Minutes from the February 2015 Prairie Region Council meeting.
PRAIRIE REGION COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
February 27-28, 2015
Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President (REVP) Prairies
Susan Norman, Alternate REVP Prairies
Sam Akinsanya, Racially Visible Persons Rep
Nathaniel Angus-Jackman, Young Workers Rep
Satinder Bains, Regina Area Council Rep
Denni Ernst, Northern Saskatchewan Rep
Deanna Getz, Southern Saskatchewan Rep
Alec Goertzen, Calgary Area Council Rep
Jennifer Grant, North-West Manitoba Geographical Rep
Kim Haynes, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Rep
Sherry Hunt, Southern Alberta Geographical Rep
Timothy Hunt, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBT) Persons Rep
Janette Husak, Aboriginal Peoples Rep
Nancy Johnson, Regional Women’s Committees (RWC) Rep
Glen Johnston, Westman Area Council Rep
Chad Kemery, Separate Employer Locals Rep
Gregory Krokosh, Lethbridge & District Area Council Rep
Michelle Lang, Directly Chartered Locals (DCL) Rep
Ben Lemon, Edmonton Area Council Rep
Gus Mardli, South-East Manitoba Geographical Rep
Jackie Nettleton, Saskatoon Area Council Rep
Murray Pruden, Northern Alberta Geographical Rep
Matt Tijani, Winnipeg Area Council Rep
Lisa Garnier, Regional Coordinator – Prairies
Jeffrey Vallis, Regional Political Communications Officer – Prairies
Alison Davis, Executive Assistant to REVP – Prairies
Tim Hogan, Prince Albert Area Council Rep
Chris Aylward, PSAC National Executive Vice-President (February 28th p.m. only)
1. Call to Order: February 27, 2015
The meeting was called to order by Sister Marianne Hladun at 9:09 a.m. Sister Janette Husak was sworn in.
2. Adoption of Agenda
The agenda was adopted.
3. Hours of Session
The hours of session were adopted.
4. Opening Remarks
Sister Marianne Hladun advises that the PSAC Harassment Policy is in place for the duration of the meeting and Sister Lisa Garnier will be the Harassment Coordinator. The Scent Policy is in effect and the meeting is being recorded but will not be released or posted, it is for internal use only.
5. Approval of Council Reports
There is a requirement in the PRC By-Laws for all Representatives to submit a report. The reports are attached as they are received.
The reports submitted were circulated and approved by the Council and can be found on the Prairies website
- Was concerned that the Area council would not have enough meetings but did and elected a delegate to Convention.
- Attended the tour of Saskatchewan Penitentiary with Br. Clint Wirth.
Nancy asks what a nil report is. Marianne advises that it means that a report was received and we print what is received.
- Would like to correct a typo.
- The AC is striking a Mobilization Committee for 19th activities and there has been a lot of interest. Marianne asks if the letter can be shared with other AC’s.
- The rally at the Boissevain Border Crossing went well and there was a write up in the Brandon Sun and made the front page. The rally at Emerson had a smaller turn out but believes it is because the notice came out closer to the date. People asked for extra mailers.
- Westman AC had their AGM and remains the Chair of the Westman Area Council.
- Sent out a mini Prairies newsletter to Locals and Committees in Southern Alberta.
- The last webinar was held at the same time as the Lethbridge and District Labour Council meeting so a good portion of the Labour Council sat in on the webinar.
- It’s been a quiet time but gearing up for the Pride Parade’s starting in June.
- Had the rally at the border and about forty vehicles stopped and many asked for extra mailers that were being handed out.
- Attended the CLC Election Prep.
- Attended the Leading Change course.
- Is sitting on the Collective Bargaining Committee for the Triennial Convention. It is a great experience and there are a lot of good resolutions.
- Had an Edmonton Area Council meeting on February 18th and got priorities flushed out.
- Attended February 19th 19 Minute Campaign at Canada Place. Security would not let members back in with their signs.
Action: Contact Ottawa to get an update from Legal and send out to the PRC.
6. Committee Reports
Glen advises that the committee has met by conference call but that is proving challenging and will look to meet face to face in September. They have decided to work on the Glossary and the proposed changes are attached to the By-Laws Committee report.
Marianne has confirmed with Sr. Benson that for the Regulations and Glossary the changes can be made, at any time with 2/3 majority of PRC.
Hand votes were done and changes approved for the following:
- Area Councils (AC)
- Remove “the” under Human Rights Committee
PSAC Prairie Regional Office Area wording will be brought to the September 2015 PRC meeting.
