I was raised with the idea that you have rights, you have a voice

member photo

“My mother was an HEU member and so were many women on my mom’s side of the family. 

My mom worked as a food service worker at St Paul’s hospital during the contracting out. 

I was five when she was fired and from a very young age I saw the impact of contracting and privatization on our family. 

It meant that I didn’t see my mom for a few years because the contracting out meant she lost the one good, stable job and had to work three casual jobs. 

My mom always supported unions. I was raised with the idea that you have rights, you have a voice, no matter where you work.  

My mom’s job was taken away because that work – women’s work – was devalued. 

My activism started with her showing me the value of every part of the machine. It’s what drives me. 

It’s my first convention and I was just elected as the alternate representative for the new young workers diversity vice-president seat on the provincial executive. 

We have wanted a seat at the table for so long, so it’s great to be on the P.E. instead of just a sub committee of the union.

I’ve worked in health care for five years and I’ve been a shop steward for three and a half years. I’m now the chair of my local. I think of myself as a professional s#$% disturber. It’s good for me to be able to put my beliefs into action by helping people stand up for their rights.”

Nicole, Visitation Assistant, part of the health care team