MAHCP president Bob Moroz travelled to Vancouver, B.C., along with executive director Lee Manning for the Health Sciences Association of British Columbia (HSABC) convention April 30-May 2, 2015.
Here is Bob’s report:
The HSABC convention was well-attended, lively and informative. The recurring theme throughout the conference was the raiding of Registered Psychiatric Nurses by BCNU, however, the vast majority of these nurses are electing to stay with HSABC. A number of resolutions were debated on how to handle the BCNU tactics including going to media and crossing their picket lines. These resolutions were defeated as HSA decided to stay on the high road.
The guest speakers were superb: Irene Lanzinger, the first woman to be elected president of the BC Federation of Labour; Hassan Yussuf, the first person of colour to be elected president of the Canadian Labour Congress; and Larry Brown, secretary treasurer of NUPGE. They all had different styles, but were good. Larry’s speech has some frightening elements when it came to the political and legal landscapes of Canada, but there was also some good news — such as the constitutional right to association/ strike upheld by Supreme Court of Canada and others — for a change.
Three candidates ran for HSABC president during the convention. The two challengers to the incumbent were essentially single-issue, one was unhappy about the apparent erosion of the board’s power vs operational strength and the other candidate would prefer to go on strike very early in the collective bargaining process. The vote turned out to be a landslide for the incumbent, with over 72% support on the first ballot.
The debates on the resolutions at HSABC was very educational. Organizations like the HSA debate a huge number of policy/position statements, which I believe the MAHCP needs to do more of. On a personal note, I couldn’t get enough of watching and learning from the chair at this event. As for the resolutions, they included:
It was also absolutely fascinating to see the committee work that got done. Equality and Social Action, Education, Occupational H&S, Political Action, Women’s Committee (who used some very powerful videos to highlight the need for such activism) in addition to the regular Finance, Resolutions, Elections. I would love to see someone in our Council endorse the idea of a Women’s Committee, which would be required if we were to join NUPGE as a full component.
The networking, which takes place at these events, was tremendously valuable. Each time Lee or I had the chance to chat with another union president, official or national labour leader is an opportunity to make ourselves better known. These conventions further convince me that the way forward for MAHCP is to become more involved in the Labour movement both provincially and nationally.