Robyn Benson, PSAC



It's been a little over two months now since I told big tobacco to butt out, and the same amount of time since I hit the publish button on my first Headwinds/Vents Contraires post.

It hasn't been a lot of time, but I'm a convert. And the reason is to be found in the title of this post.

Since Headwinds/Vents Contraires started up, the blog has already received more than eleven thousand page views. The announcements of posts on Twitter and Facebook have generated visitors and commenters, and those on Facebook have sparked vigorous discussions there as well.

One word that has cropped up over there a few times is "engagement"--a fancy word for talking seriously with each other about the issues that collectively concern us. For me, the excursion into blogging by the Alliance Executive Committee has already proved to be a pretty good example of it. Our various posts have, I hope, put a human face on that sometimes abstract concept of "leadership." Rank-and-file members get to see who we are and what we think, and, believe me, we in turn learn from the members who have taken the time to offer their opinions.

Not all of those opinions are uncritical, to put it mildly. The frustration that we feel in trying to arrive at decent collective agreements with the current government are more than shared by the people who are directly affected by the long delays and demands for concessions by the employer. Sometimes "the union" is blamed. Obviously we need to talk more.

And debates that we have had for years on such issues as political involvement and social justice initiatives rage on. This, in fact, is the real meaning of engagement: airing our differences, and respectfully working towards mutual understanding.  Solidarity doesn't mean unanimity!

In that spirit, let me thank everyone who has taken part, in one way or another, in this new project, whether as writers or readers. Communications in an organization as large and complex as ours are key. There can never be enough updates, never enough discussions at all levels of the PSAC, never enough interactions between the members and their elected representatives and staff. Headwinds/Vents Contraires is one modest initiative to encourage membership involvement, an involvement that is absolutely essential for the success of any union. So here and elsewhere, let the discussions continue.

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This page contains a single entry by Robyn Benson, PSAC published on May 15, 2013 8:27 AM.

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Ce blogue a pour objet d’offrir un espace sécuritaire où chacun peut réagir aux questions soulevées. On encourage les débats animés, dans la langue de votre choix, mais non les insultes et les propos discriminatoires. N’hésitez pas à donner votre opinion, mais faites-le de manière civilisée et respectueuse.


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