Interviewed by Phil Legg
In this interview, Bonnie Pearson talks about growing up in Saskatchewan and the early influence of her activist parents. Bonnie details her early union involvement as a national representative with CUPE in 1980s; the Devine government and privatization; her move to a job with HEU in Kelowna during a time of re-structuring; and changes within the post-secondary and health care fields over the years.
She describes the struggle to gain a provincial agreement for college educators, with the important issues of regularization and allowing part-time workers to participate in the pension plan; issues which are still battlegrounds today. Bonnie also speaks about the challenges of rebuilding within the HEU after the Bill 29 layoffs of 2002, and the consequences of the Supreme Court decision of 2007 which established free collective bargaining as a protected right. She ends with what she perceives to be threats to the labour movement of the future: income inequality and a deepening sense of grievance.
Saskatchewan; Tommy Douglas; CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees); Canadian Wheat Board; SFL (Saskatchewan Federation of Labour); Social Credit Party (Socred); SGEU (Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union); NDP (New Democratic Party); HEU (Hospital Employees’ Union); Labour Councils; CIEA (College Institute Educators’ Association); CEU (Compensation Employees’ Union); Bill 29; privatization; long-term care; BCGEU (British Columbia General Employees’ Union); Gordon Campbell; bargaining; regularization; disinformation; income inequality; collective bargaining