Minutes from the November 2015 Prairie Region Council meeting.
PRAIRIE REGION COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
November 27 – 29, 2015
Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President (REVP) Prairies
Frank Janz, Alternate REVP Prairies
Sam Akinsanya, Racially Visible Persons Rep
Nathaniel Angus-Jackman, Young Workers Rep
Satinder Bains, Regina Area Council Rep
Deanna Getz, Southern Saskatchewan Rep
Alec Goertzen, Calgary Area Council Rep
Kim Haynes, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) 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
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
Lisa Garnier, Regional Coordinator – Prairies
Jeffrey Vallis, Regional Political Communications Officer – Prairies
Alison Davis, Executive Assistant to REVP – Prairies
Chad Kemery, Separate Employer Locals Rep
Trudy Lerat, Prince Albert Area Council Rep
Melanie Markling, Northern Saskatchewan Rep
Robyn Benson, PSAC National President (November 28th p.m. only) PRC Minutes – November 27-29, 2015 Page 2
1. Call to Order: November 27, 2015
The meeting was called to order by Sister Marianne Hladun at 9:07 a.m. Sister Deb Kosteniuk and Brother Frank Janz were sworn in.
Point of privilege: Sr. Nancy Johnson provided information on and distributed ribbons for the White Ribbon Campaign – which is the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. She encouraged the PRC to attend upcoming December 6th events in their communities.
2. Adoption of Agenda
The agenda was adopted.
3. Hours of Session
The hours of session were adopted.
4. Opening Remarks – Sr. Hladun
A lot has changed since the last meeting – we need to acknowledge our success on achieving all of our three priorities and now we re-focus on what we need to do going forward, determine if the priorities have changed and how do we capitalize on the momentum of the membership. The NBoD strategy session has been moved to December. This weekend we will have time to discuss our next steps and our new priorities in the region.
Sister 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 on Friday and Sister Nancy Johnson will be Harassment Coordinator on Saturday and Sunday. 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. PRC Minutes – November 27-29, 2015 Page 3
Treasury Board has postponed meetings until possibly end of January or early February. No update on CRA.
December 11-13th PSAC is hosting a women’s forum on the issue of domestic violence. The goal is to develop a national action plan.
Area Council Presidents have been invited to a conference call on December 10th with Sr. Benson. If the President/Chair is not available, they should ensure another executive member participates.
Events such as Fiestaval can be used to reach out to communities and we need to broaden volunteering base in communities.
Please pass on his info to any young workers in your Locals.
Request for friendly amendment to the report was declined by Br. Goertzen.
Sr. Hladun clarified that as per the PRC Finance Committee’s report presented to PRC for this meeting, no recommendations for committee/area council allocations were submitted to the REVP office on behalf of the Finance Committee. After
notifying the full committee, she finalized the allocations so the cheques could go out.
Sr. Hladun also clarified that no booking was made at the Fairmont Hotel before the PRC voted on the date and location. An inquiry was made to the Fairmont for possible availability to ensure PRC had options when making a decision.
On a return to work program at work and enrolled in Duty to Accommodate.
Sr. Hladun thanks Sr. Haynes for joining Sr. Davis and Sr. Felix on the Convention site tour in Edmonton.
Pride flags have all been found in the Calgary and Saskatoon Regional Offices so all RO’s now have 5 Pride flags and encourage their use at events.
Saskatoon had a successful Labour Day event.
Is looking forward to producing her newsletter.
Highlighted the SFL Own It campaign, signatures are being collected.
Attended the Prairies Health & Safety Conference in November.
Attended the Broadbent Institute presentation and introduced the keynote speaker.
6. Committee Reports and Business
Audited Financial Statements – Sr. Johnson advised that the Finance Committee had a call with the auditor in October. The cost of the audit was approximately $5500.00 and covered three years. There were no reports of irregularities and that was not the purpose of it, but rather to have audited financial statements to provide to the membership. The PRC have been provided with a draft copy and the Finance committee recommends acceptance of it.
Recorded Vote #1: To accept the audited financial statements as presented.
Mover: Sr. Nancy Johnson
Seconder: Br. Greg Krokosh
PRC Finance Committee Recommendations – the committee presented recommendations that were voted on as a whole (with the exception of Recommendation F).
Recommendation “F” was tabled and the committee will bring back to the next meeting. A call will be set up with the Director of Finance to gather more information to present an amended recommendation.
Recommendation “I” had a friendly amendment to change “at each PRC face-to-face meeting” to “to the REVP office”. Sr. Johnson presented the September 30, 2015 Budget Variance/Comparative Income Statement (see Appendix C).
Recorded Vote #2: To accept the recommendations of the Finance Committee.
