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Sharon DeSousa elected new national PSAC president

Sharon DeSousa has been elected the new national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), succeeding Chris Aylward as head of one of the country’s largest public sector unions. Sharon DeSousa has been elected the new national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), succeeding Chris Aylward as head of one of the country’s largest public sector unions.
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Sharon DeSousa has been elected the new national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), succeeding Chris Aylward as head of one of the country's largest public sector unions.

Nearly 600 members elected DeSousa -– the first racialized leader in the union's history --  as national president and Alex Silas as national executive vice-president at the National Triennial Convention in Ottawa, said PSAC in a news release.

"I am honoured by the support and confidence members have placed in me to lead our union through the challenges ahead," said DeSousa.

"Our solidarity makes us stronger, and we will need to be more united and resilient than ever before as we fight to uphold justice and the rights of workers so that every member, in every corner of the country, is treated with dignity and respect."

DeSousa held the title of national executive vice-president from 2020 to 2024. She was also the first visible minority person to hold the title, PSAC says, noting that she was, previously, PSAC Ontario’s regional executive vice-president from 2011 to 2020. 

Meanwhile, PSAC says Silas has been a member of the union since 2010 "when he was hired at the Bank of Canada as a security officer, when he became a shop steward for Directly Chartered Local 71250."

He held the title of regional executive vice-president for the National Capital Region since 2021.

"It has been a privilege to serve PSAC members in the NCR, and I am humbled that members have now put their faith in me as I take on this new role to represent our diverse membership coast-to-coast-to-coast," said Silas. "Together, we will organize, fight for workers' rights, and defend those whose voices need to be heard."

Craig Reynolds was also elected as regional executive vice-president for Ontario, "as alternate national executive vice-president," reads the release.

The elected officers will serve a three-year term from 2024 to 2027.

Aylward served as national president of PSAC since 2018, and was previously the PSAC national executive vice-president from 2012 to 2018.

The union represents more than 245,000 workers across the country, including federal public service workers, provincial, territorial and municipal workers, as well as post-secondary education, law enforcement and public safety workers and many more.

PSAC is expected to hold multiple "showdowns" with the "federal government as more than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency personnel head towards potential strike action and a fight looms over the future of telework for federal workers," reads the release.

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