Letterhead


September 4, 2002 minutes

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


AFFILIATES PRESENT

David Doran Carp 1346

Steve Malerby TWU 6

Tony Heisterkamp Carp 1346

Judi Filion BCGEU 707

Pat Bulmer CEP 2000

Bill Zeman CUPE 3523

Trudy Ames BCGEU 307

Ron Bobowski CUPW 760

Kathy Dunn HEU

Gordie Larkin CLC

David Mitchell TWU 16

Steve Connor CUPW 848

GUESTS

Marianne Davies HEU

Debra Critchley Vernon Women's Centre

Robin McMillan CUPE 3523

Cheryl Wiebe School board candidate

Bill Stewart OK People's Coalition

Dora Stewart Council of Canadians

REGRETS

Cathy Seagris BCGEU 607

Terry Sawiuk UBCJ 1370


CALL TO ORDER

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

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

M/S/C to adopt agenda of September 4, 2002


GUEST SPEAKERS

Bill Zeman of CUPE introduced Cheryl Wiebe, who is running for the Central Okanagan School Board on the Westside. As a parent of two small children entering the school system, Wiebe declared that safety is one of her key issues. Provincial cutbacks threaten safety for children, parents, school district workers and teachers, she explained. Wiebe was a CUPE member for five years as a municipal employee in Langley and comes from a union family. She gave up her Langley job to become a full-time mother.

Zeman also spoke on behalf of Wayne Horning, who is running for a school board seat in Kelowna. Horning was a 33-year school district employee and union member. He worked as a custodian, electrician's assistant, head custodian and was head custodian for 25 years at Springvalley Secondary before retiring in 1999. He has also been active in many local sports organizations, including being a fastball player and coach, and coach of the Kelowna Buckaroos hockey team. Horning, 60, has grandchildren now entering the school system.

Steve Connor announced he was seeking re-election to the Vernon school board. Connor is a CUPW member, endorsed twice before by the labour council, who has been a lone voice for labour on the board.

Debra Critchley raised several items: The Vernon Women's Centre is selling B.C. Liars T-shirts. Proceeds go to help women in need of immediate financial assistance. The Our Turn forum, scheduled for Sept. 5 was a chance for people to tell local politicians about the effects provincial cutbacks were having on them. The local politicians, in turn, were to deliver these messages to provincial politicians at the Union of B.C. Municipalities meeting later this month. Critchley mentioned the backpack campaign. The Vernon Women's Centre is distributing backpacks with school supplies to needy children. Critchley also announced she is running for Vernon city council. A change is needed on a council that lacks a labour voice, she said. Critchley said she wants to be where the decisions are made, fighting to protect jobs. Noting that she has a reputation for not backing down, Critchley said with community charter legislation on its way, fighting to protect Vernon's quality of life will be a major battle ahead.

NOLC President David Doran announced he will seek a seat on Spallumcheen council.


ADOPTION OF THE PREVIOUS MINUTES

M/S/C to adopt the minutes of June 5, 2002.

CREDENTIALS REPORT

18 present with 12 delegates and 6 guests

OBLIGATION OF NEW DELEGATES

none

FINANCIAL REPORT

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

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE

a) Alberta Federation of Labour asks labour councils to contact progressive civic politicians in their areas and urge them to write the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (cc Edmonton city council) calling on the FCM to move its 2004 convention out of Edmonton as the convention centre is behind UFCW 401 picket lines - Tabled until December, when hopefully we will have a few progressive people elected to councils to deliver this message.

b) Amnesty International seeking donations to its building fund for its new Ottawa headquarters - receive and file.

c) BC Fed looking for community coalition contacts, form included - receive and file

d) Action correspondence items from June/summer:

- BCGEU letter asking for support and assistance in fighting the destruction of the Ministry of Family and Children Services. BCGEU can supply resource material and speakers upon request. - Letter passed on to community coalitions.

- United Way kickoff breakfast is Thursday, Sept. 12 at 6:45 a.m. Tickets $20 or $200 for a table of 10. We have purchased a table as usual, call was put out for people to attend.

- Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives request to become member - $100 donation.

M/S/C/ to adopt executive board report


REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

B.C. Nurses Union: Tell the government what you really think of the changes to health care on their new Web site at www.gov.bc.ca. Click on the window, "BC Health Care. Find Out More." Look under "Health Care Today." At the bottom of the page on the right hand side is a "Feedback" icon. Click on this to input what you think.

Trudy Ames, CARES, BCGEU: Seth Klein of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is coming to Vernon and Kelowna. CARES is sponsoring the Vernon event and the Okanagan People's Coalition the Kelowna event. The Vernon session is Oct. 2 at the OUC lecture theatre, the Kelowna session slated for Oct. 3 at the OUC lecture theatre, KLO campus. Both presentations are set for 7 p.m. A luncheon in Vernon with Klein will be held Oct. 2. It'll be a fundraiser for CARES and an opportunity to get some insight before the evening event. For more information, call Trudy Ames at 260-1877.

