February 4, 2015 minutes
MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT VERNON
AFFILIATES PRESENT: Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here, Ron Bobowski, CUPW, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Greg McGowan, CUPE Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here, Ron Bobowski, CUPW, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Greg McGowan, CUPE 873, Louise Gibson, COPE 378, Helen Repole, BCGEU, Wynn Hartfelder, BCGEU, Susan Bauhart, COTA, Rob Wotherspoon, BCGEU,
Ian Gordon, CUPE 3523, Carole Gordon, COTA, Laureen Freayh, HEU, Carmen Belanger, HEU, Jason Picklyk, IAFF, Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, Ken Robinson, HEU, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon, Deena Coles, COPE 378, Dave Porteous, UFCW 1518, Mike Porteous, UFCW 1518, Morena Taylor, UNIFOR 468, Les Milton - Associated Transit Union, Vivian Kneller, HEU
REGRETS: Wendy Mah, BCGEU
GUESTS: Marlene Deptuck, CUPW, David Klappe, CUPW, Elizabeth Zlot, COPE 378, Darleen Nowell, BCFORUM, Wes Kmet
BCFORUM Delegate: Doug Gibson
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order Andrew Pritchard, President, at 7:00 pm
ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C
GUEST SPEAKER: Les Milton, ATU
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C
CREDENTIALS REPORT: 31 Present with 24 Delegates 5 Guests 2 BCFORUM
OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES: Donna Stubbe - BCGEU was sworn in as a delegate to this LC.
FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, financial summary was given. M/S/C.
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE:
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS -- STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS -- CLC REPORT:
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS:
Andrew Pritchard - Unite Here - Local 40, Rob Wotherspoon, BCGEU, Ken Robinson, HEU, Susan Bauhart, COTA, David Klappe, CUPW 760
Pacific Region CLC Report:
The Canadian Labour Congress and our representatives hope that you had a relaxing holiday season, and wish to extend a Happy New Year to each and every one of you! We have quite the year ahead of us, having successfully come out of the 2014 municipal elections across BC, we now move in the direction of an upcoming federal election.
We are now in our second week of the 41st annual CLC Pacific Region Winter School. Our five week program is filling up fast, however there is still space available in each of our weeks. The school is a great opportunity to share, learn, and meet activists from across the province, and we are proud to offer courses that range from new activist to ranking officers and union staff. Be sure to check out the course schedule and registration details at www.canadianlabour.ca/pacific-region/week-long-course-description; we hope to see you there.
Below we have included some of our recent publications as well as details on our upcoming Election Preparation Conferences. More CLC updates and media releases relating to the work we do can be found at canadianlabour.ca, and be sure to connect with us on Facebook, where we have daily updates on national issues we continue to take a stand on.
It's Time to Act: National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Monday, January 12, 2015
The Canadian Labour Congress is today reiterating its call for a National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has issued the report of its two-year study on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in British Columbia. The report clearly links the disproportionate amount of violence experienced by Indigenous women in Canada to the "past and present institutional and structural inequalities" that these women face, including poverty, discrimination, and colonization. It points out that any response must be comprehensive and holistic, which means addressing poverty, lack of housing, and access to education and employment.
The report clearly reinforces calls for a National Inquiry as well as a comprehensive strategy that would include all levels of government, and involve indigenous peoples, particularly indigenous women, at all stages.
Hassan Yussuff, CLC President, said, "Every international human rights body that has investigated this crisis has called for action. The federal government's failure to call a
National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is a national embarrassment."
Yussuff stated that he hopes the federal government will consider this new report and its recommendations seriously. A roundtable with First Nations, provinces, territories, and Indigenous organizations is planned for February. "The roundtable will be the start of a conversation," said Yussuff, "but it should just be the start. Indigenous women in Canada and their families deserve to be heard and they need to know their governments are prepared to work hard on a coordinated strategy to address poverty, marginalization, and violence."
