This Monday is Labour Day.
For more than a century Canadians have marked the day with rallies, parades, barbeques, and actions to highlight and celebrate what the labour movement is doing and has done for working people. It’s also the time to celebrate the benefits of being a member of a union.
For our Union, it’s a day to emphasize HSAA’s vision to champion workers’ rights by focusing on improving members’ lives. Unions have the power to create change and shape society. Our goal is to do that through continually striving to strengthen our rights in our workplaces.
Our Union has plenty to celebrate from the past year. New agreements have been signed increasing salaries and benefits. New, bargained for programs like the Rural Capacity Investment Fund, are in place and funds are being distributed. We have also successfully negotiated wage parity and protected pensions for thousands of members still dealing with the uncertainty of the transitioning lab system.
These wins may seem small given the scope and scale of the problems we face and the fact the playing field continues to change due to government and employer decisions and policies. But this is why we are fortunate to be members of a union. Our Union is vigilant in ensuring our rights are protected and is constantly building upon our wins. Over time, small victories accumulate and become big changes.
And there is another aspect to Labour Day we sincerely hope as many of you as possible will get to enjoy… time off. Time to be with your friends and loved ones. Time to rest and recharge.
One of the original issues taken on by the labour movement in Canada was the length of the work week and the need for people to have a sustainable work/life balance. This is an issue that shows just how important unions are because it continues to evolve. Unions need to preserve the gains that have been made and bargain for new provisions that help us meet our modern-day responsibilities and will address the staffing crisis.
We will continue to protect and push to expand benefits that improve your lives, the lives of your families and the lives of people in the communities you serve. After all, caring for people is what you, and our Union, are all about.