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Lana Payne was the first woman voted as National President of Unifor at the recent 4th Constitutional Convention in Toronto. Also elected were Len Poirier as National Secretary-Treasurer and Jennifer Murray replaced Linda MacNeil as Atlantic Regional Director.
A report to delegates on the alleged constitutional breach by former national president Jerry Dias sparked a good discussion from delegates on the future of the union.
“Unifor came together this week in solidarity and strength, ensuring this union will continue to be a force to be reckoned with,” said National President Lana Payne in her closing address.
New Tentative Agreement
Members voted yes to accept a new tentative agreement. Our eight months of negotiations and our national fight for this deal have come to a close.
Members voted to accept the deal by 67.4%. There were 918 votes in favour and 444 against the new tentative agreement.
This was our first time organizing together since the pandemic, and we were only able to reach this deal because of the work of local union representatives, mobilization teams, and engaged members who spoke up to their representatives and the company about the need for things to improve.
The Bargaining Committee met in Halifax on October 19th the sign the new collective agreement which will be posted on the Local 506 website. Paper copies will be distributed in the coming months.
The new pay scale will be effective on November 10th and members will receive their retroactive pay on their November 10th pay cheque.
If members had resigned or retired prior to September 15th, the date the contract was voted on, they will not be eligible for the retroactive pay.
National Day for Truth And Reconciliation – Orange Shirt Day
Unifor welcomes the establishment of September 30 as a national statutory holiday to recognize the widespread abuse at residential schools, honour survivors, and work for reconciliation.
September 30 has been known as Orange Shirt Day since 2013. It is named after the clothing taken from Phyllis (Jack) Webstad when she was six years old on her first day at residential school.
The day’s slogan “Every Child Matters” is a plea to value and care for all children, something that was not the standard held by the churches administering residential schools nor the Government of Canada, which is still in court fighting equal funding for on-reserve children.
Unifor members have long organized for justice on Orange Shirt Day. Efforts have only increased since the remains of missing children were discovered on the site of a former residential school near Kamloops B.C. followed by the uncovering of more bodies at former schools across Canada. The mass grave confirms what Indigenous communities have said for decades – thousands of children went to the school and never returned home. It is a reminder of the scale of colonial violence that still haunts survivors and their families today. On September 30 Unifor amplifies the calls from Indigenous Rights Holders for accountability. It’s also time to end the impunity for those who covered up these crimes or continue to block the release of records. Reconciliation is not possible until Every Child Matters.
If any Local 506 members would like to volunteer for Truth & Reconciliation events or organize activities for 2023, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Local 506 Racial Justice Advocate
The bargaining team has successfully negotiated new racial justice language in the collective agreement.
This language creates the role of the Racial Justice Advocate who will be a Unifor-appointed representative and is a member of the Black, Indigneous or racialized community.
These individuals are responsible for providing support to fellow union members on matters related to racial discrimination and racial violence.
The Racial Justice Advocate is also responsible for co-developing a workplace-based Anti-Racism Action Plan, among other roles.
Local 506 is accepting applications for this new role. If you are interested in representing Local 506 as it’s Racial Justice Advocate, please contact the union office at email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed in the first quarter of 2023 and training will be provided for the member appointed as Local 506’s Racial Justice Advocate.
Local 506 is inviting any interested 506 members to become part of a new committee which supports our Black, Indigenous and Workers of Colour (BIWOC) members.
The trade union movement was built by the struggles of working people — including Indigneous and workers of colour.
Unifor advocates for these workers, and encourages their full participation in union life through local union committees, regional council committees and the Aboriginal and Workers of Colour Caucus.
Unifor also holds national and regional Aboriginal and Workers of Colour conferences.
If you are interested in becoming involved in the Local 506 BIWOC Committee, please contact the union office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations Local 506 Retirees!
Best wishes to the following Local 506 members who have recently retired:
The Local gives retiring members a $150 gift to celebrate this milestone. If you are retiring in the near future, please contact the union office at email@example.com to ensure we have your current mailing address, phone and email information.
