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Black History Month: Celebrating Camille Reid

February 20, 2020 Jessica Lagman

For the past 15 years, Camille Reid has worked as a registered practical nurse (RPN). RPN at Sheppard Village in Scarborough. Her interest in healthcare began when she found out her grandfather was diabetic. She wanted to learn more about the disease so she could better understand how it would affect him, and how she could help with his treatment and care.

Camille’s career in healthcare began in Montreal, but shortly after her daughter was born, she decided to move to Ontario to ensure her daughter was able to learn English. At her unit, there was no representation for RPNs, so she contacted SEIU Healthcare to find out the best way to organize RPNs. Camille has been a steward for longer than she can remember and became the chief steward shortly after her chief steward retired. Camille is passionate about protecting and fighting for her colleagues and goes above and beyond to ensure they are being heard. She always encourages them to start reading their collective agreement, understand what the union can do for them, and attend meetings and rallies. She emphasizes that there is power in numbers!

This past December, she organized a donation collection for a fellow SEIU Healthcare member who volunteered at a women’s shelter. She was able to collect three bins of everyday items that these women need daily. During the 2019 Nursing Week, she organized a small event with snacks and prizes. Camille frequently attends SEIU Healthcare events and education programs to continue her involvement within the union and grow her activism. Her goal for 2020 is to help get the PSWs and RPNs at her unit more involved with SEIU Healthcare.

In the past, Camille has referred to herself as an introvert, someone who always sticks to herself, but now, she explains how our union is allowing her to come out of her shell. Camille feels like she has improved her listening skills, she has become more open-minded, and feels more outgoing. Her kind demeanour helps reassure her colleagues that they can always approach her if they need anything. Being apart of the union has helped her with her personal growth, she no longer feels intimated.

Camille shares, “Now, I am not just an RPN, I am a councillor, a mother, and a friend.”

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