For those of you I know and for those of you I have yet to meet, please allow me to introduce myself as your new Research Council Employees’ Association (RCEA) President.

I was born in Halifax and raised in Bedford, Nova Scotia, and graduated with a BSc in 1984. I started working that September at The Bedford Institute of Oceanography, BIO, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  I worked there for 7 years, with both Fisheries and Oceans and Environment Canada in environmental biology and chemistry labs.  In 1990 I accepted a contract position at Environment Canada’s National Wildlife Research Center in Hull, Quebec, where I studied Arctic pollutants in polar bears, seals, fish and aquatic birds.  In 1992 I accepted an offer from The National Research Council, Institute of Environmental Chemistry, IEC, to start up a dioxin lab, where our team developed a certified reference material for dioxins, furans and PCBs.  At NRC and with the M-12 chemistry group I found my home.  I worked as a Technical Officer for almost 23 years with this group and loved every day at M-12 and NRC.  During these first years at NRC, I went back to University to obtain a Business diploma (1994).  I have put in hundreds of hours at the RCEA over the past 12 years as a steward and Vice President.  I was first elected as a union steward in 2001 with INMS.  In 2004 I was elected the 2nd Vice President and since 2005 I have been your representative as 1st Vice President, serving for both Wayne Findlay and Serge Croteau.  During this time I have been on the AD, AS, OP, PG and TO committees and bargaining teams.  For all of the RCEA groups I have been involved in bargaining, mediation, arbitration and legislation.  I have attended conferences with National Joint Council (NJC), Labour Relations Symposium (LRC), and seminars on Union Leadership and Union Liability.  Every 3 months I sit on the Bargaining Agents (RCEA and PIPSC) and Employer (NRC) Joint Consultation Committee (JCC), and I have represented members on internal grievance boards and WFA consultations.  And as the Vice President I have represented you at all RCEA Executive and Management-Union committees.

I know that Federal Unions in Canada are under tremendous pressure with bargaining restraints and political tactics.  I believe as your President I will be hugely beneficial to the RCEA and its membership during these trying times.  I whole heartedly believe in the RCEA, and its mandate to help every member.  I have responded to many hundreds of phone calls and e-mails over the years from our members asking for help with various questions, problems, clarifications, collective bargaining and collective agreement information required, and many members who just needed someone to talk with and to know their concerns and questions were being listened to and acted upon.  Although I am not fluent in French I make this promise to all RCEA members, that I will always represent you to the best of my ability, with truthfulness and honesty.  It is my privilege to be your RCEA President.

Union Committees and Positions held

RCEA Union Steward since 2001

RCEA 2nd Vice President 2004

RCEA 1st Vice President since 2005

AD Arbitration Team 2007

AD Committee and Bargaining Team 2009

AS Committee and Bargaining Team 2006

AS Arbitration Team 2007

OP Committee and Bargaining Team since 2007

PG Committee and Bargaining Team since 2005

TO Committee and Bargaining Team since 2005

TO Mediation Team 2012

TO Arbitration Team 2012

Union Leadership and Union Liability Conference 2003

RCEA Management Committee since 2004

Joint Consultation Committee since 2004

Grievance Hearing Member Representative 2005, 2009, 2010, 2012

WFA Negotiation and Consultation Representative since 2007

National Joint Council Symposium 2007

RCEA Constitution Committee since 2009

Negotiation and Consultation Policy Review 2009-2011

National Labour Relations Symposium 2011

LLMCC Bargaining Agents and Employer Joint Consultation Committee 2013

Inventor and Innovator Award Program Policy Committee 2013

RCEA Finance Committee 2013


Cathie Fraser