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May 4, 2005 minutes

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

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Glenn Nowag UNITE HERE!
Kris Bothe UBC 1370
Judi Filion BCGEU 707
Pat Bulmer CEP 2000
David Doran Carp 1346
Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346
Dave Porteous UFCW
Ron Bobowski CUPW 760
Trudy Ames BCGEU
Steve Malerby BC Forum
D. Chamberlain TWU
Dolores Birnie VTA
Karen Abramsen BC Forum
Bill Zeman CUPE 3523

GUESTS
Don Hood
Doug Knowler TWU
Gord Larkin CLC
Don Main Carp


CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by President David Doran at 7:00 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of May 4, 2005

GUEST SPEAKERS

none

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt minutes of April 6, 2005.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

17 present with 13 delegates and 4 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

none

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) BC Health Coalition wants us to renew membership -- $100. M/S/C to renew membership

b) M/S/C to adopt the following resolution:
WHEREAS the wages and working conditions of telecommunications workers around the world are being driven down by a coordinated corporate attack; and
WHEREAS Telus is pursuing this same strategy and is planning to lock out the TWU; and
WHEREAS Telus corporation is a global leader in the telecommunications sector with respect to revenue, earnings and cash-flow growth rates, thanks to the hard work and dedication of its employees; and
WHEREAS the Company is demanding sweeping contract concessions that threaten its employees' job security and working conditions; and
WHEREAS the Canada Industrial Relations Board has allowed Telus to pursue a strategy that has dragged on for more than five years and makes a mockery of the bargaining process; and
WHEREAS in 2004 the Board finally found that Telus had interfered in the operation of the TWU and ordered the Company to offer the TWU binding arbitration as a way out of this situation; and
WHEREAS the Board subsequently let Telus off the hook by reversing the remedy portion of this ruling; now
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that this Labour Council make every effort to support the TWU's campaign for a revised, respectful collective agreement by communicating the Council's concerns to politicians capable of exerting pressure on the Canada Industrial Relations Board to do the right thing; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Council promote TWU's Another Wrong Number campaign in its publications and on its web site.

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Doug Knowler - TWU Local 6 - The TWU has been attempting to bargain a revised and respectful collective agreement with Telus for over four years. During that time, we have seen the reduction of 6000 workers between 2002 and 2003. Throughout the process, Telus has been demanding sweeping contract changes that threaten its employees' job security and working conditions. Telus is showing no respect for its employees, its customers or for Canadian law. The Canada Industrial Relations Board found that Telus interfered in the operation of a union and ordered the company to offer the TWU binding arbitration. Telus initially accepted this and then later challenged the order. The board then reversed the decision (a year later), even though they still found Telus to be in violation and removed the remedy portion of the ruling. Back to the bargaining table we went. Again going nowhere. On April 25, Telus started a limited measures lockout which took away a number of rights under our current agreement. That week, they again communicated directly with employees by e-mailing a copy of their offer to all employees. This is being challenged at the CIRB. On top of this, as Telus is doing so well with respect to revenue and earnings etc., Telus reacted by giving the executive officers pay from $4-$6 million. The Telus CEO (Darrin Entwistle) went from $4.25 to $6.55 million in 2004. Meanwhile, TWU members have not had a raise since 2000. This is where we are now, under the imminent threat of lockout or strike, and we are asking for some assistance in our efforts. We ask you to communicate your concerns to politicians capable of exerting pressure on the CIRB and the minister of labour to do the right thing and appoint an Industrial Inquiry Commission to order the parties into binding arbitration in order to maintain both industrial peace and quality telecommunications service.

Don Main - EI Report - If you want to collect Employment Insurance, you must apply. Do not wait longer than four weeks. Apply even if you do not have your ROEs. Apply even if you do not know how much money you will get for holiday pay, severance pay or for any other money from your employment. If you do not apply, you will lose benefits. Severance pay will be deducted according to your weekly wage. Even if you have a large severance, apply. Your benefit period will be extended for each week used up by severance pay up to one extra year. Remember, your hours worked used for qualifying go back one year from when you apply. If you wait one year because of a large severance package before applying, you will have no hours that you worked in that year and you will not quality for benefits. When you do apply -- answer the questions honestly. It is difficult to support a claimant who changes their answers only to assist their claim.

Pat Bulmer - CEP 2000 - Negotiations between CEP 2000 and the Kelowna Daily Courier and Penticton Herald continue to progress slowly. Next dates for talks are May 17-18. The Kelowna Daily Courier has launched a Vernon edition. Eight-pages of Vernon copy will be wrapped around the Monday-Friday Kelowna paper. Five people have been hired -- three management (filling exempted positions in the Kelowna contract) and two union. They are under the Kelowna collective agreement.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) Day of Mourning report -- Trudy Ames and Ron Bobowski gave reports on Day of Mourning ceremonies held in Vernon and Kelowna.

b) OUC Student Handbook -- Judi Filion gave an update on the ad the NOLC will purchase in the UBC, UBCO, Okanagan College student handbook coming out in the fall. Our message will go out in 7,000-9,000 books.

c) Union Label convention, June 11 in Montreal. M/S/C to pay the $60 registration for Dave Porteous.

d) Pacific Northwest Labour History Association conferences at SFU June 10-12. We offered to pay the $65 registration fee if anyone wanted to attend, but had no takers.

e) Southern Interior Labour Council meeting, May 28, Capri Hotel. The five southern interior labour councils will get together for their annual meeting. It's open to any of our delegates and begins at 10 a.m.

f) M/S/C to pay registration for Karen Abramsen to the NDP convention July 15-17 in Quebec City. (Last month, we voted to give our one credential to Liz Woods. It has since come to our attention we could obtain a credential for Karen as well -- whenever they come.)

NEW BUSINESS

a) Summer camps -- Trudy Ames will work with Pat Munro to try to put together draws for our June meeting to send two kids to camp at Silver Lake and one to Camp Jubilee.

b) CLC grant application - M/S/C to apply for the annual CLC grant for smaller labour councils

c) May Day picnic - M/S/C to contribute $550 to the May 1 picnic in Kelowna. (The NOLC was a main sponsor and the event was well attended.)

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

16 total with 12 delegates and 4 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.



Next meeting: June 8, 2005, 7 p.m., Coast Capri Hotel, 1171 Harvey Ave. (Highway 97), Kelowna.


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