Dear CULE Sisters and Brothers,
As I sit here in Iqaluit the evening following the first day of our Northern Regional Staff Conference I ponder our day and consider just how we will accomplish all the work that our employer is asking us to do in this region. I also realize that the increasing demands for Unit 1 members is likely no different here than it is anywhere else. Increasingly we are asked to do more and more with limited time and resources.
Part of our work is to mobilize members to stand up to employers and demand better. Better working conditions, better payment for overtime worked, better benefits and wages, a voice in the workplace. While I agree that we do have excellent benefits in most regards, we are supposed to work a 35 hour work week, this rarely if ever happens for most CULE 1 members. More often than not we are being asked by the employer to do more than is realistic and are not compensated the way we would expect most workers to be compensated by way of overtime. Yes, we have out days but again, does this make up for all the extra hours we put in as staff?
The employer has been second to none in regards to childcare; I am proud and pleased as a parent that I am able to take my preschool child with me to various events across the country. This is not a consistent practice with our employer and others have not been treated on an equitable basis in this regard. Our workforce is changing and more and more working families are coming on strength in this bargaining unit. We need to insist on a better quality of worklife and consistent practices from this employer. As CULE 1 Vice President I would like to see increased communication between members and the executive; mobilization of members across the country around all grievance issues in order to improve the working conditions of all is a priority that I am committed to.
Earlier today Brother Jim Brohman asked me if I was ready to deal with a lot of grievances and I am prepared and keen to work hard for the membership on whatever matters they entrust me with. I have been an activist, chief shop steward, local president, regional vice-president, chair of many committees and feel up to the commitment and challenge of working the members of this Union and in specific, listening to and acting on the concerns and issues of CULE Unit 1 members.
I ask for your support and encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote. My strongest belief is in a democratic process where members have participated in an informed and participatory process. I also wish all candidates good luck in the elections process and thank them or putting their names forward in service to the membership.
In solidarity Dolly Ablitt Regional Representative