Letterhead


February 5, 2003 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL

FEBRUARY 5, 2003 AT KELOWNA

AFFILIATES PRESENT

David Mitchell TWU 16

Joyce Procure BCNU

Jeff Carscience UBCJ 1370

Judi Filion BCGEU 707

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

Trudy Ames BCGEU 307

Ron Bobowski CUPW 760

Louise Turner HEU

Dave Porteous UFCW 120B

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607

David Doran Carp 1346

David Porteous UFCW 120B

Cheryl Stone UFCW 1518

Bob Barten BCGEU 20

Mary-Lou Bailey CUPE 338

Gord Irish ATU 1722

Dona Frayn BCGEU 1204

Scott Koch BCGEU

Karen Abramsen BC Forum

Pat Munro HSA

GUESTS

Gord Stoutenburg BC Forum

Marianne Davies HEU/CEP

Kevin Hagglund CEP 823-M

Dora Stewart Council of Canadians

REGRETS

Gord Larkin CLC

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of February 5, 2003

GUEST SPEAKERS

Marianne Davies - World Community Film Festival, Feb. 28-March 2 at the Okanagan University College KLO campus. Thirty-five social issues films will be shown starting from 6:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Cost: "Food for flicks" or "pay what you can." For more information, e-mail ouccdc@yahoo.ca, visit their web site at www.oucfilmfest.bravepages.com or fax (250) 491-1083 (Attn: OUCCDC)

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of January 8, 2003 with addition that Karen Abramsen was present as a guest.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

25 present with 20 delegates and 5 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

Three new delegates sworn in: David Porteous, UFCW 120B, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Jeff Carscience, UBCJ 1370

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

none

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Cathy Seagris, BCGEU 607:
Devolution of Ministry of Children and Family Development to regional authorities/privatization of child protection: - transfer of negotiations has commenced;
- threat of "legislating transfer."
- legislation will reduce number of children in care, consequences are that children are being left in high-risk situations.
- no preventative services
- minimal to no response to request for youth services
- social workers will be laid off
- high activity, low morale
Ministry of Human Resources:
- caseloads reduced up to 50 per cent
- offices collating under one centralized worksite, less accessibility for clients
- review of disability recipients occurring.
Okanagan People's Coalition is requesting the NOLC actively participate in a rally protesting the dismantling of ITAC. The loss of ITAC, slated for the end of March, will result in:
- deskilling trades
- privatization
- transferring the cost of training to apprentices
- making apprenticeships less accessible
- putting at risk the interprovincial standards agreement and read seal program.
Next OPC meeting is 5 p.m. Feb. 25 at the BCGEU office, 1591 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna.

Trudy Ames, BCGEU 307: Transition Steering committee is now governing the Community Social Service Sector. The government has handed over all the central authority and money to this committee. The committee is made up of family members and employers - effective March 31. Their goal seems to be to go back to the ideal of four-bed homes - although there is no money. They state that downsizing is being encouraged and their goal is four bed, while at the same time offering money for four-bed homes to add on one or two rooms. Lots of contradictions in the plan and implementation of this new plan. At this point, the social workers are not being given any information as to their role. Their job at this point is emergency services only. They are being completely kept out of the loop and uncertain if they will have work at any moment. There seems to be no governing in place as far as employees reporting to anyone. We were accountable to social workers for the care we gave. At this point, we are not accountable to anyone.
NDP: Vernon NDP annual general meeting, Feb. 23, corner of Highway 6 and 25th Ave., across from the A&W. Pot luck luncheon at 1 p.m. Discussion on The New Democracy (proportional representation, electoral campaign finance reform etc.) at 2:30 p.m. and AGM at 3:30 p.m. Limited seating for the luncheon - if you're attending that portion of the event, RSVP at 542-6956 by Feb. 14. No seating limitations nor RSVP needed for the discussion or meeting. For information on executive nominations, contact Dave Richards at 545-1732. Non-member friends of the NDP welcome.
Citizens for Public Power: Court date is being planned for March/April. Specific date will be known soon. 50,000 signatures - still accepting signatures. Citizens for Public Power will be asking us to support them in the campaign to get city councils on board. They have written letters to city councils and added the UBCM Energy Policy, which does not support de-regulating energy. (It is attached to these minutes.) They would love to see us go to our mayors and city councils and encourage them to keep BC Hydro public. They will keep us informed as to how many city councils get aboard.

