June 5, 2013 minutes
MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA
AFFILIATES PRESENT: Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here, Wade Ashton, IBEW 213, Wynn Hartfelder, BCGEU 307 Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000, Jason Picklyk, IAFF, Carmen Belanger, HEU, Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, Helen Rapole, BCGEU 1207, Louise Gibson, COPE 378, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Greg McGowan, CUPE 678, Laureen Freayh, HEU, Sandy Thon, BCGEU 1207, Susan Bauhart, COTA, Carole Gordon, COTA, Ian Gordon, CUPE 3523, Ron Bobowski, CUPW
REGRETS: Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon, Nancy Ingersol, VTA, Lee Mossman, CUPE 338
GUESTS: Kristina Swain, Lynda Bartie, Paladin Disability Tax Credit Solutions, Jennifer Park, United Way, Garret Topp, IBEW 213
BCFORUM Delegate: Doug Gibson
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Andrew Pritchard, President, at 7:00 pm
ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C
GUEST SPEAKERS: Lynda Bartie, Paladin Disability Tax Credit Solutions; Jennifer Park, United Way, Director of Resource Development
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C
CREDENTIALS REPORT: 21 Present with 17 Delegates 3 Guests 1 BCFORUM delegate
OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES:
FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated.
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
Thank you letter from YMCA Silver Lake Camp for our sending kids to camp contest.
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS -- STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS -- CLC REPORT:
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS:
Andrew Pritchard, UNITEHERE; Ronn Dunn CUPE 3523; Susan Bauhart, COTA
Pat Bulmer -- CEP 2000 -- The new union to be formed by the CEP and CAW will be called Unifor, if ratified this fall at the founding convention in Toronto, which I will be attending.
Cheryl Stone -- UFCW 1518 -- Safeway members in Zone 1 & 2 have ratified the new contract by 79-80% in votes that were held in various regions throughout the province. The new Collective Agreement will expire on March 31 2023; however, there will be a FULL re-opener in March 2018, at which time ALL provisions of the contract are able to be re-negotiated, including monetary items like wage increases and benefits. All members in the stores today will maintain the wages and benefits they currently have AND in the first five years of the contract, all employees will receive: Job Security / Wage Increases / Benefit Improvements /Pension Contribution Improvements All members working in the stores today will receive lump sum or wage increase, and have the opportunity to receive more increases in the first five years of the agreement, at which time the Parties will meet to renegotiate all terms of the Collective Agreement.
Karen Abramsen, EI Board of Referees -- Appointees to EI boards broke guidelines by making political donations. (taken from the Montreal Gazette)
OTTAWA - Dozens of people appointed to plum patronage jobs have been donating to the Conservative party, despite government rules that forbid it. A Canadian Press investigation found as many as one of every five chairpersons on the Employment Insurance Boards of Referees gave money to political parties, riding associations and election candidates while they served on the tribunal. All but one of the dozens of donations went to Conservatives, Election Canada records show. The lone non-Tory donation went to a Liberal riding association in the Toronto area. Those donations run afoul of guidelines for administrative tribunals, such as the EI referees boards, which hear complaints about EI decisions on issues such as denied benefits and fraud. A document entitled "Information Handbook for Employment Insurance Boards of Referees" says chairpersons should avoid all political activities "In light of the nature of their duties, governor-in-council appointees of quasi-judicial bodies, such as chairpersons to Boards of Referees, are subject to a much more stringent standard and should generally avoid all political activities," says the guide, dated June 2012. The EI referees boards are among the dozens of federal organizations whose ranks are filled in whole or in part by people appointed by the Governor General, on the advice of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet.
The boards sit part-time in groups of three, consisting of a government-appointed chair and representatives of workers and employers. The boards will soon become a thing of the past. In last year's omnibus budget legislation, the governing Conservatives announced a new Social Security Tribunal would replace the EI referees boards. Canada Pension
Karen reported that NO representatives of workers were appointed to the new Social Security Tribunal which is replacing the EI Boards of Referees across Canada.
