Val is President of the Health Sciences Association of BC, a union representing 18,500 members working in 75 different professions at over 250 hospitals and agencies in acute and long term care, and community health, including workers at child development centers and transition houses.
She is a University of British Columbia graduate, having completed her Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation in 1983, with combined qualifications as a physiotherapist and occupational therapist.
Val has worked for more than 30 years in the field at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, most recently in the outpatient physiotherapy program.
Before being elected President of HSA in April 2014, she served as interim president from September 2013, and had previously served as Vice President. Avery became active in her union in 1991, and has worked in many capacities advocating for members as a steward, as a Labour Relations Officer, a member and chair of bargaining committees for four sets of contract negotiations, a member of the Board of Directors, and trustee for the union-run long term disability fund.
She is an officer of the BC Federation of Labour and the National Union of Public and General Employees, where she serves on the Finance Committee of both organizations.
In addition to her leadership positions in the labour movement, she is a board member of Working Enterprises Ltd., a Vancouver-based holding company that provides financial, travel, and other services; a board member of Camp Jubilee, where kids can go to camp regardless of economic circumstances; and, a past board member of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation- BC-Yukon Region.