Convention Notes

Convention notes, Day Two

Day 3

AUPE convention delegates continued the important business on union democracy on Day 3, the final day of the 43rd convention.

Special guests who joined the more than 1,000 delegates gathered at the Edmonton Convention Centre. Here are some of the folks who joined us for the final day of Convention 2019:

Special Guests

  • Sandra Azocar, Executive Director, Friends of Medicare
  • Joel French, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta
  • Ian Hussey, Research Manger, Parkland Institute
  • Sarah Hoffman, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Glenora
  • David Shepherd, NDP MLA for Edmonton-City Centre


  • Resolution 2-2 on Locals appointing a liaison member to communicate with the Young Activist Committee was carried.
  • Resolution 1-5 to amend Article 15.07 b vii) was carried.
  • Resolution 1-6 to insert a new Article 20.14 and renumber subsequent articles; and to amend Article 22.09 was carried.
  • Resolution 1-7 to insert a new Article 21.09 and renumber subsequent articles) was carried.
  • Resolution 1-8 to amend Article 23.12 was defeated.

Executive Officers sworn in

Convention was brought to a close when the newly elected Executive Officers were sworn by former AUPE president Dan “Buff” MacLennan.

sworn in

See you next year!

Convention notes, Day Two

Day 2

Hundreds of AUPE convention delegates were joined by members of other unions and allies in a rally against cuts to public services at the end of Day 2 at Convention. They Say Cutback? We Say Fight Back!


Executive election

Convention delegates elected executive leaders for the coming year.

  • President: Guy Smith (acclaimed)

  • Secretary-Treasurer: Jason Heistad (re-elected)


  • Kevin Barry (newly elected);

  • Bobby-Joe Borodey (newly elected);

  • Mike Dempsey (re-elected);

  • Bonnie Gostola (re-elected)

  • Susan Slade (re-elected); and

  • Karen Weiers (re-elected)

Life Members

The following were presented with Life Memberships:

  • Joy Hanson, Local 045/003

“Joy has always been very active in the union no matter what name it falls under,” says her nominator Angela Smyth.

“She has always been there to assist new members in time of need or as new executive members for the chapter or the local. Joy always did her job with a smile and a positive attitude.”

Joy’s many union roles include: Treasurer of the Canadian Health Care Guild at the Calgary General Hospital from 1991-1994; President of the Guild’s Calgary General/PLC chapter from 1994-1999; Secretary of the Guild’s District 3 and Secretary of 2424 Chapter 3.

She served as AUPE Local 045 Secretary from 2002-2013 and also for a time as Vice-Chair. She was an Alternate on the Provincial Executive, Chair and Secretary/Treasurer of the PLC/Strathmore Chapter 001 and Secretary/Treasurer of Chapter 010 at South Health Campus.

Joy was a strike captain in 2000 and has walked various picket lines in support of AUPE members and others in Calgary, Cochrane, Medicine Hat and Edmonton. She also attended the Canadian Health Care Guild conventions from 1991-1999 and the AUPE conventions from 2000-2014 and 2016 and 2017.

“She will be greatly missed,” says Angela.

  • Bruce Macdonald, Local 046/001

In nominating Bruce as a Life Member, Debbie Gordon, says: “I could probably write another page or 10 on all the people Bruce has helped solve work problems, motivated to become union active and inspired to become better people.”

He became a member of AUPE in 1989, working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) at the Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton. His career took him all over Edmonton, including spells at the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital and University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) until his retirement on May 30, 2019.

He served as Local Secretary, Chapter Chair and Vice-Chair, union steward, on bargaining teams, as a council member, area council representative and convention delegate.

He has taken dozens of education courses and organized functions including AGMs, BBQs, ice cream days and winter galas.

He was a frequent presence at rallies and was active in campaigns, something that has continued with recent Bill 9 information pickets.

As Debbie says in her nomination, Bruce’s mission was to “help as many people as possible through our successes and struggles for the union … (and) stand up to governments that try to take away our jobs and pensions.”

  • Dan Tilleman, Local 052/003

Dan, commonly known as AUPE’s “Man in Black,” has been a stalwart of the union from his early days at the University of Calgary.

A member for 42 years, he was a long-time Provincial Executive representative. He attended more than 30 conventions, served as Chair of Local 052, leading the negotiations team on several contracts. He has been a member of several AUPE committees and was a steward.

His nominator, Justin Huseby, says: “As an activist, Dan was not be afraid to challenge and debate politicians, university administrators, anti-union proponents.”

At a University of Calgary Presidential Induction that included Premier Ralph Klein, Dan caused a furor when he used the opportunity to highlight the impact of the provincial cuts and wage rollbacks and the inequity in post-secondary funding between institutions.

Justin says: “While most will reflect on Dan’s service to AUPE, they remember his staunch advocacy of the fellow worker, advocacy of the post-secondary sector, leadership during Klein years and unwavering dedication to AUPE. Dan Tilleman is an inspiration, an ideal, and a hero to all members of AUPE. Dan’s contributions to AUPE these past 40+ years are breathtaking.”

Special Guests

  • Cori Longo, member of IAMAW Local Lodge 3111 CULR
  • Mike Parker, president of HSAA
  • Perri Garvin, Co-ordinator, Labour Programs, United Way of Alberta Capital Region
  • Stephanie Smith, President, British Columbia Government Employees’ Unions (BCGEU)
  • Edward Sadlowski, Deputy Director of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association
  • Sandra Azocar, Executive Director, Friends of Medicare
  • Rachel Notley, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona
  • Kathleen Ganley, NDP MLA for Calgary-Mountain View
  • Lorne Dach, NDP MLA for Edmonton-McClung
  • Thomas Dang, NDP MLA for Edmonton-South
  • Heather Sweet, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Manning
  • Christina Gray, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Millwoods
  • Chris Nielsen, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Decore


  • Resolution 2-1 on lobbying against private for-profit competition to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board was carried.

Convention notes, Day One

Day 1

The first day of AUPE’s 43rd convention saw Guy Smith, pictured below, acclaimed to continue as president, a position he has held for 10 years.

President Guy Smith

A number of special guests joined AUPE members throughout the day. Here’s who joined us for Day One, which marked the 100th anniversary of the union.

Special Guests

  • Heather Smith, President of the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA)
  • Rory Gill, President, Canadian Union of Public Employees - Alberta (CUPE)
  • Stephanie Smith, President, British Columbia Government Employees’ Unions (BCGEU)
  • Paul Finch, Treasurer, BCGEU
  • Perri Garvin, Co-ordinator, Labour Programs, United Way of Alberta Capital Region
  • Sandra Azocar, Executive Director, Friends of Medicare
  • Joel French, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta
  • Christina Gray, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Millwoods
  • MLA Jasvir Deol, NDP MLA for Edmonton-Meadows


  • Resolution 1-1 to amend Article 6.13 (a) was carried
  • Resolution 1-2 to amend Articles 4.04 and 5.01 was carried
  • Resolution 1-3 to amend Article 18 was carried
  • Resolution 1-4 to amend Article 23.06 was carried