YEU Celebrates 50 years of Yukon Solidarity!

Nancy-Debrecini-Kathy-Hanifan-SUe-Christianson-YEU-50thSaturday November 21 2015 marked a milestone for this northern union; 50 years ago to the day, a group of determined Yukon Government workers met for the first time to form the Yukon Territorial Public Service Association. They worked hard over the first few years to achieve full component status within the Public Service Alliance of Canada, fought off two Teamster raids and have grown to an inclusive, territory wide organization representing workers from more than 20 employers. We were proud to honour the achievements of those who paved the way, and we look forward to the next 50 years!

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Teens & Tools; YWITT talks Trades for Young Women!

Sue-and-draw-winnersFor 15 years, Yukon Women in Trades & Technology has championed opportunities for young women to learn up new skills and gain confidence through the annual Trades Exploration Conference.   The event will take on an exciting new shape this year as the girls experience skill building in real work settings.YEU has proudly supported their annual Young Women Exploring Trades event for many years; we are excited to be part of building choice for Yukon’s next generation.

If you know a Grade 8 girl please make sure she knows about the YWET Trades Exploration Conference taking place October 15 & 16 in Whitehorse.  Yukon businesses will open their doors to these future tradespeople all across Whitehorse, offering a varied menu of trades to try.

They can choose to try their hand at carpentry or Environmental testing, explore career paths in the flight industry, learn what it takes to be a paramedic, an esthetician or a welder. Perhaps communications & computer programming, RV mechanics or culinary pursuits will capture the imagination and spark a rewarding,  lifelong adventure in the trades.

For more information on the YWET 2015 Trades Exploration Conference, please visit yukonwitt.org.

Program Details HERE              Registration Form HERE

2015 Y-WITT-CommunityYWITT is a non-profit organization that encourages girls and young women to consider and pursue careers in the skilled trades.  YWITT offers programming opportunities to high school girls that expose them to a multitude of trades in a safe and supportive environment under the direction of skilled tradespeople, who are primarily women.

YWITT provides financial support to Yukon women apprentices through a bi-annual bursary and opportunities to instruct young girls and women. They also partner with other sector partners and industry to provide community-based programming.

It’s Summer, and that means ROAD Trip!

Dawson-Road-Trip-Scrolling-AdPSAC National Vice-President Chris Aylward and PSAC’s Regional Executive Vice-President for the North Jack Bourassa will join YEU President Steve Geick for a fairly epic summer road trip. They’ll be visiting all points between Whitehorse & Dawson, meeting Union and community members wherever they stop. There are AGM’s planned for Dawson City and a repeat engagement of the ever popular YEU Summer Bbq at the YOOP Hall.  If you’re in Dawson please stop by for a burger and a chance to talk with PSAC National leadership.

Come down and introduce yourself, find out what the union has planned for the next year and enjoy a great meal. Because really, what could be better than burgers and dogs in Dawson in June?!

Once the dogs and burgers are done and the BBQ has been stored away for another year, the intrepid union gentlemen will head up the highway, over the Top of the World and down through Beaver Creek, Destruction Bay, Burwash… you see where this is going, right? If you’re along the route, please make time to come out and say hello. We’ll let you know when to expect them in each location.

AGM’s will be held for Local Y033 (City of Dawson) and Y018 (KVA) workers on Wednesday June 24th at the YOOP Hall, so if you are a member of either of those Locals, make sure you come out the night before the bbq to your union meeting.

You and I Will Keep Each Other Safe

DOM 2014 April 28 is the Day of Mourning; a day we remember & honour workers killed and injured on the job.

According to the Yukon Worker’s Compensation Health and Safety Board, 5 workers were killed on the job in 2014. Since 1984, 58 Yukoners have lost their lives at work.   These workers were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, friends, and loved ones who died because they were trying to earn a living. Work shouldn’t hurt.

It’s not just workers being killed in jobsite accidents. People develop diseases after years of exposure to harsh chemicals and dangerous substances. Asbestos exposure is one of the main causes of diseases developed by workers. According to Workers’ Compensation Boards from around Canada, asbestos was responsible for 41% of all workplace fatalities in 2013.

