matters

Généreux saluted HEU members for the critical roles they play in delivering health care.

“The work you do in your jobs every day is so important to the people of our communities,” said Généreux. “Just as important, though, is the work you do in your union because it is all about protecting and improving the public services that make our communities what they are.

“Your struggles – whether it’s against privatization, contracting out or the HST – are shared by sisters and brothers across Canada… We’re all CUPE. Let’s work on all these issues together and be as successful as we can.”

Staff union solidarity

On Thursday afternoon, CEP 468 president Jacquie Janum brought solidarity greetings on behalf of the HEU staff.

Janum said the staff union, which represents more than 120 members working in five HEU offices around the province, have also felt the burden of the devastating attacks that were made on HEU members over the last decade.

Reflecting on the convention’s theme, Janum told delegates that CEP 468 members are part of the bigger “our members, our strength” and that “we stand shoulder to shoulder with HEU members.”