Edmonton AC AGM Minutes – Dec 11 2013

In Attendance: Darlene Lewis; Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl; Robert Wolfe; Deborah Ferguson; Bernard Brasen; Dave Burchell; Bryan Smith; Bhupinder Johal; Dragana Ristivojevic; Darlene Peacock; Chris Kelly; Elaine Alt; Rose Leclair; Toby Pascal; Diana Meabry; Mel McLean; Sandra Relling; Staff rep; Oneil Carlier


The following members were in attendance at the meeting:

Darlene Lewis
Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl
Robert Wolfe
Deborah Ferguson
Bernard Brasen
Dave Burchell
Bryan Smith
Bhupinder Johal
Dragana Ristivojevic
Darlene Peacock
Chris Kelly
Elaine Alt
Rose Leclair
Toby Pascal
Diana Meabry
Mel McLean
Sandra Relling
Staff rep; Oneil Carlier


Marianne Hladun, REVP (Prairies) joined via teleconference to provide an update on Bill C-4, the Budget Implementation Act.

  • Introduced on October 22, 2013

  • Adopted at 2nd Readingin Senate

  • 3rd Reading passed Parliament on December 10, 2013

  • 3rd Reading passed Senate on December 12, 2013

  • It is believed there will be no amendments to the Bill

  • MPs are back in their home ridings until January 27, 2014

  • Level of attacks to the federal public service were not anticipated

Primary Issues include:
       Attack on Health and Safety

– Previously never an issue and never discussed
– Weakened members right to refuse dangerous work by changing the definition of danger
– Minister to have unprecedented powers to say if the issue is vexatious and unfounded
– Sets back Health and Safety
– Unprecedented
– Affects reproductive rights of women (“imminent” danger clause)


– Moving toward PSMA
– Changing the face of how we bargain
– Minister will determine what is an essential service with no process for appeal
– Essential services have previously been negotiated with the Union, with appeals through the PSLRB    


  • PSAC believes the courts will see this legislation as unconstitutional

  • National Joint Council has begun to meet

  • Legal Defense Fund has been established

  • 80% (or higher) designated essential must go to arbitration and remove right to strike

    • This is a Charter Right in context of essential services

  • 79% (or fewer) designated essential leaves the Unionwith no right to arbitration

  • We currently don’t know if or how the Minister employs these powers

  • Priority in Collective Bargaining is to look at what issues could arise

  • Current government is delivering what funders want them to do

  • MPs do not fully know or understand the contents of the Bill

  • Union is Non-Partisan, but we can be political

    • Need to do education with members/public at large

    • Will fight this in courts

    • Need to educate membership to step up, to ask questions of their MPs

    • Information and Resources is available on both the Prairies and National website

    • All committees to take a look at what they can do to bring members

  • We can not wait until 2015

  • PSAC National has filed for intervenor status

  • Upcoming legislation may include:

    • You do not have to be a member of the Union

    • RAND – if you get the benefit you pay the dues

    • Employer will no longer collect dues on Union behalf

    • May restrict how we use dues (no political action, no Equity, no Human Rights)

  • Marianne is open to ideas and posed the question “As members what do you want to see next?”

    • Spend time thinking about how your Area Council wants to operate, what resources do you need?

    • What are people prepared to do / contribute? 

Mel McLean

  • Have a wildcat strike

  • Information is not getting out, we need to make them pay attention

Bryan Smith

  • Complete lack of Strategic Direction

  • NBoD is 2 steps behind on everything

  • How do the Area Councils / Locals fit in?

  • Need to establish and communicate a strategic direction

  • We stand to lose 30-40% of our members

Chris Kelly

  • You are blaming members

  • Nothing in Mainstream Media about what PSAC is doing

  • To the leadership – do your job, set a strategy, get it out to the members

  • There are issues in Ottawaand you are blaming the members

Deborah Ferguson

  • Now the Chair of Communications for the Prairies and Alternate REVP

  • Willing to have one on one conversations

  • Contact fergusd@psac.com OR (587) 926 2329

  • What do you want to do in Edmonton?

