Letterhead


June 5, 2002 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT

Trudy Ames BCGEU 307

Judi Filion BCGEU 707

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

Terry Sawiuk UBCJ 1370

David Mitchell TWU 16

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

David Doran Carp 1346

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607

Ron Bobowski CUPW 760

Faye Saxon OPEIU 15

Judy Guillemin UFCW

Maria Tokarchuk HSA

Mary-Lou Bailey CUPE 338

Karen Macdonald BCNU

Shirley Kavaloff HSA Kelowna

Mary Malerby BCNU

Pat Munro HSA

Dona Frayn BCGEU

Steve Malerby TWU 6

Gord Larkin CLC

Bill Zeman CUPE 3523

Tracie Connor HEU

Kathy Dunn HEU

Louise Turner HEU

GUESTS

Karen Abramsen NDP, Council of Canadians

Gord Stoutenburg EI-BC Forum

Devra Rice Free Your Vote

Eileen Robinson

Adriane Carr Free Your Vote

Bruce Harvey Free Your Vote

Dave Porteous

Darin Mundy UA 170


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7:30 p.m.


ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of June 5, 2002


GUEST SPEAKERS

Adriane Carr - Free Your Vote: Carr talked about the initiative campaign to bring a proportional representation system to B.C., similar to ones used in New Zealand and Germany. PR systems result in almost everyone's vote counting, higher voter turnout, more youth registering to vote, less polarized swings in election results, more co-operation between parties and more women and minority representatives getting elected, Carr said. Free Your Vote is now circulating petitions, attempting to get 10 per cent of voters in each riding to sign and force the government to introduce legislation or put the idea to a province-wide vote. Carr spoke in favour of referring the proportional representation proposal to a public process, such as the Citizen Assembly idea put forward by the NDP, where the proposal could be reviewed and improved. The campaign is also seeking more volunteer canvassers.

Dave Porteous: Talked about running for Kelowna council. M/S/C to endorse Porteous for council.


ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of May 8, 2002.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

30 present with 22 delegates and 8 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

none

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) BC Fed Women's conference in Vernon June 21-22: Strong Women: Stronger Communities - Receive and note

b) Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives request to become member - Table to September meeting

c) CLC/United Way Breakfast, Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, June 12 - Receive and file

d) CLC conference for labour council delegates, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday June 9 prior to CLC convention and registration form - Receive and file

M/S/C to approve executive board report


REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Mary Malerby, BCNU: The vote to join the B.C. Fed was positive at the annual BCNU convention.
- We continue to have displacements of RNs, totally, 23 to date
- We did have an excluded manager let go. The reason given was to reduce the levels of management. Then, a week later, they created five more excluded management positions, which, in effect, created a whole new layer of management.
- WCB changes that come into effect on June 30 will have a serious financial impact on our BCNU members in the workplace. (See attached bulletin)
Gord Stoutenburg: Under Bill C-49, the number of combined weeks of special benefits is increased. Birth mothers who have not received regular benefits, but have received sickness, maternity and parental benefits during their 52-week benefit period, will be able to receive up to 65 weeks of special benefits, that is: 15 weeks of sickness, 15 weeks of maternity and 35 weeks of parental. Bill C-49 was approved on April 17. The changes related to the 65 weeks of combined special benefits are retroactively effective from March 3. the changes related to hospitalized children become effective from April 21.

Shirley Kavaloff, HSA Kelowna: The 3.5 million MRI unit/building is now open, but because of money and starting issues, it will only run on one shift during the day. The old mobile unit which was here two weeks a month ran two shifts. The net result is that there will be no more patients scanned at the end of the month than were scanned before.

Karen Macdonald, BCNU Kelowna: Our convention this week voted to join the B.C. Fed. We have belonged to the CLC for a number of years and I believe that Campbell's agenda has convinced our members to also join the BC Fed.
KGH announced this week that they are closing 16 beds in order to meet their budgetary obligations (and I might add to ensure Murray Ramsden et. al. get their bonuses!). The 16 beds comprise an entire geriatric program called the Geriatric Medical and Assessment Treatment Program. This program did what the government claims they want – keep seniors in their own homes. Instead, KGH will be expanding "reactivation" or "convalescent" beds at the Cottonwoods site and will charge $27 per day.
Staff at 3N (BCNU, HEU, HSA) will get to "exercise their displacement options" as amended by Bill 29.

HEU Vernon: Vernon area going from 146 acute care beds to 125. Residential beds from 415 to 331.
- Closure of 6 residential at NORIC; 12 in Alexander wing; 100 in Gateby and 54 more in AWA.
- Enderby hospital is closing, 16 residential beds closing
- Armstrong: emergency closed, daycare surgery closing, 30 residential beds closing.

