September 4, 2013 minutes
MINUTES - MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA
AFFILIATES PRESENT: Cheryl Stone, UFCW 1518, Ron Bobowski, CUPW, Andrew Pritchard, Unite Here, Wynn Hartfelder, BCGEU 307, Helen Rapole, BCGEU 1207, Louise Gibson, COPE 378, Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523, Greg McGowan, CUPE 678, James Fox, CUPE, Wendy Mah, BCGEU, Jason Picklik, IAFF 953, Carmen Belanger, BCGEU, Ken Robinson, HEU, Carole Gordon, COTA, Ian Gordon, CUPE 323, Lee Mossman, CUPE, Susan Bauhart, COTA
BCFORUM Delegate: regrets
REGRETS: Karen Abramsen, UFCW, Nikki Inouye, HEU, Sandy Thon, BCGEU, Nancy Ingersol, VTA, Doug Gibson, BCFORUM, Laureen, Freayh, HEU
CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Andrew Pritchard, President, at 7:05 pm
ADOPTION OF AGENDA: M/S/C
GUEST SPEAKERS: none
ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS MINUTES: M/S/C
CREDENTIALS REPORT: 17 Present with 17 Delegates 0 Guests 0 BCFORUM delegate
OBLIGATIONS OF NEW DELEGATES:
FINANCIAL REPORT: given by Ron Bobowski, Secretary Treasurer, M/S/C to adopt financial report as circulated.
EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
Maquila Solidarity Network -- receive & table to October meeting
Amnesty International -- receive & table to October meeting
CLC Task Force on Labour Councils -- read at the meeting
CLC "Fairness Works" Campaign -- Member to member engagement program training workshops across B.C. Kelowna date is Oct. 5,
2013, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, location tba. To register please go to clc-ctc.ca/events
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS -- STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS -- CLC REPORT:
REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS:
Pat Bulmer, Unifor 2000 -- read for Pat by Cheryl Stone
Daily Courier owner David Radler is going on his semi-annual job-chopping spree. On Friday, The Daily Courier laid off a union ad builder and its non-union circulation manager. Two weeks earlier, our night editor and one part-time editor quit (both union) and are not being replaced. One of two union reporters at the Penticton Herald is also being chopped. We may have a grievance in one of these cases. The night editor's departure means we're shorthanded on the night shift and so I've been moved there. Therefore, I can't attend this meeting, and likely most labour council meetings for a while.
Three bargaining units at the Kelowna Daily Courier ratified new collective agreements rollovers in July. The wage package was the same as approved by Glacier newspapers in the Interior earlier this year: 0% in the first year, 1% retroactive to June 5, 2013, 1.5% in 2014, 1.5% in 2015, $125 signing bonus
The three agreements were ratified by more than 70% in each department and covered workers in editorial, advertising, front office, classified, circulation, composing, press, mail room and delivery drivers. There were also two buyouts in the press department and a reduction of manning from five per shift to four per shift. The same agreement was approved at the Penticton Herald.
This past weekend, I attended the founding Unifor convention in Toronto. My union, the Communication Energy and Paperworkers has joined with the Canadian Auto Workers to form a new 300,000-strong organization. Hopefully, you saw or read about it in the news.
Here's a longer report (only for the online minutes):
Unifor, Canada's newest union, was launched Aug. 31 in Toronto. My union, the Communication Energy and Paperworkers has joined with the Canadian Auto Workers to form a new 300,000-strong organization.
This will be a shot in the arm for the union movement in Canada.
Our province-wide media local, now Unifor 2000, sent a full complement of eight delegates to the final CEP convention Friday at the Toronto convention centre, which was followed by the founding Unifor convention on the weekend. I was one of the delegates, as was our local's Kelowna-based vice-president Rob Munro. Almost 4,000 delegates attended in total.
On Friday, we celebrated a successful 21 years for the CEP, itself created through a series of mergers, and conducted the formal voting to join Unifor. The merger vote received 79.74 per cent approval.
CEP fought many battles over the years, winning some and losing some, but perhaps the most significant victory was a 14-year pay equity battle with Bell that resulted in a $104 million payout to 4,765 telephone operators.
Also on Friday, we joined with CAW delegates, who were having a similar final convention, for a noontime rally through downtown Toronto to oppose Canada handing over its cellphone industry to foreign competitors like Verizon. Verizon has since announced it will not expand to Canada. Keeping jobs in Canada is the unions' motive.
On Saturday, we conducted the votes to start Unifor and to elect the first Unifor executive. The founding unions had put together a joint unity slate for the executive elections. Both existing presidents, Dave Coles and Ken Lewenza, had announced their intentions to retire. The CAW's Jerry Dias was elected president against one opponent, winning 82.51 per cent of the vote. A fiery, but long speech, followed. He is going to be a forceful presence on the national scene, no doubt.
Our local's secretary-treasurer Andrea MacBride will be on the executive as head of the union's new B.C. council, an umbrella group for Unifor locals in our province.
The new constitution was approved by 95.54 per cent. Formal merger votes took place with CAW delegates approving it by 99.3 per cent and CEP delegates by 95.46 per cent.
