2022 Union Executive elections – Nominees Biographies

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The following members have confirmed they are letting their names stand for the 2022 CUPE 1063 Union Executive elections:

1st Vice-President:  Elizabeth Wheeler and Shawn Trudell

Treasurer:  Chris Rerick – Acclaimed.

Executive Officer (2 year term):  Katelyn Maruca, Manjit Jassal, Sheldon Hummel and Stefan Gudmundson.

Executive Officer (1 year term):  Jalene Noland, Scott Jones, and Shauna Leduchowski-Hazlitt

Trustee:  Todd McDonald – Acclaimed

An election will be held from Monday, March 28th to Friday, April 1st, 2022. Please check your personal emails provided during this period for your election ballot link.

The following candidates have submitted their photos and/or bios for your consideration:

1st Vice-President

Sr. Elizabeth Wheeler

My name is Elizabeth Wheeler, and I am running for 1st VP.

I am a Case Manager who has been with the WCB for 7 years. During this time, I’ve served as an executive officer and 2nd VP, and I have had the immense privilege to meet many members and provide support in employer disputes.

Our union faces many challenges, but I’d say our biggest challenge is our employer’s unwillingness to recognize our hard work. They do this by denying us equitable wage increases and benefits such as work from home. If elected, I promise to keep these issues at the forefront and to continue working to make our voices heard. Thank you.

Br. Shawn Trudell

Good day everyone please consider me for position of 1st Vice President of CUPE 1063.

I started at the WCB in 2005 full of excitement and awe.  Over the years frustration set in.

I’ve experienced and learned how our Employer can negatively treat staff regarding safety, benefits, and professional development. I wanted to do more.

I became a Shop Steward so I could help and make a difference. In my current role as Chief Shop Steward this continues and allows me another platform to listen to you and advocate for our members.

If you don’t know me, know that I will listen & support you. I will take your concerns to the employer and address them with confidence, professionalism and tact.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Executive Officer (2 year term):

Sr. Katelyn Maruca

My name is Katelyn and I have worked for the WCB for approximately 5 years as a Rehabilitation Specialist. I currently sit on the bargaining committee for the union. The time spent on this committee has made me very interested in joining the Union in a larger capacity. I have lots of previous experience being a member on a variety of non-profit boards and committees and would love to be a part of our Union to represent you as a member.

Br. Manjit Jassal

I have been an Executive Officer with CUPE 1063 for the last two years and I am hopeful that you will elect me to continue to serve in this role. In addition to my role on the union executive, I am currently an active member on the Joint Job Evaluation Committee and the Joint Pension Advisory Committee. My work on these committees has exposed me to all different areas of the WCB which I feel makes me a strong choice to continue advocating for you and challenging the employer on your behalf. Thanks!

Br. Sheldon Hummel

Hi everyone, my name is Sheldon Hummel and I am running for re-election for the position of Executive Officer for CUPE Local 1063.

Prior to joining the WCB as a summer student I attended the U of M where I obtained an Arts Degree majoring in Labour Studies and minoring in Economics. Some 17 years later I am still here and have held the positions of Payment Assessor, Case Management Rep, Assessment Account Rep and most recently as Supervisor, Assessment Accounts.

With my combination of education, experience of being on the executive, serving as a member of the JJE committee and my experiences from the different departments I have worked in, I believe I am an excellent candidate for the Executive Officer position. I look forward to continuing to fight to have this employer recognize the hard work we do and treat us with the respect we deserve.  Thank you.

Br. Stefan Gudmundson

Hello Sisters and Brothers,

It is hard to believe that two years have passed since you graciously elected me to represent you on the union executive as an Executive Officer. It is an opportunity I am proud of and that has motivated me to run for another two-year term.

Within these two years I have worked hard to act for our collective voice by representing members in meetings with the employer and providing advice and guidance to many of you. I have further expanded my union involvement by sitting on both the Bargaining Committee and the JJE Committee.

There is a lot of work that needs to be done to mend and improve the current labour relations environment at the WCB and if elected, I will continue to work to protect our rights and further our interests.

Executive Officer (1 year term):

Sr. Jalene Noland

Hello fellow WCB employees!

I am Jalene Noland, the new CSR in the Brandon office. I want to be your representative for Executive Officer.

My background is in Finance and Accounting within the Canadian Forces Moral and Welfare Service. That means I am not only a detail oriented, rule following employee but I also know the meaning of deadlines and how to jazz up the mundane.

I am a mom of 4 children under 9 years old. I run a small hobby farm with my high school sweetheart husband of 20 years and am from British Columbia!

Br. Scott Jones

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I am excited and privileged for the opportunity to run for the Executive Officer 1 year term position.

I have been with the Worker’s Compensation Board since 2011 starting in the Healthcare Department and moving on to Compensation Services as a Payment Assessor and currently as an Adjudicator II.  I also have had the opportunity to work term positions at the Appeal Commission and at the United Way as a Sponsored Executive.

If you were to elect me, I would continue to build on the Union’s efforts to improve the current environment and relations at the WCB along with being open and receptive to your thoughts.  It is imperative that we as union members continue to have our rights and interests protected.

I thank you for your consideration!

