Letterhead


April 6, 2005 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Ron Bobowski CUPW 760
Glenn Nowag UNITE HERE!
Pat Bulmer CEP 2000
Dave Porteous UFCW 120B
Karen Abramsen BC Forum
Kathy Dunn HEU
Trudy Ames BCGEU 307
Louise Schwingenschloegl HEU
Pat Burnett BCGEU
Tom Potts COTA
Steve Malerby BC Forum
Maria Tokarchuk HSA
Ken Robinson HEU
Bill Zeman CUPE 3523
Liz Woods CEP 467
Kevin Hagglund CEP 823-M
Richard Gauthier CUPE 3523
Lennie Wilson HEU Kelowna

GUESTS
Gord Larkin CLC
Rick Barnes NDP
Faye Saxon COPE 15

REGRETS
Judi Filion BCGEU 707
Geri Smith COPE 387
David Doran Carp 1346


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Vice-President Glenn Nowag at 7:00 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of April 6, 2005

GUEST SPEAKERS

Robert Clift, Opening Doors for Every Student -- Kids are having educational doors shut on them because the provincial government hasn't created the conditions that allow every young person to graduate from high school and pursue a post-secondary education. According to provincial government projections, almost three quarters of future jobs will require some form of post-secondary education, yet in the Central Okanagan School District in 2002-3, of 1,937 of high school graduation age, an estimated 879 or about 45 per cent didn't take advantage of post-secondary education.
One reason kids leave high school is because we can't provide the support services they need. Whether this means more attention from a classroom teacher, the services of specialist teacher such as a counselor, or some form of support from community service agencies, individual student support is increasingly harder to get.
A large reason why high school graduates don't continue on to post-secondary education is that there simply isn't enough room for them in the system. As a consequence, students are forced to chase high entrance requirements or give up thinking they will never be able to make the grade.
Even for those students who want to go on to post-secondary education, and who can meet the entrance requirements, there are still substantial costs, particularly for those students who have to travel distances or relocate to attend a post-secondary institution. Tuition fees have risen dramatically over the past few years. For many students, this means a post-secondary education has become out of reach.
Many of these barriers are the result of government policy decisions. There is no good academic reason for the entrance requirement into the Faculty of Science at UBC to be 87%. This is simply a response to not having enough spaces to let in everyone who is qualified.
Tell your MLA and candidates in the upcoming provincial election that things aren't good enough right now. You can use our website (www.opening-doors-bc.ca) to find out more facts and how to contact your MLA.

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt minutes of March 9, 2005.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

20 present with 17 delegates and 3 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

none

FINANCIAL REPORT

M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated.

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) Union Label convention call -- June 11 in Montreal. Registration fee $60. We're eligible for 3 delegates. Dave Porteous expressed interest. We'll ask again at the May meeting in Vernon.

b) Maquila Solidarity Network annual renewal notice ($50) -- We'll renew

c) Resolution for CLC convention from Kitimat-Terrace and District Labour Council - NOLC will inform Kitimat-Terrace Labour Council of our support for the following resolution:
THE KITIMAT-TERRACE AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL moves that the Executive Council of the Canadian Labour Congress revoke the gag order which currently prohibits discussion with the CLC of the Steel/IWA raid on the HEU and its implications for the labour movement; and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Executive Council direct the Steelworkers/IWA to terminate their raids against HEU immediately, and to withdraw their objections to the count of any certification ballots in the case of any of the jurisdictions under dispute; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in the event any affiliates win any of these certification votes, that the Steelworkers/IWA refund the dues paid in these certifications between the date of the vote and the date the ballots are counted; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that if these conditions are not fully complied with, the CLC Executive Council impose Level 3 sanctions on the Steelworkers/IWA as outlined in the CLC constitution.

d) Endorse NDP candidates Joyce Procure, Okanagan-Westside, Juliette Cunningham, Okanagan-Vernon, Nicki Hokazono, Kelowna-Mission, and John Pugsley, Kelowna-Lake Country.

e) Third CLC Solidarity and Pride conference, Nov. 13-15 in Quebec City. Registration fee: $250. Receive and file.

f) Interior Savings Credit Union election for board of directors' positions. We will cast a vote for Rolli Cacchioni.

g) Pacific Northwest Labour History Association conference at SFU June 10-12 -- registrations are $65 for for IWW - The First 100 Years, and Thinking Through Action. Trudy Ames may be interested in attending. We'll ask again at the May meeting.

