Letterhead


MAY 9, 2007 minutes

MINUTES - REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, NORTH OKANAGAN LABOUR COUNCIL AT KELOWNA

AFFILIATES PRESENT
Ron Bobowski, CUPW 760
Glenn Nowag, UNITEHERE!
Brad Dunlop, IBEW
Karen Abramsen, BC Forum
Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000
Faye Saxon, BC Forum
Ronn Dunn, CUPE 3523
Joyce Procure, BCNU
LorrieLee Miller, USW 1-423
Carole Gordon, COTA
Boyd Sommerfeld, HEU
Ken Robinson, HEU
Jeff Carsience, UBCJ 1370


GUESTS
Doug Gibson, BC Forum
Wes Kmet
Chuck Watkinson, WE Insurance


REGRETS
Dave Porteous, UFCW
Kris Bothe, UBCJ
Pat Munro, HSA - Kelowna
Gord Larkin, CLC
Liz Woods, BC Forum
Cheryl Stone, UFCW

CALL TO ORDER
President Brad Dunlop called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA
M/S/C to adopt agenda of May 9, 2007

GUEST SPEAKERS
Chuck Watkinson, WE Insurance - Chuck provided information and handouts about life/critical illness and related insurance offerings. He can be contacted at 1-800-899-7319, e-mail: life@weinsurance.com, website: www.welifeinsurance.com.

CREDENTIALS REPORT
16 present with 13 delegates and 3 guests

FINANCIAL REPORT
M/S/C to adopt financial reports for the last two months.

EXECUTIVE BOARD REPORT/ACTION CORRESPONDENCE
No action correspondence this month.

REPORTS OF LOCAL UNIONS, COMMITTEE REPORTS, CLC REPORT

Ken Robinson, HEU - The recent announcement by the provincial government and Interior Health Authority that the $200 million expansions of Kelowna General and Vernon Jubilee will be P3s has both the Kelowna and Vernon HEU locals mobilizing a campaign to ensure they don't proceed as P3s.
Currently, both the maintenance and housekeeping services are listed in the Request or Qualifications (a 4-6-week process before the actual Request for Proposals, RFP) that's on the Partnerships B.C. (BC bid) website.
This means 300 jobs will be affected and they'll lose their jobs because of the private consortium's being given these services to run for the next 30 years. HEU is determined to save the Okanagan hospitals from being privatized. This will affect every citizen. P3s are more costly and don't work.
Also, hospital infections are known to be the fourth highest killer in Canada. Privatization and becoming profit-driven will ensure that our services will decline.
Currently, IHA has the highest rating in housekeeping services in the province. That's because it wasn't privatized. On the coast and Vancouver Island, this continues to be a disaster where they're privatized.

Ron Bobowski, CUPW - Canadian Union of Postal Workers ratified a collective agreement with Canada Post valid until January 2011. The contract provides increased job security, improved benefits and modest pay increases.

Carole Gordon, COTA - COTA is a major sponsor of the Relay for Life, a 12-hour relay that raises money for the Canadian Cancer Society. The event occurs on June 2-3, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at Kelowna City Park. Money raised stays in the local area to assist those who have cancer, are being treated for the disease and for research. As a major sponsor, we are seeking teams to participate in the event. If you can't make up a team (approx. 10 people), then you can go to the website and find a team to join or make a donation via a person who is already participating. The website is www.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=211503 or go to www.canadiancancersociety.ca and follow the links to the Relay For Life in your community. Please help us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting this disease.

Gord Larkin, CLC - We will be lobbying MPs on Parliament Hill at the end of May over the Manufacturing and jobs crisis in the country, with plant after plant shutting down, thousands are being put out of work. The Harper Government can't support Kyoto because there will be major job losses - or so they say - however when it come to plant shutdowns - they call it an 'economic adjustment'. Go figure! Thanks again for all your work on Anti Scab....we'll win it one day.

Karen Abramsen, Council of Canadians - Ellen Gould came to Kelowna, co-sponsored with the NOLC, to take part in a number of meetings around TILMA (Trade and Investment Labour Mobility Agreement) with Alberta. Ellen met with Mayor Sharon Shepherd, Michael Neill (Mosaic Books), The Daily Courier, the Capital News, CKOV's John Michaels and there was a public meeting at Okanagan College Theatre. Ellen is a researcher on trade issues for a number of organizations, including the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). To quote Ellen: "This is the only trade agreement that actually keeps me awake at night!" TILMA will have a huge impact on how municipal councils will be able to govern. This agreement promotes massive deregulation and favours business.

