Your Union Needs You. Learn How to Become a Successful and Influential Leader

  • October 27, 2023
  • 2:30pm-4:30pm
  • FESTI - Fire & Emergency Services Training Institute 2025 Courtneypark Drive, East, Mississauga

Facilitated by Darcy Sibbald, Cassandra Greer and Kathy Ius

Your Union Needs You: Learn how to become a successful and influential leader!

Women in Union Leadership

As a female firefighter, you face unique challenges on and off the job. We are excited to offer this workshop focused on women in union leadership positions. The workshop explores unconscious biases, and gender stereotypes and offers the necessary skills to become successful union leaders. We will also discuss ways to advocate for and support our fellow female firefighters and promote diversity and inclusion within our unions. You will also have the opportunity to network with other women to share your experiences and best practices. Let us collaborate to strengthen our unions and uphold the rights of all firefighters.

Darcy Sibbald

Darcie is a mother of two girls, an avid mountain biker and a career firefighter of 18 years with an additional five years as a Paid on Call firefighter. Darcie has sat on many committees during her career, from Health and Safety, First Responder Instructor Trainer and currently the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Peer and CISM team. She was the Secretary/Treasurer for her local since 2012 and this year was elected as the President.

Darcie participates in the BCPFFA Data/IT, sub-committee of the Women’s Advisory Committee and the Elections Committee. Her passion lies in advocacy for all, supporting others in mental health, safety, governance, worker OH&S representation, peer mentorship, collaborating, bargaining negotiations and grievance resolutions. In her career as a firefighter, Darcie was looking to share experiences and find the support of other women in this incredible career. In doing so, she is the Secretary on the founding board of Fire Service Women BC. She is proud to work amidst powerful, capable, competent and passionate women and men who want to support an equitable fire service for all.

Cassandra Greer

Cassandra Greer began her career in a small rural fire department as a dispatcher where her father had served as a volunteer firefighter for 30 years. In 1998, she began working for a unionized mid size urban department (Nepean Fire Service). In 2001, Cassandra was hired with Ottawa Fire Services (L162). While attempting to navigate a unionized career department through the City of Ottawa’s amalgamation, it quickly became apparent that her union would have a direct effect on every aspect of her career. To ensure that she knew what she was entitled to as a female dispatcher in a 950 person local she sought allies, acquired knowledge and became involved. In 2004, she became a shop steward and was first elected to the executive board of Ottawa Professional Fire Fighters in 2010 becoming the first woman and the first dispatcher to have ever accomplished this. Cassandra was successfully elected on four occasions and served for 8 years on the executive board filling numerous roles including as a bargaining committee member. Cassandra chaired the Ontario Professional Fire Fighters Human Relations Committee and currently holds the chairpersonship of the Ottawa Human Rights and Accommodations Committee. A fiercely proud mother, wife and Ottawa Senators Fan, Cassandra is committed to removing barriers through relentless advocacy. Cassandra was promoted in 2021 as the Ottawa Fire Service’s Assistant Division Chief of Communications and brings her small town tenacity and work ethic to every role she fills.

Kathy Ius

Kathy began her career as a paid-on-call firefighter with the City of Coquitlam. She was eventually hired by the City of New Westminster as the first career female firefighter in 2001. Kathy retired from Suppression Operations as a Captain and Senior Training Captain on January 1, 2023. She has since been hired as the department’s Chief Equity Officer.

Kathy has always been a fierce advocate for the members of her Local having served on many committees that included, among others, the Bargaining, Training, and Facilities Committees. She was actively involved with and served on the executive of the New Westminster Firefighters’ Charitable Society. She was elected to the position of Guard in 2009 for Local 256 and, subsequently, to the position of Recording Secretary in 2011 and served in that capacity until 2021. With over 12 years of experience in contract negotiations, grievance and arbitration resolutions, and worker advocacy, Kathy brings a wealth of knowledge in Union governance and worker welfare. In 2019, she was brought on as one of the chairs on the BCPFFA’s Women’s Advisory Committee and continues in that role today. As a long-time professional athlete, she has participated in professional mountain bike racing, ski racing, and played high-level soccer. In her spare time, Kathy coaches a U8 girls soccer team. One of her most memorable moments came when she won a gold medal at the 2009 World Police and Fire Games in the Grouse Grind race and a silver medal in the team tug-a-war.