Approved changes found at Appendix A.
Recorded votes found at Appendix B.
The Committee has met twice face to face. Marianne has asked the Committee to work on an item in the Prairies Action Plan – the “rapid response” team. Committee will look at building a network and an email tree.
The Communications Committee is also working on a process that will fulfill Resolution GEN -004 that was passed at the Prairie Region Convention. Murray went back to the Local that put forward the resolution and it was conveyed that grassroots members felt they had no communication from the PRC. Sherry has sent out a mini newsletter and has received positive feedback. It was agreed that Geo Reps will send an email to locals advising of upcoming meetings and then a report will be sent out after the meeting is held. Marianne would like to meet with the Equity Reps at some point, to discuss the possibility of the having conference calls and calling into HRC meetings.
The Committee will draft a process and send the wording to the By-Laws Committee so that the PRC Handbook can be updated.
The Finance Committee has met three times via conference call. Nancy met with Marianne in November, she thanks Marianne for providing all the info and more.
The Terms of Reference were presented and approved by the PRC with a recorded vote. They can be found at Appendix C.
Finance Committee will look at a cheque stale date procedure and the possibility of a working paper to show breakdown of miscellaneous expenses.
The By-Laws state that a three person committee review the financials. The Finance Committee will need to discuss this.
The process for the March 15th committee/area council financials deadline was re-confirmed. The REVP office will provide complete packages to the Chair of the Finance Committee who will circulate to the committee. They will provide their recommendations quickly and the REVP will review and then cheques will be promptly sent out. If a package is not submitted then no funds will be allocated.
Regional Allocations for Committee/Area Council Convention Delegate Expenses
That any funds in the convention delegate expense project be returned to the respective department (RWC, HRC or AC). That the funding deducted for each respective committee/area council be set at $600.00 for each year within the three-year cycle.
That the registration fees for the Area Council delegates for the PSAC Triennial Convention be covered from the Area Council Delegate Expense Project.
Mover: Sr. Nancy Johnson
Seconder: Br. Greg Krokosh
Sr. Hladun clarifies that this will not be in effect for the upcoming 2015 Triennial Convention as most Area Councils have already paid their registration fees.
The committee proposes that the REVP’s office undertake an accredited audit of our financial statements for the three-year cycle 2012-2014.
Not to exceed $15,000.00 and that these funds be taken from PRC Deferred Revenue.
Mover: Sr. Nancy Johnson
Seconder: Br. Greg Krokosh
Recorded votes found at Appendix C.
Health & Safety Committee
Chad advises that committee has met and they still have a few changes to make to their Terms of Reference which will be brought to the September meeting.
The tentative dates for the Health and Safety Conference are November 7 & 8, 2015. The theme will be on mental health, and there will be approximately 50-75 participants.
Action: Committees who met face to face, prior to the February meeting will provide a supplemental report to add to the minutes.
Note: For future meetings committee agenda items will be bulleted under the committee reports.
The Income Statement, Departmental Balance Sheet and Multi-period Income Statement were presented by Sr. Nancy Johnson.
Marianne advises that her office will be going back and quarterly balance sheets will be posted going back to 2012. She also advises that $2000 will be transferred from the PRC account to the Convention account.
Financials found at Appendix D.
8. Agenda Items
(a)Communications Committee – display unit proposal – submitted by Br. Timothy Hunt
Would like to use the funds that were carried over to deferred revenue from the Communications line item. Motion to earmark up to $20,000.00 for the purchase.
Mover: Timothy Hunt
Seconder: Sherry Hunt
Note: Further requests, that have funds attached to them, should go to the Finance Committee first for a recommendation. They will be brought to the PRC when the Finance Committee report is presented.
(b)Human Rights Museum – purchase of pins – submitted by Br. Timothy Hunt
There was not enough time for the PRC to go on a tour. The PRC approves the purchase of pins for all PRC and chairs of HRC’s/RWC’s. These pins allow an underprivileged child to attend who would not otherwise have had the opportunity.
(c)Travel Policy – submitted by Br. Alec Goertzen
Alec advises that there needs to be a better idea of the parameters of the travel policy. This is a volunteer position and when travelling to a PSAC event that it should not be exhausting and it seems that there are more and more confinements.
Sam advises that we need to be careful with the 10 hour rest period so it does not unreasonably restrict a person.
Timothy says we need to look at when PRC are travelling in so that there are not missed opportunities for Committees to meet.