You have the right to refuse unsafe work. You have the right to know what substances you are working with and the right to take an active role in keeping your workplace safe. Use your rights to help make workplaces safer and reduce exposure and risk for everyone. The PSAC Health & Safety Committee meets monthly and welcomes all members of YEU & PSAC. Contact the PSAC at 667-2331 to learn more.

On April 28 we come together to remember our brothers and sisters who did not make it home from work. We renew our commitment to safe and healthy workplaces. When you go to work in the morning, you should come home safe and healthy at the end of the day. We need to remember to be watchful and vigilant all year, & not just April 28th when we renew our commitment to all workers.

Please join the annual Day of Mourning Ceremony, Tuesday April 28 2015 at 12:30 pm in the Yukon Government Main Administration Building Lobby. Together we will keep each other safe.

Black candles DOM 2014Day-of-Mourning-circle.ai_

Each black candle represents a Yukon worker who died on the job in 2014.

Web Links, Weirdness & Wild Times OR how to register for the YEU/PSAC Shop Steward Conference!

website mayhemHello friends. If you have been trying to register for our Shop Steward Training Conference March 10-11 and have been frustrated by bad links in the email or Facebook post PLEASE accept our apologies. At the end of January our website was transferred from one host to another… and that’s where the fun really began.

Our communications officer has been adding links, posting images and new contracts etc. to our website regularly however things have gone a bit sideways. Due to the transition from one host to another, there have been crossed wires and all sorts of wild and crazy fun. Most of that fun has involved vanishing links, missing posts and re-directs to the outer reaches of nowhere.  Our IT guy is hard at work getting our wires un-crossed and making sure the website is safely and securely housed in its new web home.

We hope to have our website angst solved by the end of this week. In the meantime we hope you will hang in there!

The YEU/PSAC Shop Steward Conference online registration link works just fine from pretty much any computer. It’s the agenda and the posters that have been swallowed up by the ether (unless you happen to be INSIDE the walls of YEU when opening the file… go figure).

So, please follow THESE links to see the information you can’t access through the yeu.ca site right now. We’ve uploaded them to this blog as it’s unaffected by the website host change “situation”.  Thanks for you patience! And remember… you don’t HAVE to be a Shop Steward to participate in this training. YEU members & PSAC National members who want to become more involved are welcome.

Conference Agenda and Course Descriptions

Conference Online Registration Form

We included links to some items for your Union Bulletin Boards in the most recent Steward update email, and those links were lost in the shuffle as well.

YEU Member Benefits 2015 Poster

Who is Your Steward Poster

YEU by the Numbers Poster

Feeding My Family: Boycott North West Company

NWC 3Yukon Employees’ Union is sharing this post on behalf of our brothers & sisters in northern communities. It’s impossible to comprehend grocery prices such as those shown here. We hope you will join the growing chorus of support and take action to change this punishing reality. It is the responsibility of the North West Company to pass on the savings provided through the federal government’s Nutrition North program. Feeding My Family is a public Facebook group started by Nunavut resident Leesee Papatsie.  Visit the group’s informative website at http://feedingmyfamily.org/


Feeding My Family Boycott on North West Company Saturday January 31, 2015

Feeding My Family would like your help in boycotting North West Company (NWC) owned retailers and service providers located in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Alaska and southern Canada. We are asking you not to shop in any North West Company stores or use any of their service providers on Saturday January 31, 2015. Retailers owned by North West Company are; NorthMart, Northern, Giant Tiger, Quickstop, Valu Lots, Solo Market, Price Chopper, Cost-U-Less and Alaskan Commercial (AC) Value Stores. Wholesale and Services include: We Financial and Crescent Multi Food. Feeding My Family is about raising awareness of the high cost of food in the northern regions. When Minute Maid concentrated orange juice is selling for $5.15, you know something is wrong with this picture. There are lots of northerners who are unable to feed themselves and their families due to the high cost of food in the north. We have heard a lot of mothers who are not eating so their children will eat and how 70% of people in Nunavut have experienced hunger at one time or another. There are some northerners that live meal to meal, or if they are lucky, they will have a meal that day. Some families resort to food that are stomach fillers (pasta, rice, hamburger meat – the cheapest meat) to have food in their stomachs, forget nutritional food because they do not have a lot to eat that day. Please help us raise awareness of the high cost of food in the north! Tell your family, friends and others.  Write to your MP about what is happening in the north. If each one of you refuses to shop at any of the NWC’s stores on Saturday January 31, 2015 you will be helping us beat the high cost of food in the north. If even 50 people refuse to shop at each store, we will make a significant financial impact!  Each and every one of us can make a difference, every little bit helps. Stand with us and help us make a difference because we can. We HAVE to!


