Blanchard credited with leading NSGEU/NUPGE through its transformation from a civil service association to a union with a diverse membership from across the public sector.
Ottawa (27 Aug. 2012) - It is with sadness that the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) notes the death of Greg Blanchard, who served as President of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees' Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) from 1980 to 1994. He passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 25, surrounded by his family.
Blanchard is credited with leading the organization through its transformation from a civil service association to a union with a diverse membership from across the public sector. His involvement and commitment to the labour movement has spanned over 40 years.
“I considered Greg a mentor and friend who was always supportive,” says Joan Jessome, President of the NSGEU. “He has been a vital part of our history and his legacy will live on in our union.”
Blanchard first became involved in the organization while an instructor of business administration at Cape Breton University, and was elected as the then-association’s secretary-treasurer in the late 1970s. In 1980, he was elected to his first term as president and was subsequently elected for six consecutive terms.
Under Blanchard's leadership, the organization attracted members from across the public sector including correctional officers, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation employees, school board support staff, and more.
“Greg’s energy, wisdom and interest in people were an inspiration and catalyst for me to become involved in the union,” says Keiren Tompkins, NSGEU/NUPGE Executive Director. “I was fortunate to have enjoyed a close friendship with him for many years. He will be greatly missed.”
“I am just so pleased that we were able to help so many working people in their day-to-day lives,” Blanchard told Tompkins shortly before his death.
Blanchard’s advice and guidance will be missed and his death is a loss to the labour movement in Nova Scotia. NSGEU/NUPGE members and staff mourn his passing and offer condolences to his family.
Through all of his dedicated years to the labour movement, he was supported by his loving wife, Anne, and their three children: Seana, Anita, and Liam (Greg was predeceased by Liam on Aug. 5, 2012).
On June 22, Blanchard attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the site of NSGEU’s new building in Burnside, which will be completed next year. During the ceremony, Jessome announced the new building’s state-of-the-art conference centre will be named in Blanchard’s honour.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE