Let me re-introduce myself to you and introduce you to the first issue of the National President’s Message. My name is Shimen Fayad and I am your National President. I have been an active member of the PSAC and my Component since 2002. At the Local level I was Treasurer, Vice-President and President and I have also served as a Regional Officer and most recently was elected as your National Vice-President first in 2014 and then re-elected in 2017. I assumed the role of National President in February 2020.
The last year has been a whirlwind of new challenges and opportunities. To have the opportunity to lead the UHEW has been a great opportunity and I want to thank everyone who has helped me make this major adjustment in my personal and professional life. The challenges have been many and varied since the resignation of our long-time National President, Brother Todd Panas. They included the training orientation of new National Executive members including our new National Vice-President Benoît Thibault, who has been a fabulous support to me and the National Office.
I took over this role in February 2020 with the thought that I would soon be able to visit Locals and talk to members. That is such a pleasant memory. But it was not to be. Soon, we were firmly in the grip of the pandemic and like everyone else, that consumed all my time and energy. At the National Office and across the country we worked very hard to ensure that UHEW members’ concerns were raised and addressed. This was particularly true about health and safety concerns of people who had to go to work and ensuring that other members had the necessary equipment to work from home.
We have also managed to provide advocacy and representation for UHEW members throughout this year, dealing with the concerns of everyone from lab workers at many of our departments, to Wildlife Officers who are fighting to protect their health and safety to name a few. But now that we are moving into the vaccination phase of the pandemic, we all hope that the worst is behind us and that we can start acting more proactively on a broad range of issues and concerns that you have raised.
We will be more active in our out-going communications this year as well. Look forward to more direct communications from myself and the National Vice-President and an enhanced presence by UHEW on social media. But communications only works if it happens both ways and we want to hear from you about your issues and concerns. To that end we will be launching a membership survey in the next couple of months to provide all members with an opportunity to share your views on what we are doing now as a Union and where you would like us to go.
Help us build UHEW together!!