We're looking for a few champions

The Report: August 2010 vol.31 num.4

SUMMER IS FINALLY HERE, and while I hope that all of you have an opportunity to slow things down and spend time with family, here at HSA were moving forward on several fronts.

Our ad campaign on waitlists, featured on the cover of this edition, wound down in June after reaching countless British Columbians across the province with the message that wait lists will get worse if health care is cut and wages for health care professionals are frozen. The campaign made use of some bold and creative ideas, and weve received great coverage in the media and a lot of positive feedback both from our members and the public.

Were already working to develop a larger and even more comprehensive campaign for the fall. Building on public concerns about the health care system, and their awareness of the vital role played by our members in health care and social services, our next campaign will continue the work of letting the public, the media and the government know more about the work you do every day.

Our health science professionals bargaining team is working tirelessly to strengthen and improve our health care system by reducing shortages of health care professionals who are essential to the modern health care team. Theyve delivered key proposals calling for detailed and in-depth discussions about challenges in retention and recruitment.

Work on modernizing our classification system is moving to a new stage now that focus groups with members are complete. Our team is making the most of your feedback.

Negotiations will continue through the summer, as will bargaining at the community social services table.

On the national front, HSA will be taking part in NUPGEs upcoming campaign to promote public services, defend public employees and call for tax fairness. This is a multi-faceted campaign with ambitious goals. It will include days of action in every province to demonstrate the value of public services and the creation of a national foundation to promote public services and tax fairness.

The foundation will proactively spread our message in the media and in the public, and serve as a clearinghouse of evidence-based research demonstrating the value of public services and the need for tax fairness. Every HSA member will have an opportunity to get involved. Here in BC, well be working to collect testimonials about the value of public services ... short video clips, written messages, photos and more. And this fall well be looking for a number of -champions" ... members who will serve as ambassadors to other members. These champions will be trained to deliver campaign presentations to HSA meetings, community groups, non-governmental organizations and other unions throughout the province.

If youd like to serve as a champion, or submit a testimonial about public services, keep your eye on hsabc. org for more information. The web site is also your best source of information and updates on bargaining, campaigns and more. Have a great summer!

Reid Johnson is President of the HSA.