Joyce Procure, BCNU - Severe patient flow problems between community-KGH-community-long-term care. Reduced number of long-term care beds primary issue. New rising issue is "code purple" - overcapacity at KGH ... Real issue is a community "code purple," which means that vulnerable elderly and other community care patients do not get full home support worker service as required for their health and well-being at home.
BCNU has been unsuccessful at getting the Interior Health Authority to address workload and patient advocacy issues. Budget cuts and restrictions are forcing an elimination of community nursing positions - even when we are working 7 nurses below our actual positions. Risks to patient safety falls upon the Registered Nurse, who is obligated to meet professional practice standards regardless of work conditions.

Faye Saxon, EI Board of Referees Last report, I mentioned settlements at the end of a period of employment. I would like to touch on this further. There is now recent jurisprudence in Federal Court case A-53-05 (available from the Internet "Employment Insurance Jurisprudence Library"). This case clearly shows that if the settlement is to "renounce the employee's right to be reinstated", then the money paid is not to be allocated and therefore will not interfere with EI benefits.
We heard a case recently that was about maternity and parental benefits. This employee had started a claim for benefits during her pregnancy because she had been laid off for a few weeks. That's all very well except that no claim can last for more than 52 weeks. When she tried to collect her parental benefits, they were cut short because of the early start of her claim. It is my opinion that a pregnant employee should not start a claim for benefits, if at all possible, in order to preserve her ability to collect full parental benefits later.

Pat Bulmer, CEP 2000 - Longtime compositor Colin Moss retired. Company doesn't plan to hire another body, so we're having quite a lengthy exchange of letters over how to replace him, being that there's two classifications of workers in composing (composing and ad builders) and maybe two classes of compositors as well, depending who you ask. New circulation manager in Kelowna. New reporter in Vernon.
Vacation grievance (sick while on vacation) continues. I understand lawyers for the two sides are trying to work something out.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

a) Day of Mourning recap. Brad Dunlop represented the NOLC at the City of Kelowna workers' Day of Mourning ceremony on April 27 at the city works yard.
b) Public Policy and the Environment forum. Cancelled due to lack of support and response from various organizations.
c) M/S/C to donate $178.44 for TILMA forum in Kelowna April 25. (This amount covers the airfare for speaker Ellen Gould.)
d) Southern Interior Labour Council meeting, May 26 in Kimberley. M/S/C to send Brad Dunlop and Ron Bobowski.
e) BC Forum participation/recommendations. A discussion was held about recommendations to formalize BC Forum's participation in labour councils, which would limit the number of BC Forum delegates to 2 and, possibly, allow one non-voting executive member. Brad and Ron will take the input received to the SILC meeting May 26 in Kimberley.

NEW BUSINESS

a) United Way. Ron reported that the United Way may add a third labour member to the board. If so, he suggests Cheryl Stone be nominated. The kickoff breakfast is in September and Ron said he hoped we would buy a table.
b) Notice of motion for June meeting: To change the financial policy to pay $40 for a carpool of 2 or more delegates traveling from Vernon for a Kelowna meeting or from Kelowna to a Vernon meeting.
c) Office lease - Our lease for the NOLC office on St. Paul Street expires at the end of June. Ron reported that CUPW seems happy with the office we share with them and ATU is OK with it. Brewery Workers, who sublet the office to us, also seem happy. So it was informally agreed we should continue with the arrangement. Cost to the NOLC is nothing, just scheduling the meeting room.
d) Summer camp draw - Pat Munro sent her regrets, but reported she's arranged for us to again send three children to summer camp through a draw. The entry forms are included with the minutes. Draw to take place at June meeting.

FINAL CREDENTIALS REPORT
15 total with 13 delegates and 2 guests

GOOD AND WELFARE
Update from HEU: We are planning a rally and presentation at the IHA board meeting in Vernon May 23. The board meeting starts at 8:00am at Schubert Center. We are planning on meeting at the fountain at Polson Park (bottom of hospital hill Hwy 97) at 7:30 am and walking to MLA Tom Christensen's office and then to the Schubert Center to support the people doing presentations to the board meeting. Marcy Cohen director of research for HEU and the CCPA, will be making a presentation to the board.

ADJOURNMENT
The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Pat Bulmer, recording secretary.


The next meeting will be Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 7 p.m., at the NOLC office, 201A 1358 St. Paul Street.

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