A minute of silence was held for Gord Stoutenburg, long-time member and former president of the North Okanagan Labour Council who died on June 2. Karen Abramsen talked about Gord's many contributions to the labour movement, the council and his 30-plus years on the EI Board of Referees.
ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
M/S/C to adopt agenda of June 7, 2006
Susan Steen -- executive director Central and South Okanagan-Similkameen United Way. Susan introduced herself and explained that with the help of Liz Woods, in particular, she is learning about labour, labour councils and labour's role in the United Way -- and hopes to build a good working relationship with labour. Susan reminded us that the "heart and soul" of United Ways are the agencies they fund that serve the community, noting that during recent illnesses in her family, six United Way-funded agencies provided assistance. Giving to the agencies will often come back to help your own family. "We're more than a fundraising machine."
Jim Sinclair, president B.C. Federation of Labour -- Jim made many points in a fast-paced speech, including:
ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
M/S/C to adopt minutes of May 10, 2006.
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT
Tom Potts gave a verbal report about teachers' bargaining.
a) Board of referees appointments -- M/S/C to recommend Karen Abramsen, Faye Saxon and Don Main for three-year board of referee appointments.
b) Summer camp draw -- The following were the winners and alternates in our draw to send kids to Silver Lake Camp and Camp Jubilee:
Winner -- Taylor Wilson (BCNU)
Alternate -- Kayle Solski (HEU)
Winner -- Emalie Schueler (HSA)
Alternate -- Jesse Cuthbert (CEP 2000)
Winner -- Gordie Loverin (BCNU)
Alternate -- Russell Main (HSA)
c) MP Lobby -- Ron Bobowski gave a verbal report on the NOLC's recent meeting with MP Ron Cannan. Issues raised included childcare, health care, anti-scab legislation and the environment.
d) Southern Interior Labour Councils meeting -- Pat Bulmer reported on the annual meeting of the six Southern Interior labour councils May 27 at the Coast Capri Hotel.
e) NDP national convention Sept. 8-10 Quebec City -- M/S/C to pay registration for Dave Porteous and Karen Abramsen.
f) Labour Day Food Bank Drive -- Labour Day (Sept. 5) to Thursday Sept. 7 -- Brad Dunlop gave an update on plans for a fall labour-driven food drive. More info to come over the summer.
NEW BUSINESS a) Membership committee recommendations:
M/S/C -- Whereas: We are experiencing declining attendance at the Vernon meetings and increasing attendance at the Kelowna meetings;
And whereas: There is a substantial projected cost savings of holding the meetings at the new Kelowna facilities.
Therefore be it resolved: Reschedule NOLC meetings for the next twelve months as follows:
The October 4 , 2006, and April 4, 2007 meetings to be held in Vernon at the Village Green Hotel.
The September 6, 2006, November 8, December 6, January 10, 2007, February 7, March 7, May 9 and June 6 meetings to be held at the NOLC office, 201A 1358 St. Paul St., Kelowna, B.C.
M/S/C -- Whereas: The rising cost of fuel is making vehicle operating costs increase substantially
And Whereas: This unfairly penalizes NOLC Delegates on authorized business.
And Whereas: Canada Revenue Agency currently says a "reasonable" rate is 45 cents per km for the first 5,000 km driven.
Therefore Be It Resolved: That effective September 1, 2006, the automobile allowance rate per kilometre for authorized NOLC business be increased from $0.40 per kilometre to $0.45 per kilometre.
b) Public Policy and the Environment Social, Workshops and Seminar to be co-hosted by the NOLC with the Columbia Institute (and possibly CLC and BC Fed) September 15 and 16 at the Coast Capri Hotel -- M/S/C to use our $2,000 CLC grant, if successful in getting it, for this event.
M/S/C to use $1,000 from our political action fund for this event.
c) Okanagan College Students' Union Request for Support -- M/S/C to send a conditional letter of support to Patrick Barbosa of the Okanagan College Students' Union. Patrick wrote us about the union's concern that UBC is not living up to an agreement to issue co-conferred Okanagan College-UBC degrees through to 2009.
d) M/S/C to support the following resolution on softwood lumber:
...THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT we urge the BC government to reject any softwood lumber agreement with the US that does not include:
Full repayment to Canadian producers of all of the illegal duties imposed by the US government on Canadian lumber since May, 2002;
Legislative action by the BC government to require that a significant portion of duties paid by BC firms since May 2002 be collected and dedicated to a fund that will ensure investments in new plants and equipment in BC; worker training, retraining and skills development; adjustment programs such as early retirement, pension bridging and apprenticeship programs; infrastructure development and community adjustment programs in British Columbia;
Clearly-stated protection against any future US incursion or interference in British Columbia forest policy, including but not limited to, annual allowable cut, determinations, conservation objectives and raw log export restrictions.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the BC government put in place a comprehensive transition program to deal with the short- and long-term implications of the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation, and other emerging forest health issues, on the industry, workers and communities;
AND BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the government review all its programs, policies, legislation and regulations with an eye to ensuring that there be clear and demonstrable benefits to the people of BC and to BC communities from all resource extraction; resource-based processing and other resource-development initiatives.
M/S/C to have a delegation of the NOLC bring this resolution to local governments.
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT
The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.