Letterhead


September 5, 2001 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL

SEPTEMBER 5, 2001 AT VERNON

AFFILIATES PRESENT

Judi Filion BCGEU 707

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

David Mitchell TWU 16

David Doran Carp 1346

Gord Larkin CLC

Terry Sawiuk UBCJ 1370

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

Louise Turner HEU

Tracie Connor HEU

Doug Kantymir UFCW 1518

Angelee Skywork CUPW 760

Ron Bobowski CUPW

Dave Sampert Carp 1346

GUESTS

Don Main Carp 1346

Debra Critchley Vernon Women's Centre

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order by Acting President David Doran at 7:30 p.m.

INTRODUCTIONS

Doran explained changes to the executive, approved at a July 19 executive meeting. President Marie Mentz resigned effective Sept. 1 due to a transfer to the Lower Mainland. The executive elected Doran to serve as acting president; Judi Filion to serve as acting secretary-treasurer and Pat Bulmer as acting recording secretary.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of September 5, 2001

GUEST SPEAKERS

Debra Critchley of the Vernon Women's Centre talked about the Take Back the Night march, set for 7 p.m., Sept. 22 at the Vernon Courthouse; the NAC-BC regional conference, Sept. 21-23 in Vernon; a political action committee meeting, Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. at the People Place; and explained how provincial funding for women's centres is threatened by the Liberals' core review. She also announced she intends to be a candidate for Vernon city council next November.

ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of June 6, 2001 as mailed out and circulated

CREDENTIALS REPORT

15 present with 13 delegates and 2 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

None

FINANCIAL REPORT

M/S/C to to adopt financial reports for July and August as circulated

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

Harrison Hot Springs Construction - Building Trades are boycotting because of work done non-union. Information item

Equipment Transfer/Purchase - NOLC computer will be put into storage temporarily. Phone, fax and e-mail numbers are temporarily out of service. We're looking into it.

NDP Provincial Convention Delegates - tabled

NDP Federal Convention Delegates - tabled

BC Fed Convention Delegates - NOLC to send three delegates. First delegate to go with full wage and expenses covered, second delegate with full expenses only, third delegate with registration fee and per diem only. President Doran chosen first delegate. Nominations opened for next two positions. Nominations to stay open through to October meeting in Kelowna.

CLC Child Labour petition - Information item

M/S/C to approve executive board report

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Judi Filion, BCGEU: The BCGEU has reached a tentative agreement with Lake City Casinos. Members approved the deal by 71 per cent. President George Heyman is coming to Kelowna. The NOLC executive was invited to attend a luncheon with President Heyman on Sept. 7.

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000: An arbitration hearing will be held Sept. 19-21 over the status of Event magazine. Our union contends this entertainment rag is actually owned by our paper's parent company and the work, formerly done within the paper, has been illegally contracted out. The company maintains Event is an independent publication. Our union will hold its third annual congress at the end of the month in Burnaby. As well, our union's Interior Council will hold its quarterly meeting in Castlegar Sept. 15. CEP 2000 members in Castlegar are still on strike against the Hollinger-owned Castlegar Sun, and are still putting their own Castlegar Citizen newspaper.

HEU, Vernon: The fight is about to begin. We are starting to feel the effects of those big tax cuts we received. The Liberal mini-budget has set out no new funding for health care. Health regions are already running on a deficit and were looking for an increase in funding to maintain the services already provided. That isn't going to happen. HEU is anticipating cuts to acute care and the first victim is St. Paul's Hospital. The proposal is to close 72 acute care beds to offset the $8 million deficit. There is also talk that the Liberal government will be announcing soon their plan to restructure the community health councils and regional boards. For us in Vernon the rumour means the elimination of our health board and dividing it up between the South Okanagan and the Thompson region. There is already talk of some of the services provided in Vernon going to Kelowna. This is going to mean a loss of jobs in Vernon and probably the rest of our region. Under the regional process, the employer has created regional jobs and the employer is the North Okanagan Health Region. Under this new scheme, there would be no North Okanagan Health Region. With the original move to the regional board we have, there were problems with everyone trying to keep the services they had in each facility and not wanting any of those services to go out of that community. Now the services may be moved to Kelowna or Penticton or Kamloops. There were meetings and debates and transfer agreements done and now it seems we have to start all over. Health care is going to be going through another major restructuring and more cutbacks just at a time when it could use some stability and real solutions to provide better health care, not less health care. In the very near future, I can see us needing support from you and the public to keep our health care where it need it (in the communities) and available when we need it.

Don Main, EI Board of Referees: Presently, repayment of benefits because of undeclared earnings is calculated over the period of employment while on EI. Consequently, claimants may have to repay benefits even for weeks they have correctly declared earnings and this approach was punitive. To correct this situation, earnings will be allocated only to weeks in which they were actually earned. The change is effective Aug. 12.

Faye Saxon, EI Board of Referees: An amendment has been made to the Employment Insurance regulations that will make the reporting of undeclared earnings fairer for claimants. This amendment is effective Aug. 12, 2001 for employment on or after that date. Presently, repayment of benefits because of undeclared earnings is calculated over the period of employment while on EI. Consequently, claimants may have to repay benefits even for weeks they have correctly declared earnings and this approach was punitive. To correct this situation, earnings will be allocated only to weeks in which they were actually earned. The changes that were made in 1996 were partly to relieve employers of the paper burden for verification of earnings. This system has become too complex and cumbersome. This new amendment returns to the weekly allocation of earnings rules that existed before 1996. The number of board hearings have remained low during the summer. This may be partly due to HRDC workers actions, which are still ongoing in their quest for a fair collective agreement.

Gord Larkin, CLC report: Child Labour Campaign: The CLC is asking affiliates to circulate petitions and return them to the CLC in Ottawa. Continue pressure on retailers not to store products made in sweatshops. Is Work Working for You: through the Web site, www.working4you.ca, the CLC is asking workers to respond and outline their concerns, ie: is work working for you? The results will be forwarded to politicians outlining our concerns about the issues facing working people today. UI Campaign: We are preparing an UI action book - we must continue to hold the Liberals to account regarding this fund and how it is to be used.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

NOLC Golf Tournament - August 5/01

Forty people participated. $1339 was raised for Student CrimeStoppers

NOLC Baseball Tournament - August 18 & 19/01

Five teams participated. We need organizers to keep the tournament going next year.

NEW BUSINESS

Spring School - March 2 & 3/02 - See list of possible courses included with these minutes. The decision on which courses to offer will be made at our November meeting. Let Judi Filion or Cathy Seagris know if you have any preferences or requests.

United Way breakfast, September 12 at the Coast Capri

The NOLC has room for nine people at its table. David Doran, David Mitchell and Terry Sawiuk were confirmed as of this meeting.

BCGEU luncheon, Sept. 7

NOLC executive members were invited to a meet-the-president luncheon.

EI Board of Referees

Art Larocque has officially resigned. The NOLC previously recommended Karen Abramsen to fill the position. That will be conveyed to the CLC.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

15 total, 13 delegates, 2 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 10, 7:30 p.m. at the BCGEU office, 1591 Sutherland Ave. in Kelowna.


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