Letterhead


March 9, 2005 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Trudy Ames BCGEU
Ron Bobowski CUPW 760
Glenn Nowag UNITE HERE!
Kathy Dunn HEU
Louise Schwingenschloegl HEU
Pat Bulmer CEP 2000
David Doran Carp 1346
Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346
Judi Filion BCGEU 707
Dave Porteous UFCW
Geri Smith COPE 378
Bill Zeman CUPE 3523

GUESTS
John Pugsley NDP
Jesse Enns
Gord Larkin CLC
Liz Woods CEP 467
Michael Loewen United Way

REGRETS
Karen Abramsen BC Forum


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7:05 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of March 9, 2005

GUEST SPEAKERS

John Pugsley -- NDP candidate in Kelowna-Lake Country -- Pugsley has been president of the OUC faculty association for five years, and also has experience in bargaining and as a shop steward. He's a philosophy professor. This is his first run for political office. He told us that the government's attack on health-care last April inspired him to run. "We'd had our collective agreement eaten into by the government. Now they were doing it to health workers ... the way they were treating our health workers was disgusting." Daycare is another issue important to Pugsley. He says the province should work with the federal government to achieve a universal, affordable day care program. He also talked about his experiences seeing the homeless in Vancouver and noted the government's response is to sweep these people away. "We need an NDP government with policies grounded in caring and compassion. The Liberals don't seem to have that ability."
His website is www.electjohnpuglsey.com.

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt minutes of February 9, 2005.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

17 present with 12 delegates and 5 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

none

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) Canadian Peace Alliance wants us to join. We will take out a one-year membership for $40

b) Day of Mourning is April 28. Materials available for ordering. We will order 100 pamphlets for $25 to, hopefully, send out with April minutes.

c) NDP 2005 convention call, July 15-17 in Quebec City. We will pay registration only. We have one delegate position. Dave Porteous is interested in attending. We will ask again at next month's meeting if anyone else would like to go. Registration fee TBA.

M/S/C to accept Executive Board report


REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Trudy Ames -- BCGEU 307 -- Balancing Work and Family Conference in Ottawa hosted by the CLC
- Federal legislation for an increase on EI for mat. and parental leave
- Discussed contract language around supports for families. PSAC has language that allows for maternity leave and parental leave top up to 80 per cent - family leave days
- Unions -- what coverage do we have in our constitutions that allow for balance of work and family. Do our unions have allowances for claiming child-care expenses - telephone expenses while we're out of town on union business.
- We all need to do our part. Say no and make decisions to take care of ourselves and families
- Child care. To date we have not achieved our goal. There is more work to be done. The money is less than promised and so far is being given to the provinces with no accountability attached.

Pat Bulmer - CEP 2000 - Negotiations between CEP 2000 and the Kelowna Daily Courier and Penticton Herald resume next week. So far, we've exchanged initial proposals and that's all. CEP 2000 members in Vancouver recently reached a two-year deal with Pacific Newspaper Group. It includes wage increases of 3 per cent annually and benefits improvements. Union papers in Vancouver and locally are facing competition from new free, non-union "commuter-style" tabs.

Dave Doran - Labour Council officers course report:
-- CLC executive director Michael MacIsaac outlined the priorities the CLC has for the year. These include a change of staff with 9 positions coming up within the next few months, municipal elections, work on long-term strategies, sustainable communities -- economic, social, environmental future.
-- Lobby Parliament Hill -- If an MP gets four pieces of mail, it becomes a priority issue.
Continue the EI lobby. There are working notes for lobbies, make sure there is a follow up. Fax your MP. Appeals are way down due to poor access.
- Health care general focus on Romanow report.
- Child care lobby Dryden. Child care should be not for profit.
- Pensions need a more unified system of regulation.
- Privatization issues especially P3s.
- Review of federal labour laws.
- Pay equity, implementation of a task force.
-- Seth Klein of CCPA talked about how we pay for services. We have gone from progressive taxation to regressive taxation. MSP is the most regressive tax. Costs of service has shifted as to how we pay for child care, education, eye exams, user fees.
Klein also reported
- Income inequality much greater than we first realized, especially in the hinterland.
- 75 per cent of homeless are not on welfare.
- The government has fundamentally undercut our ability to fund our services. - We have no plan for the pine beetle issue.
- Construction boom due to low interest rates, not tax cuts.
- Capital investment key indicator that speaks to future employment and growth. This has been flat since the election.
- No one indicator gives the total picture.
-- Also: Art Kube talked about grey power at the polls; discussion about the need to revitalize Job Smart Program; Lynn Sinclair of BCTF gave a presentation on the Wright report; Barb Wood talked about CODEV - international solidarity work; Jack Nichol talked about BC Forum.

Gord Larkin - CLC - The UFCW and CLC will be organizing a day of protest on May 7 to express our anger at the closing of the unionized Wal-Mart in Quebec. More details to come at the April labour council meeting.
Harrison winter school -- Some 950 delegates attended the school this year. Thanks to the affiliates for their participation. The labour council officers course dealt with several issues, as well as planning for the November municipal elections.
CLC lobby -- The executive council held a lobby on Parliament Hill. Over 75 MPs and cabinet ministers attended.

Tony Heisterkamp - After an 84% vote by members of the B.C. Carpenters Union in favour of autonomy, we continue to struggle with the challenges by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) allowing the members to choose their own destiny. The UBC has attempted to stem the popular vote by raiding contractors signed with the B.C. Carpenters. All of the votes conducted are currently sealed due to challenges at the LRB. The UBC in other jurisdictions has taken away democratic rights of members to vote for local executive officers, business representatives, forced mergers without membership votes. They continue to support the lumber tariffs and insist on sending members personal information down south which has breached the Privacy Laws of Canada and B.C. Lawsuits continue from both sides.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) Executive nominations. Elected were:
President - David Doran
Vice-Presidents - Trudy Ames, Ron Bobowski, Glenn Nowag
Secretary-treasurer - Judi Filion
Recording secretary - Pat Bulmer
Sergeant at Arms - Kris Bothe
Northern delegate - Louise Schwingenschloegl
Southern delegate - Karen Abramsen
Trustee - Steve Malerby

b) CLC: Constitutional Convention Call, June 13-17 in Montreal - Pay registration only for Dave Porteous, who was the only delegate who expressed interest in attending. Registration fee is $250 -- M/S/C

NEW BUSINESS

a) M/S/C -- to donate $2,000 to the Okanagan-Vernon, Kelowna-Lake Country and Kelowna-Mission NDP constituencies and $1,000 to the Okanagan-Westside NDP.

b) M/S/C to support in principle and encourage people to come out to a Rally on health care, slated for May 1 to mark the May 2 anniversary of Bills 29 and 37, in which the government ordered health care workers back to work and slashed their wages.

c) M/S/C/ to donate T-shirts to local NDP candidates. The T-shirts have a slogan encouraging people to vote on May 17.

d) M/S/C -- Be it resolved that the North Okanagan Labour Council urge the BCGEU, in writing, to bargain a fair and reasonable collective agreement with CEP 467 and endeavour to restore the BCGEU's credibility as a leader in the B.C. labour movement. (A deal was reached before the letter could be sent.)

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

16 total with 12 delegates and 4 guests


ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.



The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 6, 2005, 7 p.m., at the Coast Capri Hotel, Kelowna.


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