Letterhead


JANUARY 10, 2007 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Jeff Carsience, UBCJ 1370
Dave Porteous, UFCW 120
Brad Dunlop, USW 1-423
Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760
Karen Abramsen, BC Forum
Kris Bothe, UBCJ 1370
Glenn Nowag, UNITEHERE
Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000
Gord Larkin, CLC
Dave Welder, USW 1-423
Ken Robinson, HEU
Bill Zeman, CUPE 3523
Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
Dona Frayn, BCGEU 1207
Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518
Faye Saxon, BC Forum
Liz Woods, BC Forum
Pat Munro, HSA -- Kelowna
Shirley Kavaloff, HSA -- Kelowna
Michelle Davies, COTA
Andrew Pritchard, UNITEHERE
Maria Tokarchuk, HSA -- Kelowna
Linda Thiel, HEU
Rob Wotherspoon, BCGEU

GUESTS
Dave Wilson, Community Savings
Linda Dumka, Community Savings
Bruce Cook, Community Savings
Doug Gibson, COPE 15 (ret)
Al Thiel, BCGEU
Mike Fenn, OSASS-UBCO
Wes Kmet

REGRETS
Kathy Dunn, HEU
Louise Schwingenschloegl, HEU

CALL TO ORDER
President Brad Dunlop called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
M/S/C to adopt agenda of January 10, 2007

GUEST SPEAKERS
Bruce Cook and Dave Wilson of Community Savings Credit Union -- Community Savings is a union-run, unionized credit union with four branches in the Lower Mainland and one in Victoria. They're in the Okanagan to gauge whether there's enough support to open a branch here. If enough people and unions are willing to make a commitment, it could happen -- 1,000 customers in 18 months could make it happen, said Cook. Here's some contact info: Linda Dumka is the Business Development Manager, cell: 604-230-8564, e-mail: ldumka@comsavings.com. Community Savings Credit Union: Suite 1600 - 13450 102nd Ave., Surrey, BC, V3T 5X3, ph: 604-637-5034, fax: 604-592-2265, toll-free: 1-888-963-2000, web: www.comsavings.com.

Mike Fenn -- Mike told us about a new group being organized at UBCO to get involved in political education and activism. The group wants to bring issues to light (education) and form a lobby group (activism) -- and create a network with likeminded groups, such as the labour council. Organizations like the labour council can use this new group to help lobby on labour and social justice issues. For more info and to get involved, e-mail: osacis@gmail.com.

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
M/S/C to adopt minutes of December 6, 2006

CREDENTIALS REPORT
30 present with 24 delegates and 6 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES
Andrew Pritchard, UNITEHERE; Dave Welder, Steelworkers; Michelle Davies, COTA; and Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523; were sworn in as delegates.

FINANCIAL REPORT
M/S/C to adopt November and December financial reports as circulated.
M/S/C to transfer $2,000 from political action fund to get the Public Policy and the Environment Forum (June 8-10) started.

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
a) Kelowna Women's Resource Centre seeks donation for its International Women's Day event on March 8 -- M/S/C to donate $250 and match the donation for the Vernon Women's Centre or shelter.
b) Maquila Solidarity Network holiday donation request -- Receive and file (We will be making a donation and renewing our membership shortly).
c) Raise the Rates donation request -- The B.C. Federation of Labour is requesting a donation of $250 to help pay for an ad in the Sun or Province, which will consist of an open letter to Premier Gordon Campbell urging him to improve income assistance rates and the minimum wage -- M/S/C to donate $250.

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Karen Abramsen, EI Board of Referees -- Lately, serving on the board of referees has been very difficult. As a result, I am on a mission. Fifteen weeks of sick leave is not enough! We all need to lobby our MPs to increase the number of weeks. Maternity leave is 52 weeks. Why not sick leave (as a maximum)? We've had a woman with aggressive cancer (52-week treatment), a man waiting for a knee operation was diagnosed with colon cancer, then after his cure, he had his operation (10 months treatment). A woman who had a serious breakdown had all her savings depleted during her recovery. These are just a few of the cases that have had a profound effect on me as a board member. None of these people had come from employment that had any benefit plans. There is no safety net for people who get sick for longer than 15 weeks. With an EI surplus, it's about time that some of those funds go back to EI clients who have paid in. This is a huge injustice in the system. I urge you to please join me in trying to get this changed.

