Robyn Benson brings convention to a close

Sisters, Brothers and Friends,

We had an eventful time together this past week.

We elected a new National President, National Executive Vice-President, and Alternate National Executive Vice-President. I want to congratulation Brother Chris, Sister Magali and Sister Sharon on their election.

We adopted a budget that will allow our union to do important union-building work, and to do even more for our members.

We had a lively, noisy demonstration outside of Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s constituency office demanding more and better from the federal Liberal government.

I want to thank the delegates for rising to speak to the resolutions; for listening respectfully to each other and considering what others said; for sharing your experience and perspectives. We had some very important and emotional debates.

The discussions of Truth and Reconciliation, domestic violence, and of the hardships caused by Phoenix and precarious work were especially moving. Those discussions ended in important resolutions being passed—ones that we will act on when we get home.

Now, we all have a responsibility to work together to take the action called for at this convention. It’s up to us to engage the tens of thousands of PSAC members back home to help deliver on the decisions made this week.

We committed to keep organizing the unorganized. We committed to a major campaign to combat precarious work. We committed to escalate action to back up our comprehensive set of demands to address the Phoenix pay system.

This has been an especially significant convention for me, being my last one.

I am an ordinary person. I am a member for the members. I’ve just done what I knew had to be done to make things better for working people—to get the respect we deserve from managers, employers and governments—to get justice when injustices have been done. I know that all of you—each and every one of you—do this every day. I’ve learned it’s about helping each and every member and those in our communities. What we want for ourselves we want for others.

I am so confident of PSAC’s future. I am confident in the newly elected officers. I am confident in all of you.We are a union that knows how to overcome adversity. We are a union that fights hard and wins important victories for our members. We are a progressive and forward-looking union. We are a union that is growing in numbers and in strength.

Thank you everyone!

May 4, 2018