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The 212 delegates to the 1978 UNDE Convention acclaimed Joe Power as National President. There were also 43 fraternal delegates, observers and guests registered at the gathering held on the campus at Queen’s University.
Power and PSAC Executive Vice-President Bill Doherty squared off for their usual fencing match. Doherty referred to the “holding of elections for your component,” to which Power retorted: “UNDE is the Union, not the Component.” Doherty had the last word when he quickly shot back: “I am referring to the Component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada known as the Union of National Defence Employees.”
The Convention confirmed support for “equal pay for work of equal value” and “drug and alcohol programs” designed to assist members back to good mental and physical health. Anticipating future changes to the Canada Labour Code, UNDE approved a Safety and Health policy that advocated “the right to refuse to work in unsafe circumstances; the right to cease such work; and to do so without fear of recrimination or that another employee would volunteer to do the work.”
UNDE had solid membership and a healthy bank account. Thus dues were only increased by $.71 to $5.41 to cover off inflation. The Convention confirmed that it supported national rates of pay and not the regionalization contemplated by Treasury Board. It also agreed to support PSAC efforts to introduce percentage dues.
In a poignant closing, it was noted that Ken Green would probably be retiring before the next convention. When asked to say a few words, Ken modestly deflected attention to another longstanding veteran and thanked “the delegates for their show of appreciation.”
|The History of the Union of National Defence Employees|
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