A woman from Vita has been re-elected to a third term as president of the Manitoba Government Employees Union. The vote took place at the MGEU annual meeting Saturday. Michelle Gawronsky was first elected president in 2012 and says she is humbled and honoured to continue serving the organization. She notes members tell her they like her open and transparent style of leadership.
"It's having the open-door policy; being very, very accessible. (It's also) the accountability that we have. Everything I do, I report back. I created the President's five-minute update. I report back every month what their union is doing, where we're going, what I'm doing and the advocacy that I'm doing."
Prior to serving as MGEU President, Gawronsky worked in health care, including such positions as home care attendant, paramedic and activity coordinator at Vita Personal Care Home. As union president, she takes some of her inspiration from a very famous leader.
"My favourite saying by Gandhi is; There go the people, I must follow them for I am their leader. I take my direction from the members of the MGEU. I've got 42,000-plus bosses out there and I am here to do their will and follow the direction they want me to go in."
As for the next two years, Gawronsky says one of her big priorities is to keep the Conservative government accountable.
"The Premier, through his campaign, (said) he is going to be keeping public services, 'public' and protecting those services for Manitobans. We are going to hold him to that and, as well, we are going to be looking at helping create mental health-healthy, safe workplaces and how we go forward with that and ensure that there's no bullying in workplaces and to be able to have healthy work sites where people feel valued."