What can you do?

  1.  BOYCOTT! January 31st is a good day to BEGIN, but it doesn’t have to end there.
  2. Visit http://feedingmyfamily.org/ to learn more about the issues northern families face. Great answers to your questions about the opportunities and challenges, lifestyle and more. Use their contact form to ask questions.
  3. Write your MP!
  4. Join or START a community action group. They have sprung up all over the country in response to THIS Huffington Post Article and one woman’s determination.
  5. Email those in control of the North West Company. Decision makers need to know how you feel.
  6. VOTE October 19th, 2015. Choose a government that considers the needs of its people FIRST.

In case you wish to communicate your concerns directly, here are email contacts for the President & CFO of the North West Company. They are the main food retailer in Canada’s northern communities. You can also read their 3rd quarter financial report to shareholders (dividends paid, sales up!) at the link below. Edward Kennedy, President and CEO, The North West Company Inc. Phone 204-934-1482; fax 204-934-1317; email ekennedy@northwest.ca John King, Chief Financial Officer, The North West Company Inc. Phone 204-934-1397; fax 204-934-1317; email jking@northwest.ca This information is publicly available on the web, for anyone wondering about the “fairness” of sharing the email addresses. Let them know what you think about their profits on the backs of northern families.

Happy Holidays from YEU to YOU!

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There are many important days of observance during the month of December.  We start the month with World Aids Day December 1, observe a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women December 6, celebrate International Human Rights Day on December 10th, the winter solstice December 21st and of course Christmas Day December 25th. While many of these days are quietly noted and honored privately with our families, we at YEU have been thankful for the opportunity to join in community observation a few times this month.

The December 6th ceremony in the Elijah Smith Building, honoring the women killed at Montreal’s École Polytechnique in 1989 was moving and powerful. As a community, we pledged to work harder to change the narrative and keep Yukon’s women safe.  Thank you to the PSAC Regional Women’s Committee for your work and efforts to support not just this event, but the continued commitment to women of the north.

International Human Rights Day was observed at YEU through our Human Rights Speaker Series. This four-day event offered informal presentations over the noon hour from December 9th through 12th, covering topics reflecting human rights & social justice issues. We thank everyone who spoke, and all who came to listen and question, learn and challenge. Again we wish to thank the PSAC Pride Committee, whose event featuring Chase Blodgett added much to the week. Chase Blodgett’s presentation on navigating legislation as a Yukon trans man was informative, offering us an invitation to think about gender and social interaction very differently.

We capped off a week of talking (and listening and eating!) with a wonderful Free Family Skate at the Canada Games Centre. For the third year we invited anyone and everyone to strap on a pair of skates, sip some hot chocolate courtesy of the PSAC Regional Youth Committee, and enjoy a stress free family afternoon. We were delighted to see the highest turnout ever, with all ages enjoying a chance to spend time together.

As we wind down (wind up?)  to Christmas, we enjoyed a chance to do some good for the Salvation Army’s residents and guests. Saturday December 20th started very early, with an 8am call at Superstore. There, volunteers loaded carts and boxes with all the fixings for the Salvation Army’s traditional Christmas dinner. 15 turkeys, pounds and pounds of carrots, potatoes and onions, stuffing and treats were delivered before the sun was up on the last Saturday before Christmas.  This shopping expedition has happened annually for more than 10 years, PSAC Area Council’s ongoing commitment to the community.

We want to wish you and your family every happiness this holiday season. We hope that 2015 brings happiness and prosperity to our members and our communities. From all of us at YEU to all of YOU, happy holidays!