PRAIRIE REGION COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES November 4-6, 2016 Calgary, AB
Present: Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President (REVP) Prairies Sam Akinsanya, Racially Visible Persons Rep Nathaniel Angus-Jackman, Young Workers Rep Satinder Bains, Regina Area Council Rep Shannon Blum, Prince Albert Area Council Rep Deanna Getz, Southern Saskatchewan Rep Alec Goertzen, Calgary Area Council Rep Kim Haynes, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) Rep Janette Husak, Aboriginal Peoples Rep Valerie Illingworth, Northern Saskatchewan Rep Frank Janz, Alternate REVP Prairies Glen Johnston, Westman Area Council Rep Gloria Kelly, Regional Women’s Committees (RWC) Rep Deb Kosteniuk, Southern Alberta Geographical 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 Michael Weisgerber, North-West Manitoba Geographical Rep Jeffrey Vallis, Regional Political Communications Officer – Prairies Alison Davis, Assistant to REVP – Prairies
Regrets: Timothy Hunt, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered (GLBT) Persons Rep Chad Kemery, Separate Employer Locals Rep
Observers: Greg Ballendine Kevin King Derek Yap
1.Call to Order: The meeting was called to order by Sister Marianne Hladun at 9:08 a.m.
2. Adoption of Agenda The agenda was adopted.
3. Hours of Session The hours of session were adopted.
4. Opening Remarks Sister Marianne Hladun welcomed and introduced new PRC members Sr. Valerie Illingworth and Br. Michael Weisgerber and administered the oath of office. She advised that the PSAC Harassment Policy is in place for the duration of the meeting and Sister Gloria Kelly 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 Additions: Marianne Hladun: • Last week the announcement of the closure of the Vegreville Immigration Processing Centre was announced and that it would be moved to Edmonton which affects 250-280 employees. PSAC and CEIU have been working on this diligently and have great support from the community. Working with Local executive and mounting a campaign. Please watch for information and actions coming up. There currently is a letter writing campaign. • Manitoba provincial government has introduced Bill 7 which is the elimination of automatic card check. She made a presentation to the Manitoba Legislature on Tuesday night along with several other unions. Working with the labour movement to be vocal on opposing the Bill. • Attended the SFL Convention – congrats to Sr. Michelle Lang who was elected as the PSAC Fed VP. During the Convention it was announced that Bill 40 was introduced which looks to change the definition of privatization which directly impacts our members at Casino Regina. We will keep you up to date on any campaigns from the Fed and PSAC. • In Manitoba another issue that has come up with the Pallister Government is interference in the collective bargaining process. The University of Manitoba Faculty Association is currently on strike. The problem is that the University and the Faculty Association were in bargaining when Pallister issued a mandate to freeze wages. They were in active negotiations and had tabled demands and wages already. Both are saying that the Pallister Government needs to stay out of it and has no business in the middle of negotiations. We have not received the same mandate for our four university units as of yet. • Wednesday was the National Day of Action for students across the country. Nationally we endorsed it across the country and I attended the event at the Brandon University. • Treasury Board is back at the table. FB has already met for a couple of days and the other teams have come in for an all teams meeting. Updates will be on the website. Questions: Br. Mardli asked if Sr.Hladun sits as the Fed VP at the MFL and could tell us more about that? Sr.Hladun confirmed that she is the Fed VP at the MFL and is appointed by the National President. Sr. Lang was just elected as the SFL Fed VP and currently Br. Timothy Hunt and Sr. Brenda Skayman are the Fed VP’s at the AFL. In Saskatchewan and Manitoba each Fed allows for us to have one Fed VP position and in Alberta there are two positions. There are positions for members to sit on committees and the PSAC Fed of Labour Guidelines determine what is covered for those positions. Meetings are covered but not attendance at Conventions. The expression of interest for SFL Committees will be going out shortly. Br. Bains asks if Sr. Hladun can tell us more about her trip to Bangladesh. Sr. Hladun shares that is was a very moving and powerful experience and she will share the link to the video presented