Rob Wotherspoon, BCGEU -- Okanagan College (vocational instructors) bargaining is underway. Current agreement expires March 31. Kelowna Childcare Society -- tentative collective agreement reached today. Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen -- bad-faith bargaining complaint filed (after agreement reached) -- employer admitted overstating sick-leave benefit premium savings. As a result, RDOS is considering quitting membership in Okanagan Mainline Labour Relations Association and bargaining on its own next time. Windsor Manor -- Advocare workers -- LRB has ruled BCGEU did not illegally raid CLAC in recent organizing drive.

Karen Abramsen, Council of Canadians -- The Council of Canadians is involved in 2 campaigns.
1. TILMA -- The need to educate the public to stop the Trade and Investment Labour Mobility Agreement between B.C. and Alberta that was signed in secret with no public input or consultation. This agreement has some elements of both the MAI and NAFTA (but with no appeal process). This is a corporate agreement that promotes massive deregulation. One huge concern is the impact this agreement will have on a municipal council's ability to govern. For more information, visit the Council of Canadians website at www.canadians.org.
2. Colleen Fuller -- Healthcare Dialogue -- The alternative "conversation on health care" will take place on Sunday, Feb. 11 at Okanagan College (KLO campus lecture theatre) from 2-4 p.m. Fuller, a health researcher and associate with the Canadian Centre for Police Alternatives, will be in Kelowna to set the tone for the premier's bogus conversation on health care that will take place in Kelowna on Feb. 16-17. We urge everyone to come out and add to the discussion. Topics will include health accountability, Pharmacare and privatization of hospital services.

Gord Larkin, CLC (Verbal report only) -- Business has woken up and is now lobbying against the federal anti-scab bill. CLC Winter School at Harrison is filling up.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) Spring school -- Only one survey returned about school preferences. M/S/C to postpone spring labour school until fall.
b) Executive nominations. Nominations will be reopened at February meeting and elections held then, if necessary. Nominated so far are:
President -- Brad Dunlop
Vice Presidents -- Cheryl Stone, Kris Bothe, Glenn Nowag
Secretary-treasurer -- Ron Bobowski
Recording secretary -- Pat Bulmer
Sergeant at Arms -- Jeff Carsience
Northern delegate -- No nominations
Southern delegate -- Karen Abramsen
Trustee -- No nominations (Kathy Dunn's term is up this year, Pat Munro's in 2008 and Dave Porteous in 2009.
c) Public Policy and the Environment Forum -- Brad Dunlop confirmed the forum is a go for June 8-10 at the Coast Capri Hotel. Reception Friday night, workshops Saturday and Sunday. Volunteers wanted, especially people enthused about environmental issues. It won't be as much work as last year's forum because much of the work last year doesn't need to be repeated (ie: drafting forms, letters, website etc.)

NEW BUSINESS

a) Labour Council Conference call -- Brad Dunlop reported on the monthly labour council conference call. Items discussed included minimum wage, working alone campaign, violence against women roundtable, log export review, health issues and the coming federal election.
b) WCB hearing into pay-before-you-pump and working alone regulations has been rescheduled for Jan. 25 in Kelowna, after November's hearing was cancelled due to weather. Brad Dunlop will make a presentation. Karen Abramsen and Cheryl Stone submitted presentations after the cancellation of the November hearing.
c) Minimum wage campaign -- CLC wants labour councils to go to their city councils with minimum wage resolution (which the NOLC passed earlier). Brad will go to Kelowna council. A volunteer is needed to take the resolution to Vernon council. Brad noted the Campbell government is now on the record as being against a minimum wage increase.
d) Working Alone campaign -- BC Federation of Labour is conducting a survey of late-night workers. The NOLC is being asked to survey workers in our area. Brad asked for volunteers. Several people came forward.
e) M/S/C to investigate the possibility of establishing a United Way award for community service in the name and memory of Gord Stoutenburg.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT
31 total with 24 delegates and 7 guests

GOOD AND WELFARE
Wes Kmet reported on a rally to be held Jan. 13 at the former Gordon Drive liquor store location. The decision to close the liquor store can still be reversed, he said.

We received a thank you card from Camp Jubilee for sending a teen to the labour-sponsored camp in our annual June draw.

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.


The next meeting will be the annual general meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007 7 p.m., at the NOLC office, 201A -- 1358 St. Paul St., Kelowna

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