Mover: Sr. Nancy Johnson
Seconder: Br. Greg Krokosh
The recommendations are in Appendix B.
Action: Add deferred revenue to the bottom of the Income Statement for future meetings. PRC Minutes – November 27-29, 2015 Page 5
Action: Post Audit Statements and quarterly Income Statements.
Action: Monetary requests for OWN it campaign, Next Up and Working Families Action Plan be looked at by the REVP from political action funds.
The Terms of Reference were presented and approved by the PRC.
Br. Hunt provided a verbal update and submitted a supplemental committee report.
The committee would like to have side walls on the tents that are being ordered but there would be an additional cost:
Recorded Vote #3: To increase the previously approved “PSAC Regional Display Units Proposal, Part 2 – Tent/Canopy Kits” by $5000.00, from $20,000.00 to $25,000.00 for the purchase of an additional side wall for each of the eight tent units.
Mover: Br. Timothy Hunt
Seconder: Sr. Nancy Johnson
Committee report and Terms of Reference as approved are found at Appendix D.
Br. Angus-Jackman provided a verbal update on the committee meeting. He encourages the PRC to attend the regional education planning and development meetings that are being held. The Education Committee will be taking the Alliance Facilitator training to gain a better understanding of it and it is implemented. The committee will help develop mentorship development opportunities.
No supplemental written report was submitted.
Health & Safety Committee
The H & S Committee provided a supplemental report on the November H & S Conference.
The committee is also looking for input on how to fulfill Resolution GEN-50. They will bring something forward at the next meeting.
Committee report is found at Appendix D.
Action: Send a copy of the resolution to the PRC.
The Terms of Reference were presented and approved by the PRC.
The By-laws Committee provided a supplemental report and proposed changes to the Glossary and Regulation 1. There was a friendly amendment to change the title of Regulation 1 to add “Regional” before Committee and “/Area Council” after the word Committee.
Committee report, Terms of Reference and proposed changes found at Appendix D.
Recorded Vote #4: To amend Glossary definition as follows:
PSAC Prairie Regional Office Area – The area serviced by the regional office in question. (for enquiries call the Office closest to your work location)
Recorded Vote #5: To amend Glossary definition as follows:
PSAC Prairie Region (PR) – The region includes the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and remote areas in other provinces and territories, where members pay dues and are served by the PSAC Prairie Region.
Recorded Vote #6: To amend Regulation 1 definition as follows:
DEFINITION OF REGIONAL COMMITTEE/AREA COUNCIL IN GOOD STANDING
(as per Section 10, Sub-Sections  and  of the Prairie Region By-Laws)
Committees/Councils shall hold at least four meetings per year. One such meeting shall be known as the Annual Meeting at which time officers shall be selected/elected and financial and other reports presented.
Committees/Councils shall forward to the REVP, minutes of all meetings no later than thirty (30) days following the date on which each meeting is held per Section 14, Sub-Section (13) (a) of the PSAC Constitution.
The budget of all Committees/Councils will be published on the appropriate website once the budget has been passed.
The reports of each Chair/President shall be in writing and shall be published on the appropriate website. PRC Minutes – November 27-29, 2015 Page 7
7. Agenda Items
(a) A Path of Light – submitted by Br. Murray Pruden
Br. Pruden gave an overview of the event that was held in Edmonton this past summer. It was a march in honour of missing and murdered Aboriginal women. He is preparing a binder, with Sr. Genevieve Babineau, for others who want to hold similar events. They anticipate it will be ready in January. Br. Pruden will send a copy to Sr. Davis to distribute to the Council and will ask Sr. Garnier to send it out to the RO’s.
(b) Communication within PRC, the Region and Membership – submitted by Br. Murray Pruden
Br. Murray would like to have a discussion on communications with the region and maybe the organization. For example, the election courses should have been held earlier and information needs to get to the members in a more timely matter.
Sr. Hladun says that the election courses were not finalized until June, the Elections Canada rules kept changing. In Edmonton the RO called every Local to get a better turn out and were not successful. She has put member mobilization as an agenda item so a discussion can be had how to move forward. Sending info to members via website, email boards at work is not proving effective and we need to look at strategies.
Br. Krokosh says that education is rescheduled so often and it is a disservice to ourselves to put out limited education opportunities and then it is cancelled.
Sr. Hladun advises that this is an important reason to fill out the education survey and make sure that she is advised when education is cancelled so she and Sr. Garnier can have a discussion.
Br. Angus-Jackman thinks that this is a symptom of a bigger problem and that the struggle of the organization is that we have not sold it. There needs to be an honest discussion on how PSAC is markets itself and how members perceive the PSAC.
