Report to the 2020 Convention Presented by Zarina Khan Regional Vice-President, Ontario

I was re-elected as RVP Ontario in October/November 2017 and was humbled by the fact that the members in Ontario felt I had done a good job during the past three years.

Since being re-elected I have found that I am spending a lot more time on union issues during and after working hours.  I am lucky that my managers don’t question the time I spend with my members during working hours over and above my Union Day.

The past three years have been very active as I saw a major shift in management style, less empathy, more dictatorial and extremely reliable on poor Labour Relations (LR) advice.  There seems to be an unspoken rule that middle management cannot respond to any queries without having it vetted by LR or Director General Field Operations (DG-FO).  This does not make a good union-management working relationship.

A lot has happened nationally in the past three years and most of it will be covered in the various reports from other areas, so I will not go into details about these issues.

I have been assigned to some committees as well as having the BPA Portfolio which has kept me busy.

Finance Committee

This committee is chaired by the National Executive Vice-President and the RVP Western and myself are members.  We meet at least twice a year in order to review and oversee the finances of the Component and report back to the National President.    The Financial Officer is our support person.

Structure Committee

This committee, chaired by the RVP Atlantic, is comprised of all RVPs and the NEVP, reporting to the National President.   We have met frequently looking at the structure of the Component and the possibilities for the future.  Everything is status quo right now.

By-Laws Committee

Chaired by the National President, it is comprised of the RVP Atlantic and myself.  We meet via teleconference regularly, review the current By-laws to ensure that they do not contravene PSAC guidelines, also that they are up-to-date and pertinent for the Component.    Any changes that we propose will be brought to Convention for delegates to vote on.

Human Rights Committee

This committee is chaired by the Equal Opportunity Coordinator and consists of the RVP Quebec and me.  We have met a couple of times and a teleconference is planned for early April to discuss moving forward.

Bureau of Pensions Advocates

(BPA) Portfolio

This portfolio is carried by the NEVP and myself. We had our first Labour Management Consultation Committee in May 2018 with BPA’s senior management team.  Since then we have had consultations over the telephone on issues relevant to BPA and its support staff.  I have been in touch with all BPA support staff over the past three years to discuss their concerns and to keep them informed on any issues that may affect them.

President’s Conference

All UVAE Local Presidents gathered together in Ottawa, in May 2019 to attend a conference with learning opportunities.  I heard nothing but positive feedback from the Ontario Local Presidents and they are looking forward to the next one in 2021.

Ontario News

Over the past 3 years I have been very involved in assisting Local Presidents with grievances, discussions with management on a variety of issues, many of them being related to accommodations and performance appraisals.  As I mentioned earlier the advice coming from labour relations to managers is just wrong at times and trying to work with management under these circumstances is becoming quite challenging.  The “Care, Compassion and Respect” is just not there. 

I have also been very involved in trying to assist some members with their return to work plans and recommendations.    Managers are openly disregarding doctors’ recommendations based on feedback from labour relations, which is resulting in intensive discussions, more grievances and complaints.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to hold regular teleconferences with Ontario’s Local Presidents but have been in touch with all of them via telephone and emails, and have been available to respond to their queries and assist whenever and wherever I could.    I have also shared all the information I receive from the Component (at least that which I can share) and PSAC and have requested that this information be shared with members.

Local AGMS have been taking place since February 2020 and I have attended some along with the NEVP and the National President.  Unfortunately, due to personal reasons I was unable to attend all of them.

Some Locals have had elections during the year, and we have welcomed new executive members into the Ontario team.  As I write this, only one Local is waiting to hold their AGM and elections which was cancelled at the very last minute due to COVID 19. 

During the COVID shutdown, the Component has worked very hard to ensure that the Health and Safety of our members was at the forefront of all discussions with Management.  The National Executive Officers attend regular debriefs by the National President and share all information with the Local Presidents which they in turn share with their members.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank every Local President for their hard work and commitment to their members by keeping in touch with them and providing them as much information as they could.  Without your assistance this would not have been possible.

I attended the National Capital Region’s (NCR) Racially Visible Conference in Ottawa February 28 – March 1, 2020.  This was the 2nd Conference held by the Racially Visible Action Committee of the PSAC – NCR.  It was a well attended event with very interesting workshops.

I continue to facilitate JLP workshops and have completed 50 workshops so far.  I was also invited to attend their Orientation Session for new facilitators to speak about my experience as a JLP Facilitator and was honored to be invited by the Joint Learning Program to be their voice at the Career Boot Camp held at the Canada School of Public Service.

Sylvia Fenton, the Alternate RVP for Ontario, retired on March 13, 2020 and I would like to acknowledge and thank her for her support during her tenure.  Sylvia always made time for the Local and was a great help to me.  I will miss you Sylvia –  Happy Retirement!

Welcome to Vanessa Buck as the Alternate RVP Ontario, and thank you for accepting the position. In closing, I would like to say thank you to the Component staff and the National Officers for their patience, tolerance and support in assisting me in my role as RVP Ontario.

In Solidarity,

Zarina Khan
Regional Vice-President, Ontario