M/S/C to accept Executive Board report (Kevin Hagglund opposed)

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Tom Potts, Central Okanagan Teachers' Association -- Regarding the Wright report on teacher bargaining:
Teachers continue to be concerned about the Wright Report on teacher bargaining submitted by commissioner Don Wright to the Campbell government. Though not activated, we suspect that the Liberals are not done with the report -- yet. In the event of another Liberal majority after the 17th of May, we expect to see a re-visitation and perhaps another round of bashing from Mr. C.
Main points of the report are:
-- Class size and other working and learning conditions are not part of bargaining, instead a provincial policy discussion would take place to advise the government.
-- Right to strike is removed and replaced with final offer arbitration wherein the arbitrator would select one or the other final offer with no compromises.
-- More issues moved to the local table but with no real ability to bargain them and with no hammer to move to resolution.
-- Provincial bargaining would happen one year and local bargaining would happen the next creating a state of continual negotiations.
-- Regionalization is recommended for local issues, paving the way to eliminate school boards and to a move to the health care organizational model.
-- The creation of a 'notional' provincial agreement that melds provisions, meaning concessions for many; salaries to be regionalized. with red circling of the highest salary scale frozen until the others catch up. It is not clear if teachers new to a district are red circled or are on the new lower regional scale.
Benefits are also to be standardized so that those with superior provisions now will lose them. The notional agreement will not be actualized until budgetary resources are available. In other words, bargaining is to be tied to the general health of the provincial economy so that there will be a permanent 'ability to pay' doctrine for teacher bargaining unlike other workers.
-- Government interference in teacher bargaining is a permanent feature in the form of an appointed commissioner who supervises the process, makes reports to the public about the issues in dispute and the financial implications of the proposals; then becomes appointed as the mediator/arbitrator to pick the final offer that will settle the collective agreement.
There are serious implications for at the very least, other public sector unions in that if the government manages to impose these conditions upon teachers, they could certainly do things of a similar nature to others. The implications of final offer arbitration alone should give cause for pause to all in the public sector not to mention being tied in perpetuity to what would amount to the government's own assessment of the relative health of the economy as the controlling factor in whether collective bargaining would provide any gains for workers ... ever. (Motions to follow under new business).

Karen Abramsen -- B.C. Forum -- Senior organizer wanted -- Art Kube and COSCO (a BC-wide seniors' organization) are looking for a local senior activists to attend a four-day training in Vancouver from April 17. They will also be training a local retired teacher. Costs to attend the training will be covered. Following the training, it is expected that the two local attendees will work with local senior organizations to make sure seniors get out and vote. If you are interested or want more information, please contact Karen Abramsen at 769-1977.
Kelowna Peace Rally -- I spoke on behalf of the NOLC and President David Doran. Trade unionists are being tortured and murdered in Iraq. For good information, check out the ICFTU website (www.ifctu.org).

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000 - Negotiations between CEP 2000 and the Kelowna Daily Courier and Penticton Herald are proceeding very slowly. More talks are scheduled April 19-20. We've had to get a new free provider for our labour council website -- it's now at members.shaw.ca/nolc.

Gord Larkin - CLC - Day of Mourning -- April 28 will again be the focus of ceremonies across Canada honouring those who were killed or injured on the job.
National protest against Wal-Mart -- May 7 will see nationwide protests against Wal-Mart's actions in closing the unionized store in Quebec. We are asking labour councils to leaflet local Wal-Mart outlets.
Pension bill - Pat Martin's "Workers first" bill is due for debate in April. Anti-scab bill is in second reading and will be debated in April.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) Day of Mourning is April 28. Ken Robinson has agreed to co-ordinate the Kelowna ceremony to take place at 4 p.m. April 28 at Ben Lee Park in Rutland. Trudy Ames will co-ordinate Vernon events. Details TBA. M/S/C to authorize the purchase of wreaths for the ceremonies.

b) NDP 2005 convention, July 15-17 in Quebec. We will pay registration only. Liz Woods elected as our delegate. M/S/C to destroy ballots.

c) M/S/C -- that the North Okanagan Labour Council sponsor the May Day family picnic, planned for May 1, noon-4 p.m. at Strathcona Park, behind Kelowna General Hospital.

NEW BUSINESS

a) M/S/C -- Be it resolved that the North Okanagan Labour Council oppose the government report on teacher bargaining on the basis that its recommendations violate full, free collective bargaining.

Be it further resolved that the North Okanagan Labour Council offer full support to teachers in defending their bargaining rights by engaging in collective actions as determined.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

15 total with 11 delegates and 4 guests


ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.



The next meeting will be Wednesday, May 4, 2005, 7 p.m., at the Village Green Hotel, Vernon


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