Letterhead


June 9, 2010 minutes

MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA

AFFILIATES PRESENT: Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760; Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518; Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518; Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523; Debra Critchley, BCGEU; Emilie Dorie, CUPE 873; Shirley Kavaloff, HSA; Boyd Sommerfeld, HEU; Nancy Ingersoll, BCTF; Vernon, Wendy Mah, BCGEU; Jim Failes, CEP; Carole Gordon, BCTF.

REGRETS: Dave Porteous, UFCW 1518; Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM, Liz Woods; BCFORUM, Orion Irvine, CLC Rep.

GUESTS: Larry Chu, CUPW 760; Wes Kmet, BCFORUM; Jim Douglas, CEP.

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Vice President, at 7:00 pm.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C

GUEST SPEAKERS: Larry Chu, CUPW 760, President, reported on current postal transformations.

ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C

CREDENTIALS REPORT: 15 Present with 12 Delegates and 3 Guests

OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES: none.

FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated.

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
Welcome Debra Critchley, BCGEU, as recently elected Southern Delegate to the NOLC Executive and also as United Way Labour Director, to the NOLC.
Welcome Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, as recently elected Vice President to the NOLC Executive

Action Correspondence:
1. NDP letter from Carole James requesting a NOLC representative to attend the Our Province/Our Future Conference, taking place on June 22, 2010 in Kamloops, B.C. Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Recording Secretary and Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM, have volunteered to attend this conference.
2. CLC, Ken Georgetti letter re: Federation of Canadian Municipalities -- At the recent convention of FCM Canada's Mayors and Councillors voted, almost unanimously, on an emergency resolution that supports the expansion of CPP. Read to the delegates.
3. BCFED 54th Convention Nov 29-Dec 3, 2010, Information has been received and will be tabled to the NOLC September 8, 2010 meeting.
4. BCFORUM June Advocate news letter -- Lynda Zorn's article about Sister Anna Walentynowicz, who died in early April 2010, was published in BCFORUM's Advocate. It is an article about Anna being a hero and named by Lynda as "First Lady of Labour." Her article may also be viewed on the www.bcforum.ca (and on this website). Way to go Lynda!
5. Joy Langan Social Justice Award -- This award was put in place by resolution at the 2008 BC Federation of Labour Convention and will be awarded at each BCFED Convention. This is the first year that it is to be awarded. There were two nominees from the NOLC for this award. Carole Kenzie, HEU and Bernie Bigatini, Local 407 have both accepted the nominations. Their names will be submitted and the winner will be awarded at the BCFED Convention this November 2010. Good luck to both as they both are deserving of this award.
6. Maquila Solidarity Network funding support renewal. It was moved and seconded that the NOLC donate $250.00 to continue to support this cause. If you would like more information regarding the Maquila Solidarity Network, please visit their website at: www.maquilasolidarity.org
7. Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) BC Solutions Fund -- It was moved and second that NOLC support CCPA with a donation of $250.00. Please visit their website for more information: www.policyalternatives.ca/offices/bc

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/CLC REPORT:

Debra Critchley, BCGEU
Vernon Care Aides replaced by contracted workers
Care Aides at Heritage Square seniors' facility in Vernon arrived at work May 21, 2010 to find out that they had been replaced by contracted workers three weeks before they were due to be laid off. The employer sent notice to the approximately 40 Care Aides in December 2009 and April 2010 that their jobs would be contracted out effective June 15. However, today with no warning, the employer brought in new Care Aides contracted from We Care.
"Workers were shocked when they arrived at the facility early this morning for their shift to find out that they had been replaced prematurely by contracted Care Aides," said Debra Critchley, BC Government and Service Employees' Union staff representative. "Some of these Care Aides have been delivering quality care at Heritage Square Vernon, B. C. for almost twenty years and they didn't even get to say goodbye to the residents." "The workers are devastated -- not just because they are losing their jobs, but because they are worried about what the future hold for the seniors that they have been caring for," said Critchley. BCGEU will be taking all necessary legal steps to make sure that the Care Aides are compensated for the time that they are owed. Heritage Square is a care facility in Vernon which offers complex care and assisted living seniors in the Okanagan.

