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December 5, 2001 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL

DECEMBER 5, 2001 AT KELOWNA

AFFILIATES PRESENT

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607

Gord Larkin CLC

Terry Sawiuk UBCJ 1370

Ron Bobowski CUPW 760

Gord Irish ATU 1722

Faye Saxon OPEIU L15

Roy Graham Brewery Workers 300

Bill Zeman CUPE 3523

Robin MacMIllan CUPE 3523

Steve Malerby TWU 6

Pat Munro HSA

John Pugsley OUCFA

Peter Murray OUCFA

GUESTS

Karen Abramsen NDP

Neil Ferguson CUPE 3523

Gord Stoutenberg TWU retired

Tom Moran KSS

Duncan Chataway KSS

Wes Kmet NDP - Lake Country

Karen Abramsen NDP

John O. Powell NDP

REGRETS

Flore Langeslag BCGEU 307

David Doran Carp 1346

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

David Mitchell TWU 16

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Vice President Cathy Seagris at 7:35 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of December 5, 2001

GUEST SPEAKERS

None

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of November 7, 2001 as mailed out and circulated

CREDENTIALS REPORT

21 present with 15 delegates and 6 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

Bill Zeman and Robin MacMillan of CUPE 3523 were sworn in as delegates Ron Bobowski was sworn in as vice president

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

M/S/C to order/purchase new cheques as recommended by the interim secretary/treasurer

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

Pacific Northwest Labour History Association request to join or renew membership - Acting recording secretary to find out more about the cost of joining.

Letter from Glenys Poulis of Chase re: injuries suffered at NOLC softball tournament - table to January meeting, but write her acknowledging receipt of letter and informing her we'll discuss her case further next month.

Crown Publications: Order form for BC Labour Directory - receive and file M/S/C to approve executive board report

M/S/C to approve executive board report

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Pat Munro, HSA: HSA stewards are concerned about Finance Minister Gary Collins' announcement that HEU's contract (good until March, 2004) could be altered by the government to come up with extra funding for health care services.

Gord Larkin, CLC: Leaflets on sweatshops and child labour were handed out to shoppers on Dec. 8 at Orchard Park mall to raise awareness of the conditions workers face, many of them young children, in sweatshops around the world. Also, Six Bucks Sucks leaflets were available. Wish you all the best for the holidays.

Cathy Seagris, BCGEU 607: BCGEU fight back campaign has a four-part strategy: 1. Contact/meet with MLAs to express concerns over cutbacks, which will result in severe cuts to services and jobs; 2. Present concerns to city councils - talk about what this will mean to community, where will the funding come from to provide the services that are cut; 3. Contact chambers of commerce, discuss how the cuts to public service will severely impact the economy of our communities and businesses; 4. Get allies on board, ie: labour councils, anti-poverty groups, women's centres, churches, Council of Canadians. The BCGEU has established small teams in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton to kick off the Fight Back campaign. There was a rally in Vernon last week, a rally in Salmon Arm today and a rally scheduled for Dec. 11 in Vernon. A Rally of Hope is scheduled for Dec. 19 in Kelowna, starting at the BCGEU, going to the Tree of Hope.

Faye Saxon, EI Board of Referees: Board of Referee hearings have remained light through the fall months. I have participated in 29 sittings this year, compared to 23 in 2000. The increase was probably because Art Larocque was not replaced. There seem to be more clerical errors in the cases - these are usually to do with dates given in notices from HRDC. I can only assume this is because the staff has been cut and agents are pushed to prepare cases in a timely manner. In one case recently, the agent did not check the employer's figures given for wages. This was a case of "knowingly" giving incorrect information. This involved an overpayment and a penalty. Guess what? The claimant's figures were substantially correct. Of course, the board found in the claimant's favour. As usual, I would be happy to try to answer any queries you may have about appeals.

David Doran, BC Fed convention report (to be included in mailed-out minutes)

Judi Filion, BCGEU: Fight Back campaign report (to be included in mailed-out minutes)

Steve Malerby, TWU 6: The North Okanagan Health Region - I went to their meetings when I could - is having its last meeting. One of 15 health regions, or one of a total of 57 governance groups, all have a staff of about six, which all get severance pay of about $500,000. $500,000 could pay for an important procedure for someone's health and 57 of these won't be done because $28 million will be coming out of the health budget. An Oct. 2 ministry memo suggests massive amalgamations of health regions, which would pave the way for hospital closures.

Roy Graham, Brewery Workers: Locally, crush is wrapping up for the season. Mission Hill and Calona Wines had good years, good vintages anticipated. Smirnoff Ice is being bottled locally, creating some new jobs for this project. We now have 400 members in this region, from Vernon to Westbank, and are looking for some office space. Any leads would be appreciated. Rent shared with another local? Some arrangement where we could share a building, common boardroom?

Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760: 1. United Way exceeded goal of $10,700 by approximately $600. 2. CUPW food drive Dec. 1, 2001, collected 16,000 pounds for the food bank. 3. Nationally, the union and the employer have worked out an anthrax plan under National Health and Safety. 4. Kelowna pilot project: The integrated delivery project has been implemented. The expectations of the plan are not being met. The letter carriers on the street have been working regularly 9-10 hours and the employer has provided casual labour assistance to relieve overburdening. This has built solidarity on the floor and the union controls and directs the membership on the floor and the project in general.

Bill Zeman, CUPE 3523: Sent five delegates to the CUPE national convention in November. Our secretary-treasurer attended the BC Fed. We have a number of ongoing grievances; probably three will be arbitrated in the new year. We will be sending 3-4 members to Harrison in January. An OH&S audit was performed by Pat Burne and the draft had about 58 problems, violations and recommendations. Proposed cuts the employer has recommended: $600,000 out of custodial and $200,000 out of clerical.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Spring school update - BC Fed OH&S course to be offered in conjunction with spring school. School information to be mailed out separately.

Softball tournament: scheduled for July 13-14

NEW BUSINESS

Unions and the community - Harrison course. Ten CLC scholarships available. The NOLC will submit David Doran's name for one of the scholarships.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

23 total, 15 delegates, 8 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, acting recording secretary.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, January 9, 7:30 p.m. at the Village Green Hotel in Vernon.


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