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It's all in your perspective: you do have a choice

The Report: April / May 2004 vol.25 num.2

by JACKIE SPAIN

hen we are angry as workers about what is happening in BC in the health care system and our society in general, we have to remember that we were the architects of our own destiny. The province had a democratic vote for the government of choice. The people voted for change.

I do not believe that all voters knew what that vote would mean, but the deed is done and change is upon us.

Many of us have gone through a number of grieving stages in the last few years. The night Bill 29 was proclaimed and I understood what this bill truly meant, I was in shock. I couldnt believe that in Canada in the 21st century this could happen.

Members continue to reel as reform sweeps through the system. In the Kootenays and other areas of the province we are bracing for the lab reform which all signs indicate will be coming this year. Change is all around us.

But I cant believe its all doom and gloom out there. We each have the potential to make a difference.

What better way to effect change and be the architect of your own future than to get involved in the issues in a constructive way locally and provincially. And I dont just mean talk at the coffee table or the complaining about how bad things are at work.

Direct your anger at the situation you find yourself in at the correct group of people ... the government. Understand it is not your HR consultant, manager, supervisor or your union that did this to you. As a former administrator friend always tells me, his job as a CEO was to -manage the facility within the funds allocated." If he did not, then he would no longer be employed. The marching orders are coming from above; and local employers have to follow that direction.

So what to do in this negative situation? Creating a positive environment is beneficial to all. To do this in your life you have to be willing to let go of the negative things that drag you down. The process of letting go can be very painful, but the doors of opportunity that open are well worth it.

I have seen many members start to stretch out of the roles they have been stuck in for many years.

They have taken the initiative to try new things and develop skills that were sitting idle. Some people, after they come through the grieving process of losing a job they loved in a community they chose to live in ... have found it has been the best thing that could have happened to them.

Theyve come to a place where this loss has spurred them to make life changes they only could have dreamed of when they were stuck in the comfort of a steady life.

We have members who have ended up with better positions within the system. Members who have started businesses that they thought they could never start, and members who have moved out of the province to better jobs, homes and new communities.

Do I need to clean my rose colored glasses, no? I am part realist; I fully understand the road ahead more than I would like to on most days. I understand the difficulties but I have choice in how I conduct myself and my life.

I have chosen to make a difference in everything I do, as a Regional Director, as an Occupational Health and Safety teacher, as a mentor and as a resident of this province. In the work I do I have the opportunity to look at the bigger picture in our province.

I am going to choose to have faith in our members and leadership that we will all come out of this time stronger as an organization and personally with a much greater understanding of politics and globalization and how these forces affect all of us.

What are you going to choose to do?

Jackie Spain represents region 9 on HSAs Board of Directors.

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