Its your union: have your say

The Report: January/February 2009 vol.29 num.6


s I told the 2008 convention delegates, since my election as president in 2007, I have heard members from around the province say that it was time for HSA to assess where we have come from, where we are, and where we are going into the future.

There is little question that the next few years are going to test us all as the whole world reacts to the challenges of an economic system in crisis and we all work to adjust to how we fit into this changing world. Those who will be best positioned to adapt to the changing economy are those who have taken the time to set a vision and develop a plan to see us through the next three to five years.

HSA is well into that exercise, having struck a strategic planning committee just after the last annual convention. That committee includes board members and senior staff, and has spent the past several months looking at HSAs organizational development, the unions experiences in the broader community, as well as activists, members and staffs experiences and expectations of the union.

The committee began its work with a look back at where we have come from. In 1971, representatives got together from a number of health science professions, who each had a small voice and didnt feel they would be properly represented by other health care unions. The group included dietitians, medical record librarians, pharmacists, physiotherapists, occupations therapists, social workers, x-ray and laboratory technologists. Collectively, they formed a strong organization that could have an impact on their collective needs.

Since those early days, HSA has seen many more changes as we adapted to growth in the membership, changes in the governance and delivery of health care, and developments in bargaining structures.

And change will continue. Thats why I am asking all HSA members to have your say.

Throughout the fall, the boards strategic planning committee conducted a series of meetings and focus groups to hear from activists, staff, and other stakeholders about their perspectives on HSA ... the work we do, the success with which we do it, and where we could improve and adjust to meet future needs.

Last month, we also invited HSA members to respond to a brief survey asking for your input. If you have not yet had a chance to do so, please go online today and respond to the membership survey you will find on the HSA website at The survey will be available until February 24. You will need to register as a user of the HSA website, which is a simple three-step process. Just have your membership number handy (you will find it on the mailing label of this magazine) and take three to five minutes to have your say in shaping a vision for a changing HSA.

All our voices are important in building our vision for the future of our union.

Reid Johnson is president of the Health Sciences Association of British Columbia.