I’d like to start by thanking all our Members who are on the front lines fighting COVID-19 and those who contribute by playing their vital part behind the scenes. Nunavut Employees Union (NEU) Members make the difference and are the reason that COVID-19 cases are where they are now throughout Nunavut. Healthcare professionals showed us once again that not all super heroes wear capes - some wear scrubs. Thank you to our Members in Iqaluit who continue the difficult work of providing clean, drinkable water throughout our most recent and ongoing water crises. Our Members are the ones that keep Nunavut working and strong by making sacrifices and ALWAYS stepping up no matter what during any crisis.
Two months ago, I was elected as your new NEU President. It has been busy since then as we have: offered the first Union Education course in over two years; increased and improved communications with Members; had numerous interviews with the media highlighting crucial issues facing Members; and lobbied Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) (see below) and other politicians including MP Lori Idlout and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh – building and repairing valuable relationships.
I’ve encouraged the Government of Nunavut (GN) to stop just saying “employer of choice” and to try to actually be an employer of choice and setting an example for all Nunavut employers.
Now, we are asking you to help us make the GN to do the right thing for our GN Members (and for all of Nunavut) by participating in an email campaign to MLAs as part of the herefornunavut.ca campaign.
I hope it is becoming clear that your Union is changing the way we put your union dues to work for you. We intend to demonstrate this to you by continuing to improve how we do things through:
- Community visits in in the new year to ensure that communities and Members are engaged;
- Supporting strong and functioning Locals through productive Annual General Meetings like the ones we recently held (Local 006 and Local 007);
- Improving our support to Members though hiring an inhouse lawyer in the near future (this will make the NEU the first Northern Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) component with its own lawyer);
- The current job recruitment for a Kitikmeot based Service Officer;
- Continuing to support fair Collective Agreements for all NEU Members like the ones recently ratified for the Cambridge Bay Housing Association and the Pond Inlet Housing Association;
- Launching a new and vastly more user-friendly neu.ca website to make it easier for you to stay informed;
- Better utilizing our Facebook page to keep you up-to-date on things like community visits, meetings and other events like how you can qualify (until January 31, 2022) to win a free Canadian North round-trip plane ticket as part of a draw to be held on February 14, 2022.
As it is December there are two things I would like to close with.
December 6th was the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. It is important that we remember those who have experienced gender-based violence and those who we have lost to it. It is also time to take action. Working together we can help prevent and address gender-based violence by remembering and learning from our past, listening to survivors and speaking up against harmful behavior. Have you used your voice today?
Lastly, as the holiday season approaches try to get some rest, take care of yourself and spend time with loved ones if you can. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself and please look out for those that might need or benefit from some kindness over the holiday season.
Let’s celebrate the successes of 2021 and keep fighting together for a better Nunavut in 2022