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A Message from Marg Bourgoin - Your Executive Board’s Retiree Seat

MargWelcome to your brand-new Retiree Newsletter! The SEIU Healthcare retiree program is being completely revamped, and this newsletter is just one of the new pieces to look forward to. I encourage you to participate in the survey below to help us shape this new program and ensure it fits the needs of all our retirees. Share what type of content and benefits you would like to see. Your input and feedback are important to us as we are always creating new initiatives to better serve our members.

As your Retiree representative, I was hoping you could get to know me a little better. I worked in the Ontario health system for 34 years at Trenton Memorial Hospital, which is now a part of Quinte Health Care. After my daughter had just turned one, I stumbled across the hospital’s clerical position. It was just the luck of the draw. I worked my way up from part-time to full-time, and when Local 663 organized my workplace, I became a union steward and remained a steward until the day I retired.

My dedication and work ethic allowed me to work in several positions at the hospital. I had the opportunity to participate in countless education courses at my workplace and within my union, which enhanced my leadership skills, communication skills, and labour movement education. I have a long history in the union starting with Local 663 where I was a Trustee, then in Local 204 as an Executive Board member, and today I am the Retiree Seat for the SEIU Healthcare Executive Board, this is my second term in this position.

I missed my purple family. I love everything the union stands for and how SEIU Healthcare always celebrates diversity. I have seen how the union helps people every day and has amplified the voices of our members. They made me feel like family and helped me build stronger relationships with my colleagues and with the union staff that have supported me throughout my career.

Now, even after many years have passed since I have retired, I feel like I still have a voice, and I am still a part of a strong community. The union also contributed to the pension I have received due to the strong language in my collective agreements. I believe the retiree’s perspective will always play an important role and will be beneficial for all those entering healthcare.
Some of my goals for the Executive Board are educating seniors on what is available for them, educating the government on what seniors need, creating better conditions for seniors working in long-term care homes, pushing for pension in all workplaces, implementing benefits for full and part-time positions, helping with housing plans after retirement, and creating more education on post-retirement disability plans.

Today, a lot of seniors are avoiding retirement because they do not have a pension or the support they need. All healthcare members need to stay involved and informed about what is happening to those retiring in the health system. Just because you are not close to retirement, doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter! The healthcare industry is hard to get into, so once you are in, attend your general membership meetings, listen to what is going on in your workplace, always educate yourself further! Not just the frontline workers, but technical workers and clerical workers. It would be best if you got involved right away. I am proud to be your Retiree Seat once again and will continue to advocate for you in any way I can.

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