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
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
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
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 OÕ'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
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
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
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
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
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 BCÕs workers and improving our outreach and organizing
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.
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. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.
#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)