"By providing menstrual products, we are removing another barrier to participation. And we’re challenging other unions and organizations to do the same.” — Val Avery, HSABC President
Vancouver (14 March 2018) — Periods are a fact of life and menstruation products are a necessity. No one should have to pick between feeding their family and being able to afford basic hygiene products. Yet far too many people —especially those living in poverty — simply can’t afford them.
“We know it is a struggle for food banks and community groups to collect menstruation products. Despite the need, donations are low. We wanted to do something to help,” says Val Avery, President of the Health Sciences Association of B.C.
Stomp out menstrual stigma
Between March 6 and 20, HSABC/NUPGE is participating in the Tampon Tuesday campaign in support of the United Way and local community organizations. In support of its members, HSABC/NUPGE also partnered directly with Dixon Transition Society in Burnaby and Comox Valley Transition Society in Courtenay.
Menstruation and the need for menstrual products is not a topic that many are willing to talk about. It’s personal. For some it’s a source of shame, and for too many young girls in particular, it’s just embarrassing.
Through the leadership of the HSABC Women’s Committee, HSABC/NUPGE launched an awareness campaign to Stomp Out Menstrual Stigma.
“The first step in this campaign was to look at our own union. The HSABC Board of Directors, on recommendation from our Women’s Committee, has passed a motion to ensure we supply menstrual products in the HSABC Education Centre and HSABC head office,” says Avery.
“We want to ensure that HSABC/NUPGE events and operations are accessible for members, visitors and staff. By providing menstrual products, we are removing another barrier to participation. And we’re challenging other unions and organizations to do the same.”
In partnership with HSABC’s staff union HSASU, the union set a goal of collecting over 30,000 menstrual products. HSABC/NUPGE members will be running Tampon Tuesday campaigns in communities across the province, including Vancouver, New Westminster, Delta, Prince George, Courtenay, Smithers, Nelson and Terrace.
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