Allan Gregg, who made some of his money as a Tory pollster, was a guest speaker and lambasted the federal government for refusing to consider facts in its decision-making. It was a devastating critique.
On Sunday, delegates approved policies on the union's vision and plan (an impressive and detailed document), organizing (being moved way up the priority list), and on community chapters, which were talked up a lot at the convention.
Essentially, community chapters are an attempt to reach out to workers in ways beyond the traditional organizing campaign. These will allow unorganized workers to join our union. Workers who may be able to take advantage of this kind of membership include those at locations where organizing campaigns have not yet succeeded, those in precarious job, unemployed workers, students and any others interesting in improving their economic and social conditions.
Unifor is ready to be militant -- a $147 million strike fund will help us be able to do that.
Also on Sunday, we heard from guest speaker Naomi Klein. She explained how environmental needs and union goals are the same. She urged Unifor to lead on the environment and in pushing for green jobs and a green labour movement. That's the subject of her next book and documentary.
No offence to other speakers, but no one could top Mary Walsh, who came to our convention as Marg Delahunty, Princess Warrior.
One memorable line was a warning to employers from workers: "When we're screwed, we multiply."
Also on Sunday, we learned about a lockout affecting 145 members (local 184) since May 3 at Silicium Becancour, an American owned silicon-producing foundry in Trois-Rivieres, Que. Delegates took up a collection, raising more than $16,000 for the members. This was matched by the national.
I had to fly out Sunday before the final speaker and a union-sponsored concert Sunday night. Also missed Toronto's Labour Day parade on Monday, but Unifor was front and centre in that event.
James Fox, CUPE 523
Local 523 three school districts are busy preparing for possible job action. The three school districts have appointed Strike Chairs and Area Coordinators. We are now in the process of preparing strike boxes and placing our members for strike duty at the various locations throughout the Valley. Our two social services units have a settlement in place now and things are running smooth as a new year is now upon us.
Ian Gordon, CUPE 3523, reported and also read for Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
As reported at general meetings, the Local 3523 Negotiations Committee has bargained with the employer seven times over the past six months and have reached impasse. Local 3523 now wait for the results of provincial bargaining before going back to the table. As you have read in the Bargaining Bulletins, the Provincial Committee has been at the bargaining table 12 times since last November, unable to bargain. There have been three false starts. Each and every time, the employer has been unable to bargain. The Provincial government did not provide their committee with the necessary means to do so. CUPE has been called back to the provincial table on September 4, 5 and 6 with the assurance that the employer is finally prepared to bargain. Any information stemming from this bargaining session will be reported on our website as soon as possible.
Wendy Mah, BCGEU
Susan Bauhart, COTA
Greg McGowan, CUPE 678
Ken Robinson, HEU
Lee Mossman, CUPE
STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS: Ronn Dunn -- Camp Jubillee/Silver Lake given by Louise Gibson, COPE -- All children who attended the camps were very happy to be
there, and would gladly attend again.
CLC Report -- Amber Hockin, Regional Director, CLC -- Pacific Region
The "together FAIRNESS WORKS" project is the largest member-to-member engagement program in Canadian labour history. Its goal - have three million conversations with union members on the value of union membership. The member-to-member engagement program includes promotional material geared for the workplace, training workshops for affiliates on methods of member engagement, and communications material that affiliates can use and adapt for their specific local needs. The labour movement's strength is its members and "together FAIRNESS WORKS" aims to use that strength to build the labour movement in Canada.
Leaders Seminars are the first component of the training and will be launched across the country from September 10 to September 28, 2013. The Leaders Seminars are targeted to local union leadership (presidents, unit chairs, business managers and assistants, and key local staff).
The Leaders Seminars will cover the goals and strategies of "together FAIRNESS WORKS" and will provide information on approaches to building a member engagement program. At the end of this seminar, participants will be able to identify steps, activities, and resources required for a campaign plan to successfully launch "together FAIRNESS WORKS" within their union and locals.
There is no charge for registering for the event and lunch will be provided. Participants must register in advance. Leaders Seminars for the CLC Pacific Region, in your area, have been scheduled as follows:
Kelowna - October 5, 2013, Location to be announced
The training day will run from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Please register early. The registration system is the same system we use for our Winter School. The link to the registration site is: https://sms.clc-ctc.ca
If you have any questions, please contact the CLC Pacific Region Office at 604-430-6766.
United Way Breakfast -- September 24, 2013, Delta Grand Hotel -- Motion to purchase a table of 8 by NOLC - M/S/C
Printcraft Solutions order for NOLC envelopes/letterhead & brochures -- the Executive recommended that we go ahead with the order
Remembrance Day -- place an ad in the Kelowna Daily Courier up to $300.00 -- a discussion was held whether or not we support the Courier by purchasing the ad. Research will be done by Ron Bobowski...Tabled to the October meeting.
FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT: 16 Present with 16 Delegates 0 Guests 0 BCFORUM delegate
GOOD & WELFARE
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 8:10 pm by Andrew Pritchard, President M/S/C
Minutes respectfully submitted by Cheryl Stone, Recording Secretary, UFCW 1518
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Village Green Hotel, Vernon