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Member Profile: Tasmin Ng

Sep 25, 2017

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Case Aid, Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee
Local 001 Chapter 021, Government of Alberta

A strong sense of fairness and a desire to help people are the common denominators motivating Tazmin Ng in her work, in her union and in her continuing education.

It''s also how she stays grounded despite the emotional toll that comes with preparing court documents on behalf of vulnerable Albertans who aren''t able to make decisions for themselves.

"There''s a lot of heartbreak," says Ng. "It could be an adult who has gone through financial or other abuse - that''s what I read in the reports from the social workers. But it''s very fulfilling to know that I am a part of helping vulnerable people in Alberta."

Ng''s department looks after guardianship (decision making on personal matters) and trusteeship (dealing with financial matters) when there is no family member or other trusted individual able to take on those roles.

"Of course it''s preferable for family to be involved," said Ng. "But when we are needed, we are here to help."

Ng credits the support and advice she has received from her membership services officer (MSO) as one reason why she decided to become a more active member of AUPE.

She set out to become a Union Steward, taking AUPE courses toward that goal. She''s also taking online courses toward a degree in Human Resources and Labour Relations from Athabasca University (AU). She was pleased to discover she could receive transfer credits for her union education.

Ng encourages other AUPE members to take advantage of the transfer credit arrangement. "It''s worth it," she says. "You can save a lot of money and time!"

Thanks to agreements with AU and the University of Alberta, union members can receive up to twelve credits for AUPE courses that can be applied toward degrees or certificates in Labour Studies, Human Resources and Labour Relations, or Occupational Health and Safety.

Ng''s university and union education have dovetailed knowledge and lived experience. "In my AU courses, I''ve learned about how labour relations got started, how far we''ve come and the value of unions," she says. "I liked the AUPE courses because you get to hear people''s stories, and it''s so interesting to hear that the issues are often similar across different workplaces and jobs.

"It was eye-opening to see how other people''s contracts were not as strong as my own collective agreement," says Ng. She is also concerned about the limited options available to non-unionized workers who are mistreated by their employers.

Ng seems innately motivated to play a part in righting gaps in fairness. She sees herself taking on more of an advocacy role in the future, and her AUPE and AU education are giving her the tools to do just that.

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