Reid Johnson steps down as president of HSA

HSA's Board of Directors announces the resignation of President Reid Johnson effective today, September 11, 2013.

As provided under the union's constitution, vice president Val Avery, a physiotherapist at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, steps in as the new president. An election will be held at the union's April 2014 annual convention.

First elected as president in April 2007, Johnson earned his Masters of Social Work at UBC and holds a post-masters certificate in family therapy. He has worked in psychiatry, spinal cord and vocational rehabilitation, and in family therapy. Johnson originally joined HSA in 1988 and has been a full-time member of the union since 1990. He joined the Board of Directors in 1997, and previously served as the union's secretary-treasurer.

Under his leadership, the union has focused on increasing staffing to support labour relations services to members, including specialized support for disability management and pension advocacy, as well as raising the profile of health science professionals as integral members of the modern health care team. Since his election in 2007, unprecedented resources and support have been committed to a long term advertising program, and developing a sophisticated and professional government relations strategy involving direct lines of communication between HSA members and elected officials.

"It has been a privilege for me these past six and a half years to represent HSA members working throughout the health care and social services systems in British Columbia," Johnson said.

"In that time, members have been under continuous pressure to deliver excellent and compassionate services in spite of growing shortages, tightening budgets, and continued assaults on those very services," he said.

"For personal reasons, the timing is right for me to step away from the leadership of the union. I join with the rest of the board of directors in welcoming Val Avery who will take over as president until an election is held in April 2014. Val has served in many important capacities in the union and is fully prepared for the work ahead in the coming months," he said.

Janice Morrison, a physiotherapist at Kootenay Lake Hospital has been elected by the union's board of directors to fulfill the duties of vice president, and Brendan Shields, a music therapist at Richmond Hospital, will serve as secretary-treasurer.

A byelection for Regional Director for Region 2 will be held in the coming weeks to fill the vacancy on the board of directors created by Avery's new position as HSA President.