Br. Bains asks if PSAC can learn from the JLP and less evening and weekend education and more weekday. Sr. Haynes asks if this cost could be shared with the employer particularly if it is around mental health. Sr. Lang says that she asked the employer to cover costs and they said no. Sr. Hladun says that the education budget does not allow for too much daytime training/education.
(c) Election of A/REVP and how it is being conducted – submitted by Br. Glen Johnston
Sr. Benson addressed this agenda item. She explained that the process had been run out of Ottawa per the PSAC Constitution and that the lists had come from the Regional Coordinator. She explained that the Executive Office does not have the resources to run elections and that they would be looking at any future elections being coordinated by the Regional Coordinator with the support of a regional office.
(d) PSAC members working for the PSAC – submitted by Sr. Nancy Johnson
Sr. Johnson would like clarification on when PSAC members are working in regional offices. In the past they would get a form to keep paying their union dues. There seems to be confusion about the process to remain a member in good standing. A letter with the letter of offer explaining the process would be helpful. Sr.Hladun advises that if it is short term then they don’t come off the membership list. Requests to remain a member in good standing are under the purview of the National President and requests must go to National President directly and any requests to maintain office then come to the AEC, once a decision is made then the member gets a letter from the National President’s office. A member in good standing could still attend committee meetings but could not hold office per Regulation 5, those requests come to the AEC after they are received by the National President.
(e) PSAC staffing policies – submitted by Sr. Nancy Johnson
Sr. Johnson would like to know how long the retention period is for staffing pools.. Sr. Garnier advised that this is usually identified on a poster that an eligibility pool will be created and is typically used for one year. Sr.Garnier can appoint positions that are two months or less. She goes back to previous competitions to make sure that they qualified and rotates through the list. She has appointed two in the past few months that may have exceeded the year.
Sr.Garnier provided a staffing update for the region.
(f) February PRC meeting & National Officers – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
The next PRC meeting will be held in Saskatoon on February 19-21, 2016. The National Officers will be invited to attend on the Sunday. Sr. Davis is trying to set up a conference call with National Officers before the end of the year.
Committees need to identify if they need to do face to face work and to contact Sr. Davis to schedule conference calls.
(g) Scheduling of AGM’s and meeting the timeframe for Convention – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
A reminder for Area Councils that their election for a delegate to the PSAC Triennial Convention must take place between April 28th and October 28th, 2017 (per Section PRC Minutes – November 27-29, 2015 Page 9
14 Sub-section 12 (b) of the PSAC Constitution) as the PSAC Triennial Convention will be held April 29 – May 4, 2018. Four meetings per year must be held and Sr. Hladun has asked for an interpretation, in writing, from the National President to clarify the twelve month period. Please take that information back to the Area Councils so that they may plan ahead. The registration fee for Area Council delegates will be paid from Area Council line item and will be sent from the REVP office directly to Ottawa. The credentials should be sent to the REVP office so that they can be accompanied by the registration fee. Please let the REVP office know when AGM’s are scheduled.
Area Councils will need to look at their By-laws and Terms of Reference if they indicate that audited financial statements are required at the AGM.
Action: Sr. Hladun will draft a letter for Area Council Reps to bring with them to AGM’s. Will require feedback once draft is sent.
(h) Member Mobilization/Recruitment Strategy – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
Need to look at developing a regional strategy or campaign and find ways to promote Committees and Area Councils.
Sr. Johnson asks about getting a membership list. Sr. Hladun advises that all Geo and AC Reps have received lists except for new reps; and need to look at Equity Reps and how to split it. Info that was received from the National Equity Conferences was shared with the Equity Reps. A mail out to the membership hard copy costs approximately $20,000.00 but we could send out an email but can’t give out info.
Sr. Johnson asks if a committee/area council could be highlighted each time an e-newsletter goes out. Sr. Hladun says that is possible but it would need to be drafted and sent to the REVP office to be included. Sr. Getz suggests that Geo and AC Reps could highlight them in their newsletters. Sr. Nettleton suggest that they could include something when they do the provincial election mailout. Sr. Lang asks if that information could be gathered at conferences and conventions. Sr. Hladun will need to check with Ottawa to see if that is possible perhaps a box can be ticked on the registration.
Sr. Hladun asks for a group to gather ideas and report back. The group will consist of: Sr. Nancy Johnson, Sr. Michelle Lang, Br. Greg Krokosh, Sr. Deb Kosteniuk, Sr. Deanna Getz, Sr. Kim Haynes.
