Letterhead


November 10, 2010 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, BCTF, Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM, Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon, Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, Dave Porteous, UFCW 1518, Debra Critchley, BCGEU, Greg McGowan, CUPE 873, Louise Gibson, COPE, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000, Emlie Dorie, CUPE 873, Jeff Carsience, UBCJA 1370, Rob Wotherspoon, BCGEU, Brad Fraser, CUPE 873, Roxanne Round, BCGEU.

REGRETS: Brad Albrecht, HEU Vernon, Wendy Mah, BCGEU, Liz Woods, BCFORUM, Bob Milan, UFCW 1518

GUESTS: Harry Grossmith, United Way, Doug Gibson, BCFORUM, Orion Irvine, CLC Rep., Wynn Hartfelder, BCGEU, Jennifer Carsience, Jim Douglas, CEP Media 1 Okanagan

CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Glenn Nowag, President, at 7:00 pm

ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C

GUEST SPEAKERS: Harry Grossmith, United Way, Roxanne Round, BCGEU

ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C

CREDENTIALS REPORT: 24 Present with 18 Delegates and 6 Guests

OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES: none

FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated.

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
Action Correspondence:
1. CLC Winter School Calendar -- handed out to delegates
Donna Sheaves Memorial Scholarship & Debra Mills Scholarship applications are available for delegates.
2. Camp Jubilee/Silver Lake Camp -- Send a Kid to Camp Campaign. Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523 will organize this project for 2011.
3. City of Kelowna letter from Mayor Sharon Shepherd (read and filed)
4. Canadian Farm Workers Union thank you letter regarding NOLC donation. NOLC will receive 4 of the Canadian Farm Workers Union books in the New Year.
5. BCFED news release -- BC Mayors call for $10.00 an hour minimum wage
6. CCPA National Research Fund -- Thank you letter for donation.
7. BCFED Current Disputes -- CUPE 873 vs. BC Ambulance Service; Construction & Specialized Workers' Union Local 1611 vs. Westcon Enterprizes Ltd. Armstrong BC
BOYCOTTS: Sklar Peppler, Alan White branded furniture, AW Manufacturing -- CLC/USW, Philips Electronics products, Quebec - CLC, USW 7812 8. NDP Christmas Celebration dinner with Carole James. A motion was made to purchase three dinner tickets in support of this event. M/S/C

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/CLC REPORT:

Respectfully submitted by Jim Failes, President CEP M1 Okanagan Unit.
At last, we can report an end to the creditor protection afflicting us and the 10 other Global TV stations across Canada. On October 22nd, the CRTC approved Shaw Communications' purchase of the former Canwest conventional and specialty TV assets. We can now turn the page to a new chapter in the history of Global Okanagan (CHBC) Television. But if we have weathered the Canwest storm, the calm waters in the Sea of Shaw do not yet show any clear indication of which way we'll be headed. Our local GM wants to increase our weekday evening newscasts by a half hour, but he hasn't gotten approval yet. We've been told that it shouldn't be long till CHBC gets on satellite, but there's no firm time frame. And then there's the matter of expired Collective Agreements. In a letter to the Union last Friday, our new owners indicated they were anxious to begin negotiating new contracts (and to provide our members with wage increases)... while at the same time noting that we must keep in mind the need for the Company to be competitive. Thus, any optimism is tempered by caution. CEP has opened by proposing a one-year rollover of existing contracts to allow reasonable time to turn the diverse existing agreements into new ones that, at minimum, meet a common standard. Along with a negotiated wage increase, that is! We await the Company's response.

Liz Woods, EI Board of Referees -- Reported by Debra Critchley for Liz Woods
There are many appeals being heard this fall. An issue that I see on a fairly regular basis is that people are not filing their EI claim as soon as they are laid off. Some workers believe that they must have received their Record of Employment (ROE) from the employer before they can open up an EI claim. This is NOT the case. Please advise anyone who is filing for EI that they must not wait. They must start their claim immediately. If the employer delays sending the ROE; the Employment Insurance Commission can compel the employer to send it.
In the case of layoff with severance pay, some workers believe that they must wait until their severance/vacation/bonus money is exhausted before filing for EI. This is NOT the case. Please advise your members that a claim for EI must be started as soon as the layoff begins. Some claims can be antedated but there are very specific conditions where this can occur. Generally, the majority of claims for late filing are denied. When in doubt, file a claim immediately.

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000 -- Kelowna Daily Courier owner David Radler is coming to visit Monday and Tuesday. The office is abuzz.

Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, reports on NDP and Council of Canadians
NDP
Carole James will be the special guest at their annual Christmas Dinner on Sunday, December 5, 2010, at Hanna's Restaurant (next to the Grand Hotel, above Rose's Pub) Tickets are $100.00 for the dinner with a $75.00 going towards a tax receipt. Time is 5:30 pm; for more information please call Karen at 250 759 1977.
Community Input Forum with Carole James is being held on Sunday, December 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm at the Capri Hotel, Shiraz Room. If you would like to make a presentation on any topic, please contact Karen at 250 769 1977. Everyone is welcome to attend and observe.
Council of Canadians
The current Canada Europe Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated in secret is a BAD DEAL for Canada. Here are the top 5 reasons! For more information visit: www.canadians.org
1. CETA threatens our water. Many European private water corporations would like to have unprecedented access to our drinking water services (maybe the water itself).
2. CETA threatens by allowing trans-national corporations to ignore or challenge our existing environmental regulations.
3. CETA threatens local jobs by allowing European corporations unrestricted access to the purchasing of contracts of our government.
4. CETA threatens our demographic rights because CETA trade rules put corporate and investors right FIRST!
5. CETA threatens public healthcare because the EU wants all of our public services covered by the CETA. This will expose our Medicare to even more privatization pressures than past free trade deals did. Other CETA reforms mean higher genetic drug costs.

Jeff Carsience, UBCJA 1370 - United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America -- Local 1370 have gone through many changes in the past few months, starting with the death of our long term Organizer and Officer Representative Sister Gina O'Rourke, June 2010, followed shortly thereafter by her husband Brother Bruce O'Rourke at the end of August 2010. Gina served the Union for 37 years, and her death came very suddenly. Local 1370 purchased two "Good News Bears" in Memoriam for Sister Gina and Brother Bruce.
We have hired a new Office/ Organizer Representative in September and have set up a new office at 1587 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna. Mike Banham is our new Representative. To contact him call 250 763 8314.
Local 1370's Jurisdictional Area now constitutes all of Mainland B.C. except the lower Mainland/Squamish and Vancouver Island. The UBCJA BC Regional Council of Carpenters now holds majority market share of scaffold companies in B.C. and we are offering Alberta equivalent scaffold training to Scaffolders/Carpenters with 5,000 hours scaffold experience to bring training up to Alberta standards as B.C. currently has no specific scaffold training. Training is conducted at our new Provincial Centre in Vancouver.
Local 1370 are currently looking for NEW members. The work situation is slow right now, but as the economy picks up housing starts should as well. Approximately 1/2 of our working members are Apprentices. We offer a stable option for Apprentices Indentureship and the ability to have work connections across North America. We will also be offering Standardised Union Carpentry Training in Vancouver as needs arise, as the UBCJA has its own curriculum and instructors. Even in tough times we are growing and we have many opportunities on the horizon.

Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518 -- Report from BCFED conference call held on November 3, 2010 with BC Labour Councils in attendance.
BC Federation of Labour's proposal for an Effective Regional Engagement Strategy of the BC Labour Movement: BCFED proposes an extensive and aggressive schedule of conferences, meetings, and lobbying sessions held throughout BC's regions to better engage the members, activists, and elected leadership of the labour movement.
1. Annual Regional Conferences
The B.C. Federation of Labour will hold Annual Regional Conferences outside of the Lower Mainland. The Annual Regional Conferences will focus on engaging the labour movement on the issues of greatest importance in each specific region. The goals and topics of the Regional Conferences will be planned in cooperation with the local Labour Councils and labour leaders. The Conferences will allow unions to send members who don't normally have the opportunity to attend the central Conventions. The Regional Conferences will provide an excellent opportunity to recruit, train, and engage union members with the expected outcome of renewing the regional strength of the Federation and affiliates, while also raising the profile of the labour movement around the province. -- 1 or 2 days long -- Affiliates to send delegates -- BCFED along with Labour Councils will organize
2. Executive Council Meetings -- One Regional Meeting Annually
Annually, the B.C. Federation of Labour will hold an Executive Council meeting outside the Lower Mainland. The Executive Council, which is the most senior governing body of the Federation between Conventions, will be able to better represent regional perspectives by ensuring that local issues are presented and discussed at these regional meetings. Local union members and leaders would also be provided direct access to Executive Council members at these meetings. -- Executive Council has approx 72 people -- Event to be held outside lower mainland -- Once a year
3. Annual Labour Lobby in Victoria
Presently, the full-time Officers of the B.C. Federation of Labour undertake the vast majority of lobbying on behalf of BC's labour movement. As the face of the labour movement becomes increasingly diverse, it is important that a broader representation of labour be made to the BC government and opposition MLAs. To this end, the B.C. Federation of Labour will hold a major labour lobby in Victoria. The lobby would raise the profile of the labour movement, our issues, and the diversity of concerns of the membership. Following the lobbying activities, a written report would be prepared and distributed to affiliates and regional labour bodies to encourage subsequent regional activities to complement the Victoria lobby event. The lobby would be accompanied by a reception with MLAs and local government officials. -- 2 day lobby in Victoria -- Meet with present Premier ... chat about current issues ie: WCB/Employment standards/Public Service etc -- Hold a reception for MLAs of both parties and labour activists
4. Biennial Union Renewal and Movement Building Conference
The challenges facing the union movement are enormous, but no greater a challenge exists than reaching out to new immigrants and young people to grow our movement. Reaching out to these marginalized workers is the most critical task to reversing the downward trend on union density. It is critical that we immediately undertake focused, informed, and strategic efforts to rebuild our movement, by becoming more appealing to marginalized workers. The Federation will hold a biennial Union Renewal Conference in November 2011, 2013, and 2015 to focus on developing strategies to respond to the changing demographics of BCs workers and improving our outreach and organizing strategies.

Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM
I recently made a presentation at the CUPW local meeting about BC FORUM, which, I think, was well received. If any other union is interested in having me come out to talk with them just get in line after and I'll sign you up. Here's an example of the things BCFORUM "watchdogs". One of our members has become aware of the new requirements for applicants for a Canadian Visa. Among other things, they must disclose their present or past membership in a political party, trade union, or any other social, professional or youth organizations. The government's rationale is that they "must protect the health and safety of Canadians, maintain the security of Canadian society and promote international justice and security by fostering respect for human rights". BCFORUM delegates have been moved to take a stand. Hopefully the NOLC will also. Anna Walentynowicz must be rolling in her grave.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS
1. Protein for People -- A motion was made at the Oct 6 meeting to purchase $1000.00 worth of union label canned salmon to be distributed proportionately to our four local area food banks. Ron Bobowski is still working on this project and should have a report by the December 8th meeting.
2. Affiliate participation in Labour Councils and affiliate delegate list revisions -- Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518 offered to take on the task of revising our lists in the Kelowna area. Thank you Karen!
3. NOLC annual work plan. A committee was organized to start plans soon. The committee members are: Dave Porteous, UFCW 1518, Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518, Ron Bobowski, CUPE 760, Lynda Zorn, BCFORUM, Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Orion Irvine, CLC The first meeting will be Saturday, November 27, 2010 at the office of WE Insurance, Dave Porteous.
4. NOLC Banner -- a quote for a NEW banner will be made by Ron Bobowski through Canadian 1st Marketing and presented at the December meeting.
5. Labour Education CLC Winter School: There are now three scholarship positions available through the Labour Council.
Labour Council Development Course -- offered to Table Officers only, President, Vice President, Secretary Treasurer and Recording Secretary. Cheryl Stone, Rec. Sec and Ron Bobowski, Treasurer were nominated.
A choice of the following courses will be accepted by nomination of any delegates to Unions affiliated to the NOLC.
-- Municipal Election & Campaign Strategies Week 1: January 16-21, 2011
-- Media Training & Presentation Skills Week 4: February 6-11, 2011
-- Unions in the Community Week 3L January 30-February 4, 2011
Carole Gordon, BCTF and Roxanne Round, BCGEU were nominated. Nominations will be open at the December 8, 2010 meeting as well.
6. Labour Council flyers are ready -- were distributed to delegates at the meeting to take back to their workplaces. If you wish to obtain some flyers please email Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary. (nolc.cstone@gmail.com)

NEW BUSINESS:
1. Municipal Election Planning: Planning will begin at the Annual Work Planning Committee meeting on November 27th to be reported at the December 8, 2010 meeting. PLEASE SUBMIT A NAME TO THE NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT THE DECEMBER MEETING, IF YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW, WHO IS LABOUR FRIENDLY, IS PLANNING ON RUNNING IF THE 2011 MUNICIPAL ELECTION IN OUR RESPECTIVE NORTH OKANAGAN AREA, AND AN APPLICATION FOR ENDORSEMENT FROM THE NOLC WILL BE EMAILED OR MAILED TO PROPSECTIVE CANDIDATE(S).

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 24 Present with 18 Delegates 6 Guests. Report given by Emily Dorie, Sergeant at Arms

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm by Glenn Nowag, President

Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518

NEXT MEETING Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 7:00 pm
Christmas Social following the meeting, social location TBA at the meeting.
BCGEU office
#214 -- 3001 Tutt Street, Kelowna
(Parking and entrance located out front on Tutt Street. Please ring the buzzer to be let in as the door is locked)

Go back to News & Notes

PreviousHomeNext