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February 16, 2017

Posted by on in Stakeholder Relations
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Some of you may have seen that the Supreme Court of Canada, on February 2, ruled against Merit Contractors on a case involving union membership at Manitoba Hydro. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.

This was a positive note for organized labour, to see that the courts were willing not only to protect the rights of workers and but to protect the role of the union in providing that protection and ensuring that workers are all treated equitably. In fact, the courts felt so strongly that what Merit was arguing did not serve the public interest that Merit was forced to pay all costs, including those incurred by Manitoba Hydro and the unions involved (Insulators, Electricians and Operating Engineers).

Merit had been fighting this case for the last five years, at the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, Manitoba Court of Appeal and finally, at the Supreme Court of Canada.

From its very beginning, Merit Contractors has functioned to try to weaken unions and remove them from the construction industry altogether, and one of their main focuses is on getting labour legislation changed in order to remove protections for workers. They tried this in Manitoba and failed. They attacked the legislation in Nova Scotia in 2014. They tried to bully the Alberta Government into making changes to their programming by posting an open letter to the Premier last year.

We need to remember that we do not work in a vacuum. While the unionized building trades works to keep members employed, safe and well-trained, groups like Merit are working to destroy what our Locals have worked to build. We need to ensure that our government knows we are here and we are strong. If you haven’t contacted your MLA yet and shared your thoughts, please do so. Click here to look up your MLA if you are not sure who they are. If you don’t know what to talk about, the BTA can help. We built a policy book that lays out the things we are fighting for and we are always looking for ways to add your voice to ours to ensure we get heard.

Together we are strong and together we can help ensure a prosperous tomorrow.

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Born and raised here in Edmonton, I started my career in communications as a teacher with Edmonton Public Schools.  While there, I began my MBA, which I completed while working as a School Jurisdiction Liaison for central and southern Alberta with Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan.  Following that, I obtained a similar role with Alberta Pensions Services Corporation, where I was responsible for the provincial Employer Education program as well as the Employer Compliance program, helping participating employers ensure that all members eligible for pension benefits received the correct benefit at the correct time.  I then joined Alberta Urban Municipalities Association as the Director of Client Development, continuing to grow as a communications and relationship management professional.

I am proud to be able to work on behalf of the BTA and all her members as the Media and Public Relations Manager as I have always had a deep belief in community and a passion for engagement and this organization clearly believes in the same thing. I have an appreciation for everything that the labour movement has been able to accomplish so far and am excited to be working with you all as we move forward.

When I am not working on promoting the BTA, I conduct leadership development workshops and volunteer with Project Adult Literacy Society (PALS) teaching math to adult students specifically with the goal of helping them pass the provincial trade entrance exam so they can then get to work in the trades and make a better life for themselves.


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