It is often said that the only constant element in our lives is change. I’m of the mind that change is not necessarily a bad thing, but rather, that it always presents some form of opportunity, if you approach it in the right way.
In this world of sophisticated technology and instant gratification, there seems to be a greater expectation that people grow and change along with their workplaces. Within the public service, we are slowly seeing the introduction of shared services emerge in some areas, and are watching carefully to ensure our members are a part of this change, rather than mere casualties of the process.
Nova Scotia, as a province, stands poised and ready for a period of tremendous change, also. We are preparing for an influx of jobs and economic productivity, due in large part to the upcoming shipbuilding project, as well as large-scale developments like the new convention centre in downtown Halifax. While you may or may not agree with the decision-making process or politics that led to these projects, one thing is certain: they will change the face of this province.
The labour movement is evolving, as well, battling back against a series of attacks from the Harper government, which seems bound and determined to erode the rights and strength of Canada’s working class through changes to our EI program and the introduction of legislation that unfairly targets unions. Yet, as the gap between the richest and poorest in society widens, and the middle class is pushed downwards, people across Canada are finally starting to stand up and say “enough is enough,” stepping up to join the Idle No More movement, which now stretches from coast to coast.
The NSGEU is changing, too.
We’re getting ready to move our staff into our new offices – a new home for our members – and we’ve recently relaunched our online home, as well: www.nsgeu.ca. And at our upcoming Biennial Convention, the direction of our union – your union – is sure to be transformed through the introduction of a series of resolutions, as well as the leadership of a new Executive Committee (please see the latest issue of The Stand for candidate profiles).
Change is inevitable. But I believe that the way we approach change often has the power to dictate the outcome, transforming it into either a positive or negative experience.
Which brings me to the theme of this year’s Convention: “NSGEU: In Your Workplace, In Your Community, Moving Forward Together.” We ask that, as we brace ourselves for an exciting and challenging time of great change,
you will put your confidence in the NSGEU and stand with us and, of course, offer help and constructive criticism along the way. We want NSGEU members to be a part of the process, and to be united as we move forward together, into the future.
Joan Jessome, NSGEU President