Marianne advises that the PSAC Travel Policy is on the PSAC website and that there is a 10 hour minimum rest period. There are a lot of factors that come into play when booking travel. The PRC Handbook needs to be updated regarding travel. The Travel Policy is approved by the AEC.
Action: Contact Gaelle Felix to get an interpretation on the 10 hour rest period.
Action: Marianne will look into the process for changes to the Travel Policy.
Action: Send PDF of the Travel Policy.
(d)Supporting members as election candidates – submitted by Br. Alec Goertzen
Alec would like clarification on how candidates can be financially supported without breaking rules. Particularly in Alberta there are members running and how do we proceed with PSAC being non-partisan.
Marianne advises that the rules for donations vary from province to province. She will need to look into the rules for each province. There are two ways to do it either from Political Action funds or there is a line item in the National Budget. She would like PRC input and wants to be very clear on the rules before it is done. Greg would like to see info on how candidates apply for it. Alec says that some they are taking on our platform. Marianne advises that Area Councils and Committees can’t make donations directly.
(e)Education Committee – what is status of certifying AFN facilitators – submitted by Br. Alec Goertzen
Lisa provides an update on the Prairies AF Network and the certification process from a memo she received from Sr. Judy Shannon – Prairies Regional Education Officer.
Nine Prairies members have completed the AF Certification program. Two additional members have completed Steps 1 and 2, but not Step 3. The previous PRC Education Committee had agreed on a tentative plan to hold an AF Retreat once the most recent group of AF candidates had completed the certification program. There has not been a meeting with the new Education Committee to further discuss.
(f)GLBT Prairie Regional Logo – submitted by Br. Timothy Hunt
Timothy shared a logo he had made. He would like it to be the new unofficial Prairies GLBT logo. Sam asks about other equity groups possibly developing a logo. Nancy advises that the Women’s will be developed nationally. Jeffrey Vallis advises that the development of Equity logos should be done at a national level.
(g)19 Minute Campaign – submitted by Br. Murray Pruden
Discussed under Agenda Item 8 (n)
(h)Rules for Political Action – submitted by Br. Greg Krokosh
Greg would like clarification on the Elections Act and asks if a two pager will be put out to the membership regarding rules. Marianne advises that there has been discussion at the AEC and Sr. Benson’s office is sending a letter to Elections Canada asking for clarification especially regarding financial donations. A letter will be going out to all Components and there is a document regarding do’s and don’ts on the PSAC website. As soon as the ruling is back then Marianne will share it. The April webinar is around know your political rights.
Action: Get clarification from Alberta provincial electoral office regarding rules.
Action: Confirm that we have the most current version of Know Your Rights.
(i)Changes to the Prairie Region Bylaws Glossary – submitted by Br. Glen Johnston
Mover (all Glossary changes): Br. Glen Johnston
Seconder (all Glossary changes): Br. Sam Akinsanya
Approved changes found at Appendix A.
(j)Upcoming election cycle and PSAC planning – submitted Br. Gus Mardli
Some provinces are having Provincial Elections as well as the Federal Election and Gus would like to know how we are coordinating with the CLC, Federations of Labours and District Labour Councils. He advises that some Locals are asking what the expectations for Locals regarding campaigns are, what can be done and what resources they can access.
Marianne says that PSAC is working closely with the CLC, Feds of Labour all have PSAC Fed VP’s. The issue with Labour Councils is that Locals are not affiliating and paying dues.There are 260 Locals in the Region and very few are affiliated which we need to encourage. Sherry suggests looking at Component By-Laws as there may be help available.
Alec advises that the AC just passed a motion to affiliate with the District Labour Council. Marianne says that under the CLC Constitution that only Locals can affiliate and since ACD’s don’t have a Local then you would have to pay for all members from all the Locals in the area. Marianne will confirm with the CLC on whether AC’s can affiliate to a District Labour Council.
Marianne advises that Area Councils should be leading the move towards the elections. We need to drive Locals to the Area Councils. Locals can receive direct political action funding but Area Councils can put forward proposals and costing for provincial elections. Marianne could submit it to OPS to see if there are funds available at the national level.
Gus advises that Locals feel actions happen too late and we need to disseminate information in a timely manner.
More info under Agenda Item 8 (n).
(k)PRC monthly conference calls – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
The PRC would like to try a go to meeting or webinar in May. Marianne will send out the XO on AEC decisions, which is sent out to Components, after each AEC meeting when it becomes available.
