This report covers my activities since October 2017 and an update on the Atlantic Region over the next three years.
Atlantic continues to face challenges with Phoenix – HR to Pay training has been instrumental as an RVP in helping members understand the deadlines to submit their leave and pay requests. That said, there still appears to be a lot of Russian roulette style results – you just can’t predict who will be hit or when.
Amongst this, Atlantic is seeing a lot of growth and change and will continue to do so with the announcement of Budget 2018.
We will see changes to the programs and benefits we offer our veterans and we will see new staff added to the Area Offices to address the continually growing clientele. Although these changes are widely promoted as positive, there is an underlying concern that the fine print is not readily being promoted. UVAE continues to call for the resourcing and funding for Case Managers to reach the 25:1 ratio. The program changes have tightened the eligibility for the rehab program. So, while we are seeing some increase in staffing to achieve this goal, we are also changing the level/quality of services we provide. Instead, we are relying on other programs and organizations, such as SISIP. We have heard the ideology of VAC closing the gap for newly releasing members – these changes would seem to create a further gap.
Guided support is being rolled out across the country – our VSA’s still don’t have an updated work description that describes the new duties associated with this. Until that occurs, it is impossible for UVAE to know if they are classified, and therefore paid, correctly.
Regional teleconferences are ongoing – I am thankful for the participation of the Atlantic Local Presidents on these calls and for their patience when one must be rescheduled or cancelled. Communication is something we are always trying to improve. I will continue to use these calls to share information received from a National level, open lines of communication between the different locals and discuss common issues that affect the Region as a whole. The direction of my role is directly linked to their needs.
From an activity stand point, the Region has been fairly quiet. I did attend the AGM in Campbellton, where our longstanding President, Renald Arseneault retired and his successor, Sophie Hache, was elected along with a whole new executive. Welcome Sophie, Janie and Sandra!!
Dartmouth also held their by-elections and welcomed two new executive members. Saint John and St. John’s will also be holding their elections – recognizing by-law calls for these to occur between November and March. We will discuss terms of office in efforts to get these locals back in accordance with By-Law 8.
I have been working with the National President on solutions for the local in Halifax – we successfully implemented a new by-law which ensures there is representation from both the Sydney and Halifax offices on the executive. Unfortunately, there were no interested parties at this time. I will continue to work with the local president there to engage the membership in efforts to fill that position by way of a by-election.I believe this fully captures the activities of the Altantic Region for this period. PSAC Triennial Convention will be held April 28-May 4, looking forward to finding out who our new President will be.
Regional Vice-President, Atlantic Region