“I wouldn’t have a job without the union. They helped get my position sorted out when amalgamation took place. It took a year, but in the end it was all worth it.” — Sheldon Bisson, NSGEU member celebrating 50 years on the job
Halifax (20 July 2018) — Meet Sheldon Bisson, a member of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) and a biomedical technician and aneshesia assistant with the Nova Scotia Health Authority. This is Sheldon’s 50th year with the union, and he says the support has been great.
Union has helped with longevity of health care career
“I wouldn’t have a job without the union,” says Bisson. “They helped get my position sorted out when amalgamation took place. It took a year, but in the end it was all worth it.”
Bisson began his career as a Certified Nursing Assistant in 1968, and continued taking courses on the job. Through the years, he’s worked as an operating room technician, CPR instructor, orthopaedic technologist, and his current role as a biomedical technician and anesthesia assistant. “It’s a unique job because I am the only employee at the N.S. Health Authority in this role,” says Bisson.
As a member of NSGEU Local 100, Bisson has taken job action twice, the first lasting over 2 weeks. “It was a good outcome, it strengthened our collective agreement,” says Bisson. He also mentions the importance of having a Monday to Friday position. “Luckily, I work during the week, and I don’t have to come in on weekends. The NSGEU/NUPGE fought for us to have those hours.”
NSGEU/NUPGE 'there to back you'
When asked about the value of belonging to a union, Bisson says job security has played a major role in the longevity of his career. “The union is there to back you, and has helped me immensely in the past. It’s always better to have representation when sitting down with management.”
September marks his golden anniversary with the Health Authority and he doesn’t see himself slowing down anytime soon. “I’m lucky enough to do what I love, why would I give that up?”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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