NSGEU Staffing Changes

*This article appeared in the summer edition of the Union Stand

As staff members retire, new staff have been hired or have changed positions alongside a few organizational shifts to improve service.

Here are some of the most recent changes to staffing at the NSGEU:

Robin MacLean, our Executive Director, has retired after 21 years at the NSGEU representing and negotiating for improved working conditions for members. We are pleased to announce the Board of Directors has ratified Shawn Fuller, formerly the Director of Negotiations and Servicing, to this position. Shawn has worked for the NSGEU for 12 years and has served the membership as an Employee Relations Officer (ERO) and Service Coordinator in both Health Care and Government sides of the union. As a lead negotiator, Shawn has effectively guided some of the largest and smallest locals through some of our most difficult negotiations.

Bruce Thomson, Director of Administrative and Financial Services, has retired after 18 years on the job, providing solid and dedicated financial and organizational leadership and support to the NSGEU Executive. The Board of Directors is pleased to announce the confirmation of Julie MacDougall as our new Director of Administrative and Financial Services. Julie steps into this position seamlessly with her organizational knowledge and skills. She has served as our accountant for 25 years and has been responsible for establishing and maintaining many of our organizational processes that keep things running smoothly.

John Cook, ERO and youth worker, has retired. John was known for his tireless advocacy and his hard work was much appreciated by the membership.

Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director, Vicki Walsh, has retired. Vicki has one of the longest histories with the NSGEU beginning in 1987, when she came to us from the School of Nursing at the VG when our offices were in the Young St. Tower at Robie and Young streets in Halifax. Her skills and service will be missed personally and organizationally. We are pleased to announce Kim Clarke, who was most recently working in the Education Department, will be replacing Vicki as the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director. Kim worked as an Administrative Assistant at the IWK for 22 years and has been with us at the NSGEU since 2017.

Administrative Professionals Angela Fitzgerald and Leslie Long have retired. Leslie came to work at the NSGEU from the Department of Justice in 2009 and Angela started at the NSGEU in 2013. Both Angela and Leslie brought great skills and dedication to serving the membership through the years.

Colin Sutton is the successful candidate for a vacant ERO position. Colin comes from Saint Mary’s University and had many years of activism with the Union as President of his local and Board member. He began at the NSGEU in the Resource Centre in 2019.

JoAnn Bailey, Director, Negotiations and Servicing has retired. JoAnn has been with the NSGEU since 2004 when she was first hired as a Researcher. She went on to become an ERO, a Servicing Coordinator and then the Director.

A Servicing Coordinator position was created for the Community Care sector (Long-term care, Group Homes, Home Care, and non-profit) in order to improve support and service to the membership. Jim Gosse was the successful applicant for this position. Jim has a background as a Correctional Officer and has been working for the NSGEU as an ERO since 2010.
The Health Care Servicing Coordinator position is now vacant as Lynette Johnson has just been ratified by the Board of Directors as our new Director of Negotiations and Servicing. Lynette’s background is in health care as a Medical Laboratory Technologist where she worked at the VG in 1991. She was hired as an ERO in 2008 and has been Health Care Coordinator since 2019. Her sharp mind and strong background in health care has been a core strength during our health care negotiations. She brings her experience, knowledge, skill to her new position as Director.

Nicole McKim has been confirmed as a Servicing Coordinator. Nicole has been an Employee Relations Officer since 2011 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role.

We welcome Dawn Lohnes, who was the successful applicant for our Financial Services Coordinator position. Dawn’s background is with Financial Services in the Civil Service and she has been with the NSGEU a little over five years.

Kim Jenkins was hired last year as an Administrative Professional. She has 23 years in health care administration.

Juliana Mullen is our new Membership Records Supervisor. Juliana began at the NSGEU as a Membership Records Clerk over four years ago and came to us with an Administrative Professional from the South Shore Regional Centre for Education.

Stephanie Howell is our new Resource Centre Supervisor. Stephanie has been with the NSGEU for 10 years beginning as a Labour Resource Representative. She came to us from the group home sector where she worked as a Group Home Counsellor.

Cynthia Black from Local 81, Mount St. Vincent University, has just been ratified by the Board of Directors as a new Administrative Professional.
Didar Nanakaly has just been ratified into a term position as our Technical Systems and User Support Analyst and is replacing Steven Smith who is on paternity leave until March 2022.
Thank you to all for your years of service, and congratulations!

Robin MacLean – outgoing NSGEU Executive Director

Robin MacLean has been a modest, kind, and quiet force of resilience and solidarity in the labour movement – a woman, mother, activist, trade unionist, negotiator, strategist, manager and mentor. She has her Masters in History and her Bachelor of Law and has dedicated her working life to fighting for workers and making a difference in their lives on an individual and collective level. We have been fortunate to have her working here at the NSGEU since 1999. We were very pleased the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour voted her Sister of the Year in 2020.
Robin’s experience with the NSGEU began after taking a job with the Workers’ Compensation Board. She became an active member in her local as a Shop Steward in 1995 and a member of the Bargaining Committee. She represented workers who were experiencing difficulty with WCB through the Office of the Workers’ Counsellor and also worked as a policy analyst with the Occupational Health and Safety Division of the Department of Labour.

In 1999, Robin was hired as an Employee Relations Officer (ERO) at the NSGEU. She fearlessly defended the members’ collective agreement rights and negotiated contracts on their behalf, including advancing issues of pay equity, among other improvements at the bargaining table. In the fall of 2014, after moving from ERO to serving as Director of Negotiations and Servicing, Robin was hired as our Executive Director.

Robin has been part of the glue that holds the trade union movement together. She is not flashy. She does not demand to be seen or heard. But she has worked tirelessly behind the scenes and has been a voice of solidarity, strength and determination when times got tough. She has been the voice at the table who speaks to the reasons for working together

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