NOLC elects executive

February, 1999

Eight of nine North Okanagan Labour Council executive members will be back for another year after elections in Kelowna on Wednesday.

Marie Mentz of the Telecommunications Workers Union in Kelowna was re-elected president at the NOLC's annual general meeting and was pleased to see most of last year's executive returning.

"A lot of the projects begun by the executive last year are just getting into high gear now," said Mentz. "Rather than starting over, we'll be able to move ahead, particularly in the areas of education and lobbying."

Betty Reid of Vernon and the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union, David Mitchell of the TWU in Kelowna and Scott Koch of the BCGEU in Kelowna were re-elected vice-presidents.

David Doran of Armstrong and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners returns as secretary-treasurer and Kelowna's Bill Dingman of CUPE recording secretary

Simo Korpisto of CUPE stays on as the northern delegate, as does Pat Bulmer of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers as southern delegate.

Judi Filion of the BCGEU is the new executive member as sergeant-at-arms while Pat Munro of the Health Sciences Association was re-elected to a three-year term as trustee.

As always under Mentz's leadership, education is a big priority with the labour council.

One of the major projects she has been working on in the past year, in conjunction with the Canadian Labour Congress, is a course for youth called Job Smart.

Job Smart is for young adults (15-25) on rights and responsibilities in the workplace.

"The course assists students in understanding the different types of legislation which govern their rights and gives them the skills to interpret and respond appropriately to various situations in the workplace," Mentz explained.

The course has been offered in various schools in the past year and the labour council has been invited by the Central Okanagan School District to offer portions of the program at the district's upcoming career expo.

Also on the educational agenda is the annual labour school March 27-28 at Okanagan University College's North Kelowna campus. For more information on the school, call 763-5050.

Some other issues coming up for the council include presentations to the Legislative Committee on the MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment) Feb. 10 and the Electoral Boundaries Commission when it returns to the Okanagan for hearings on March.

The council will be planning a campaign for the National Day of Mourning in April, supporting locked out projectionists at local Famous Players Theatres and taking part in the Canadian Labour Congress campaign to encourage the federal government to return surplus Unemployment Insurance funds to the unemployed workers who need them.

The council is the umbrella organization for unions in the North and Central Okanagan. Meetings are held monthly, alternating between Vernon and Kelowna.

The next NOLC meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., March 10 at the Village Green Hotel in Vernon.


* Note: Tony Heisterkamp was elected in June to replace Simo Korpisto as northern delegate.


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