(l)PRC report formatting – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
Reports are coming in with a lot of different formatting which is proving challenging to compile. The standards for reports are found in the PRC Handbook – 12 arial font with no tables or graphics. Please do not identify specific staff in reports. This is an official document that will be posted and should reflect PRC activities and not Component.
Jeffrey Vallis adds that circle bullets and headings are helpful when posting online.
(m) PSAC Finance Portal – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
The new system is in place and issues should be brought to the RO’s or to Alison if it is in regards to PRC claims. Each event will now have two admins and two approvers attached to it.
Timothy advises that deposits show gross amount but no statement of deductions and that there should be a way to print original claim. Alec would like to know if there is a way to upload scans of receipts right away instead of keeping receipts for two years. Kim would like to see a comment box added.
Suggestions should be sent to Alison and Marianne so that they can be sent to Ottawa to be looked into. There is room for improvement and Ottawa needs to hear the input.
Action: Agenda Item for next meeting. Is Direct Deposit possible for funds allocated to Area Councils and Committees?
(n)Regional Action Plan – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
Local Mapping – RO’s working on it.
Telephone Town Hall – will be held March 16th.
March 19th – locations are set in RO cities. Marianne has invited all NJC’s in the region. Jeffrey Vallis will create speaking notes and has created a poster to be used. As it is a bigger event the Reps are taking the lead organizing. Lisa asks that Locals be encouraged to send info and photos to RO’s. Photos will be sent to Jeffrey to post. Murray says that there is a lack of conformity with the 19th Campaign and maybe Area Councils can work together. Marianne says that lager workplaces with different Locals aren’t talking and maybe PRC Reps can contact them and try and bring them together. Area Council Reps need to go back and talk with their Area Councils. Susan suggests that a volunteer button could be helpful and Marianne advises that that is being looked at.
Let’s Talk About It Toolkit – Jeffrey is working with Polcoms in other Regions to develop the materials to put a package together for Locals.
Multi-Local Meetings – the dates that are confirmed have been sent out and posted the website. The dates were set based on Marianne’s schedule and a Bargaining Team member’s schedule. Will be looking at Area Council members to make calls.
Webinars – have had two so far and four more scheduled. The numbers are getting better each month and we need to keep promoting them. Webinars are posted to the website afterwards.
Handout cards – Jeffrey is working with Polcoms in other Regions on this.
Sponsorship of Community/Labour Day/Summer Events – need to look for opportunities to have conversations which means we need to build capacity. Looking to purchase items as a block so it is more cost effective. Proposals need to be submitted by March 15th deadline.
CCPA Study – is moving ahead and will have it by the end of May. It will be a credible piece of research specific to the Prairies. We got a poor response to our request for info on cuts.
Prairies Video Project – the videos will be put on USB sticks which will go out with the toolkit.
Direct mail to members – 20,051 pieces of mail being sent out.
Media Scanning – Communications Committee is taking the lead on the rapid response team.
Door-to-door deliveries – Some ridings were very close in the previous election. If there is an area where there is opportunity for change then we could do flyer drops in those areas. Need to find volunteers to do that once the targeted ridings are finalized.
Lobby Training – no dates set yet.
MP office visits/lobbying – would like to build a list of members. Area Councils need to look at what happens after the election. How do we keep the momentum?
Elections townhalls, candidates forums – need to confirm the Elections rules. Candidates forums are difficult to set up so often it is better to partner up with a community group. Need to approach candidates early. There is an opportunity to do townhalls regarding a specific issues (ex. EI, Veteran’s). We need to stay non-partisan.
Regional political analysis – every Area Council has received a hard copy of the analysis. It is a very large document with a lot of information. It looks at the new boundaries with maps etc. It was costly to print and we can provide a PDF version.
CLC Election Preparation Conferences – all have been held. Alec asks if they still plan to come out in a couple of months as they had indicated. Marianne is not sure if there is value to sending everyone back again but it will depend on the agenda. This line item has been expended already.
PIA Annual Advocacy Conference – is coming up in April. We are the sponsor for the keynote speaker – Avi Lewis. We have purchased seven registrations for the conference and 10 tickets for the keynote in Calgary
Order of the Day – Saturday, February 28, 2015. Br. Chris Aylward presented and answered questions on the PSAC 2016-2018 Budget that will be brought to the PSAC Triennial Convention.
8. Roundtable Discussion
No time permitting.
Meeting adjourned at 5:10 p.m.