A message for PSAC young workers from your new BC Regional Council Coordinator

Hello Young Workers!

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is James Brierley and at the 2017 PSAC BC Triennial Convention I was honored to have been acclaimed as your new PSAC BC Young Worker Coordinator.

I work with the Integrity Services Branch of Service Canada in Nanaimo, BC.  I am the president of my local and have been involved with our local executive in various capacities for almost 3 years.  I was raised in a very union oriented household with my mother in CUPE and father working in Pulp and Paper and have seen first hand what a union can do when they stand together.  Prior to my work with Service Canada I worked in many industrial capacities and have first hand knowledge of the dangerous and precarious work that young workers face on a daily basis across our province.

Presently, Millennials are the largest working age group in Canada; a force to be reckoned with if we, as a movement, are able to stand together and tackle the social and political issues that face us.  We face precarious work and pay due to the Phoenix pay system, restrictions to advancement and mobility, and the still present myth that young workers are inexperienced or “lazy.”  We as activists need to fight the best way we know how, by succeeding and changing our movement for the better.  To fight for all young workers in Canada and ensure more young workers are able to find and thrive in unionized employment.

In many areas of our province, housing affordability is out of reach for many young workers and without stable employment, this seems only further out of reach. I am also a young father of soon to be two children, and affordable childcare is something I feel is very important.  I never thought I would have to evaluate my ability to have the family I always wanted based on the exorbitant cost of child care.  The $10 dollar a day childcare plan would provide affordable care that young families can rely on without having to mortgage their family dreams to pay for daycare.  In this role I intend to advocate for these issues facing us today.

James at the PSAC BC Young Workers Conference, Fall 2016
James at the PSAC BC Young Workers Conference, Fall 2016

I believe very strongly in accessibility to our leadership and accountability.  I will strive to be the conduit from PSAC Regional and young workers and this goes in both directions. Above all I will listen; listen to your concerns, causes and passions and push for resolutions.  Our grassroots activists and young workers across BC believe in action and I hope to bring this to regional council.

In this role I am following a fantastic activist and friend, Vanessa Miller.  I believe very strongly as she did, that together we are stronger than we are apart.  I got my start as an activist because someone believed in me and thought that I could made a difference if involved.  From this, I gained a strong belief in inclusive leadership and promoting equality, active mentorship and the engagement of alternates.  I want to hear from you and work with you to provide the best service to the membership possible.  Succession planning, increasing involvement and mobilization of young workers I feel is the key to a successful future and leaving a stronger union for future generations.

Through this next cycle I hope to gain not only your trust but to work with everyone to tackle the tough issues that young workers face across our great province of British Columbia.  With cooperation and collaboration, we can leave the labour movement even better than we found it.

I look forward to working with you all and am excited for the things to come.

In solidarity,

James Brierley
PSAC BC Young Worker Coordinator – BrierlJ@psac-afpc.com