Letterhead


JANUARY 9, 2008 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Jeff Carsience, UBCJ 1370
Glenn Nowag, UFCW 120
Dave Porteous, UFCW 120
Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760
Kris Bothe, UBCJ 1370
Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000
Karen Abramsen, BC Forum
Brad Dunlop, IBEW 213
Shane Curveon, ATU 1722
Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
Faye Saxon, BC Forum
Liz Woods, BC Forum
Cheryl Stone, UFCW 247
Carole Gordon, COTA/BCTF

GUESTS
Orion Irvine, CLC rep

REGRETS
Pat Munro, HSA - Kelowna

CALL TO ORDER
President Brad Dunlop called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
M/S/C to adopt agenda of January 9, 2008

GUEST SPEAKERS
none

ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES
M/S/C to adopt minutes of December 5, 2007 with correction to the cost of sponsoring a United Way Spirit of Leadership Award. The real cost per award is $125.

CREDENTIALS REPORT
14 present with 13 delegates and 1 guest

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES
Shane Curveon, ATU 1722, was sworn in as a delegate.

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
a) Maquila Solidarity Network donation request -- Receive and file
b) Canadian Federation of Students: We Ride: Student Action for Public transit campaign. They're asking for letter of endorsement, spreading the word, sign petition. M/S/C to send a letter of support.
c) UNITEHERE pledge form promising not to use the Delta Vancouver Airport, Hilton Metrotown or Holiday Inn Vancouver Centre in the event of a labour dispute. Hotel workers at these properties have been in bargaining since September and are seeking the same contract as their union brothers and sisters working in Vancouver's downtown corporate hotels. M/S/C to fill out the pledge form.
d) Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC -- our $25 associate membership for 2008 is due. -- M/S/C to send in our membership payment.
e) BCGEU draft resolution on highway maintenance. M/S/C to endorse the following resolution:
WHEREAS the quality of highways road and bridge maintenance services provided by the Ministry of Transportation has a significant impact on the safety of our publicly owned highways; and
WHEREAS the provision of quality highways road and bridge maintenance services not only ensures safe road conditions for those traveling our highways but also ensures that the maximum lifespan of our highways infrastructure can be realized; and
WHEREAS the Ministry of Transportation has introduced a self-regulatory model by contracted service providers to assess compliance with required work standards;
THEREFORE be it resolved that the Ministry of Transportation be called upon to ensure that contracted highways road and bridge maintenance providers fulfill their contractual obligations through enhanced monitoring and audits of work performance of contractors conducted by the Ministry of Transportation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Ministry of Transportation provide regular accident reports for the service area, conduct comprehensive contractor performance assessments and report any findings semi-annually to key community stakeholders such as local governments, school boards, emergency services, chambers of commerce and other relevant stakeholders in the service area.

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT
Faye Saxon, Worker Representative for Board of Referees for Employment Insurance -- I would like to mention once again how important it is for a worker to keep an accurate record of his or her hours worked. The simple action of jotting down one's hours worked on a calendar may be all that is required to convince the Commission or a Board of Referees that a claimant has enough hours worked to qualify for benefits. We have had cases recently in which the employer has not co-operated in producing actual hours worked per week and the commission then relies on a method of converting, for instance, a bi-monthly payroll to hours worked per week. This does not necessarily produce the same result as using actual hours worked.
There is only one Chair for the Board of Referees in Kelowna. I have heard that some cases, in which the appellant has requested a telephone hearing, have been sent to another Board Centre for hearing. This does not give the claimant natural justice in order to have his or her case heard by a panel that resides in the claimant's community.
M/S/C to send a letter expressing our concern.

Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523 -- Central Okanagan School district is again planning a 2-week spring break, which means an extra week of layoff for school district support staff. This creates financial hardship for many. CUPE was under the impression that the extra time added to spring break a couple years ago was a temporary change caused by a budget deficit. While the extended break eases financial pressure on the School District, it results in additional layoff time to 10-month support staff, which actually increases financial pressure for these workers. The extended layoff not only creates a loss of wages immediately felt by the employees' families but also affects the 10-month employees' retirement benefits. The impact on lower-income families in our community is noteworthy. Low-income families can't afford to go on vacations during the winter and spring breaks. Adding an extra week to the spring break in March or April actually causes those families more financial hardship.

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000 -- We are preparing for negotiations by sending out questionnaires to our members at The Daily Courier. A new managing editor should be in place at our Vernon paper soon.

Karen Abramsen
NDP -- Corky Evans, NDP critic for Agriculture and Lands, will be in Kelowna on Saturday, January 19 at First United Church Hall (Bernard and Richter). It will be a potluck supper. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. $5 if you bring a dish, $15 if you don't. All welcome. Bring friends. For more info, contact Karen Abramsen at 769-1977.
Council of Canadians -- National Day of Action on Energy -- Feb. 2, 2008. Details to be publicized through local media.

Brad Dunlop, Carole Gordon, Dave Porteous and Orion Irvine gave verbal reports.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
a) Municipal election strategy -- Our election committee of Jeff Carsience, Ron Bobowski, Cheryl Stone and Brad Dunlop will have a conference call with CLC rep Orion Irvine to get plans ready to take to the CLC Winter School Labour Council officers course, which is focusing on election planning.
b) United Way Spirit Award sponsorship -- M/S/C to sponsor an award (for $125) and name it for (former NOLC President and longtime activist) Gord Stoutenburg. An NOLC committee (Dave Porteous, Ron Bobowski) will select a recipient.
c) CLC Winter School -- Week 1 course, Labour Council Organizing and Development -- Glenn Nowag and Jeff Carsience both expressed a desire to attend. In a draw, Glenn was chosen. (After the meeting, efforts were made to also send Jeff). Week 4 Labour Officers course -- Attendee to be determined after February election.

NEW BUSINESS
a) Executive nominations. Nominations opened for NOLC executive. They will be reopened at the February meeting and elections will follow (if necessary).
Nominated were:
President -- Jeff Carsience, Glenn Nowag
Recording secretary -- none
Treasurer -- Ron Bobowski
Vice President (3 positions) -- Brad Dunlop, Cheryl Stone, Kris Bothe
Northern delegate -- none
Southern delegate -- Karen Abramsen
Trustee -- Pat Munro
Sgt. At Arms -- Ronn Dunn.
All nominees accepted their nominations, except Pat Munro, who was unable to attend the meeting.

b) CLC lobby kits are here -- Orion Irvine outlined some of the issues being focused on in this lobbying effort and hoped the labour council could set up meetings with local MPs before Parliament resumes Jan. 29. Brad Dunlop and Dave Porteous will attempt to arrange a meeting with Kelowna-Lake Country MP Ron Cannan. Cheryl Stone and Karen Abramsen will co-ordinate with the Columbia-Shuswap Labour Council about meeting Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT
15 total with 14 delegates and 1 guest

GOOD AND WELFARE
Karen Abramsen -- Long-time labour supporter and activist Bill Stewart had a stroke during the weekend of Oct. 28-30. He is still in Kelowna General Hospital and is holding his own and fighting to repair. I passed on to Dora that we were thinking about him and hoping he rallies and that we see him soon. Dora passed regards and thanks to the NOLC on Bill's behalf. (The NOLC will send a card to Bill.)
Brad Dunlop provided an update on the Sun-Rype-Teamsters dispute. M/S/C to donate $250 to Teamsters 213 in a manner that assures the money will stay within the local and go to the members.
Ron Bobowski, Karen Abramsen, Dave Porteous and Orion Irvine also raised Good & Welfare items.

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.


The next meeting will be Wednesday, February 6, 2008, 7 p.m., at the NOLC office, 201A 1358 St. Paul St., Kelowna (Annual general meeting -- election night)

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