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 Barb Nederpel, clerk/care aide, Kamloops / Thompson
An HEU member since 2006, Barb was first elected to the P.E. in 2012 as 2nd vice-president and later elected as 1st 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 has served several terms as president of the Kamloops and District Labour Council, a term that concludes at the end of 2018. Barb has also served on CUPE and BC Fed political action committees. As HEU president, she’ll be representing the union as a BC Fed officer and a CUPE National Executive Board member. Barb is the first woman president elected to head HEU.
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. She currently sits on the Executive Council of the B.C. Federation of Labour, the Board of Directors of the B.C. Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and on the Advisory Committee at the SFU Labour Studies Program.
Financial Secretary Betty Valenzuela, health records clerk, Vancouver General
This is Betty’s first term as financial secretary. An HEU member since 1995, Betty was first elected to the P.E. as a trustee in 2014 for a four-year term. 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. She has been on union leave from the Health Records department at VGH since 2007 to serve her local as a full-time shop steward.
Ken Robinson, 1st vice-president, diet technician, Kelowna Amalgamated
An HEU member since 1988, Ken is currently serving his tenth term on the P.E., including two terms as president. Ken represented HEU as a BC Fed officer, and as a member of CUPE’s National Executive Board and its environment committee. He has served on the FBA bargaining committee, several HEU committees, and has held many positions at his local – including chair and chief shop steward. He’s currently vice-chair and chief shop steward at his local.
Jodi George, 2nd vice-president, renal dialysis technician, Surrey
Jodi has been on the P.E. for four years and an HEU member since 1988. She’s held many positions on her local executive – including chair, treasurer, warden, trustee and conductor. Jodi has also been a shop steward, EDMP steward and OH&S local representative. She has served on several HEU committees, including political action and anti-privatization.
Bill McMullan, 3rd vice president, residential support worker, Kardel
After serving three terms as a regional vice-president, Bill has been elected to his first term as 3rd vice-president. An HEU member since 2002, he has served as 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 also served on the P.E. environment and equal opportunities subcommittees.
Talitha Dekker, senior trustee, accounts receivable clerk, Kamloops / Thompson
This is Talitha’s first term as senior trustee. In July 2016, Talitha was called up to 3rd vice-president as a P.E. alternate. She was then elected trustee at the 2016 convention. An HEU member since 2005, Talitha has been her local chair for the past five years. She’s also held many local positions – including secretary, treasurer, vice-chair and trustee. Talitha served two terms on the P.E. clerical subcommittee, and recently served one year as co-chair on the retirement and pensions subcommittee.
Barb Biley, senior trustee-elect, medical stenographer, Comox
An HEU member since 2001, this is Barb’s first term serving as senior-trustee elect. Barb was previously elected to three terms as a 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.
Ken Bennett, trustee, residential care aide, Malaspina Mid-Island
As an elected alternate to the P.E., Ken was called up to trustee in April 2018. An HEU member since 2005, Ken is his local vice-chair. He has held several other local positions – including chair, chief shop steward, shop steward and warden. Ken was also on HEU’s 2014 Credentials committee. This is his first full term as an elected trustee.
Regional vice-presidents, Fraser
Sara Mann, rehabilitation assistant, Eagle Ridge
This is Sara’s first term on the P.E. Originally an HEU member in 2000, Sara took some time off to return to school, and then rejoined HEU in 2003. She started as an activity worker and is now a rehabilitation assistant. Raised in a family of union members, Sara has been active in her community and in the labour movement, attending rallies, solidarity walks, and supporting labour strikes on picket lines. She’s currently serving at her local as chair, an HEU OH&S representative, and a shop steward.
Karin Vik, medical laboratory assistant, Chilliwack Amalgamated
An HEU member since 2008, Karin is serving her first term on the P.E. At a local level, she’s held various positions, and is currently an assistant secretary-treasurer, shop steward, and joint occupational health and safety committee member. In 2017, Karin was selected to sit on HEU’s young workers subcommittee, becoming co-chair. She’s also serving her second term as secretary on the Fraser Valley Labour Council.
Joanne Walker, booking clerk, White Rock
This is Joanne’s second elected term on the P.E. She joined HEU in 1986. She’s currently serving her local as vice-chair, a shop steward and chief shop steward, and sits on the labour-management committee. Joanne was previously local chair and an OH&S steward. Joanne has also provided P.E. support to the HEU young workers subcommittee, and is the trustee for the Fraser Valley Labour Council.
