Hello Members,

I hope you enjoyed the summer season and time relaxing with family and friends. Since stepping into the role as interim President, I have enjoyed every opportunity to apply my 10-plus years of experience at the RCEA while rising to the challenge of learning different roles and responsibilities as your RCEA President. Even though the learning curve is steep at times, I get inspiration from hearing member’s perspectives, stories, and opinions. Along with gaining experience as your President, summer was a busy time for the RCEA office with day-to-day business, labour relations, collective bargaining, and staff turnover.

As of July 1, 2023, the transition of the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP) to Canada Life is complete and claims are being processed by Canada Life. If you are experiencing difficulties or have questions, visit the Frequently Asked Questions on the Canada Life website or contact Canada?Life at 1-855-415-4414.

Collective bargaining preparation is complete with the finalizing of the bargaining teams for all groups. Our Labour Relations team has been busy preparing the proposals based on membership input. Collective bargaining is a fundamental cornerstone for the union, so I have been actively engaged in collective bargaining for all our groups. This engagement has allowed me to better understand the work members do and the challenges faced by all the RCEA groups. Negotiations are starting for some groups and updates will be posted on the RCEA website.

The last two weeks of September were spent at various Employer level and federal public service level meetings such as National Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH), Service-Wide Committee on Occupational Health and Safety (SWOHS), National Joint Council (NJC), and Joint Consultation Committee (JCC) meetings. Some topics of interest were climate change, challenges in the Canada Life transition, collective bargaining, and work force adjustment lessons learned. This year’s National Joint Council (NJC) Seminar focused on “defining the employee value proposition”. Keynote speakers and panel discussions presented on topics such as: intergenerational workplaces, accessibility, conflict resolution, and cyber security.

I am happy to announce the retirement of Laurette Ernst. Laurette was a familiar face to so many of us and was a dedicated employee of the RCEA for many years. She will be greatly missed. I am also pleased to welcome Alia Mohamed who joined the RCEA on September 11th as an Administrative Assistant to help with office and union administrative tasks. Her enthusiasm, willingness to learn, and organizational skills will be a valuable asset to the RCEA. Alia can be reached at the following email address: alia@rcea.ca.

Nominations for RCEA Management Committee positions closed on August 28th. I would like to congratulate Michelle Lévesque on being acclaimed as 1st Vice-President. An election will be held for the position of President as there were two candidates: Marvin Zaluski (current Interim RCEA President) and Bernard Holbrook (current Treasurer). There will be speeches by both candidates at the upcoming virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) on October 26th. Ensure your information in the database is current as electronic voting packages will be sent out in October to members who are in good standing. If you need to enroll or update your information, visit the RCEA website. Further details on the election will follow.

Over the past five months, I have met formally with the President of the NRC and I am forging a relationship with him in my new role as RCEA President. As I am feeling more comfortable in the role of President, I welcome and encourage you to contact me directly with your concerns or ideas. I can be reached via email at president@rcea.ca, or by phone at (613) 746-9341.

Thank you,