Read the report at: www.oas.org/en/iachr/reports/pdfs/Indigenous-Women-BC- Canada-en.pdf
The New Year Offers A New Opportunity For A Canadian Job Recovery Strategy That Works
Friday, January 9, 2015
CLC President Hassan Yussuff says that after yet another year of job-market under performance, disappointing economic growth, and “wait-and-see” assurances from political leaders, 2015 brings a new opportunity to make a fresh start in the Canadian labour market.
"The federal government has the opportunity right now to invest in a better future for all Canadians. Ottawa's single-minded obsession with austerity and mantra that the labour market will eventually recover is simply prolonging the economic hardship of working Canadians. But to turn this ship around, we need to reinvest in job creation and skills training," he said.
The employment picture to close out 2014 was reflective of much of the rest of the year. Statistics Canada's release of its Labour Force Survey for December 2014 showed there were just over 1.27 million unemployed Canadians in December, and the overall unemployment remained at 6.6%.
"The government's laissez-faire attitude in 2014 now leaves us lagging behind the American economic and job market recovery, demonstrating once again that Canada needs a new approach to boosting job growth. Quite simply there needs to be a shift in priorities. New spending on infrastructure, reversing federal job cuts, investing in social programs -- these are the elements of a sustained job growth strategy," he added.
"The shake-out coming in the oil and gas sector should serve as a wake-up call to this complacent government," warned Yussuff. But he also stressed the opportunities present in the Canadian dollar's return to Earth and the prospects for a revitalized manufacturing sector.
Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Angella MacEwen
Overall job growth and quality were disappointing in 2014. The number of jobs grew by only 1%, or 186,000 -- far below the population growth of 380,000. The average annual employment rate for 2014 fell compared to 2013, and remains well below 2008 levels. The total actual hours worked in 2014 was lower than 2013, despite the increase in the number of positions. Since 2008, the total actual hours worked has grown at only half the rate of total job growth.
Compared to last December there was little change in employment in the natural resources sector, while employment in construction was up by 68,000 and employment in manufacturing was down by just over 11,000. Accommodation and food services employment fell compared to November, but was still up by 38,000 compared to last December. Also notable, the professional, scientific, and technical services sector lost 35,000 jobs compared to last December.
Compared to last December, both Nova Scotia and Ontario saw their unemployment rate fall by nearly a full percentage point. In Nova Scotia this was completely due to a fall in labour force participation, and while Ontario added 80,000 jobs, their participation rate fell from 61.7% to 61%, indicating deeper labour market weakness in both provinces.
While it is too early to see the fallout from falling oil prices, there will likely be some impact across the country as industries adapt.
Senate Votes To Make It Harder For Canadians To Join A Union
Friday, December 19, 2014
The Senate has passed a bill that will make it much more difficult for workers in federally regulated workplaces to join unions, and easier for a minority of workers to disband them.
Bill C-525, the so-called "Employees' Voting Rights Act," was introduced by backbench Conservative MP Blaine Calkins as a private member's bill, circumventing the decades-old and proven process of using tripartite consultation with employers, labour, and government to amend the Canada Labour Code.
"Not a single employer or union identified a problem in current industrial relations that required these legislative amendments,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff.
Yussuff points out that virtually all industrial relations authorities in Canada have warned against Bill C-525 and this process, saying it would needlessly upset the balance in federal labour relations.
"This legislation is really about denying Canadian workers the right to collective bargaining with their employer," said Yussuff. "It is an invitation to employers to interfere with workers' democratic right to choose representation, and it will destabilize federal labour relations."
Destabilization aside, the Canada Industrial Relations Board has released a study showing that the mandatory voting called for in Bill C-525 will result in a 500% increase in costs. Bill C-525 passed third reading despite flaws found by the Conservative dominated Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee. Amendments proposed by some Senators that would have fixed the mistakes were ignored because sending the Bill back to the House would have killed it.
"The Senate has abdicated its responsibility to provide sober second thought by allowing a technically flawed and badly drafted bill to pass into law," said Yussuff.
Pacific Region Election Preparation Conferences March 6-7, 2015
(Coast Bastion Hotel, Nanaimo) and March 13-14, 2015 (Coast Plaza, Vancouver)
Federal Election 2015 is fast approaching and we want to make sure that workers' concerns are well represented in the discussions and outcomes.