to the NBOD. Br. Bains says that he is from that part of the world and he thanks her and the others for going. Sam Akinsanya: • Attended the CLC Rise Up Conference. Sr. Hladun thanked Br. Akinsanya for all his work on the Prairies Racially Visible Conference. Deanna Getz: • Had listed that was going to attend a meeting with the PRC Communications Committee prior to the meeting but that did not happen. Would like clarification on who the PRC Rep is for the Regina HRC as she was asked to attend a meeting. Sr.Hladun advises that it is Br.Hunt who receives their reporting package. Given the challenges of defining the roles of the Geographic Reps sometimes it makes sense that if the Equity Rep is not in the area that another PRC Rep can offer support and guidance to a committee. Br. Akinsanya advised he found it challenging to get the Winnipeg HRC package. Kim Haynes: • Attended the CLC Rise Up Conference and it provided a lot of good information and links to resources which she can share if anyone wants. Janette Husak: • Attended the CLC Rise Up Conference. • This weekend there was supposed to be a NAPC course in Saskatchewan but it was cancelled due to low enrollment. Janette, Paul Daigneault, Judy Shannon and Louise Mardell worked on this course for each province. The Alberta course is supposed to be held at the end of November but the enrollment is very low and she encourages the PRC to promote this in their Locals so that another one does not have to be cancelled. The one in Manitoba is scheduled for December 3-4. The deadline to register is November 18th. Br. Vallis advised that he has been in touch with Sr. Mardell and Sr. Ablitt regarding the low enrollment and the need to ramp up promoting these courses. Saskatchewan’s course has been postponed and the plan is to reschedule. They will look at the numbers on the deadline and determine if the course needs to be amalgamated or if enrollment has gone up significantly. Questions: Br. Mardli asked how the attendance for CLC Rise Up Conference was funded. Sr. Hladun advised that it was funded nationally and all the Equity Reps were invited to attended. The Young Workers Reps were invited to attend the Young Workers Summit and were funded nationally and all Reps are required to submit a written report to Ottawa and they can be circulated to the PRC. Gloria Kelly: • Attended the CLC Rise Up Conference. • Waiting to hear from National on the next phase of childcare campaign. • Working with MFL on the planning of a Women’s Conference for the Spring of 2017. • Sr. Hladun thanked Sr. Kelly for her work on the Regional Women’s Conference which she took on when she stepped in as the alternate. Sr. Kelly thanked Sr. Deb and Sr. Michelle for their work on the conference. • Sr. Kelly is no longer the alternate as Sr. Johnson has stepped down to take a staff position. Questions: Br. Mardli said that when Sr. Gloria started chairing the Winnipeg RWC she started once or twice a year where she would invite a speaker and have it open to brothers as well. He found it helpful to attend and hear about issues affecting sisters. He is wondering if this is only happening in Winnipeg or have other RWC’s also started doing this? Sr. Kelly responded that she not aware of any of the other Women’s Committees doing that at this point. Michelle Lang: • Attended the SFL Convention and Jesse Todd was elected as the alternate Fed VP. • Attended the ATU rally. • Had a chance to confront the Labour Minister Don Morgan at the SFL Convention and the video of it has 3000 hits already. It is posted on the Prairies Facebook page. • Sr. Hladun advised that last week the post docs at the U of S (from a vote that was held since last December) vote 98% in favour to join PSAC. Sr.Hladun has asked Br. Alex Bailey who is the term organizer in the Prairies to come and introduce himself at the January PRC meeting in Winnipeg. Ben Lemon: • Proud of the Area Council for putting together the Solidarity Brunch. It was Br. Pruden’s idea and they are thinking of making it an annual event. Had representation from 19 out of 26 Locals. Questions: Br. Mardli asked what the August 24th committee training referred to in his report was? Br. Pruden advised it was an evening course with the Chairs and Executives of each committee and discussed responsibilities. Each position received a handout specific to their position. It was similar to Local Officer training. Rep reports are found at Appendix A.
6. Committee Reports
Committee report found at Appendix B. Recorded votes found at Appendix E.
No report submitted.
Report received late and found at Appendix B.
