"It’s important for employees across the province to have financial and job security if they want to leave a domestic violence situation. This legislation could possibly save lives." — Karen Jackson, PEI UPSE President
Charlottetown (28 May 2018) — Karen Jackson, President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees (PEIUPSE/NUPGE), was pleased to see the unanimous endorsement of Bill 116 in the provincial legislature. The private members bill, introduced by Steven Myers, MLA, amends the Employment Standards Act to include 3 paid and 7 unpaid days leave for Islanders who are experiencing domestic violence, intimate partner violence, or sexual violence in their personal relationships.
PEIUPSE/NUPGE welcomes provisions to support those fleeing from abuse
After lobbying for years to make changes to the act, Jackson was in legislature to watch the debate, and lend the union's support to the bill.
"We have been lobbying government for the past 3 years, along with other labour groups, to make these vital changes to the Employment Standards Act. It’s important for employees across the province to have financial and job security if they want to leave a domestic violence situation. This legislation could possibly save lives," said Jackson.
The bill has passed second reading in the legislature with unanimous support from MLAs.
“It’s just so enlightening to see everybody working together in the legislative assembly for something good,” Jackson said to the Guardian.
"This is about leadership"
In attendance at the vote was Theo Fleury, former NHL player who has been outspoken about his personal story of abuse, and has encouraged others to speak out.
As the Guardian reported, Fleury addressed the MLAs during the discussion of the bill.
“By telling my story I was able to help other people find the courage to also tell their own story,” Fleury said.
Fleury also told the MLAs they could show the public that they support, believe and understand them. “Today is about leadership. It’s not about the bill. It’s about leadership,” he said.
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