Gordie Larkin, CLC: Communities around B.C. are gearing up for the Nov. 16 municipal elections. Unions and local community groups are coming together to campaign for progressive candidates in order to send a message to the Campbell government. A campaign seminar will be held in Kelowna at the BCGEU office on Sutherland Avenue, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Contact Sister Judi Filion at 868-8408 if you wish to attend.

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000: CEP 2000, the Media Union of B.C., will hold its annual congress in Burnaby Sept. 13-14. Nominations will be held for two officer positions. Rob Munro of Kelowna will seek re-election to his vice-president's post as will President Mike Bocking from Vancouver. Our union's secretary-treasurer Bill Saunders has announced he will be resigning to seek the full-time Vancouver and District Labour Council president's position. An editor at The Daily Courier who won his job back after a year-long fight has been fired again, so that fight, among others, continues. Our members at Pacific Newspaper Group in Vancouver voted 71.2% in favour of a new collective agreement this summer after a couple weeks on the picket line. Our union also has some members involved in the labour action at the Victoria Times-Colonist.

Faye Saxon, EI Board of Referees: The latest change to Employment Insurance regulations is that effective July 1, 2002, EI claimants, employers or third parties who have "knowingly" abused the program will be charged interest on debt resulting from misrepresentation. This will apply to outstanding overpayments and penalties already in the system.Interest will not be charged on debt that is or has been from Commission and/or claimant errors in benefit payments. Rate of interest will be the average Bank of Canada rate, plus three per cent (as defined by Treasury Board Interest Regulations) and it will be calculated daily and compounded monthly. Amounts repaid by the claimant will be applied first to amounts of outstanding interest and then to the amount of the oldest EI debt within the six-year recovery period prescribed by the EI Act. No interest will be charged during the appeal process. If the appeal decision changes the debt status from misrepresentation to debt resulting from an honest mistake made by the claimant, no interest will be charged. claimants will be reimbursed interest payments that were made before the appeal, if the appeal is upheld. The following is taken from "regulatory impact analysis statement:" 1. Commencing in 2002-2003, it is estimated that HRDC will recover a total of $146 million in the first year of implementation. These numbers are based on the fact that interest will be charged on approximately 120,000 debt accounts generating additional recoveries from accrued interest on the existing portfolio and new establishments. This represents an increase of $16.9 million from the base year 2000-2001 as follows: $7.1 million in recoveries from accrued interest and an additional $9.8 million in increased recoveries from the principal due to the added incentive to repay faster. 2. EI administrative costs associated with these regulatory changes will be managed within HRDC's existing EI spending authority. Some workers owe thousands of dollars in overpayments and penalties, so it once again seems to be a cash grab to enhance the bottom line of the Government of Canada.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Municipal elections: M/S/C to donate $300 to each NOLC-endorsed candidate, as per past practice.


- M/S/C to endorse Cheryl Wiebe, Wayne Horning, Steve Connor, Debra Critchley and David Doran in the upcoming civic elections. (David Porteous, running in Kelowna, was endorsed in June.)


Spring school - The 2003 spring school will be held March 29-30 at the North Kelowna campus of Okanagan University College. More information is attached with these minutes.


NEW BUSINESS

M/S/C the following resolution re: B.C. Government Actions:

Whereas the Campbell government's Bill 29 is an unprecedented attack on workers, unions and collective agreements, stripping contracting-out protections to pave the way for privatization of public medicare; and Whereas Sodexho (Marriott) and other corporate interests have tried to impose a hit list hiring ban against the Canadian Union of Public Employees/Hospital Employees' Union (CUPE/HEU) members and have approached unions to sign sweetheart deals; and Whereas affiliates, acting in solidarity, have rejected backroom deals with these corporations; and Whereas these corporations will try to enlist unions to sign voluntary agreements that facilitate contracting out and privatization of health care: Be It Resolved that the North Okanagan Labour Council condemn the efforts of corporate privatizers to impose a hit list hiring ban against working people; and Be It Further Resolved that the North Okanagan Labour Council commend affiliates for standing in solidarity in rejecting approaches from corporate privatizers that facilitate contracting out; and Be It Further Resolved that the North Okanagan Labour Council work with affiliates to develop a common strategy to oppose voluntary recognition agreements with these corporate privatizers.


FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT

18 total, 12 delegates, 6 guests

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.



The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 9, 7:30 p.m., at the BCGEU office, 1591 Sutherland Avenue, Kelowna.


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