CARES group in Vernon will be sponsoring an open forum with Wendy Armstrong from the Alberta Consumers Association, speaking on assisted and supportive living, July 9 at 6 p.m. at the Schubert Centre. She will give an overview on how the Alberta healthcare experience affected seniors. She will also be in Penticton July 8. She will speak on CKOV radio July 9, 9-10 a.m.; and appear at Elks Hall, Springfield Road, in Kelowna July 9, 1-3 p.m., sponsored by the Okanagan Tenants Advocate Society. HEU has been working at exposing the myth that private is cheaper and more efficient. Locally, we are dealing with services being moved from one certification to another, or eliminated. There have been some layoffs, but the majority will be when the rest of the long-term care beds close and the support services are privatized or contracted out.

Judi Filion, BCGEU 707: The BCGEU held its 45th Constitutional Convention May 31-June 2, 2002 at the Bayshore in Vancouver. On May 31, 350+ delegates marched to the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery to protest private-public partnerships (P3s). The "Stand Up" performance group entertained the crowd with their giant puppets, "vultures" and dancers. Guests speakers included George Heyman, president, BCGEU; Barry O’Neill, president, CUPE BC; and HEU president Fred Muzin. On Friday, the delegates endorsed a resolution to increase dues from 1.65% to 2%, effective July 1, 2002. Elections were held on Sunday for six positions. George Heyman was acclaimed as president; Diane Wood as secretary-treasurer; Darryl Walker as vice-president and Mike Clarke, vice-president. There were three women nominated for the 2 female vice-president positions - Catherine Bell & Wendi Lawrence were re-elected as vice-presidents. The delegates dealt with most of the 200 resolutions.

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000: NOLC President Dave Doran and I attended a meeting of Interior labour councils in Revelstoke, June 1. Seventeen members from 5 labour councils attended along with CLC reps Gordie Larkin and David Rice. Each council gave an update on its activities this year - all quite similar: rallies and protests against the Liberal government, hosting labour schools, Day of Mourning activities, working with community coalitions, sending delegates to various conventions and functions. Pretty well everyone complained of burn-out. It's been a busy year with the Liberal government's attacks on workers. A summer break is needed.
A discussion was held on the November civic elections and what roles labour councils could play. In our area, Dave Porteous, who also attended the session, is likely to run for Kelowna council, SOBLC President Barb Burke is a probable candidate in Penticton. Debra Critchley of the Vernon Women's Centre is also expected to be a council candidate. It was agreed the issue of how to handle endorsements will vary from city to city and council to council. In some places, a labour council's endorsement may not be something to play up. Some people view it as the council telling them how to vote. It was also agreed that this year is not a good time to be too stringent with our endorsements and support. There will be some candidates out there who may not agree with our positions 100 per cent, but who are still worth backing. As Gordie Larkin said, we should take some risks.
A discussion was also held on how to hold meetings in far-flung councils. Here in the NOLC, many people won't drive to a Kelowna meeting from Vernon or vice versa because of the travel involved. And we have it easy compared to other councils. One East Kootenay delegate from Golden books two days off and stays overnight in Cranbrook to attend meetings. It's a three-hour drive each way for her. Columbia-Shuswap alternates meetings, like we do, but Salmon Arm and Revelstoke are further apart than Kelowna and Vernon. The South never gets delegates in from Grand Forks, reported Barb Burke. Most people agreed that setting up speaker phones and three-way calling might help for executive meetings, at least, for those who can't get to a meeting. It might not work so well for regular meetings, however.
Gordie Larkin suggested it's about time we start taking advantage of some of the communications technology now available, although it's not so clear how to turn that idea into practice.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Summer camp draws
Silver Lake
Boys: 1. Shadow Riggs - HSA. Alternates: Myles Gray - TWU; Devon Murtagh - HSA
Girls: 1. Dannika Bakker - HSA. Alternates: Migeena Riggs - HSA; Kelsey Iceton - HSA

Camp Jubilee (Rainbow)
1. Joe Brown - HSA. Alternates: Rasmus Gravesen - HSA; Jennifer Murtagh - HSA.


FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

32 total, 24 delegates, 8 guests

GOOD AND WELFARE

Thanks to the Brewery Workers for their donation to our social.

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned about 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, acting recording secretary.



The next meeting will be Wednesday, September 4, 7:30 p.m., at the at the Village Green Hotel, Vernon.


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