The Committee met yesterday and selected Br. Krokosh as the Chair. The Finance have brought forward two recommendations which are found in the Committee report found at Appendix B. Recorded votes found at Appendix E. The auditor will be booked and after the audit is done, a call between the auditor and Finance Committee will be held. The Finance Committee will present to the PRC on an official PRC conference call so that the audited financial statements can be included in the Convention package. The January 1 – September 30, 2016 Income Statement was presented and can be found at Appendix C. Revised January 1 – December 31, 2015 was provided. Br. Akinsanya asked to be on record that the bracket on the revenue statement is incorrect because it implies a negative and that is not the case with our revenue.
Health & Safety Committee
No report submitted.
7. Agenda Items (a) Town hall communications – submitted by Sr. Deanna Getz Sr. Getz advised that she had heard from many members about problems with the SK Telephone Town Hall. Members being dropped from the call and not knowing how to call back in. Br. Vallis advised that we have done several Town Halls and there are always complaints. There are issues with the database and the system but we have not found a better system. Members need to be encouraged to update their phone numbers wherever possible. We have now started putting the dial in number on the REVP voicemail and info in the e-newsletter. In the future, the dial in number will be put into the script at the beginning so if members are dropped from the call they have info to call back in.
(b) Convention – modification to the subsidy model – submitted by Br. Michael Weisgerber Moved to Convention business to be dealt with along with resolutions.
(c) PSAC email for PRC – submitted by Br. Alec Goertzen Br. Goertzen was unable to attend the February PRC meeting but understands that it was known that PSAC was moving Groupwise to Outlook. He asked if Sr. Hladun was aware of the migration at that meeting? Sr. Hladun advised that she was but was unaware that it was only being communicated to staff and member accounts were not included. She did not raise it at the February meeting because she thought everyone was receiving the transition notices. When she became aware of the issue she called IT to find out what was going on and they realized they had not advised any of the REVP’s that the member accounts created for their Councils were not included in the transition. It became a priority to get the information to those with member accounts. Sr. Hladun says that it was not a smooth transition for those who did not have staff accounts. Br. Goertzen says that the transition was a debacle and asks why there was not a conference call to convey the information? Sr. Hladun advised that she provided a list to IT for those PRC with PSAC email accounts and Br. Matthew Brett followed up by phone to make sure that everyone had a working email. Br. Goertzen advised that he had to call IT and no one from IT tried to initiate a call with him and that he is very frustrated with the lack of communication on this matter. She did not have a conference call because she understood that IT was working with those who needed assistance with the transition. Br. Vallis encourages that member PSAC accounts be phased out and that a PRC specific email be created with gmail or yahoo. The Ontario and Atlantic regions are phasing out using PSAC emails as they have had continuous issues and other regions do not use them. Sr. Hladun advises that if you have not a received an email from Sr. Davis in a couple of days because she sends out the news scan then you should be in contact with our office. If you plan to move to a different email address, please make sure to advise the REVP office so that our email group and the website can be updated. Action: Circulate PRC contact list to make sure info is current.
(d) Available courses for activists in the region – submitted by Br. Gus Mardli Br. Mardli has received questions from Locals that they keep offering the same TUB and Grievance Handling courses but nothing too advanced and they keep cancelling or postponing (in Manitoba) and they have low attendance. Local activists are asking why more advanced courses are not being offered by PSAC and if those courses are not being offered can the send members instead to CLC or MFL education. PSAC used to offer union schools but that does not seem be happening anymore and activists are getting frustrated with the lack of education options. What are the criteria to ask for funding to attend more advanced courses being offered by CLC or other Feds of Labour? Sr. Hladun says that the education budget is $722,000 for the region for three years. The Education Plan gets posted on the website. The reason that some courses are done every year is because they are part of the National Education Program core courses and we have to offer them. The union schools have not been happening because previous Education Committees determined that the cost to send a few members limits funds that can be used for more advanced courses that can reach more members. There is a subsidy pool which can be requested though Sr. Judy Shannon. No one receives full funding and it has to be a course that PSAC does not offer and at the nearest location.Br. Mardli asks to what degree the PRC Education Committee is involved in the planning and timing of courses and education? Sr. Hladun advises that the committee looks at the overall plan but not the scheduling of education. Br. Angus-Jackman says that it is a consulting role. The Education Committee can take input from members to Sr. Shannon and look at different ways to do things. He will look at getting a list of all AF’s in the region which could be circulated. Br. Johnston and Sr. Blum have both written resolutions regarding the education allotment and will touch base and possibly send a resolution to Sr. Davis to be added to the package.
