In my capacity as your new President, please allow me in this first message to the membership, to express my heartfelt thanks for the trust the Governing Council has placed in me. It is always an honor to be chosen to lead, and to be chosen from amongst such worthy, talented peers is truly humbling. I would also like to thank my predecessor, Ursula Hendel, not only for her dedicated service as President, but also for her invaluable mentoring and advice. She leaves big shoes to fill.
My promise to you, is that together, we will continue to increase the AJC’s strategic leverage and collaborations with an increased focus on inclusion and membership engagement. We will also work on identifying ways that we, as a bargaining unit, can better serve the needs of our members, including those members of underrepresented populations by age, gender, race, or geographic location. Initial work is underway by a new equity working group that was just established by your Governing Council. They have been mandated to first conduct a review of the equity work that the AJC and its National Joint Council bargaining agent members have done to date in collaboration with the employer and federal departments. Once we’ve established where we are at, we can best identify what, and where any gaps remain and establish an effective course of action towards closing them. The equity working group is expected to make recommendations to the Governing Council at its September meeting.
These are challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious challenge not only to the health and safety of our members but of all Canadians. Rest assured that the AJC is working diligently to protect the health, safety and interests of all of our members, as we transition towards a phased reintegration into workplaces. Similarly, recent events around the world have brought social injustices into sharp focus, challenging us all to do better. The AJC is listening, learning and is acting to address equity issues. While the challenges we face are great, they also bring with them opportunities of equal proportion. Opportunities for a healthier, safer workplace. Opportunities for a more equitable society. Opportunities for a more just world. Together, we will seize every opportunity we have to build the strategic partnerships and engage the Employer to improve your working conditions.