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Lots of love for outgoing Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Byers

Thousands of delegates to the CLC Convention paid tribute to inspiring activist, femtor and outgoing Secretary-Treasurer, Barbara Byers on Thursday.

Byers is retiring after 15 years with the CLC, having first been elected as Executive Vice-President in 2002. She was elected to the position of Secretary-Treasurer at the 2014 CLC Convention in Montreal.

“She’s a true champion of social justice in this country,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

“Anybody who knows Barb knows she has the biggest heart. There’s no cause she won’t support,” said Yussuff. “I can’t begin to tell you how much I will miss my friend and colleague.”

The tribute to Byers kicked off with a video presentation. Labour leaders like former PSAC President Nycole Turmel, SFL President Larry Hubich, and former CUPE President Judy Darcy shared their memories and experiences working with Byers over her many years in the labour movement.

“She pulled the movement together and was very inclusive. She established some really important educational firsts in Saskatchewan, not the least of which is the Prairie School for Union Women and the SFL Summer Camp,” said Hubich.

Byers started her career as a social worker before becoming president of the Saskatchewan Government Employees Union (SGEU) and Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL).

In thanking delegates and colleagues, Byers spoke of the importance of learning from one another, regardless of age or experience.

“I wish you the chance of being a long-time activist in your organization,” said Byers.

“And I wish everyone the passion and the opportunity to create greater democracy in our movement, no matter where you are,” she added.

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