September 8, 2010 minutes
MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA
AFFILIATES PRESENT: Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760; Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518; Karen Abramsen, UFCW 1518;
Glenn Nowag, UFCW 1518; Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523; Emilie Dorie, CUPE 873; Carole Gordon, BCTF; Lynda
Zorn, BCFORUM; Liz Woods, BCFORUM; Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000; Nikki Inouye, HEU Vernon; Liz Woods,
BCFORUM; Shirley Kavaloff, HSA; Brad Fraser, CUPE 873.
REGRETS: Orion Irvine, CLC Rep; Debra Critchley, BCGEU; Wendy Mah, BCGEU; Greg McGowan, CUPE 873.
GUESTS: Doug Gibson, BCFORUM; Wes Kmet, BCFORUM; Louise Gibson, COPE 378.
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: none
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C
CREDENTIALS REPORT: 17 Present with 14 Delegates and 3 Guests
OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES: Louise Gibson, COPE 378, was sworn in as a NOLC delegate.
FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated.
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
1. COPE 378 -- new delegate notice Joyce Galuska -- read aloud
2. CCPA, National, A motion was made and seconded to donate $250.00 to CCPA National
3. Kids Help Phone -- request for donation -- received and filed
4. CLC "Rise up to your rights conference" announcement Dec 8-11 Ottawa -- mentioned and available for anyone interested.
5. BCFED survey Apprenticeship & Training Programs -- announced and available for anyone interested
6. EARNBC.ca quiz and information re the new website -- Employee Action & Rights Network -- information mentioned and filed
7. BCFED Green Initiatives and Federation Mailings -- read and file
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS/COMMITTEE REPORTS/CLC REPORT: Orion Irvine -- CLC -- September 2010
Canada Pension Plan
The issue of pension reform is still very much on the national agenda. The campaign waged by the
labour movement and citizens' groups for improvements to the Canada Pension Plan is paying off.
There is ever increasing agreement from all quarters that pension reform is needed. The labour
movement has been telling political leaders repeatedly that an improved CPP is far and away the
best way to guarantee retirement security for Canadians. We are starting to see that some finance
ministers have come to agree with us but we intend to keep their feet to the fire. Jim Flaherty,
the federal Finance Minister, and Ontario's Finance Minister Dwight Duncan, both now say that they
support CPP enhancements and have conveyed those sentiments to their fellow ministers. It's good to
see that Ministers Flaherty and Duncan appear to be on side but we will wait to see the fine print
here. We are calling for a phased-in doubling of CPP benefits and that is the option that we will
continue to push. Federal, provincial, and territorial finance ministers have been talking about
pensions for over a year now and will meet in October or early November to consider what to do
next. This will likely be the meeting that will decide the future of the CPP. The CLC's plan
received a boost when the Federation of Canadian Municipalities called for an expansion of public
pensions at its convention, a position similar to that of the CLC.
On August 24, Ontario's Finance Minister Dwight Duncan announced measures to shore up the funding
of defined benefit pensions. Those measures include additional funding for Ontario's Pension
Benefit Guarantee Fund (PBGF) so it can assist employers to meet their pension obligations in times
of crisis. The pledge that more money will flow into the PBGF is positive news but the amount of
pension guaranteed to workers is not enough. The maximum of money available to Ontario workers
under the PBGF will continue to be capped at $1,000 per month. An expert commission on pensions
appointed by the Ontario government has recommended that the amount be increased dramatically. The
CLC is calling for pension plans that are in trouble to be insured for up to $2,500 per month.
We are asking Labour Councils to contact their Mayors and Councils and urge them to support our
reforms and request that they communicate their support to the finance minister.
Southern Interior Labour Council Training, October 1-2, 2010
The CLC is holding a labour council training session in Kelowna on October 1st and 2nd at the Coast
Capri hotel. The Saturday session will cover several topics including the CLC's fall campaign plan,
the 2011 municipal election plan, and the 2011 Winter School. The CLC will cover hotel, lost wages
(where costs are discussed with your CLC representatives prior to the session), and travel costs
(by car or by air). Please carpool where possible. The CLC will reimburse each labour council for
the cost of two representatives.
Bill C-391 (Long Gun)
On September 22nd, the committee report on Bill C-391 will be voted on. The committee has
recommended that the bill not proceed any further. The CLC will be holding a lobby in Ottawa on
September 21st and 22nd to urge MPs to vote for the report and stop the bill. Labour councils are
urged to contact their MPs and have them stop the Bill.
Karen Abramsen - EI Board of Referees Subject: Bill C-13, Fairness for Military Families
The Honorable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, is pleased that
Bill C-13, the legislation that facilitates access to Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefits
for military families, has received Royal Assent. This amendment has a coming into force date of
July 4th, 2010. The new measure enables Canadian Forces members, including reservists, who had
their parental leave, deferred or were ordered to return to duty while on leave due to a military
requirement, to access their EI parental benefits. The measure will extend the EI parental
eligibility window by the number of weeks that the parental leave of a Canadian Forces member is
deferred or interrupted because of a military requirement during that window. The window will be
extended by up to 52 weeks, for a total of up to 104 weeks, to allow these individuals to access
part or all of the 35 weeks of EI parental benefits that are available to them. In addition, the
measure will also apply to all eligible Canadian Forces members who had a newborn or adopted a
child less than 104 weeks prior to this legislation coming into force, and who had their parental
leave deferred or interrupted because of a military requirement.
Pat Bulmer -- CEP 2000
Since our last meeting in June, the newspaper industry in B.C. has gone through quite a shakeup.
