Day 2 began with Director of Finance and Administration, Christina Hatchard who provided a comprehensive overview of USJE’s current financial state and proposed operating budget for 2023-2026.
She highlighted the major drivers of the USJE National operating budget which includes meetings, salaries, travel, representation and related administrative and operational expenses. A brief breakdown of the following expenses was outlined: National Office staff salaries and travel, National Office expenses, National Executive salaries (including 17 Regional Vice President, and the National President) plus travel and expenses, 2 to 3 National Executive meetings in Ottawa per year, the National Local Presidents’ Meeting (once every three years), five Regional conferences (once every three years), USJE’s National Triennial Convention, support for the Health and Safety Advisory Committee, National Equity Committee, Community Initiatives program, communications, and training to members.
USJE has a sizable investment portfolio that generates anuual interest which, in turn, helps to support the day to day operations. USJE has also developed and implemented two strategic plans over the last two terms which have enabled USJE to pursue special projects and initiatives, such as USJE’s National Public Safety Awards on Parliament Hill, and formal partnership with Dr. Rose Ricciardelli. This has enabled USJE to fund qualitative research with specific occupational groups within USJE’s membership focused on identifying risks for occupational stress injuries in support of USJE’s Presumptive Injury campaign.
The budget was carried unanimously.
USJE delegates then considered a number of changes to bylaws including:
- The By-Laws and Regulations be amended to incorporate gender-neutral language
- USJE Bylaw 11, Section 6 be amended to change dues to local dues rebate
- Bylaw 6, Section 3 & 4 be amended […] to properly reflect […] changes as a housekeeping item. Carried
- USGE be amended to USJE to reflect name change wherever referenced. Carried
- USJE Bylaw 12, Sections 1 and 2 be amended to be in compliance with the PSAC Constitution, and that any reference to suspension of membership or removal from PSAC office be amended to constitute a recommendation from National Executive to the NBoD – Carried unanimously
- USJE bylaw 13 was modified to add that an Equity conference will be held in the 12th months prior to the National Triennial Convention in every three year cycle and that the conference be 3.5 days plus travel time. Carried.
- An extra day immediately prior to Convention be added as a “Caucus day” in the USJE By-Law 10. Carried.
- Amendments to the selection process to identify delegates for Regional Conferences so that “Each Local and Section shall be notified of its entitlement to send one participant when there are five or more but less than 150 members and one additional participant for each additional 250 members or fraction thereof.” Carried.
Special Address by Peter Julian, Member of Parliament
In addition to bylaw considerations, USJE heard from Member of Parliament Peter Julian, MP for New-Westminster – Burnaby. Peter Julian is the House Leader for the federal New Democratic Party, and also serves as the NDP Critic for Canadian Heritage and Public Safety, as well as Deputy Critic for Finance.
Kirsty Havard, Chair of the Health and Safety Advisory Committee, and a resident in Mr. Julian’s riding introduce, noting her positive experience working with Mr. Julian to successfully advocate for more staff at Kwìkwèxwelhp, a CSC Healing lodge in British Columbia.
During his address, Mr. Julian thanked members of the Union of Safety and Justice Employees for the crucial work they do from coast to coast to coast, and underscored that it often comes at great personal cost. He also emphasized his support for USJE’s Presumptive Injury campaign and offered his full cooperation to amend federal legislation so that public safety and justice employees can access Worker’s Compensation, no matter their location or occupation.
Mr. Julian noted that many of the recommendations that USJE has already made to reduce the risk of Occupational Stress Injury among RCMP Detachment Services Assistants, and federal Parole Officers are simply a matter of common sense, and should be implemented without hesitation.
At the end of the speech, President David Neufeld presented Mr. Julian with a coveted USJE vest, something he immediately wore proudly!