Letterhead


MARCH 7, 2007 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Faye Saxon, BC Forum
Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000
Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760
Kris Bothe, Carp 1370
Andrew Pritchard, UNITEHERE 40
Jeff Carsience, Carp 1370
Gord Larkin, CLC
Karen Abramsen, BC Forum
Glenn Nowag, UNITEHERE 40
Brad Dunlop, USW Local 1-423
Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
LorrieLee Miller, USW 1-423
Boyd Sommerfeld, HEU
Maria Tokarchuk, HSA
Liz Woods, BC Forum
Carole Gordon, COTA
Pat Munro, HSA - Kelowna
Shirley Kavaloff, HSA - Kelowna
Linda Thiel, HEU
Geri Smith, COPE 378
Nancy Devries, COPE 378
Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518

GUESTS
Eileen Robinson, NDP
Doug Gibson, COPE 15 (ret)
Wes Kmet

REGRETS
Dave Porteous, UFCW 120

CALL TO ORDER
President Brad Dunlop called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
M/S/C to adopt agenda of March 7, 2007

GUEST SPEAKERS
Brad Dunlop gave a power-point presentation on Energy and the Environment.

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES
M/S/C to adopt minutes of February 7, 2007

CREDENTIALS REPORT
21 present with 18 delegates and 3 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES
none

FINANCIAL REPORT
M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated. Ron Bobowski reported that he has transferred the bulk of the NOLC's funds to a higher-interest investment savings account.

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
a) Amnesty International annual appeal -- M/S/C to donate $50
b) Letter and petition from federal NDP re: bill to raise federal minimum wage to $10. Petition circulated at meeting and M/S/C to send letters to federal labour minister and local MPs urging support for the bill.
c) Maquila Solidarity Network, annual renewal notice. M/S/C to donate $100.

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Pat Bulmer - CEP 2000 - CEP 2000 (aka Media Union of BC) and CEP 25-G have merged. CEP 25-G represented mostly, but not exclusively, pressrooms and shops around the province, including the Kelowna Daily Courier pressroom. The new CEP 2000 is about 2,500 members strong.
The Kelowna pressroom recently settled one of two overtime grievances with the company. The results include overtime being paid by the minute now, instead of in 15-minute increments, and an order of which managers to phone at home when overtime must be authorized at 2:30 a.m.
I am now serving as the interim city editor at The Daily Courier.

Karen Abramsen, Council of Canadians - Thank you to the NOLC for co-sponsorship of the Dialogue on Healthcare with Colleen Fuller on Sunday, Feb. 11. This well-attended event provided a lot of excellent information on the real costs of privatized health care and why we can't afford it. Other co-sponsors for this event included the B.C. Nurses Union, B.C. Hospital Employees Union, B.C. Health Coalition and the Council of Senior Citizens Organization of B.C. Then on Saturday, Feb. 17, Kelowna hosted the third Conversation on Healthcare at the Grand hotel. A hale and hardy crowd gathered at 7:30 a.m. to leaflet the select 100 attendees at the event. We have tabled a resolution with Kelowna city council, asking them to affirm their support for public healthcare.
Our next campaign will focus on tabling another resolution asking city council to declare its opposition to the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) This B.C./Alberta agreement is to come into effect on April 1, 2007. This agreement is similar to the MAI. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has produced a summary called "Asking for Trouble," by Ellen Gould.
Some of the highlights are:
-- TILMA favours private-sector investment over public interest objectives
-- TILMA creates a deregulator framework for public interest regulation
-- TILMA's exemptions and allowances are very narrow
-- TILMA's dispute process will impact public policy
-- TILMA is an obstacle to addressing real concerns.
For more information, contact www.policyalternatives.ca.
This is a very serious issue and we cannot afford to be "asleep at the wheel" on this one. Please contact your MLA to demand a full public debate and also a legislative debate:
Sindi Hawkins - 712-3620
Al Horning - 765-8516
Rick Thorpe - 768-8426

Ron Bobowski, CUPW (verbal report) - A vote is expected in March and April on a contract recommended by the bargaining committee.

Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523 (verbal report) - Two-week spring break in Central Okanagan school district hurts the many employees who work only 10 months a year and/or less than full-time.

Geri Smith - CUPE 378 (ICBC workers, verbal report) - Watch for Bill 93 coming in July. It will divide up each line of ICBC business (similar to BC Hydro).

Carole Gordon, COTA (verbal report) - Class size agreement - The situation is turning out well in lower grades, but class sizes are large in higher grades. More special needs kids in classes.

Gord Larkin, CLC (verbal report) - Bill C-257, the anti-scab bill, goes for third reading on March 21. Second reading passed by 33 votes, but this will be tougher. There's about 120 solid votes in favour, Liberals and Tories are lining up against bill. Kelowna MP Ron Cannan who supported second reading is waffling. Call his office at 470-5075 please.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) Public Policy and the Environment forum. Organizing committee will meet at 6 p.m. March 14 at NOLC office.
b) Membership committee will try to meet before next month's meeting to discuss assistance for travelling to out-of-town meetings, pins.
c) CLC Winter School report - Brad reported on the labour council officer's course he attended at Harrison. A wide range of topics and speakers were offered during the week. Brad discovered the NOLC has a good reputation as an active and leading labour council.

NEW BUSINESS

a) Day of Mourning on April 28 - Brad plans to contact CUPE city workers union to discuss the possibility of joining forces for a ceremony. Last year, each did separate ceremonies. Looking for ideas and volunteers for a similar joining of forces in Vernon. E-mail your ideas to nolc@shaw.ca or bocdunlop@shaw.ca.
b) International Women's Day March 8 - Eileen Robinson has been nominated for the first Gert Beadle Award, which was to be presented at a program put on by the Kelowna Women's Resource Centre on International Women's Day. The NOLC made a $200 donation to support the program. We also donated $200 to the Vernon Transition House Society.
c) May speaker - Joy Langan, president of BC Forum, has agreed to speak at our May meeting and pay her own way here, but asked the labour council to pay her accommodation for one night at the Coast Capri Hotel. M/S/C to pay for Joy Langan's accommodation.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT
24 total with 21 delegates and 3 guests

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.


The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 4, 2007, 7 p.m., at the Village Green Hotel, Vernon.

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