In light of the above and many other issues, a motion was made that the NOLC send a letter to MP Ron Cannan and copy to the Commissioner for Workers in Ottawa, expressing the NOLC disappointment in this issue. M/S/C
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS:
BC PROVINCIAL ELECTION
While many of us are disappointed with the outcome of the recent BC provincial election, it is important to recognize the hard work of union activists and labour council members in campaigns across the province. Each day many dedicated their time working on campaigns and supporting progressive candidates, who will bring positive change to BC. Even though we were not successful in electing a new government, the hard work on the ground did pay off in many communities. Congratulations, and thank you for all of the time you spent working on campaigns and a big thanks to those of you who put your name forward as candidates.
Post election many union activists have recommitted to work with the government we have, and continue to stand up for fairness for working people.
MUNICIPAL ELECTION PLANNING
Municipal Elections are being held across BC in November, 2014. While that may seem like a long time away, it's important to start the early planning stages soon. Your CLC representative will be speaking to your labour council in the near future to start the assessment process. With the results of the provincial election, having progressive people at the municipal level has never been more important. We need to start planning early to ensure we are all working together to make sure that good candidates are in place come Fall 2014.
CLC FAIRNESS CAMPAIGN
"Together We Win!" the CLC Fairness campaign, continues to build momentum. CLC representatives in the Pacific Region continue to set up and present to local unions on a member- to- member campaign that allows us to reintroduce ourselves to our membership. For a presentation in your area, please contact your CLC representative.
Many labour councils will hear more about the campaign as we work together in planning Labour Day events across Canada, as in the past we will post regional labour day events on the CLC website.
PRIDE, THE CELEBRATION OF LGBTQ
No one should ever be harmed for who they are, for how they express themselves, or for whom they love. Being yourself is something that should be celebrated. For many Canadians and many of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and/or queer (LGBTQ), summer means the beginning of a season of Pride celebrations across the country. It is a time to honour the stories of our LGBTQ friends, allies, family members, neighbours, fellow workers, our fathers, mothers, care givers, our elders and ancestors Ð all those who have worked to create social change, achieve equality for the LGBTQ community, and make our country a better place for everyone.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) joins in celebrating Pride season in communities from coast to coast. The labour movement has been a long time supporter of the LGBTQ movement and its pursuit of equal rights and social change. The CLC commemorates the courageous individuals and activists who have fought to achieve these rights for LGBTQ Canadians regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity -- many of whom were union members who fought for recognition in workplaces, for equal benefits, for human rights and justice on the job and in communities. In particular, the CLC congratulates all those activists that have fought to bring discrimination based on gender identity to light, and who seek to change the laws and legislation in the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code through Bill C-279.
Most Pride events occur annually and many take place around June to commemorate the Stonewall riots and to mark the massive protests that followed the 1981 Toronto bathhouse raids, both of which were pivotal moments in the modern LGBTQ rights movement. Now these are occasions to celebrate, learn and continue the effort to challenge discrimination, homophobia and transphobia. Each year more Canadian communities hold Pride events, and union members are proud to be a part of this growing celebration.
Our work does not end once Pride season is over -- unions will continue to strive for fairness for LGBTQ people all year round, in workplaces and communities.
By celebrating the accomplishments and diversity of the LBGTQ community labour members can be a part of social change in Canada and continue the legacy of strength, love and respect for all. Happy Pride!
SUBMISSIONS TO PARLIMENT
CLC Presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee of Finance Regarding Bill C- 60
On behalf of the 3.3 million members of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), I want to thank you for the opportunity to present our views on Bill C-60, an Act to implement certain provisions of the 2013- 2014 budget.
The CLC brings together workers from virtually all sectors of the Canadian economy, in all occupations, in all parts of Canada, including those working for Crown corporations.