David Black's Black Press bought several newspapers from Glacier and then shut down four of them,
including the 100-year-old-plus Nelson Daily News and Prince Rupert Daily News, both union papers
with our local, CEP 2000. And now, the new owners of the Canwest papers, Postmedia, are seeking
buyouts across the country, including at the Sun and Province. Things are relatively calm at the
Kelowna Daily Courier, but we had hefty cutbacks last year.
Lynda Zorn - BCFORUM
I would like to officially welcome Liz Woods as the second BCFORUM delegate to the North Okanagan
Labour Council. Now that she is on board maybe we can get on with starting a local BCFORUM
Chapter. Stay tuned.
I will be speaking about BCFORUM at the October local CUPW 760 general meeting. Because we would
like to recruit members before they retire and we lose track of them, union members can apply for
membership at 50. I would like to address other local unions, so please have your union heads give
me a call to set up an appointment. 250 861 5882.
Latest issues BCFORUM has emailed me about:
New West LC is protesting concomitant homelessness resulting from the "beautification" of New
Delhi in preparation of the Commonwealth Games.
UFCW was successful in abolishing a $400
deposit migrant workers had to pay to unscrupulous farm employers and now have a petition going for
better housing and working conditions for these workers. Be sure to show your support by signing
Sister Cheryl Stone and myself attended the NDP sponsored "Our Province, Our Future" conference at
Thompson River University in Kamloops on June 22. As preparatory reading and a springboard for
discussion, we were provided with Doug McArthur, Professor of Public Policy, Simon Fraser
University's (excellent) paper, "Looking Forward -- the BC Economy at a Crossroad" and comprehensive
and interesting Okanagan stats (copies on the back table). (QUIZ - We are lower than the
provincial average in visible minorities, people with post secondary education, and have the lowest
average employment income - $30,489 annually. We are higher than the provincial average in drug
crime, drowning deaths (this year the Okanagan accounts for 50% of BC's deaths), housing costs
(third highest), dependence on social safety net, elderly and aboriginal population, and
unemployment.) Yet, at the conference, the guest speaker, while good, the panel and the group
session discussions were unrelated to the preparatory reading and to each other.
1. BCFED 54th Convention -- Nov 29-Dec 3, 2010 -- Nominations were open to select 3 NOLC
Executive members allowed to attend the convention. We will table this until the October meeting in
Vernon when nominations will continue and a vote will be taken at that time.
2. Joy Langan Award -- to be presented at the BCFED Convention Our nominee is Bernice Bigittini,
BCGEU (Carol Kenzie decided to not accept the nomination) Nominations were accepted at the June
2010 meeting. Stay tuned.
3. NOLC By Law updates/changes completed in September 2010. ARTICLE V - OFFICERS - Section 2.
Each officer shall be a member in good standing of an affiliated organization, including the
4. New NOLC meeting location -- approval for location letter from Wiho Papenbrock, BCGEU Office
Manager received and read aloud -- BCGEU office #214 - 3001 Tutt Street, Kelowna. (Parking is on
the street and entrance located at the front of the building)
5. NOLC flyers -- A motion was made
and seconded to order 1,000 flyers from Printcraft Solutions. The flyers will explain who we are
and what we do in our community and will be distributed to all affiliates to hand out to their
members. We will also use them at any and all community/ political events in which we are involved.
1. CLC -- Southern Interior Labour (Training) Conference -- Oct 1-2, 2010 is to be held at the Capri
Hotel, Kelowna. 2 Delegates from each Labour Council from the Southern Interior will be attending.
2. CLC -- Labour Council & Affiliate Educational Conference -- September 14 & 15, 2010 -- Table
Officers Ron Bobowski, Glenn Nowag and Cheryl Stone will be attending on recommendation of the
Executive Board done by phone prior to this meeting.
3. Okanagan New Democrats -- Non-partisan discussion/workshop, Sunday October 17, 2010 - 1:00pm
to 3:00 pm The event is being held at The Youth Lodge, Okanagan Mission Community Hall, 4409
Lakeshore Road, Kelowna. A motion was made and seconded for the NOLC to support this event by a
contribution of purchasing 6 dinner tickets thereby being a co-sponsor. The theme of discussion
will be "Establishing a Viable and Sustainable future for Okanagan Food Growers and Producers" So
far guest speakers are: Lana Popham, NDP Critic and BC NDP President, Moe Sihota. For more
information call Karen Abramsen, 250 769 1977.
4. United Way Kick-Off Breakfast -- The NOLC has purchased one table (10 seats) for the Kelowna
breakfast, Thursday, September 16th, at the Coast Capri Hotel, 7:00 am to 8:30 am and 4 seats at
the West Kelowna breakfast Friday, September 17th, at the 2 Eagles Golf Course, 7:00 am to 8:30 am.
5. Remembrance Day 2010 -- A motion was made and seconded to place an ad on behalf of the NOLC,
in the Kelowna Daily Courier.
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 17 Present with 15 Delegates 2 Guests
GOOD AND WELFARE:
Karen Abramsen -- UFCW 1518 reported Sister and Activist Eileen Robinson is currently in the hospital having suffered a stroke in late August. Although not physically incapacitated
she is having vision and memory problems. She is taking visitors and we are all optimistic about a full recovery.
Lynda Zorn - BCFORUM
Speaking of the HST
(to the cadence of "Sound Off")
We don't want no HST
It's no good for you or me
Stop those Fiberals in their tracks
Do a recall -- call them back!
. . . and energy costs -- don't be fooled by the so-called energy credit. It is only on the energy costs -- in the summer, only about 10% of your bill, in the coldest months, 50%. There is no credit on administrative or service costs.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm by Glenn Nowag, President
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 8:30pm by Glenn Nowag, President
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 7:00 pm
at the Village Green Hotel,