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May 7, 2003 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT

Judi Filion BCGEU 707

Pat Munro HSA

Karen Abramsen BC Forum

Louise Turner HEU

Trudy Ames BCGEU 307

Dave Porteous UFCW 120B

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

David Doran Carp 1346

Ron Bobowski CUPW 760

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

Faye Saxon OPEIU 115

Kevin Hagglund CEP 823-M

Jeff Carsience Carp 1370

Gordie Larkin CLC

GUESTS

Don Main Carp

REGRETS

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7:15 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of May 7, 2003


GUEST SPEAKERS

none


ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of April 9, 2003.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

15 present with 14 delegates and 1 guest

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

none

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) CLC "No FTAA Campaign - It's Hazardous to Your Health," with petition CLC wants circulated - Petition was circulated. We'll bring it to the June meeting also. People can also go on-line to the CLC's web site and add their name there.
b) By e-mail: Great West Life Labour Market Research Assistant is asking if we can provide them with a job description/overview of the job of union representative - receive and file
c) By e-mail: Ministry of community, Aboriginal and Women's Services wants us to respond to a survey (not yet out) re: International Qualifications Program - receive and file
d) Ads in OUC handbook. For the third year, the NOLC will buy four ads in the OUC student handbook, marking significant days such as Labour Day, Day of Mourning, International Women's Day. The money comes from a CLC grant, which must be earmarked for specific projects.

M/S/C to approve executive board report.


REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Judi Filion, BCGEU 707: OUC Student Association has been certified as a bargaining unit of BCGEU (13 members).
OUC support staff will begin negotiations in June, 2003. Current collective agreement expired June 30, 2002.
Brother Scott Koch, staff representative Kelowna-area office, is retiring on May 9, 2003.
Brother Rob Wotherspoon will be joining the staff of the Kelowna-area office.

Faye Saxon, EI Board of Referees: Amended EI regulations, section 40 are in force as of April 4/03 and apply to SARS-related claims submitted on or after March 30/03. For these cases, the two-week waiting period is removed. The requirement for a medical certificate is being removed in SARS-related quarantine cases. There are conditions, so the actual regulations should be studied.
We are seeing more claimants objecting to the lack of personal contact from the commission. This seems to be since the automated application system came into effect.
There seem to be more appeals for requests for antedates. There is very little leeway given for what the commission considers late filing. Once again, it should be stressed that workers MAY file their ROE. Don't take no for an answer.
Recently, maternity and parental leave benefit periods have been extended. There is a pitfall, however, if a claimant has filed a claim for sick benefits during pregnancy. This may affect the length of their later parental benefits. This is because the weeks of employment used to claim sick benefits may not be used again in a subsequent claim. The original claim may be extended, but this may shorten the overall benefit period. This is very difficult to explain so just be very careful about claiming short periods of sick benefits during early pregnancy.

Trudy Ames, BCGEU 307: House closures: 2 more in our region slated to close. Several already have - moving towards larger and larger facilities, even though the transition steering committee is stating they want smaller homes in the community.
Bargaining: Contact expired March 31/03. Legislation has been postponed again. Scheduled to meet with other unions in June. Bargaining to begin in the fall. What we hear is that we will be looking at concessions - will be watching the HEU and their negotiations.

Don Main, EI Board of Referees: Many of our members are being denied not only benefits, but sponsorship to take courses or start up their own businesses. Before you sign up for a full-time course or start your own business, contact Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) - you may qualify for both EI benefits and have your tuition and some expenses paid for your course. For the self-employment benefit (starting your own business), you are enrolled in a support group that assists in formulating a business plan, taxes, GST, market research and suppliers. They also have a support group of business people, a lawyer, accountant, to discuss ongoing problem and offer advice, again with your EI benefits paid. If your course is going to make you more employable or you want to be self-employed, do your research and contact HRDC.

Karen Abramsen, Council of Canadians: BC Hydro is not for sale: Paul Nettleton, the MLA who wrote a 4100-word letter to the Liberal caucus condemning the sale of one-third of BC Hydro to Accenture is coming to speak in Kelowna, Friday, May 16 at First United Church Hall in Kelowna.
Maude Barlow, national chair of the Council of Canadians, has rescheduled her Kelowna visit for Wednesday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael's Parish Hall on Sutherland Avenue (between Pandosy and Richter.) An earlier scheduled appearance was cancelled due to illness.

Gord Larkin, CLC: Delegates urged to sign and circulate CLC petition on the FTAA. Also, visit the CLC web site and link to the FTAA page and sign on-line.
The BC Federation of Labour is mailing a provincewide householder on the record of the Liberal government - also supporting the many activities of coalitions around the province to mark the second anniversary of this "dizzy" bunch in Victoria.
The CLC campaign against sweatshops is an ongoing campaign. Delegates urged to find out more at the CLC web site at www.clc-ctc.ca.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Day of Mourning - A ceremony led by Sister Karen Abramsen was held April 26 at the NOLC's tree at Ben Lee Park in Kelowna. Ron Bobowski helped put together the arrangements for the ceremony. Pat Bulmer prepared the NOLC news release. A couple from Nelson who lost their son in a workplace accident came to the ceremony and told us their story. Ben Lee also came out.

EI Board of Referees appointments - three of the four current appointees indicated they will stand again for nomination. Gord Larkin will contact the fourth and report back at the June meeting.

- Election for vacant vice-president's position - Jeff Carsience, Carpenters Union, accepted a nomination for the position. Nominations will reopen and and election will be held (if necessary) at the June meeting in Kelowna.


NEW BUSINESS

- Summer camp draws - M/S/C - to hold draws to send one teen to Camp Jubilee and one boy and one girl, age 9-12, to Silver Lake as per past practice. An entry form will go out with these minutes and is also available on our web site.

- Financial committee - M/S/C to strike a financial committee to examine the current financial policies and procedures of the NOLC and report back with recommendations to a fall meeting. Trustees Pat Munro, Steve Malerby and David Porteous and volunteers Karen Abramsen and Kevin Hagglund to be part of the committee.

- Letters on Coquihalla privatization and government's new child labour proposals - M/S/C that the NOLC send letters to local MLAs on both issues, in strong opposition. Letters will appear on our web site shortly.


FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

15 total, 14 delegates, 1 guest

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.



The next meeting will be Wednesday, June 4, 7 p.m., at the BCGEU office, 1591 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna.


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