(i) Election Debrief – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
There was some confusion with the Action Plan and how funds were being dispersed. There were phone banks, mail outs and candidate forums in the region. Thank you to all that were able to do that work. PRC Minutes – November 27-29, 2015 Page 10
Br. Lemon would like to know why PSAC is not celebrating the campaign and successes as members need to know that should be proud. Sr. Hladun suggests that this could be highlighted at seasonal celebrations. Br. Pruden suggests that it could be something symbolic such as new shoes like the Finance Minister gets for a new budget.
Br. Goertzen asks for an update on the Steering Committee that was struck. Sr. Hladun advises that the last call that was held was June but only a couple were on the call. It was a good idea but they were not able to sustain it due to inavailability and non-responses.
(j) MB & SK Provincial Elections – submitted by Sr. Marianne Hladun
Saskatchewan and Manitoba will both be having provincial elections in April 2016. Area Councils need to start planning for those elections and should be submitting a budget equest to the REVP office. There will be no national money and it will have to come out of the regional political funds.
In Saskatchewan, the current Brad Wall government will be running on a privatization platform. Sr. Hladun and Sr. Benson will be meeting with Cam Broten on December 17th. Saskatchewan elections laws allow for financial contributions but the funds should come from the REVP office and not directly from Area Councils or Committees.
In Manitoba, the current NDP government will have a tough time at election time. The MFL does not have a Political Strategy Committee but the MFL will be running a labour issues campaign.
Order of the Day – Saturday, November 28, 2015 – Sr. Robyn Benson
The election did not go the way she wanted but now we need to hold Trudeau to his promises. He has never once said that he won’t go after sick leave and he may go after it from another angle. We have just signed off on the Mental Health Joint Task Force report.
The Vote to Stop the Cuts campaign was very successful and 3.1 million of the 5 million was spent. There were three million hits on the YouTube videos.
The NBoD had a retreat and formed a transition committee for the four million dollar fund. Dues are down and need to look at the staffing envelope. There will be focus groups across the country and this will be completed by the Fall of 2016. Allocations for the regions will be looked at in January/February 2016 as some regions have seen large membership number increases. Any changes to allocations will not take effect until 2018 as regional budgets have already been passed.
Regarding the XO on the use of unionized facilities – It is PSAC’s policy to use unionized facilities. We are a union and this is a union principle. The Prairie region needs to look at a change to the delegate entitlement for Alberta to hold a future convention and to have a fully funded convention. Currently, there could be 346 delegates from Locals alone and must ensure that all would have a room in a unionized facility. Br. Pruden asked if holding Convention on reserve had been considered. Sr. Hladun asked that he forward any possibilities to the REVP office and it could be looked at in 2020.
Sr. Benson and Br.Aylward are meeting with members from coast to coast. No plans currently for a celebration but can raise it at the NBoD strategy session.
The nine Veteran’s Offices will be reopened but not necessarily in the same location. They only location known currently is Sydney.
Timeline (Dates for Convention Call, Resolutions) (Appendix E)
The following dates were confirmed:
September 6, 2016 – Distribute Convention call-out & launch online registration
PRC Reps are responsible to register themselves online
December 8, 2016 – Resolutions Deadline & Subsidy Deadline
January 19-20, 2017 – Convention Committee Meetings (Winnipeg)
February 17, 2017 – Subsidies Mailed
February 21, 2017 – Post resolutions, financials, and reports to the Prairies website
March 16, 2017 – Deadline to qualify for hotel group rates / Deadline for Prairie Voice Award Submissions
April 21-23, 2017 – Prairie Region Triennial Convention
Action: Send updated convention timeline with the dates for Area Councils to elect their delegate.
Any theme ideas should be sent to Br. Vallis. Will be discussed at the February 2016 PRC meeting.
Need to start thinking about speakers. Will be discussed at the February 2016 PRC meeting.
Sr. Davis has negotiated a contract with the Fairmont which allows for the possibility of an offsite banquet. The PRC voted by handvote to hold the 2017 convention banquet at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
Will look into the possibility of purchasing pins that offer access to students who may not have an opportunity to visit the museum.
Will look at deducting the registration fees from the subsidy cheques as it would be less administrative work. Would clearly note on the call out that observers and guests would need to still send in a cheque.
There is a possibility that the new members at the Uof S would need to be subsidized if they do not have a first collective agreement by convention.
Looked at minimum subsidy amounts (Appendix F). Will be brought to the February 2016 PRC meeting.
Sr. Hladun is proposing the same Component complement on committees (1 Component National Officer as Co-Chair and 1 additional Component National Officer for each of the 3 convention committees) and the members of each committee will meet face to face in Winnipeg. The staff assigned will also be in attendance.
9. Roundtable Discussion
No time permitting.
Meeting adjourned at 11:32 a.m.