Crown corporations and their employees play a key role in providing Canadians with the services that the private sector is either unable or unwilling to provide. The 48 Crown corporations falling under federal jurisdiction operate in many key sectors of the Canadian economy, including transportation, energy, agriculture and fisheries, financial services, culture, and government services. As of December 31, 2012, these entities employed over 88,000 workers. Most of them are represented by a union.
A Crown corporation is a distinct legal entity having a name, mandate, powers, and objectives set out by legislation or in articles of incorporation under the Canada Business Corporations Act. They are wholly owned by the state but operate at arm's length from government.
As a result, Crown corporations are set up to operate under "a corporate model", free of "political" interference on their ongoing activities, including labour relations and the collective bargaining process.
The free collective bargaining process outlined in the Canada Labour Code, the Code governing labour relations for federal Crown corporations, has worked very well for decades. This process allows both the employees and employers to sit down at the bargaining table, look at the needs of both parties
within an organization, develop responses that satisfy both parties, and help build harmonious labour relations while achieving labour peace.
These relationships, developed over time between workers and employers in the federal sector, are good ones and are underscored by the fact that almost all Crown corporations end up in a settlement without a labour dispute between the parties.
Unfortunately, the proposed provisions in Division 17 of Part 3 of Bill C-60, if passed, will achieve the exact opposite: more labour disputes.
By having a third party enforcing a bargaining mandate through its presence at the bargaining table during all stages of negotiations without an in-depth understanding of the ongoing challenges within the organization is problematic. Furthermore, Treasury Board will have a veto on a tentative agreement. This degree of intervention by a third party will jeopardize the free collective bargaining process, allowing a third party to dictate negotiations at all stages.
Moreover, the Bill specifies that Treasury Board is neither the employer nor an employer representative of the Crown corporation, confirming its role as a third party without having any responsibilities over the success or the failure of the process.
For us, the proposed legislation is an attack on the capacity of Crown corporation employer representatives to freely negotiate the terms and conditions of employment with the Crown corporation's employees during a free collective bargaining process.
This section of the Bill gives Cabinet and Treasury Board the ability to impose the terms and conditions of employment on their unionized and non-unionized employees without having to live with the consequences. It does not build a bargaining relationship necessary for a productive business model.
It attacks the core "corporate model" of Crown corporations by allowing more political interference in the ongoing business of arm's length organizations, such as labour relations.
This section of Bill C-60 undermines a long tradition in Canada of labour legislation and policy designed for the promotion of the common well-being through the encouragement of free collective bargaining and the constructive settlement of disputes as written in the Canada Labour Code preamble, and promoted by organizations such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Finally, this section of Bill C-60 provides a narrow ability for workers to successfully negotiate workplace terms and conditions through free collective bargaining.
For all these reasons, I urge you to amend Division 17 of Part 3 of the Budget Implementation Act (Bill C-60) to protect free collective bargaining and stay out of the collective bargaining process between the Crown corporations and their unions and employees.
United Way Breakfast -- Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here Local 40 -- Coast Capri Hotel has stepped back from hosting the breakfast. UW is looking for another venue. Stay tuned.
NOLC Camp Draw -- Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
Winner of Camp Jubilee - Kayleigh, daughter of Garrett Topp IBEW 213.
Winners of Silver Lake Camp -- Mariah, granddaughter of Louise & Doug Gibson, BCFORUM & COPE 378
Connor, grandson of Wayne Horning COTA/ BCTF
By-election -- Sergeant at Arms -- Louise Gibson, COPE 378 conducted the election. Nominees: Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518,
Carmen Belanger, HEU. Carmen stepped down. Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518 is our new Sergeant at Arms.
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 21 Present with 17 Delegates, 3 Guests, 1 BCFORUM delegate
GOOD & WELFARE
Nikki Inouye had surgery. A Get Well card was sent to her on behalf of the NOLC
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm by Andrew Pritchard, President M/S/C
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
1091 Gordon Drive, Kelowna