March 9, 2011 minutes
MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA
AFFILIATES PRESENT: Glenn Nowag, UFCW 1518, Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Carole Gordon, COTA/BCTF, Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM, Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, Shane Curveon, ATU 1722, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Debra Critchley, BCGEU, Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000,
Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon, Doris Janssen, CEP, Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here, Local 40, Nancy Ingersoll, BCTF Vernon,
REGRETS: Dave Porteous, UFCW 1518, Wendy Mah, BCGEU
GUESTS: Orion Irvine, CLC Staff Rep, Irene Lanzinger, BCFED, Candice Burkmar, HEU Vernon, Kurt Thygesen, IBEW, Keith Jansons, BCGEU, Maria Tokarchuk, BCFORUM, Tisha Kalmanovitch, NDP, Grayson Lepp, Canadian Federation of Students, Troy Coburn, CUPW 760, Larry Chu, CUPW 760, Liz Woods, BCFORUM, Les Milton, ATU 1722, Le Anne Pickard, BCGEU Vernon, Alyvia Pickard, Vernon
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Carole Gordon, President, at 7:05 pm
ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C
GUEST SPEAKERS: Sister Irene Lanzinger, Secretary Treasurer, BCFED
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C
CREDENTIALS REPORT: 28 Present with 14 Delegates and 14 Guests
OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES: Candice Burkmar, HEU Vernon, Grayson Lepp, Canadian Federation of Students
FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated.
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
Action: Central Okanagan Teachers Association (COTA) donatd 20 -30 new chairs for our new meeting room. The NOLC is very grateful for this most generous donation.
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/CLC REPORT:
Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518 -- EI Board of Referees -- The annual meeting for the EI Board of Referees is taking place Friday, March 11, 2011. The amount of preparation work involved is totally over the top.
Shane Curveon ATU 1722 - ATU held a strike vote on February 27, 2011. 94% of members voted in favour of strike. Notification was made the employer and they have contacted the Union and requested a meeting with the negotiating committee in the near future.
Orion Irvine, CLC Regional Representative
CLC Pension Campaign
The Conservative government has gone back on their commitment to improve the Canada Pension Plan(CPP). Instead of supporting these improvements that would benefit all Canadians, the Conservatives have proposed a scheme called Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs), a plan that greatly benefits big banks and financial companies.
PRPP is like a Defined Contribution-Registered Pension Plan (or group RRSP). It does not guarantee retirement security. It is not fully transferable. If available, it might be transferable between similar plans. It is not indexed to inflation. Your retirement income won't go up with the increasing cost of living over time. While they'll have a slightly lower management cost compared to individual RRSPs, their management fees will still be much higher than the CPP.
PRPPs are a better option than an individual RRSP and other alternatives, with potentially lower costs (not demonstrated or legislated). But it won't guarantee you a decent retirement income and is greatly inferior to the option of expanding the benefits under the Canada Pension Plan.
You can visit the CLC's website at www.canadianlabour.ca and use the calculators there to see the difference that high management fees make in your retirement income. While the Conservatives seem to have backtracked on their commitment, there are still many provincial finance ministers that share the CLC's commitment to the improvements to the CPP. These are important allies in our fight and with their help we can still win retirement security for Canadians. The CLC has also filed an Access to Information request to find out who lobbied the federal Finance Minister and his department against proposals that would enhance the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans. We still need activists to write their MP, MLA, and local papers to express their support for improvements to the CLC. Sample letters are attached to this report.
The CLC is having its 26th Constitution Convention in Vancouver from Monday, May 9 to Friday, May 13, 2011. Labour councils are entitled to 2 regular delegates and 1 young worker delegate (Aged 30 and under). The registration fee is $300 per delegate. The deadline for receiving credentials is April 8; 2011. Labour councils should have received their convention package by now. If your council hasn't, please contact your CLC Representative.
The federal government must use its March budget to put jobs first and allow unemployed Canadians to get back to work.
Statistics Canada released its Labour Force Survey for January 2011. There were 1,449,600 unemployed Canadians in January, still well above the 1,138,400 who were unemployed in October 2008. The unemployment for January 2011 remains high at 7.8%. It was 6.1% in October 2008.
Unemployment remains much higher than it was before the recession, and many workers can only find part-time, temporary, and low-paying jobs. The government has to pursue policies that will help to create good, sustainable jobs and not the kind of precarious employment we have been seeing. Ottawa should not engage in deep spending cuts in an attempt to reduce deficits. The government should make long term investments in public infrastructure, as well as improved public services such as child and elder care.
A Quick Analysis from CLC Senior Economist Sylvain Schetagne:
Job growth in the Canadian economy is not fast enough and not good enough. Despite an increase of 69,200 jobs in January 2011, the unemployment rate went from 7.6% to 7.8% simply because not enough jobs were created to absorb the labour market growth (+106,400).
