VANCOUVER, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - The Hospital Employees' Union today
announced that veteran union negotiator Bonnie Pearson will succeed
Judy Darcy as the union's secretary-business manager.
The appointment by the union's Provincial Executive is effective
immediately. Darcy announced last week that she is resigning from her
position to run as a candidate in the next provincial election.
Pearson has spent more than 30 years as a union representative and
negotiator and has served as the assistant secretary-business manager
at HEU since 2009.
The secretary-business manager is the chief negotiator and chief
spokesperson for the union and acts in an executive director role
within the union's management structure. Pearson assisted Darcy in
negotiating major provincial agreements for health care workers in 2006
"I am really excited about taking on this new responsibility and working
with our Provincial Executive and staff to move our members' interests
forward," says Pearson.
"And I'm extremely proud to represent HEU members. They have built a
progressive union that looks out for its members and advocates for
health care and the other public services that we all hold dear.
"There's no doubt that like the rest of the public sector, we're going
to face a challenging round of bargaining next year. But we've also
spent a lot of time over the past several years building strength on
the ground and developing a strong leadership team that will serve us
well - and I intend to continue with that work."
Pearson's trade union service includes representing union members at the
bargaining table and as an advocate on pay equity and pension matters.
She's served as a vice-president of the Saskatchewan Federation of
Labour and was also involved in implementing the Federal Employment
Equity Program for grain workers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Pearson
was also a member of the Saskatchewan Public Service Commission for two
A B.C. resident since 1993, Pearson worked at HEU for three years before
moving to the College-Institute Educators' Association (now the
Federation of Post-Secondary Educators) where she assisted in the 1998
negotiations and was the chief negotiator in the 2001 round of
She also assisted in the consultations that led to joint trusteeship of
the College Pension Plan, for which she was also a trustee. Pearson
sat on the tri-partite Pension Benefits Advisory Committee during this
Pearson was appointed to the Vancouver-Richmond Health Board in 1999 and
continued in that position until the BC Liberals restructured regional
health authorities and replaced their boards in 2001.
From 2001 to 2006, Pearson worked for the Compensation Employees' Union,
representing staff at the Workers' Compensation Board. She returned to
HEU in 2006.
Pearson also announced that Jacquie de Aguayo will be the union's new
assistant secretary-business manager.
De Aguayo has been the union's legal director since 2010. Previously,
she spent eight years at the Public Service Alliance of Canada in
Ottawa as both in-house legal counsel and as the coordinator of the
union's advocacy services. She's also practised union-side labour law
with a private firm in Ottawa.
HEU president Ken Robinson says: "Bonnie has been a key member of our
management team for the past five years and she brings a lot of
hands-on experience, good judgement and sound leadership skills to this
job. This is great news for our members."
Robinson adds that Pearson and de Aguayo were appointed with the full
support of the union's Provincial Executive.
Founded in 1944, HEU represents more than 43,000 workers in hospitals,
long-term care facilities, assisted living, community services and
First Nations health centres in both the public and private sector. HEU
is an occupationally diverse union that includes both direct patient
care and support roles.
SOURCE Hospital Employees' Union
For further information:
Mike Old, HEU communications director