JANUARY 6, 2010
MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA
Ron Bobowski - CUPW 760, Cheryl Stone - UFCW 1518, Lynda Zorn,
BCFORUM, Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, Ronn Dun, CUPE 3523, Dave Porteous, UFCW 1518, Greg
McGowan, CUPE 873, Brad McGowan, CUPE 873, Nikki Inouye, HEU, Vernon, Maria Tokarchuk, HSA
Glenn Nowag - UFCW 1518, Shawna Rand, HEU Vernon, Chris Berry, COPE 15, Liz Woods
Mathew Reed, NDP, Wes Kmet, BCFORUM, Laura Pinette, BCGEU, Brad Fraser, CUPE
873, Barbara VanStone, CEP M1, Kristine Byers, UBCJA Local 1370, Emilie Dorie, CUPE 873
CALL TO ORDER ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C
GUEST SPEAKERS: Mathew Reed, NDP, thanked the NOLC for their generous support and endorsement for the 2009 Kelowna Civic By-election.
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C
The meeting was called to order by Acting President, Ronn Donn, Vice President, at 7:00 pm
Karen Abramsom, Southern Delegate, sat in as Sergeant at Arms,
17 Present with 10 Delegates and 7 Guests
OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES: Kristine Byers, UBCJA Local 1370, Greg McGowan, CUPE 873
FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski,
Sec. Treasurer, M/S/C
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
-- Letter from Shane Curveon, Sergeant at Arms was read aloud. Shane will be tendering his resignation as Sergeant of Arms, NOLC.
-- BC Fed Labour Officer Meeting via conference call is being held Thursday, January 7, 2010. Ron Bobowski and Cheryl Stone will attend the call and report at the February meeting.
-- Christmas wishes came to NOLC from NDP Carole James.
-- A thank you letter was received from Ron Cannan, Conservative, MP, regarding the interview concerning CLC Pension reform
which was presented by Lynda Zorn, BCFORM NOLC Executive and Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary.
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/CLC REPORT:
Canadian Labour Congress Regional
Representative Report -- January, 2010 by Orion Irvine
Retirement Security for Everyone
The CLC's Retirement Security for Everyone! Campaign continues. Many MPs have been lobbied
across Canada and the media has been picking up on the issue of retirement security. The
public has taken notice and it's time to keep the pressure up. Even though Harper has
prorogued parliament, it is still important for councils to speak to their MPs if they
haven't already done so. Parliament will be back in session in the spring, and new Bills on
retirement security could be introduced then.
Harrison Winter School
Harrison Winter School will be here soon! Councils are reminded that get their registrations
in as soon as possible if they haven't done so already. There are two training opportunities
for labour councils at Winter School. The first is the Labour Council Leadership training in
Week 2 (January 24-29). This course is for new labour council delegates who want to prepare
for taking a greater leadership role in their council. The second workshop is the Labour
Council Development course in Week 4 (February 7-12). This workshop is meant for the table
officers of labour councils.
Bill C-391 (Gun control)
As you know, the Prime Minister has prorogued parliament until March 3, 2010. With
prorogation, all government legislation dies and has to be reintroduced. However, Private
Member's bills are NOT affected and will be automatically reinstated on March 3, 2010. Bill
C-391 will be in front of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security when
the House of Commons resumes. This bill proposes to end the long-gun portion of the
registry, eliminating the need to register rifles and shotguns. The requirement to register
handguns would remain in place.
We are urging people to talk to their MPs and encourage them to not support the bill.
Members of Parliament will be in their riding for the next few months. It is a good time for
them to hear from or meet with their constituents. We know e-mails are easier, but MPs tell
us they only get calls from the gun lobby, so please take the extra time to call them, tell
them your story and why you care. The phone number of your MP is available at:
www.parl.gc.ca or by calling 1-800-O-CANADA.
Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518 Council of Canadians: On Tuesday, January 19, 2010 the Council of
Canadians will be hosting a meeting with a delegation from an "anti-Olympics coalition" that
is touring the province. They are trying to educate people about the other side of the
Olympic hype, cutting back on government grants to social agencies, the erosion of union
rights (ie: the Paramedic back to work legislation), threat to free speech and more. The
location of this event is being held at Okanagan College on KLO Road at 7:00 pm, EVERYONE
NDP: The Adrian Dix, December 13, 2009, dinner was a huge success. We also
appreciated Adrian attending the open forum on Monday, December 14, 2009. We had a number of
presenters from HEU, UBCO students, the President of COTA, Alice Rees, President of CUPE,
Bill Zemen, School Board Trustee, Rollie Cacchioni. Their message is that school boards are
dreadfully underfunded and trying to run schools is extremely difficult with a "bare-bones"
budget. EI Board of Referees: There are no "hot" issues however we are seeing a lot of
voluntary leaves with those folks going back to school without pre-approval of the EI
Commission which affects their "availability." We have also been seeing a lot of older
workers who are still in the workforce because they cannot afford to retire. Also, we had an
issue with a forestry worker who, after 6 months into his EI claim, received a "forestry
worker provincial severance package", and ended up having to pay the entire EI back. Barbara
Vanstone, Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local M1 Okanagan Unit
Very little has changed at CHBC Television since the December report. There are no
new grievances or substantial conflicts with management; no significant changes in
programming or staffing. Generally we're functioning as well as we can, but morale and
motivation are low as we wait to see if Canwest Global will still own us when their
restructuring under the Companies' Creditor Arrangement Act is over.
The CCAA process, granted October 5th last fall, is moving forward almost imperceptibly.
There still seems little prospect of satisfaction for the many "unsecured" people owed
money, including our nine laid-off members who are collectively owed over $300 thousand
dollars in severance entitlements. A tenth member may be coming off Long Term Disability in
the next couple of months, surely to meet the same fate. A process for categorizing claims
is underway, and our lawyers are advancing claims on our behalf. I'm pleased to report some
fundraising efforts gave our laid off members some Christmastime relief, each of the people
receiving a cheque just prior to Christmas. Vouchers received from staff at our Vancouver
sister station, Global BC, were distributed through CHBC management -- very welcome, but
they somehow overlooked one of the nine union members during the distribution, so he was
simply left out. We have our AGM coming up this month, and it appears our Executive will
continue to be short by one of five, our Vice President position remaining unfilled. We must
also revise our bylaws in the coming weeks, to reflect last fall's merger that made us part
of a composite local representing twelve TV stations across the country.
We are now simply one Unit of this local. I'm sure I speak for all our members when I say we
hope that 2010 will be better than 2009. It's hard to muster much confidence in that
prospect, but I think we fully realize that better times do not come by themselves. Once we
make it through the CCAA process, we'll be needing a new contract -- ours expired in 2007.
We'll want to make up a bit of lost time.
Respectfully submitted by Jim Failes, President; CEP M1 Okanagan Unit.
A motion was made to schedule the AGM February meeting from Feb. 10th to Feb 3rd, 2010
A meeting which was tentatively scheduled for January 9, 2010 regarding the discussion of a
possible merger between the NOLC and the South Okanagan Boundary Labour Council has been
cancelled since the SOBLC did not pass a resolution to discuss a merger.
Dave Porteous, trustee, and Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM, who form the NOLC Election Committee,
conducted nominations from the floor for the executive election which will be held again on
February 3, 2010.
The election will be held at the AGM on February 3, 2010. The following
brothers and sisters were nominated this evening: President, Glen Nowag, UFCW 1518, Vice
President 1, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518 Vice President 2, Shawna Rand,
HEU, Vernon, Vice President 3, Greg McGowan, CUPE 873, Secretary Treasurer, Ron Bobowski,
CUPW 760, Recording Secretary, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Southern Delegate, none, Northern
Delegate, Nikki Inouye, HEU, Vernon, Sergeant at Arms, Emily Dorie, CUPE 873, Trustee, none
Board of Referees: There was a discussion about the expectation that the EI Board of Referees appointees from Labour Council should attend meetings of the NOLC. The new & existing appointees will be reminded of this through the minutes.
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 17 Present with 10 Delegates 7 Guests
GOOD AND WELFARE: none reported
The meeting was adjourned at 8:45 pm by Ronn Dunn, Vice President, Acting President
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518,
NEXT MEETING: AGM & NOLC Executive Election
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
7:00 pm at 201-1358 St Paul Street, Kelowna.