Joanna was acclaimed to the position of Executive Vice President (EVP) of the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) in February 2019. The BCGEU represents over 78,000 members in 550 bargaining units in the private sector and public services. Prior to this position, Joanna was the BCGEU Vice President for Component 7 – Education, Scientific, Technical and Administration representing members who work in colleges and institutes as support staff and instructors, in private environmental testing labs and legal services, to name a few of the many diverse work certifications in Component 7.
Joanna started her teaching career as an instructor at Malaspina College (which is now Vancouver Island University) in 2005. A long-time union member and supporter of trade unionism, Joanna’s path to union activism started in 2008 as a full-time instructor in the Adult Basic Education Department at Malaspina’s Duncan campus when she eagerly sought out her BCGEU Steward to help with a worksite issue and learned firsthand the power of her new union and her collective agreement. From that moment onward, she took every opportunity to learn about her union and get involved, eventually serving as a Local Chair as well as on bargaining committees and Component Executive.
Joanna is just as passionate about her union’s work on social justice initiatives as a way of improving the working lives, families and communities of BCGEU’s members and all working people in British Columbia. In addition, Joanna has been an active member of the Cowichan-Malahat-Langford NDP executive team since 2014 and has been volunteering on both provincial and federal elections in the Cowichan and Nanaimo areas since 2005.