(e) PRC monthly/quarterly updates – submitted by Br. Gus Mardli Br. Mardli thinks that time between meetings is too long and it would be a good way to get info in between. Sr. Hladun says that she established monthly calls in 2012 on the same time and day each month and sometimes no one was on the call, she is fully prepared to do them again if that is what Council would like. The PRC agreed that quarterly conference calls will begin again after Convention. Action: Send a reminder to RO’s to keep PRC in the loop and make sure they are included on info emails. Action: Remind RO’s to invite PRC Reps to speak at TUB courses.
(f) Observers in minutes – submitted by Br. Gus Mardli Sr. Hladun Advises that the request has not been made before and it is the will of the group. The PRC agreed that observers will now be listed in the minutes. Sr. Davis will circulate a sign in sheet at each meeting.
(g) Regional funding for (WSF) World Social Forum.– submitted by Br. Gus Mardli Sr. Hladun advises that there was a request for funding for the World Social Forum in the Winnipeg Area Council budget and Finance Committee asked that they submit a business case with more details. After the World Social Forum there was a request for the subsidy which Sr. Hladun responded to on October 22nd saying what information is needed and asking that it be provided by November 2nd, and it will be presented it to the Finance Committee, as of yet that information has not been sent to her.
(h) Recruitment Plan – Submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun Did not discuss because the Finance Committee has sent it back to the Ad-hoc Committee with questions to be answered before they can put a recommendation forward.
Agenda: The PRC approved the content of the draft agenda. The design is a work in progress. Will add the Candidate’s Forum on the Friday evening as optional and the banquet will be listed as optional. Recorded vote at Appendix E.
Speakers: Br. Hassan Yussuff is confirmed to speak.
Host Committee update: Br. Janz advised that he has had a couple of calls with Sr. Thor and there has been one call. The call out for volunteers went out and they have received about a dozen names. They are looking at having a meeting in mid-November to discuss what they will give out to the delegates as the gift. The Prairie Voice awards will be held at the banquet and there will be no dance.
Convention committees: Convention committees were adopted as presented and recorded vote was taken. Committee members found at Appendix D.
Budget: Sr. Davis went over some preliminary numbers for the creation of the Convention budget. Br. Vallis will be looking into the cost for a live feed at Convention and will come back with numbers on the next PRC call if a vote is required for funds from the surplus.
Resolutions: Sr. Hladun advised that there would be recorded votes for all resolutions and a simple majority is required to send to Convention. Recording against resolutions will happen at Convention Committees not at this meeting. If a PRC Rep does not attend the January meeting then they will be struck off that committee. After discussion the PRC decided not to worry about word count.
Resolutions found at Appendix D and recorded votes found at Appendix E. PRC Resolution #1 – Defeated PRC Resolution #2 – Carried PRC Resolution #3 (Amended) – Carried PRC Resolution #4 (Amended) – Carried PRC Resolution #5 – Defeated PRC Resolution #6 – Tabled PRC Resolution #7 – Defeated PRC Resolution #8 – Carried PRC Resolution #9 – Defeated PRC Resolution #10 – Withdrawn Resolution #11 (Amended) – Defeated Resolution #12 (Amended) – Carried Resolution #13 – Withdrawn Resolution # 14 – Withdrawn (Referred to PRC Education Committee for further development) Glossary Change to add Budget Variance Report – Carried Revised Subsidy Agenda Item – Carried
Other: PRC must register themselves online for Convention and include any allergies and accommodations on the online form. Official PRC Conference Call scheduled for Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 8 p.m. MB time.