Judi Filion, BCGEU 707: On March 31, 2004, the BC government will be spending 36 per cent less than it did in funding regulated child care in 2001. In other words, the BC government will be cutting funding by approximately $64 million. And these child care budget and service cuts are hurting children and families in our communities. What can parents do?
Join the Diaper Campaign. Send a clean diaper to:
a. your MLA
b. Lynn Stephens, the BC Minister responsible for child care
c. Gary Collins, the BC finance minister who will deliver the BC budget for 2003-4.
Attach a message which calls on the government to reverse the cuts and restore child care funding in the next provincial budget. For complete information, including a one-page flyer and sample messages/addresses, see the Parent Voices Web pages at www.childcareadvocacy.ca. Click onto Parent Voices, English and then look for the navigation on the left. Click onto ACTIVITIES, scroll down to REGIONAL CHILD CARE ADVOCACY, click on it and scroll down until you see "British Columbia" and then for complete information, click onto the BC DIAPER CAMPAIGN. A size 1 diaper and message fits into a 5 3/4" x 8 3/4" envelope and costs 96 cents to post. For more information, e-mail info@parentvoices.ca.

Karen Abramsen, Council of Canadians: The Council of Canadians regretfully had to cancel their Feb. 10 meeting with Maude Barlow due to illness. We are hoping to re-schedule this event at a later date. Future plans include continuation of the Class Action "I support Public Power" lawsuit to March 31. For more pamphlets to continue the campaign, please contact Karen Abramsen at 769-1977 or the BCGEU office (763-6204). We are also hoping to have an event in conjunction with World Water Day (March 22) and/or an event with the CofC water campaigner, Jamie Dunn in April.
NDP: The Interior Constituencies will be hosting a Regional Policy Conference on May 10-11 in Kelowna at the OUC north campus. We are hoping for the active participation of members, supporters and interested parties from community organizations. We see the participation of organized labour as critical to a successful conference. The planning committee will be contacting the NOLC regarding their participation. As co-chair of the NDP Transportation Policy Committee, I invite anyone with ideas or opinions or background on transportation issues, please contact me at 769-1977.

Gord Stoutenburg, BC Forum: As a representative of Forum, I am concerned at the lack of direct participation of members outside the Lower Mainland. To that end, I have had some preliminary discussions with Bill Clark, former president of Forum, and we agree there may be some merit to establishing chapters in various areas. The thrust of Forum is not only to provide services for retired union members, but to build a potential political force directed at protecting our way of life. As IÕm sure you can imagine, there are a lot of hurdles to jump in getting this started, not the least of which is member apathy. As you all know only too well, getting active members out to meetings is not easy, probably a ratio of 15 per cent in normal circumstances. But these are not normal times. The current government in BC is bent on destroying the union movement in BC. Don't be fooled. This is exactly what Gordon Campbell means when he says, "This is the dawn of a new era." I am hopeful that retired union members recognize this and if we can sit down together and discuss the issues, who knows what might be accomplished?

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000: With our contract expiring this June, a union negotiating committee is starting the work of preparing for another round of bargaining. Bargaining last time was particularly nasty. Although former "owner" Todd Vogt is now gone, signs don't point to things being much better this time.The company, which has given us 2 per cent in wage increases over the past five years, then asked for a five per cent cut in the middle of the existing contract, is sure to plead poverty and seek cuts or at best more zero increases.

Joyce Procure, BCNU: The BCNU, after seeking legal direction, charged federal Health Minister Anne McLellan to investigate violations of the Medicare Act. We're requesting they investigate several Lower Mainland private hospitals, clinics and the billing practices of physicians providing services there. Rationale: The Health Care Act is not policed unless/until a request is given to the minister. Then she must investigate and report to the complainant on outcomes.
BC Health Coalition: Draft resolution to be presented to municipal councils for endorsement. BCNU invites other reps from the NOLC to join their lobbyist (me) in presenting the resolution to Kelowna city council. Hopefully, an audience will be granted for the next session.

Scott Koch, BCGEU: Feb 24: Global Solidarity Workshop, BCGEU area office, 1591 Sutherland Ave., 7 p.m.
Feb. 26: BCGEU-sponsored Forestry Forum, 7 p.m., Penticton Lakeside Resort.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Elections:
Elected to NOLC executive:
President - David Doran
Vice-Presidents - Cathy Seagris, Ron Bobowski, David Mitchell
Treasurer - Judi Filion
Recording Secretary - Pat Bulmer
Sergeant at Arms - Trudy Ames
Northern delegate - Louise Turner
Southern delegate - Karen Abramsen
Trustee: David Porteous. Elected to a three-year term. Other trustees are Pat Munro, whose term expires in 2004, and Steve Malerby, whose term expires in 2005.

Spring school - March 29-30 at OUC north campus. Sign up soon. BC Federation of Labour secretary-treasurer Angela Schiera to speak. Contact Judi Filion for info.

NEW BUSINESS

none

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

25 total, 21 delegates, 4 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary

The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 5, 7 p.m. at the Village Green Hotel in Vernon.


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