05/04/2012 07:47 EDT | Updated 07/04/2012 05:12 EDT

Canada's largest public sector union elects new leader

The Public Service Alliance of Canada has elected Robyn Benson as its new president, replacing John Gordon, who is stepping down after six years as leader of Canada's largest public-sector union.

Benson, formerly the regional executive vice-president for PSAC's Prairies region, was elected at a convention in Ottawa on Thursday.

She worked for 20 years with the taxation centre in Winnipeg and was also the regional vice-president in the Union of Taxation Employees until 2000, when she was elected to a similar role at PSAC.

Benson steps in as thousands of federal public sector workers are facing layoffs following the tabling of the 2012 budget.

The union represents more than 170,000 workers.