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Summer brings new challenges for HSA

The Report: July 1999 vol.20 num.1

by CINDY STEWART

I write this on the first day of summer: June 21. When I began my work on the Executive of HSA, first as a Board member, then as President, I heard rumours that ‘things slowed down in the summer, affording a breather from the hectic pace maintained throughout the rest of the year. I wait patiently for one of those summers.

The end of negotiations inevitably sparks a flurry of activity as new language and interpretations are tested. At every bargaining table where HSA has members, major changes were introduced to the collective agreements. And always, the conclusion of negotiations generates many expectations among members with respect to new rights and benefits. It takes time and resources (and patience!) to familiarize staff and activists with the implications of working with changed language and in some cases new collective agreements. This work doesnt necessarily wait for a change in seasons.

The Board of Directors will meet at the end of June, which marks the beginning of their work for the year. New committees will be constituted and work plans will start to take shape. The years work is a continuation of existing mandates, with the addition of new issues identified by delegates at convention. It takes determination to squeeze all the work into 12 months.

The past year has tested the union in many, many ways. Our challenges were numerous, but it made the victories all the sweeter. Our work continues on many fronts, but coming out of convention I continue to be buoyed by the enthusiasm and commitment of HSA members and staff. Today, we cant wait for the change in pace ... every season brings its demands. So, like everything else, we have to be proactive. Enjoy your summer! Weve all earned it.

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