The number of unemployed Canadians went up by 37,100 last month, and Canada still has 335,800 or 30% more unemployed individuals than before the beginning of the Great Recession. One out of five unemployed Canadians (20.1%) had been unemployed for more than 6 months in January 2011. As a contrast, in January 2008, before the recession, about one out of ten (11.9%) was unemployed for more than 6 months.
The unemployment rate for younger workers was also up significantly last month, from 13.8% to 14.4%, with the addition of 20,200 unemployed Canadians aged 15-24. The majority of jobs created last month were part-time (+38,000). The proportion of employed Canadians working part-time is up again at 19.4%.
Municipal elections are being held across BC in November 2011. It's important to start thinking of possible candidates and issues to promote. This is our chance to make sure that there are people in city hall that will listen to the needs of the people.
a) Municipal Election Committee -- Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518 reported that the 2011 Endorsement Application for prospective candidates in the upcoming Municipal / Regional District and School Trustee election, is ready. A notice was sent out a few weeks ago to all of our local affiliates for a recommendation of a candidate. The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has organized a Visioning Session to be held April 30, 2011. Details of the location and times will be announced soon. A candidate training course will be set up sometime in June for those labour friendly candidates interested in running in the November 2011 election.
b) Re-endorsement of Affiliates - Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518 The forms for the process of re affiliation of our local affiliates are ready and will be mailed out in April.
c) Day of Mourning -- Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, Debra Critchley, BCGEU -- The Annual DAY OF MOURNING is scheduled for April 28, 2011. It takes place at Ben Lee Park at 12:30 pm. Mayor Sharon Shepherd will be attending as well as several other speakers who have suffered workplace injuries. Refreshments will be served as this takes place over the lunch hour for many who may be attending during their lunch time. (Ben Lee Park is located at Franklyn & Houghton near the waterpark. Parking is available on Houghton Road.)
The Day of Mourning has been organized by the North Okanagan Labour Council and WORKSAFE BC.
a) Camp Jubilee & Silver Lake Summer Camp for Kids 2011 -- Plans are presently under way by Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523 and
Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, to get the entry forms and details of this contest ready by the April 6, 2011 meeting. The information will be on
our website as soon as things are completed. Entry forms will be available to all of our affiliate delegate's children at our meetings in April
and May or on the website. The entry forms attached so everyone has the opportunity to enter their children in this draw for this wonderful
camp experience. Please visit the websites of both camps for information about what they offer -- www.campjubilee.ca, www.silverlakekidscamp.com
b) International Labour Day -- May 1, 2011, NOLC President Carole Gordon, COTA
A motion was made to organize an event to celebrate International Labour Day with a family oriented BBQ with many displays from our
local affiliates, children's activities etc. It was M/S/C that a committee be formed to organize this event. The committee members are
Carole Gordon, COTA, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Debra Critchley, BCGEU, and Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760. A report will be made at
the April 6, 2011 meeting which is being held in Vernon, at the Village Green Hotel.
c) By-Law proposed amendment -- 4.11 Any delegate being absent from four (4) consecutive meetings of this Council (as per record kept by
the Sergeant-at-Arms) without good and sufficient reason, in writing, having been previously presented to the Secretary from the delegate
or their organization, certifying to the sickness, absence from city, or engagement at work, said delegate shall forfeit the seat, and
immediate notice sent to their organization by the Secretary requesting a new credential for the vacant seat. The Secretary shall also
revise the official roll call book, and attendance card file, for accurate use by the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Orion Irvine, CLC will be reviewing this by-law and make a recommendation to the Labour Council with any changes.
d) United Way Plane Pull -- This fundraising event will be announced soon. A motion was made that the NOLC sponsor a $75.00 spot.
e) NOW Canada (United Way partner) & BCGEU Fundraiser BBQ -- The details of this event will be emailed to all soon. A motion was made that the NOLC co-sponsor this event with a donation of up to $200.00. M/S/C
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 27 Present with 15 Delegates 12 Guests.
GOOD & WELFARE:
Karen Abramsen, NDP President, Westside Kelowna Constituency
NDP Leadership Candidate Forum
Monday, March 21, 2011 7:30 pm Capri Hotel. All are welcome to attend.
NDP Rafe Mair Town Hall Presentation 3:00 pm
April 3, 2011 at the First United church
721 Bernard Ave (@Richter) Kelowna
Suggested donation $10.00 / $5.00 students
Council of Canadians Kelowna Chapter AGM
12:30 pm Sunday April 3, 2011, POTLUCK lunch will be served
1:00 pm - FILM: River Wild will be shown
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 pm by Carole Gordon, President
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518
NEXT REGULAR MEETING
Wednesday, April 6, 2011 General Meeting - 7:00 pm
Vernon, Village Green Hotel