Election time is our opportunity to make change happen. Workers and the labour movement have a voice that counts and if we work together in the lead-up to this election, we can bring in a government that shares our values of fairness for one and all.
What values are we talking about?
Values that say every senior has a right to live in dignity and free from poverty with a fair Canada Pension Plan,
Values that say young people have a right to a decent job and hopeful future,
Values that say health care in Canada is for everyone,
Values that say affordable child care benefits the economy.
To see change happen, we need to act and talk to our colleagues, neighbours, and families about these values, who best represents them and will work to safeguard them in our laws. Our plan is to bring together seasoned campaigners and new activists from a wide range of communities and workplaces to share the experience they have while learning the latest and best practices for effective campaigning – from outreach and training to social media. Our goal is to show them how to take on the negative, powerful politics of greed and deliver a win for fairness.
A series of skill-building workshops will help you:
Obtain new skills to help in local campaigns,
Get the tools to talk to anyone about this election and all the important issues,
Build face-to-face skills to talk to people in the workplace and on the door step,
Learn how to build political support and capacity in your community,
Learn how to use social media for effective campaigning,
Learn how to reach out to different communities of interest.
Who should go?
The people in your union who can build, lead, and deliver a winning campaign need to be at this conference – leaders, community campaigners, organizers and communicators; women and men, young and old; workers of colour, with disabilities, Aboriginal, LGBT; public sector and private sector; full-time, part-time, or retired.
Sign up now for an Election Preparation Conference in a city near you and together we can create activists on the ground to make change happen and build a fairer Canada that works for us all.
NOLC Re-affiliation Project -- Committee members -- Ron Bobowski, Cheryl Stone, Ronn Dunn, Andrew Pritchard, Doug Gibson The project is underway and reports will be made at the next few meetings.
Labour Day Event 2015 -- Committee -- Andrew Pritchard, Carole Gordon -- The event will go forward this 2015 at Bertram Park, Kelowna. Details will be announced closer to the event.
Day of Mourning -- April 28, 2015 -- Committee members, Karen Abramson, Wendy Mah and Worksafe B.C. The event is being held at Ben Lee Park again this year at noon. The poster and advertising will be distributed soon via email.
Gert Beadle Award -- The NOLC nominated Carole Gordon, COTA, for this award last month. Carole has accepted the nomination.
World Community Film Festival -- March 14 & 15 Okanagan College. A motion was made to sponsor this event with a donation to support a film and have a display table. M/S/C
"Brothers on the Line" -- film, Rob Wotherspoon, BCGEU, has acquired the film and a date will be announced for a showing at the BCGEU building. An email will be sent regarding the time/date etc.
NOLC Executive Council election 2015 -- Nominating Committee Chair -- Greg McGowan, CUPE 873 2015
President -- Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here Local 40
Secretary Treasurer -- Ron Bobowski, CUPW
Recording Secretary -- Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518
2015 Executive Council Delegates
VP -- Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon
VP -- Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
VP -- Carmen Belanger, HEU
Northern Delegate -- Wynn Hartfelder, BCGEU
Central Delegate -- Helen Repole, BCGEU
Sergeant at Arms -- Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518
BCFORUM -- Greg McGowan/Doug Gibson
Trustees -- Louise Gibson, COPE 378; Laureen Freayh, HEU; Greg McGowan - CUPE 873
BCFED -- The NOLC will invite the executive officers, Irene Lanzinger and Aaron Ekman to attend a future meeting.
FORWARD BC NDP training conference -- February 27–March 1, 2015 -- A motion was made to purchase two registrations for this conference. M/S/C Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon and Carmen Belanger, HEU Kelowna, will attend.
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 24 Present with 21 Delegates 3 Guests
GOOD & WELFARE:
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm by Andrew Pritchard, President
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518
Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 7:00 pm.
1064 Borden Avenue, Kelowna, BCGEU Building
Parking is at the back of the building or the street.
Please enter at the back door of the building and you must ring the buzzer. Sergeant at Arms will sign you in.