Jessica Kerek – report from the BC Federation of Labour Renewal Conference

My experience at the BCFed Renewal conference was extremely interesting.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reports attending BCFed events, the comparison between municipal, provincial, and federal unions is quite interesting as the issue that member face vary greatly.  It is informative to hear different perspectives and learn about the different union structures, as well as to hear how the same issue (example: accommodation) can affect members in such a variety of ways.  It was refreshing in that it challenges the thought process and provides a forum to exchange information.

I attended the courses for building a Balanced Labour Relations Board, Duty to Accommodate, and a course on communication and career building.  It was surprising how some of the courses overlapped with educational courses I have attended in the past, but with a fresh twist on the information provided.  In addition, I was able to learn a great deal of information regarding several other large unions such as COPE, CUPE, BCTF and UNIFOR.

Aside from the education component, the BCFed provided for a variety of entertainment in the morning and after return from lunch, as well as several evening seminars and social functions for members to interact outside of a seminar setting.

I would recommend attending this type of event as it is extremely educational in looking at the broader labour movement in a macro perspective.  While our components and the PSAC are a large organization, the labour movement as a whole is much larger.  A lot of the issues being pursued are important to our members, and having the ability to become involved in a larger sense lends unity to the union and labour force for fighting for members rights.

Respectfully submitted and in solidarity,

Jessica Kerek, CIU 20040 President – Vancouver Branch