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December 7, 2005 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Kris Bothe UBC 1370
Dave Porteous UFCW 120
Glenn Nowag UNITE HERE!
Ron Bobowski CUPW 760
Pat Bulmer CEP 2000
Shirley Kavaloff HSA
Cheryl Stone UFCW 1518
Tom Potts COTA
Brad Dunlop USW 1-423
Karen Abramsen BC Forum
Donna Frayn BCGEU
Kevin Hagglund CEP 823-M
Pat Munro HSA
Trudy Ames BCGEU


GUESTS
Faye Saxon Board of Referees
Rick Barnes UFCW
Al Thiel HEU
Rick Boisvert CUPW
Linda Thiel HEU
Patricia Nauss CUPW
Patrick Therrien Okanagan College
Pat Barbosa OK College Students Union
Eileen Robinson Kel-Lake Country NDP
Miriam Martin Hands Off Venezuela

REGRETS
Louse Schwingenschloegl HEU
Gord Larkin CLC
David Doran Carp 1346
Kathy Dunn HEU


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Vice-President Trudy Ames at 7:07 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of December 7, 2005

GUEST SPEAKERS

Miriam Martin -- Hands Off Venezuela. Miriam provided a brief chronology of events in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez was elected president in 1998. Despite several U.S.-backed efforts by the military and the old oligarchy to overthrow Chavez, he has succeeded in implementing many reforms, including improving education, wiping out illiteracy, improving access to health care, creating a more democratic country and a new constitution that guarantees public ownership and equitable distribution of oil revenues. The international Hands Off Venezuela campaign was launched in London in 2002. There are now branches of Hands off Venezuela across Canada and a number of labour councils and unions have affiliated.
M/S/C to affiliate with Hands Off Venezuela and donate $100.

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

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

CREDENTIALS REPORT

24 present with 14 delegates and 10 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

No new delegates to swear in.

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) Pacific Northwest Labour History Association request to take out membership ($200), plus info on conference, June 2-4 in Olympia, Wash. Receive and file.

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Faye Saxon -- worker representative for EI board of referees -- Once again, one of the most important messages to those who have become unemployed is to apply for EI benefits right away -- whether they have their Record of Employment or not. The other item I want to mention is that more employers seem to be appealing cases where the claimant has been approved for benefits. I can only guess that the high employment in the Okanagan could be the reason. Apparently some employers do not like the swing, which is allowing employees a choice to seek other jobs when they feel unappreciated, underpaid or treated inappropriately.

Pat Barbosa, Okanagan College Students' Union -- The Okanagan College Students' Union, local 53 Canadian Federation of Students, is participating in a provincial campaign to sign post cards. These post cards focus on Bill C-48, the Federal Budget Amendment Act. This legislation allocates $1.5 billion to reducing tuition fees. We are looking for union reps who may be able to take some post cards to their members. If you are interested, please contact Pat Barbosa, organizer, at 864-3783. E-mail: organizer@ocsu.ca

Pat Munro, HSA -- The cost of the monthly food basket for a healthy diet, according to Canada's Food Guide, for a family of four is $650. But after paying for housing, electricity and other utilities, there is no money left for food for a family on social assistance, and only a few coins left for food for a working-poor family. Social assistance rates must be increased. The minimum wage and working benefits must be increased. Poverty must be eliminated.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) CLC Winter School
M/S/C to send the president to the Labour Officer's Course (in February), as per past practice. An alternate, if needed, is to come from the executive.
M/S/C to send one person to the Unions in the Community Course (the previous week in February), if a scholarship is available. Nominations were opened for the spot. Glenn Nowag and Kris Bothe were nominated. Nominations will be reopened at the January meeting in Vernon.

b) Trudy Ames gave a report on the recent NDP convention.

NEW BUSINESS

a) Spring school -- Karen Abramsen talked about preliminary plans for an NOLC spring labour school, which would be held March 25 or April 1 weekend at the UBCO campus. Three to five courses would be held. At least 12 people are needed for a course to go ahead. Karen would like suggestions on which courses should be offered. The CLC recommends Steward 1 and 2 and a new Facing Management course. Political action and advanced bargaining courses were also mentioned. Contact Karen if you have a course you'd like to suggest or support, or if you'd like to volunteer to help at the school. Phone: 769-1977, e-mail: kareneh@silk.net.

b) Civic elections -- Dave Porteous and Rick Barnes talked about the recent municipal elections. Rick said unions came forward with a lot of financial support, but much of it came late. Porteous, in a letter thanking the labour council for its support of his bid for Kelowna council, made a number of recommendations, including: that members become involved in their local resident associations; that the labour council hold an all-candidates meeting to ensure labour issues are raised; that a search committee get going now to find potential candidates for the next election; and that finances for candidates be in place the date the campaign begins. Thank you letters for the NOLC's endorsement and financial support were also received from Brad Dunlop, Cheryl Stone and Michael Pierce.
M/S/C that the labour council send letters to the new mayors of Kelowna and Vernon expressing support for their goals.
M/S/C that the NOLC executive arrange a meeting with Kelowna mayor Sharon Shepherd in her office.

c) M/S/C that the NOLC set up a nomination committee to seek out candidates for the new executive.(Nominations open at the January meeting in Vernon with elections slated for the annual general meeting February in Kelowna.) Dave Porteous and Brad Dunlop volunteered to serve on the nomination committee. Anyone wanting to run for office or serve on the committee can contact them at:
Dave Porteous -- Phone: 763-1019 (h), 860-6700 ext 222 (w), 863-9991 (cell); e-mail: dave@weinsurance.com
Brad Dunlop -- Phone: 469-2920 (cell); e-mail: bocdunlop@shaw.ca

d) Rick Boisvert of CUPW talked about a proposal for a food bank drive around May Day that would go under the NOLC's name in an effort to attract widespread union support. A committee of 8-10 people from different unions is wanted and needs get to work as soon as possible. Contact Boisvert at 762-9420 or Ron Bobowski at 769-5301 (h), 862 7250 (cell), or rbobowski@telus.net M/S/C to support the proposed May food bank drive under the banner of the NOLC.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

24 present with 14 delegates and 10 guests

ADJOURNMENT

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.



NEXT MEETING:
Wednesday, January 4, 2006, 7 p.m., at Village Green Hotel, Vernon


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