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Conventions: an important democratic tradition

The Report: May / June 1998 vol.18 num.8

by CINDY STEWART

Annual Convention is an opportunity to meet with the many friends whoare committed to advancing our union, and a time to participate in the supreme governingbody of our union. As I write this, the convention is five weeks away, but we will be inthe middle of the proceedings when The Report bearing this column is distributed.

I expect this years convention to be an exciting one. In additionto receiving reports, hearing about bargaining, debating constitutional and financialchanges, re-connecting with old friends and meeting new ones ... we have a very fullagenda. Over 40 resolutions were forwarded for consideration to the 1998 Convention and weexpect each and every resolution to be debated. Conventions are democracy in action. It isvery important that members appreciate the importance of the role in attending conventionand take the opportunity to participate in the democratic processes to ensure the unionremains a vehicle for advancing the wishes of HSA members.

Conventions are also an opportunity to bring all of HSA together. Weare a provincial union and a great deal of our strength and achievements flows from havinga provincial presence. And while the geographic reality can be a challenge, conventionprovides a structure where we can see our union as a whole. Members work in the North, theKootenays, the Lower Mainland and on the Island; in large and small facilities; intransition homes, childrens services and acute care ... at the end of the day weare members of HSA. Convention is a vehicle that brings us together to celebrate in thework we all do in the union.

I have been at enough conventions to know better than to anticipate theconventions direction on any particular issue. Your elected representatives takedirection from the convention and are energised by the enthusiasm that follows from it.Convention is not just a time for accountability over last years events, it is alsoa time for renewal and re-commitment for the year ahead. This springs anticipateddeliberations augur well for the year ahead as our commitment to democratic participationand control moves forward.

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