Diana Meabry

  • Need weekly desk drop information

  • One on one communication

  • Draft letter for Letters to MPs

Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl

  • Write down your issues

  • We need to get to the 4000 members within the EAC within 6 months

Darlene Lewis

  • Turned the floor over to Oneil Carlier to carry out elections.


Oneil Carlier opened the floor to nominations.

Toby Pascal – nominated by Diana Meabry, seconded by Elaine Alt
Sandra Relling – nominated by Bryan Smith, seconded by Dave Burchell
Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl – nominated by Darlene Lewis, seconded by Bhupinder Johal (declined)

Oneil Carlier closed the nominations and voting commenced.

1st ballot – tied
2nd ballot – tied
3rd ballot – Sandra Relling

Toby Pascal – nominated by Diana Meabry, seconded by Elaine Alt

Oneil Carlier closed the nominations.

 By acclamation – Toby Pascal

Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl – nominated by Dragana Ristivojevic, seconded by Sandra Relling (declined)
Diana Meabry – nominated by Toby Pascal, seconded by Elaine Alt (declined)
Robert Wolfe – nominated by Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl, seconded by Sandra Relling

By acclamation – Robert Wolfe

Oneil Carlier closed the nominations.

Bryan Smith – nominated by BhupinderJohal, seconded by Dragana Ristivojevic (declined)
Darlene Lewis – nominated by Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl, seconded by Toby Pascal
Elaine Alt – nominated by Diana Meabry, seconded by Rose Leclair

Oneil Carlier closed the nominations and voting commenced.

1st ballot – Darlene Lewis

The newly elected Executive was sworn in by Oneil Carlier and Deborah Ferguson.


Bhupinder Johal

  • congratulated the new executive for stepping up to run

Bryan Smith

  • Can retire any time, but willing to fight for those that will remain.

  • Sees the benefits that people fought for.

  • Calls on us (via EAC) to develop our Strategic Direction to fight this in a timely manner

  • We can band together within our membership of the EAC

  • If that’s where we focus our energies, we can make change/pass that up to the PRC to be shared among Regions to adapt

  • It’s time for us to act

Robert Wolfe

  • Learned lots from the meeting

  • We need to make it clear about the union history

Deborah Ferguson

  • Agenda items and meeting date on website

  • Be careful of generalizations

  • Please advise if you contact your MP

  • Bring a friend to the next meeting

  • Talk to everyone about Bill C-4

Dave Burchell

  • 50% of members have less than 10 years to retire

  • 30% of members have more than 25 years service

  • EAC meeting bring ideas to the first meeting, challenge ourselves

  • Campaign that the EAC take on – through to PSAC – through to CLC…a National campaign can come out of this room

Chantelle Favell-Rubenstahl

  • Glad she attended the meeting

  • Reminded that you need to keep coming to the well to drink

  • Urge all to turn to your Union

  • Join social media groups (PSAC Grassroots)

  • Need to target high schools to teach about unions. They should be ready to vote, and know their rights

  • Nothing is scarier than a group of young people going to Parliament Hill

  • Connect with other unions/locals

  • Wants to support the EAC

Darlene Lewis

  • Thanks for everyone coming out, and is surprised we still do not know the structure of the Union

  • Think of one thing the union has done, put together as a desk drop

  • Need to have orientations for new members

Oneil Carlier

  • Reminder of the PRC Convention in June and we need to write resolutions

  • Offered that their will be a course available on resolution writing and will advise when date is

  • Locals will need to select delegates to attend Convention no later than February

  • TUB course for every member

  • Information will be sent to all Locals regarding the outcome of tonights’ election

  • Human Rights Committee is currently non-functioning, but not disbanded

  • Meeting for the HRCtentatively set for January 16

  • Come with who you want on the committee and why you want the committee.


 Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m.