Sr. Shauna Leduchowski-Hazlitt

Hello, for those that do not know me, I am Shauna Leduchowski-Hazlitt.  I have been at the Board for just over 7 years and have worked in Adjudication, Case Management and currently work in Specialized Services as a Senior Case Manager.  You very likely have heard me before you have met me.

To keep it short, why am I running for an Executive position?  It’s simple: I want to work with our union to bring necessary changes that are driven from our members with the goal to bring progressive thinking and modernizing our workplace, to truly make it a Top 25 employer.

What can you expect from me: Fair but Firm approach, honesty, and accountability.

I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

More information:

For more information or questions for the candidates, feel free to email them directly. For more information or questions about the election, please contact a member of the Nomination Committee listed below.

In Solidarity,

Sr. Blair Miller (bmiller@wcb.mb.ca)

Br. Jamie Vallotton  (jvallott@wcb.mb.ca)

Sr. Kelly Paterson (kpaterso@wcb.mb.ca)

COVID – Return to Work Planning and Employee Safety

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As many of you know, the Employer has stated many times that it wants to take a “cautious” and gradual approach to having employees return to the office. Until recently, the plan was to move to Phase Three in October, with all employees returning to the office 50% of the time. Since most employees had been fulfilling their duties from home for several months, there was no customer service rationale for this plan. It was simply part of the Employer’s goal of getting all employees back to the office as soon as possible.

In late September, a record number of COVID cases prompted the provincial government to elevate the pandemic response to Level Orange. The Employer then announced it was backing off  its plan to move to Phase Three.

Employees were understandably relieved, that is, until the Employer then announced it would launch a different version of Phase Three. Instead of having all employees come back 50% of the time, employees in 14 areas across nearly the entire organization would start delivering services in offsite locations such as workers’ homes and employers’ workplaces.

Not surprisingly, the Union has received many questions and concerns from employees on this latest decision. Many wonder why this is being undertaken now, with the COVID situation escalating and the province introducing stricter measures to control the spread.

The Employer’s stated reason for this plan is to address gaps in customer service. We all understand the importance of customer service. What we don’t understand is exactly where and how service is now lacking and where the demand for off-site services is coming from. This is because the Employer has been either unwilling or unable to tell us.

All of us understand that there are some circumstances, such as assisting workers with severe injuries, when in-person service is necessary. In those circumstances, the potential risk is balanced with the obvious need. However, as many of you have stated, what you object to is being subjected to unnecessary risk, where it is not clear that possible exposure to a serious hazard is justified by the need. That is what many see unfolding in this “modified” version of Phase Three.

In the Union’s discussion with the Employer since the beginning of the pandemic, the Employer has not wavered from its intention to have all employees back to work in the offices as soon as possible. The fact that many can do their jobs fully and safely from home and prefer to do so is irrelevant to them.

In recent discussions the Employer explicitly stated that its efforts to date, such as requiring people to be in the office one day a week, and “encouraging” or in some cases coercing them to be in the office 50% of the time, was never about customer service. It was just about getting people back to the office.

Because of this, it is understandable that there is a lot of skepticism around the Employer’s most recent decision to have staff start delivering in-person, offsite services.  Without real evidence to show us what the service gaps are and where the demand is coming from, many have concluded it is simply another way to break the pattern of people working from home and make it easier to transition to the ultimate goal of having everyone back in the office, regardless of the safety of members. As one member described it, it is “Phase Three dressed up as Customer Service.”

The fact that the Employer is willing to potentially expose members to a known serious hazard to achieve this goal is especially troubling for an organization that has as part of its mission  to protect workers from job hazards. In addition to this, members, to date, have been informed of three cases of COVID among WCB staff and another case among cleaning staff. This shows that the risk of this virus is very real and that members’ concerns are completely justified.

Another concern that has come up is the inconsistency of the return to the office plan. In one of his recent emails, Jamie Hall stated: “Employees who are not in one of these designated groups who are currently working in the office more than the equivalent of one day a week may reduce their office hours to this level.”  This does not appear to be the case in all areas, as some members are still being told to work 50% of the time in the office. These inconsistencies create a sense of unfairness and disorganization throughout this process.

As noted, many members have already contacted the Union with their concerns and questions. To ensure members’ voices are heard and conveyed (anonymously) to the Employer, please provide any input you may have about the Employer’s plans and how they may affect you by completing the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/P2TZF8K.

Please know that your Union continues to fight for your safety and fights to ensure your voices are heard during this difficult and stressful time. We hear you and thank you for sharing your concerns.

In Solidarity,

Dennis Kshyk
President, CUPE 1063

Denied an opportunity to voice your concerns

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As some of you may know, WCB Leadership has created a Recovery Planning Committee to assist with the WCB operationally coming back online as Manitoba’s Public Health unit lessens the Covid-19 restrictions.

Your union was notified of the creation of this committee at the same time and by the same process that all staff were informed, through a company-wide email as part of a daily COVID-19 update. This surprised us but, unfortunately, did not shock us.  Continue reading

Resuming “normal” operations

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In the spirit of openness and transparency, I would like to share with you, our members, a letter that I forwarded today to the WCB’s Chief Financial Officer, Andria McCaughan, regarding the organization’s plans to resume “normal” business operations. This planning process is proceeding without representation from your Union, and we feel that this is a missed opportunity to ensure our members’ voices are represented and heard during this important planning phase.  Continue reading