About Craig Reynolds – PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President (REVP), Ontario
Born in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, Craig migrated to Canada when he was 19, to join his family in search of better economic opportunities. While studying Business Management Studies at York University, Craig joined the federal public service in 2004.
His employment in the federal public service began with a term assignment at the Immigration and Refugee Board. After a few more short-term contracts, Craig began to realize that the public service was no longer a source of secure, long-term employment, as he had believed. Instead, he and many of his colleagues were caught in a cycle of precarious employment, ranging from short-term contracts, to term appointments and casual work.
Fortunately, Craig was able to secure a permanent position in 2005, working for the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB). The secure employment at OSB offered stability and opportunities, with Craig enjoying a lengthy career at the OSB for 15 years.
However, Craig never forgot the experiences and difficulties he faced when he first started his career in the public service, where he had witnessed so many of his colleagues trapped in precarious employment. As time went on, the gap of finding permanent employment in the public service increased, with many workers trapped in this vicious cycle of term employment for years.
To address this injustice, along with other workplace issues, Craig quickly got involved with his union at the Local level. His first elected position was in 2009, when he became a Steward for the Union of National Employees (UNE Local 00087). Later, in 2011 he was elected Vice-President for the Local and then elected Local President in 2013. There he served as Local President for over 7 years, as well as serving on several committees, such as the PSAC Toronto Racially Visible Committee.
Additionally, in 2014 Craig was elected to his UNE Component as Assistant Regional Vice-President, in which he was re-elected in 2017 and served until 2020. In 2015 and 2016 he became the alternate Secretary/Treasurer for the Toronto Racially Visible Committee and in 2017 and 2018 he was elected as the Alternate Chairperson.
In 2014, Craig was elected Alternate Racially Visible Representative for PSAC Ontario Regional Council and then re-elected in 2017. Craig was also elected at the 2017 PSAC Ontario Regional Convention as the 2nd Alternate Regional Executive Vice-President (REVP) and later became the Alternate REVP in 2018.
Craig stepped into the role of Ontario REVP in September 2020, and then was elected Ontario REVP at the 2021 Ontario Regional Convention. Craig believes that the Labour movement must put special focus on connecting with young workers, combatting systemic racism, and prioritizing organizing new workplaces to strengthen our union.
Craig’s history and experiences offer him a unique perspective and insight into the challenges many newcomers face when coming to Canada. He also recognizes how tremendously fortunate we are to live in such a diverse, respectful and compassionate country.
“My family and I are grateful for the opportunities that were available to us; despite coming from humble beginnings. I recognize that many of these opportunities were due to the Labour Movement, which has fought for worker protections, progressive legislation and human rights for decades. Unions have also been champions of defending the public services and social programs that are fundamental to maintaining a fair and equal society. This is why I became a union activist, to defend and advocate for workers, promote democratic values and to help those most in need.”