Scholarship & Bursary Winners
Congratulations to Anthony St Pierre, winner of the 2022 Helen E. Allain Bursary award. Anthony is the son of Region 4 member Yannic St Pierre in Bathurst.
Congratulations as well to Avery Dolan, winner of the 2022 Unifor Local 506 Scholarship. Avery is the daughter of Region 2 member Mike Dolan in Moncton.
On behalf of the Local 506 Executive Board, we wish both of you the greatest success with your studies in the year ahead!
Thanks to all of the students who submitted applications for the 20022 Helen E. Allain Bursary and the Unifor Local 506 Scholarship. We welcome your applications for next year’s bursary and scholarship awards.
Atlantic Regional Council
Members, staff and leadership were eager to see long-time friends and greet newcomers as Atlantic Regional Council returned to St. John’s, NL June 3-4th.
Lana Payne, National Secretary-Treasurer at the time, outline the financial challenges Unifor is facing due to years of deficits, and decreased revenues when members suffered job loss and layoff during the pandemic but assured members that the union is in a much stronger position than in March 2020. She urged members to fight and persevere.
“Imagine what your communities would be like if you weren’t doing what you’re doing. Because I know what it would be like. There would be less democracy. There would be fewer people defending the rights of workers. There would be less equality. Workplaces would be less safe. The very social fabric of our country would be weakened,” said Payne.
Resolutions were passed on the following:
Local 506 Women’s Committee
Unifor Women’s Conference:
Six delegates from Local 506 attended the 2022 National Women’s Conference in Port Elgin September 11-14th. The theme for this year’s conference was “Feminists at Work: We are Unstoppable.”
The pandemic has dramatically changed the way Unifor women view our work, our communities and our lives. As we struggled and coped through these uncertain times, many of us have reimagined our work, refocused on our priorities and realized just how strong we can be.
As we celebrate the achievements of securing a National Child Care Program and Federal Pay Equity legislation after decades of campaigning, we know that our work matters and makes a real impact on the lives of every Canadian. These victories have proven to ourselves and all who celebrate with us, that we are unstoppable.
Purse Project Campaign:
The Women’s Committee is currently collecting items for the annual Purse Project Campaign. Gently used purses are filled with toiletries and distributed to women in need in local communities.
If you have any items you’d like to donate, or for a complete list of toiletries needed to fill the purses, please contact Women’s Committee Chair, Angela Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in Joining?
Local 506 has an active Women’s Committee and is looking for new members who want to participate and be engaged – especially in Region 2 (Moncton area), Region 3 (Fredericton & Woodstock) and Region 4 (A Pen, Bathurst, Campbellton, Edmundston & Miramichi).
If you are interested in joining, please contact Women’s Committee Chair, Angela Davis at email@example.com.
The last two years we have had to put a lot of projects on hold. One of those being an update to the Local 506 Bylaws and Policies.
The Local 506 Executive Board is scheduled to meet for a two-day meeting in October to make these revisions to the Bylaws which will then be presented to the membership for their approval.
The updated bylaws will be submitted to the membership to be voted on at Sub-Local Union meetings in November.
Local 506 President Sandy Brideau and Vice President Stéphane Lamoureux will be present at these meetings to answer any questions the membership might have and look forward to meeting with the membership face-to-face once again!
Union meeting dates and locations will be posted on the Local 506 Facebook page, website and on union bulletin boards in work centers.
Local 506 Election
The Local 506 Election Committee is pleased to announce that by acclamation, Sandy Brideau, will assume the role of Local 506 President for another term.
Sandy will be sworn in at the December Executive Board meeting. Many thanks to the members who submitted nominations.
If you have a question, an issue you need to discuss, a safety concern, require personal support, or wish to have a union representative at a meeting with the company, please contact us at 506-634-8810 or firstname.lastname@example.org.