President — Guy Smith
Guy Smith, a veteran union activist from Edmonton, was elected to his first term as president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees on Oct. 23, 2009.
Smith, 47, has 20 years of history as a union activist on his worksite. A member of AUPE Local 006, he is now on leave from his position as a Child and Youth Care Counsellor at the Yellowhead Youth Centre.
Smith has served in numerous union posts over his career, including eight years as an AUPE vice-president, and service as the Chapter Chair for Local 006 at the Yellowhead Youth Centre.
Throughout his years as an AUPE activist and leader, Smith has been committed to involving members in decision-making and action when needed. He believes that our struggles are only won through grass roots involvement and mobilization of the rank and file membership.
Smith has been successful in organizing against privatization and in defending the interests of AUPE members when it comes to negotiations, working conditions, and the preservation of public services.
Smith and his wife Sherry have two daughters.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer — Bill Dechant
Bill Dechant was re-elected to his third term as AUPE’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer during the union’s 2009 Annual Convention.
During his career, Bill worked for many years as a Power Plant Engineer for the Alberta government and was an active member of Local 004. In 1965, he joined the Civil Service Association of Alberta. In 1974, he assisted with the formation of Local 004. He served as Local 004’s Treasurer from 1974 until becoming AUPE Executive Secretary-Treasurer.
Bill was a member of Local 004’s Bargaining Committee for 30 years, and served on the General Service bargaining Committee for 15 years. In addition, he was a member of the Provincial Executive for six years before being elected Executive Secretary-Treasurer and was a member of the union’s Finance Committee for eight years.
In addition to his work with AUPE, Bill has been very active in the community, showing support for all workers in their time of need back to the Gainer’s strike in the 1970s. He has spent many years coaching baseball and basketball, and he has served on the executives of various organizations. Today, Bill spends his limited spare time helping friends and neighbours keep their houses in good repair and helping neighbourhood kids develop their reading skills.
Bill lives in St. Albert with his wife Germaine and has two adult children, Anthony and Kristianne.
Vice President — Jason Heistad
Jason Heistad was elected as Vice-President on Oct. 21, 2005, during the 29th annual AUPE convention.
At the time of his election, Heistad, a long-time activist in AUPE’s Education Sector, was serving as Chair of Local 071/002, which represents non-academic employees of Olds College, and was a member of the union’s Committee on Political Action. Heistad, 34, works as a Instructional Assistant at Olds College.
In addition to his many AUPE activities, Heistad was elected to a second term as a member of the Innisfail Town Council on Oct. 18, 2004. He is a member of the council’s committees on general government development services, transportation services and recreation, culture and education. He served as Innisfail’s Deputy Mayor in May, June and July of 2004 and 2005.
As well as his formal duties on the town’s council, Heistad is a member of the board of the Parkland Regional Library and the Innisfail Chamber of Commerce. He coaches minor soccer and is a team manager in the Innisfail Recreational Men’s Hockey League.
Jason was raised in a union family. His grandfather, Stan Horodyski, was an official of the Canadian Auto Workers union. His wife Sharla is a member of AUPE Local 003. Jason and Sharla have three daughters.
Vice President — Erez Raz
Erez Raz was elected to the position of Vice-President on Oct. 26, 2007, during the 31st annual AUPE convention.
At the time of his election, Raz held the position of Chapter Vice-Chair and Council Representative for Local 003, Chapter 008.
Chapter 008 represents members at the Edmonton Remand Center where Raz is employed as a Correctional Officer ll.
Raz was born in Israel and relocated to Canada in 1982, before returning to Israel in 1986. In 1989, he enrolled in the Israeli army where he would serve for the next three years. Upon completing his mandatory military commitment in Israel, Raz returned to Canada.
The 37-year-old correctional worker is married and he and his wife have one daughter.
Although not raised in a union family, Raz has since been immersed in union life, thanks in part to his wife’s family. His wife’s grandfather is a 40-year member of Local 488 of the Plumbers and Pipefitters, while his father-in-law spent 20 years as a member of Local 424 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Vice President — Carrie-Lynn Rusznak
Carrie-Lynn Rusznak was elected to her first term as vice-president in a by-election at the 2012 Convention. She is the Chair of the Environment Committee and will be doing mobilization in Central Alberta.