Regional vice-presidents, Interior
Shelley Bridge, care aide, Columbia View Lodge
Shelley is serving her fourth 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 years. Shelley has served on HEU’s resolutions and constitutional amendments committee and other union committees – including the occupational, support workers, and trades and maintenance subcommittees, and has been active in the union’s Care Can’t Wait campaign.
Rhonda Bruce, rehabilitation assistant-acute care, South Okanagan
Rhonda is currently serving her fourth term as a regional vice-president (Interior). She’s served on several P.E. subcommittees – including support workers, young workers, political action, women’s and retirement. An HEU member since 1992, Rhonda has held every position in her local, and is a strong advocate for women in leadership. Currently, Rhonda is her local chair chief shop steward. She’s also worked as an EDMP steward under the FBA. In 2012, she became an alumnus member of the Governor General’s leadership conference.
Monica Thiessen, medical lab assistant, Salmon Arm/Shuswap
An active HEU member since 2000, Monica is currently her local chair and chief shop steward. She recently stepped aside as a local OH&S steward to make room for a new member to take on the role. Monica is an active voice on her local’s labour-management committee. Having held many local executive positions over the years, Monica mentors new members to take on those positions. Having a son with diabetes, Monica has been a strong advocate for Type 1 diabetes medical coverage throughout the province.
Regional vice-presidents, North
Mike Cartwright, power engineer, Prince George
Mike joined HEU in 2007. This is his third 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, mental health worker/life skills support worker, Prince George
This is Lisa’s second elected term on the P.E. She joined HEU in 2003. Lisa is currently her local treasurer, and is a very active shop steward and local OH&S representative. Previously a local trustee, she has also served on the union’s environment and occupational subcommittees. Lisa is an elected delegate to the North Central Labour Council in Prince George.
Regional vice-presidents, Vancouver Coastal
Karen McVeigh, care aide, Dogwood
Karen has been a care aide at Dogwood Lodge since 1994. She has served her local in many positions – including senior trustee elect, shop steward, chief shop steward, OH&S steward, labour council delegate, and has been her local chair for more than a decade. An LGBTQ+ activist, Karen has represented HEU on many local and national committees, including CUPE National, the BC Fed and the Canadian Labour Congress. She’s a founding member of HEU’s Pink Triangle Standing Committee, and has served on several other union committees, including OH&S, women’s, and bargaining.
Bal Sandhu, Surgical Purchaser/Inventory Analyst, BC Children's
An HEU member since June 2014, Bal works at B.C. Children’s Hospital (PHSA) as a Surgical Purchaser/Inventory Analyst in the Operating Room/Procedures Department. Bal has served his PHSA local as a shop steward, chief shop steward, OH&S representative, local chair, vice-chair, warden, and conductor. He’s an alternate to the union’s ethnic diversity standing committee, and served on HEU’s occupational subcommittee (2016-2018).
Louella Vincent, community support worker, WHR Lower Mainland
A member since 1992, Louella is serving her seventh term on the P.E. She’s represented HEU on the BC Fed’s human rights and women’s committees and LGBTQ+ working group, and on CUPE National’s literacy and child care committees. She has served on HEU’s environment, global justice, and political action subcommittees, and was a founding member of the Living Wage Campaign. Louella is the liaison to HEU’s equity standing committees, is an active member of Amnesty International, and champions causes like the Red Dress Campaign and raising awareness on missing and murdered Indigenous women. She has served on the Community Social Services bargaining committee. Locally, she’s been a chair, OH&S rep, trustee and chief shop steward.
Regional vice-presidents, Vancouver Island
Catherine (Cathy) Black, cook, Tri- Port (Port Hardy)
This is Catherine’s first time elected to the Provincial Executive. She joined HEU in 2012. Having previously served her local as vice-chair and trustee, Catherine is currently the chief shop steward. She is also serving her second term as local chair.
Charlotte Millington, technical analyst, Royal Jubilee Hospital
An HEU member since 2008, this is Charlotte’s first term on the P.E. She’s currently the chair of her local, a shop steward, occupational health and safety steward, and a member of her local labour-management committee. Charlotte is the HEU representative on the Victoria Labour Council and on the United Way of Greater Victoria Labour Committee. She served the Centre and North Island as an FBA EDMP steward for three years, and is the previous co-chair of her local’s joint occupational health and safety committee.