Name: Amy Nand
Occupation: Care Aide, Good Samaritan Society at Victoria Heights
Surrey resident Amy Nand had her first child at age 17. Now a busy wife and mother of three kids, she works full-time as a care aide at Good Samaritan Society at Victoria Heights, an assisted living facility in New Westminster where she is a Hospital Employees’ Union member.
In 2008 Amy was asked to be a shop steward. Though afraid at first, she took on the role. “I always challenge myself. I say the stuff that others may be afraid to say out loud.” Today Amy is the HEU site representative for her Queen’s Park local.
“The union has made a difference in my life. Working in a union workplace gives you more protection and job security,” says Amy. “And my union is almost like a family. From the always cheerful receptionist at HEU Provincial Office, to my union rep who always helps me, they are all like your brother or sister and they come to help when you call.”
“I’ve received shop steward training and I’ve learned a lot from being on our local’s bargaining committee. The living wage information was pivotal to progress with our demands.”
Amy started her work life as a receptionist in a non-union workplace. People saw her caring nature and encouraged her to become a care aide, so she became certified through Access Employment Services in Maple Ridge. Though she initially dreamed of working in pediatrics, Amy choose to work in geriatrics because people in her care have lived long and full lives and seeing elders pass away is less painful than seeing children die.
Since 2000 Amy has worked as a care aide – for Bayshore Home Support, at Kiwanis Care Centre, and for the past six years at Good Samaritan Society at Victoria Heights.
Amy advises her union brothers and sisters to “be thankful we have a union. Stay active. When notices go up on bulletin boards about opportunities – take advantage of them. Challenge yourself. You don’t know unless you try. I am living proof – once you get the ball rolling, you can do it.”
A full-time employee, Amy works 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. shifts. At work, she loves hearing the life stories of residents because there’s always something new to learn. And she loves providing little extras for the residents – like purchasing items for them from Costco and painting the nails of a woman whose fading eyesight enjoys bright colours. A dedicated sports Mom, Amy tries to schedule her work life so she can attend the sporting activities and events of her three children – ages 17, 9, and 6.
Busy Amy has also assisted HEU organizers with a job fair by sharing information about HEU and explaining her workplace experiences.