Carrie-Lynn is a Legal Assistant with the Calgary Crown Prosecutor’s Office and has been a member of AUPE Local 001 since October 2000. She has been a Chapter Chair for a couple of years and was instrumental in mobilizing the chapter to have site contacts in each of the 68 buildings where the chapter has members.
Carrie-Lynn has been an advocate for AUPE members since the beginning of her career. After doing MSO cover-offs for a few years, she decided that being among the membership is where she wanted and needed to be. As a result, she decided that her calling was as a vice-president. She is a firm believer in mobilizing the members and believes that AUPE’s mobilization is the key to being the largest, most noticeable union in Alberta.
Carrie-Lynn is the single mom of an 18 year old son and also has her 73 year old mother living with her so that she can ensure she is safe and taken care of. Carrie-Lynn’s activities include hitting the gym to keep herself healthy and happy.
Vice President — Glen Scott
Glen Scott was elected to his first term as AUPE Vice-President at the 2009 Annual Convention.
Glen has been an LPN since 1994. During the healthcare cutbacks of the 1990s, he worked as a nurse’s assistant for a few years due to a shortage of LPN opportunities, and was a member of both CUPE and CHCG. When he started with the Calgary Health Authority in 1997, he became a member of AUPE, and except for a 7 month position transfer that moved him back to CUPE prior to Bill 27, has been a very happy AUPE member ever since.
Glen has attended many Labour Schools and has held numerous positions within the Chapter and Local structures. He is a very active member in bargaining, and works hard with other members on the things that enhance working and living conditions for our members.
Glen lives in Calgary. He is married with two wonderful children, ages 11 and 14, and has two dogs. He enjoys hiking, photography, cycling, and other outdoor pursuits.
Vice President — Susan Slade
Susan Slade was elected as a vice-president at AUPE’s 2012 Convention. After many years as an activist, Susan brings to the position many years of experience and knowledge of the workings of the union.
When elected, Susan was the chair of Local 041. She has been actively involved in AUPE since 1999, when the Canadian Health Care Guild merged with AUPE. Susan has held positions as picket captain, chapter chair, PE representative, and bargaining committee member, and has sat on both the Pay and Social Equity and Women’s committees. She has also attended numerous education courses as well as Labour School. Susan believes that mobilization of the members and their respective communities is the key to a successful strong union.
Susan has been an employee of Alberta Health Services since 1993, where she was employed as a Health Care Aide for 17 years and is currently employed as an LPN. In addition to working as an LPN, Susan has also had the privilege of teaching the Health Care Aide course at Bow Valley College.
Susan does not come from a union family, but her family has strong ties to community. She was brought up to believe in the importance of helping others and being a voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
Susan has three adult children — Olivia, Jordan, and Allyson — and a beautiful baby granddaughter Amyllia. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Vice President — Karen Weiers
Karen Weiers was elected to her first term as an AUPE vice president at the 2011 Annual Convention.
Weiers has been a Unit Clerk within the Alberta Health system for 32 years, and currently works at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary. She came to AUPE as a result of Bill 27 in 2003, and has been increasingly active in the union since, at the worksite, in Local 095, and at the provincial level.
Weiers has been Local 095’s Provincial Executive representative and Local Secretary, and has served on the AHS GSS bargaining committee, as well as various other Local 095 committees. She has been a chapter chair, vice chair, and secretary, and has also been involved with the Calgary Area Council in an executive capacity.
While she didn’t come from a union family, a passion for the principles of fairness, equity, and respect and a belief in the strength of solidarity has led Weiers to become further involved in the union. She also believes in the power of education and activism, and has helped organize new members, arranged letter-writing campaigns, petitions and information pickets, and oriented and mentored new Local members and newly organized worksites.
Weiers lives in Airdrie and cares for her elderly parents in addition to her union activities and work. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as crafts, artwork, and playing the guitar.