Health and Safety Officer Report – Month of January
Returning to full duties this month was like climbing a steep hill with freshly fallen snow, every step you take more snow falls on top of you and you can’t seem to make any progress! The world still spins, and time waits for no one. On top of the new issues that rolled in, I needed to do some homework and read a lot of what has happened in my absence. I find myself asking a lot of questions again, but it’s improving every day. There’s progress up that hill, I’m stomping a path and things seem to be getting a bit better. I appreciate all your patience, it’s just all so new again!
Being new is not a bad thing, as I said in a few consultations with management this past month, “this is a new year and it’s a new me.” I am not going to put up with the lack of information they’re supposed to provide to my office. The communication regarding injuries, accommodations, investigations…quite frankly have been pathetic. I’m taking names and advised them “I will be watching, and I WILL be filing grievances!” Read that last line and picture Liam Neilson’s character in the movie Taken. haha!
I’ve managed to participate in four LJHSC monthly meetings this month. It’s easy to get buried in my office with emails and swept away with phone calls, so I made it a point this year and going forward to commit to as many meetings as I can. I need to be more than just an email to our LJHS Committee’s.
It’s important to make sure the committees are engaged and functioning properly. I’ve seen the lines get blurred of what we do and what we are supposed to do. I’ve steered the focus back to our Terms of Reference, a document that lays out the functions and duties of the committee. There is nowhere in that document that says LJHSC sort mail, audit footwear, or observe members and report. Like I said, “new year, new me” …. I want that message to spread to our committees. Our Local Joint Health and Safety Committees are a crucial resource for members to reach out to when they have a concern, they must trust that we are there for them. It is a joint committee, but it’s STILL CUPW, we just work with APOC on trying to create a safer workplace. We do that through making recommendations from the investigations and inspections of our workplaces inside or out on the street. I look forward to participating in more meetings in the upcoming months. Thank you to all the committees for your efforts and dedication.
I hope you’ve been putting that pocket change in jar at the end of the day because we are in for a tough year. With negotiations happening, which will be one of the toughest, we need to prepare for what’s to come. I’ll tell you one thing, CPC is coming, and they are bringing longer walks with SSD, and they’ll definitely be pushing for automation.
They will try to keep us divided and distracted, but true strength is when we stand side by side, looking one direction…at the employer. Instead of pointing fingers at your brothers, sisters, cousins, and comrades, which the employer loves…. Let’s come together and define SOLIDARITY!
The Struggle Continues
Health and Safety Officer