The Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union has a new president.
Delegates at last weekend’s biennial convention elected Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU’s first vice-president and an employee in health-care support services, to the union’s top elected position after serving more than 27 years as a union activist.
Gawronsky lives in Vita. During the recent devastating fires in her home community, the value and importance of the public sector and public employees was driven home in a very personal way.
“Three friends lost their homes about a block from my house and I’ll never forget my son calling to ask what I wanted to save from our home because it looked like we were going to lose it,” Gawronsky said.
“I’ll never forget the professionals and volunteers who helped. Many of these were public employees, and it’s these people and others like them who work on our behalf in our communities that fuel my desire to continue building this union and to raise the profile of the important work they do.”
Gawronsky began her working career as a health-care aide in the nursing home in Vita in 1976 and began her union activism in the 1980s due to a workplace issue.
Unionism became her passion, and over the years, she has held several positions within the union and worked on several campaigns on its behalf.
“I believe strongly in the principles of the union movement: fighting for the collective bargaining rights of workers, advocating for safer and healthier workplaces, and working within our communities to ensure fairness and equity,” she said. “Those form the foundation of unionism and that is what we will continue to build this union upon.”
With more than 32,000 members, the MGEU is Manitoba’s largest union, representing a broad spectrum of workers in the provincial civil service, Crown corporations, universities and colleges, arts organizations, health-care facilities, social service agencies and the service industry.
For more information, contact the MGEU Resource Centre at 1-866-982-6425.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 23, 2012