Orion Irvine, CLC
CLC's National Pension Campaign.
We're into the home stretch now! With just over two weeks until all of Canada's Finance Ministers meet to discuss the options they have to help people save more for retirement; our campaign has shifted into high gear. Our national workplace canvass put over 1,000,000 leaflets into the hands of union members. Over 3,000 union locals were contacted and are now asking their members to get in touch with their local politicians -- most importantly their provincial or territorial Finance Ministers.
Our organizers have also talked to over 13 MLAs in BC already. Over the next two weeks, geographically-targeted advertising on the radio and online will spread the word out about the best way to guarantee that everyone has enough when they retire and that it's time to expand the CPP.
If you haven't sent a message to your local MP or your provincial/territorial Finance Minister, this is the week to do it. Remind all of your Facebook friends about our campaign one more time. Tell them about the ad campaign and why taking action this week matters. Don't let our politicians rely on what the banks and their lobbyists say. Working people deserve a better future. Keep up the great work.
A resolution passed at a convention of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) on May 29th. The resolution calls for a federal system of pension insurance, and for the federal government to hold a national summit on pension issues. This position is virtually identical to that of the labour movement. Check out our new CPP pension calculator! It'll show out how much more CPP you would get under labours plan. You can find it at www.canadianlabour.ca

Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement
CLC President Ken Georgetti has written another letter to the Federal Government, urging the government to withdraw Bill C-2 on the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement and to suspend the agreement altogether. The ongoing murders of trade unionists, death threats against labour leaders and human rights defenders, and a secret police (the DAS) that has spied on government opponents and fed information to paramilitary groups resulting in threats to, and deaths of hundreds of people should be reason enough to suspend any further action to implement the Canada Colombia Free Trade Agreement until a fully verifiable and independent human rights impact assessment is carried out. In 2009, forty-seven Colombian trade unionists were murdered. This year, twenty-five have been murdered just five months into the year. This campaign of terror on Colombian trade unions is a violation of Colombia's obligations under international conventions it has signed and agreed to uphold. It is an affront to the cherished Canadian values of protection for basic human rights and freedom of association.

Jobs Recovery built on temporary foundation
April's job numbers are a surprise and welcome news for an economy wearied by unemployment and a staggering loss of family-supporting jobs. But the news isn't all good. This is the long-awaited boost from economic stimulus spending, with full-time jobs coming in construction and being taken up by the group hit hardest by the recession -- men over 25. These jobs are welcome and needed, but we shouldn't fool ourselves; these jobs are also temporary. When the stimulus spending runs out and interest rates on mortgages go even higher, what's left?

Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne
Even if the number of jobs created last month seems impressive, the quality of these jobs remains problematic. The level of employment in manufacturing remains dramatically low, and the long-term unemployment rate has reached a new record level since the beginning of the crisis. In April 2010, the number of Canadians active in the labour market jumped by 92,000 and about 17,000 unemployed Canadians were able to find a job. In total the labour market added 109,000 jobs, but most were part-time (64,800). Many new jobs created last month were in retail and wholesale trade (+31,600), a sector where low-wage and part-time work can be found. The number of jobs in manufacturing, a sector where many good jobs are found, decreased by another 20,600. Over the last year, more than 90,000 jobs have been lost in this sector. Since its peak in November 2002, over 575,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared. In fact, April 2010 saw one of the lowest levels of employment in Canada's manufacturing sector in 30 years.
The unemployment rate in April 2010 remained above 8.0%, at 8.1%, mainly because there were barely enough jobs created to absorb new entrants into the labour market. There were 1,498,300 people unemployed last month compared to 1,137,400 in October 2008. The number of unemployed in April remained more than 31% above what it was before the beginning of the jobs crisis in 2008.
Even more problematic, the percentage of Canadians unemployed for more than six months was at the highest level since the jobs crisis began in 2008. In April, 22.5% of unemployed Canadians, or close to one in four, had been unemployed for more than six months. The “real” unemployment rate, a rate that includes discouraged workers and involuntary part-time workers, remained very high in April 2010, at 11.8%. In April 2008, the "real" unemployment rate was 8.9%.

Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518
Safeway agrees to NOT claw back money from members
The union was flooded with phone calls from UFCW 1518 members who work at Safeway after Safeway sent a letter to members stating they would be taking money off their paycheques to make up for Peoplesoft mistakes the company has made.
Specifically, Safeway said it was going to take back money from Clerk IIs for their sick banks, and take back money from members for pension contributions the company claims owe. The union contacted Safeway, and Safeway has now agreed to hold off seizing funds from members.
"What's really irritating about this is that Safeway acts very quickly to correct a payroll problem when it involves taking money back from members, but meanwhile, our members have suffered for over ten months as a result of Safeway's total incompetence with their Peoplesoft payroll program," said Ivan Limpright, President of UFCW 1518. "The upheaval caused by Safeway's Peoplesoft program has been hard on everyone, and Clerk IIs are among those who can least afford to be victimized by Safeway's failure to address the serious problems the company created," he said. "Despite Safeway's promises they are going to fix their problem, it hasn't happened," said Limpright. "That's why in addition to the grievances we have filed to protect members and make sure they are compensated properly, we have also asked that our members be awarded damages for what they have been put through as a result of Safeway's inability to clean up this mess," he said.

Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM
I am in Vancouver attending the BC FORUM AGM so Sister Cheryl has graciously agreed to read my report.
The latest stats from BC FORUM on the anti HST campaign are placed on the back table for all delegates to view. You will note that with 71/85 ridings reporting, most are highlighted showing they have more that 15% of eligible voters signing up. The rest have surpassed the 10% requirement of Elections BC -- very encouraging.
I also forwarded the spreadsheet to the Premier, all area MLA’s and leader of the NDP, Carole James. I found Premier Campbell's response particularly interesting. The Premier's reply is below.
Subject: RE: HST Stats
Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 13:59:04 -0700
From: Premier@gov.bc.ca
To: trust_zorn@live.ca
Thank you for your comments.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about the HST out there and we have expressed those concerns both in and out of the BC Legislature. If you are interested in knowing more about the HST, we encourage you to check out the material on the government's website at http://hst.blog.gov.bc.ca//. Again, thank you for being in touch with us.
From: Premier@gov.bc.ca

Jim Failes -- Communications, Energy & Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local M1 Okanagan Unit
Uncertainty continues at CHBC Television, with our owners still in Creditor Protection. You may have heard that a purchase bid from Shaw Communications has been approved, and Shaw will likely take over Canwest Global's conventional TV stations, including CHBC, as early as this fall. It's not quite a done deal, though -- there are layers of regulatory approval required, and before any of that there is a court challenge from a group of Shareholders that includes Canwest's founding family, the Aspers. This group is (perhaps understandably) upset that Shaw's offer proposes zero value for existing shares. The challenge will be heard June 22. Another aspect of interest in the Shaw offer is the setting aside of $38 Million for unsecured creditors. The unsecured group includes nine ex-employees of CHBC who were laid-off last September and soon after denied a total of over $300,000 in contractual severance by the CCAA creditor protection process.
We're anxious to see how the $38 million is apportioned, if the Shaw deal goes through.
For those of us still working at CHBC, the last month has seen the scrapping of our existing news set, and construction of a giant green screen. This prepares us for the advent of virtual set technology this summer. It's good to see that there's enough faith in our future to spend the needed money, but at the same time this tech change means fewer jobs. Work once done by people has been given over to machines or to a smaller number of technicians in a centralized location, where they’re responsible for airing newscasts at multiple stations.
Our fall program lineup was announced recently -- the list of prime-time shows that Global will run on all its stations beginning in September. It's a good lineup in terms of expected audience ratings, but poor in terms of Canadian content, and Global has been roundly criticized by domestic performers and producers for their nearly non-existent support of homegrown TV.
Canadian viewers also need to get that message.
Lastly, I'll note once again that we've been working without a contract since the end of August 2007, and are anxiously awaiting the start of negotiations -- as long as they don't come during CCAA (which may preclude strike action while allowing lockout -- a clearly unbalanced situation).
Conciliated bargaining has been forced upon members at Canwest's eastern stations, and we're watching carefully to see how that unfolds.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Jubilee & Silver Lake Kid's Camp DRAW
The draw was made at the meeting and the winners of the camp weeks are:
Camp Jubilee
Meng-Che Li, son of Shan-Huey Li, HEU
Silver Lake Forestry Camp
Kylie Hill, daughter of Margaret Hill, HSA
Jagger Thomas, son of Ronda Thomas, CUPW 760
2. NOLC By Laws -- A committee was formed to begin the review of NOLC By Laws. Committee members are: Debra Critchley, BCGEU, Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760, Carole Gordon, BCTF. A meeting will be scheduled this summer and a report will be made at the September 8, 2010 NOLC meeting
3. Protein for People Project is still under review and will be tabled to the September 8, 2010 meeting.

NEW BUSINESS:
1. Kelowna/West Kelowna United Way kick-off breakfast. A motion to purchase tickets to both of the United Way kick off breakfasts was M/S/C by delegates. Kelowna UW will have a table of 10 and West Kelowna UW will have 3 or 4 attendees from NOLC. Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, will bring this to the September 8, 2010 meeting with the recommendation that those who want to attend these breakfasts must commit to attend before they volunteer.
2. A motion was made to purchase an external hard drive in order that NOLC meeting and treasurer reports are stored safely for future records. M/S/C This data will be worked on this summer by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary and Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 13 Present with 10 Delegates 3 Guests

GOOD AND WELFARE: none

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm by Ronn Dunn, Vice President

Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518,

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 7:00 pm, 201A 1358 St. Paul Street, Kelowna, B.C.

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