President: Linda Silas, RN, BScN
"Why don't you run for vice president of our local?" said a colleague to Linda Silas in 1984. That was the beginning of a commitment to activism for a young nurse from the small town of Dalhousie in New Brunswick.
From 1984 to 1990, Linda Silas held numerous positions both at the local and provincial union level within the New Brunswick Nurses Union. She was local president (3 terms) and served on the provincial negotiating committees from 1987 to 2000. She was also regional representative (2 terms) and on the New Brunswick Nurses' Union's (NBNU) executive committee from 1987 to 1990.
Linda was elected as President of NBNU in 1990 and remained in that post until October 2000. As President of this 6000-member organization, Linda helped nurses understand the importance of pensions and was able to greatly improve negotiated provincial pension plans. As well, under her leadership, NBNU achieved contracts mandating phased-in retirement as an option for nurses. Linda was able to build a variety of skills, including management, media and government relations both on a provincial and federal level. She also acquired strong negotiating abilities, proficiency in organizational development, and effective public speaking.
A key experience for Linda was being a member of the National Executive Board for CFNU. Through CFNU, Linda served on the Steering Committee of the National Nursing Sector Study; she participated in the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation Grant Approvals Committee, and served as member of the Canadian Nursing Advisory Committee.
July 2003 to present - President of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, the largest organization of nurses in Canada
March 2001 to July 2003 - Project Coordinator at the Beauséjour Regional Health Authority, developing interdisciplinary tools, teaching staff, and promoting the Organ and Tissue Donation Program
October 1990 to October 2000 - President of the New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU)
May 1983 to October 1990 - Staff Nurse at L'Hôpital Dr. Georges-L.Dumont: ICU, emergency, labour delivery
OTHER IMPORTANT PARTICULARS
Linda graduated from the University of Moncton (New Brunswick) in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She received certification in nursing, public relations, labour relations and negotiation.
Linda has lectured provincially, nationally and internationally on topics such as health care, women and leadership, pension and union issues. She was a researcher and presenter at the International Council of Nurses, Vancouver, 1998. She has also been a seasonal lecturer at both University of New Brunswick and L'Université de Moncton on nursing, women's issues, social policy, economics, and political science.
Linda was the Atlantic Representative on the Canadian Governor General's Study Conference. She is an alumnus of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Moncton; the President of Bois Joli Community Association; a speaker/teacher for Red Cross Babysitting program; and member of the lobby committee of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity.
Linda has been described as enthusiastic, self-motivated, goal-oriented with a visionary outlook. Personally, she considers herself as a proud nurse who thrives on working for and with professional, hardworking and caring nurses on a daily basis. Linda says that, most importantly, she is proud mother to son Alexandre, who has been attending union meetings since the age of six weeks.
Secretary-Treasurer: Pauline Worsfold
Pauline Worsfold has been an active member since 1981 when she volunteered to sit on her local's Occupational Health & Safety Committee.
This experience led to further involvement at the local level asward representative, area representative and vice-president of the local for six years. She also held executive board position for six years with Staff Nurses' Associations of Alberta (SNAA) and continued to participate in local committees.
Pauline became president of SNAA in 1997. She led the SNAA amalgamation team to a successful unification of the two nursing unions in the province becoming the United Nurses of Alberta. She has served as transitional officer for two years assisting with the amalgamation process. At the same time, she participated in UNA internal committees including the legislative and political action committees. Astransitional officer, she continued to attend the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) National Executive Board meetings as a National Officer and assisted with the process of UNA's affiliation with the CFNU. In 1999, Pauline was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the CFNU. Recently re-elected, she is in her second term of office.
Pauline's work on behalf of nurses has been rewarded. In 1993, she received the University Hospital Recognition Award for exemplary commitment, and in 1995, SNAA's "We Celebrate You" Award for contributions to the community and the union. In 1998, she was honoured by the CFNU with the "Bread & Roses" Award for dedication to unionism at the provincial and national levels. Active in the community, Pauline has served as chairperson for SNAA's "Run for the Rainbow". This run raises funds for the Rainbow Society of Alberta who grants wishes to chronically and terminally ill children.
Pauline is the mother of two sons, Colin and Jesse. In her spare time, along with her sons, Pauline enjoys driving stock cars and has achieved success in the sport. Pauline graduated in 1981 from the University Hospital School of Nursing in Edmonton, AB, where she worked as a staff nurse on a general surgery unit till 1986. She then worked as a staff nurse in the post-anaesthetic recovery room at the hospital from 1986 to 1997. From 2000 to present, she has worked as staff nurse for the post-anaesthetic recovery room at the University Hospital in Edmonton, AB. Pauline credits her coworkers for making her unit such an enjoyable place to work - kudos!