PRC Minutes (Aug. 26-27, 2011)

Meeting minutes from the August 26 – 27, 2011 Prairie Region Council Meeting in Winnipeg, MB

August 26 – 27, 2011

Robyn Benson, REVP Prairies
Imy Bhatty, Racially Visible representative
Jennifer Borean, Southern Saskatchewan Representative
Amanda-Rose Bourget, Youth Representative
Shaun Brennand, Regina Area Council Representative
Dave Burchell, Persons with Disabilities Representative
Jerad Cooper, Northern Alberta Representative
Alex George, Aboriginal Representative
Alec Goertzen, Calgary Area Council Representative
Tim Hogan, Prince Albert Area Council Representattive
Timothy Hunt, GLBT Representative
Nancy Johnson, RWC Representative
Glen Johnston, North West Manitoba Representative
Gloria Kelly, South East Manitoba Representative
Kevin King, Southern Alberta Representative
Nina Kiviluoma, Edmonton Area Council Representative
Fran Mohr, Directly Chartered Locals Representative
Denni Nelson, Northern Saskatchewan Representative
Jackie Nettleton, Saskatoon Area Council Representative
Susan Norman, Westman Area Council Representative
David Pearson, Lethbridge Area Council Representative
Matt Tijani, Winnipeg Area Council Representative
Marianne Hladun, Alternate REVP
Chad Kemery, Separate Employer Representative


1. Call to Order: August 26, 2011
The meeting was called to order by Sister Robyn Benson at 9:10 am. 

2. Adoption of Agenda
The agenda was adopted.

3. Hours of Session
The hours of session were adopted.

4. Opening Remarks
Sister Robyn Benson welcomed the new Council members.  She spoke to the importance of working together cohisively over the next three years especially with the reality of a Conservative majority government and the need to promote the important services that our members provide as cuts are imminent.  She reviewed the Resolution from the National Board of Directors that was distributed at our Convention.  As a result of this resolution, part of the action plan in the Prairies will be to hold Leadership meetings.  Sister Benson announced that “Prairies on Patrol” has been launched.  A letter was sent to the leadership in the Prairies to ask that information about job cuts be sent to the REVP office.

National Occupational Codes – Sister Benson indicated she would like to have a presentation on the work that has been done so far at a future meeting.

Equal Opportunity Committee – At the June National Board of Directors a resolution was passed to change the EOC to a Human Rights Committee.  This direction comes from a review of the current EOC.  The review was commissioned based on a resolution from the last Triennial.  The biggest change is the inclusion of the Regional Equity members to the new committee.  She believes the first meeting will be in the spring of 2012.

5. Organizing
Sister Veronique Allard provided a summary of organizing.  She asked that if any Council members have any leads that they should be in contact with her at the Regional office.  She highlighted the recent successes in the Prairie Region:

Canadian Human Rights Museum was certified in Dec 2010. There are currently 45 members, but once the museum is open we will be representing approximately 200 members. We are already representing workers at four other national museums in Ottawa. The first collective agreement for this unit should be in the next few months.

University of Winnipeg was certified this July.  We will be representing tutors, markers, academic assistants and lab demonstrators (approx. 400). This new certificate is the first one west of Ontario. The campaign took around 9 months. All these employees are temporary, part-time workers, assisting professors with their academic work.

6. Administrative Overview
Sisters Alison Davis and Robyn Benson provided an adminstrative overview and agreement was reached on the following:

  • Request for advances of salary and expenses must be submitted by the deadline.
  • Require a receipt for Family Care claims.
  • Driving needs prior approval and is subject to a cost comparison.
  • Maximum ½ day of LWOP on the day of travel unless there are specific reasons which require prior approval.
  • The Council agreed that internet and cellular and home phone will no longer be reimbursed.
  • Original receipts must be provided to have the claim processed.
  • Business cards will be ordered for all Council members who would like them.

7.  Leadership Meetings
Sister Tracy Thor facilitated a Round Table discussion with the Council Members.  She then divided them into smaller groups to brainstorm for feedback on the upcoming Leadership Meetings. 

Questions that were asked:
What should the role of the steward look like?
How can Stewards be utilized?
What should steward assemblies address?
What do you see your role being at these leadership meetings?


Saturday, August 26, 2011

9. Council Business
Minutes- The June 9, 2011meeting minutes were approved with one change – Brother Kevin King to show as Southern Alberta Representative.

10. Items Submitted and discussed

CFIB – The UNDE petition was highlighted.  The Council requested to have more information on Catherine Swift and CFIB’c structure.  To be brought back at next meeting.

AFL Kids Camp –  Sister Benson will ensure that the Federation Vice Presidents representing PSAC are made aware that the Prairie Region Council will be involved in assisting them with their outreach and selection.  This will be implemented for the next round of Kids Camps as there have been problems in the past and the Council and VP’s want to work together to ensure that we do indeed send kids to camp.

100th Anniversary Celebration of Edmonton District Labour Council –
Brother Timothy Hunt advised starting January of next year and going through Labour Day there will be celebrations across the province. In June there will be a day long celebration at Fort Edmonton.  There is space available for Unions to showcase themselves.

Regional Women’s Committee in Brandon – Three Component requests were received.  Sister Benson brought it forward and it has been approved by the AEC.  The first meeting will be in the Fall/Winter.

Council Meeting Decision Making – The Council agreed to continue to make decisions by consensus except for discipline matters and resolutions presented to Convention or if consensus cannot be reached.

PSAC Triennial Convention – PSAC Triennial Convention is April 29 – May 3, 2012 in Ottawa.  Area Councils need to ensure that they elect their delegate and submit Resolutions by the deadline in October.

Prairie Region Convention Resolutions – The Prairie Region Council can not change the Bylaws.  The Prairie Region Bylaws Committee report from Resolution 20 and onwards was not dealt with at the Prairie Region Convention.
Brother Dave Burchell motioned to table the remaining Bylaws Resolutions.
Sister Nancy Johnson seconded the motion.
The Council voted in favour.

Prairie Region Convention Debrief – The Council discussed the following:

  • Length of time for speakers
  • Electronic voting
  • Possibility adding a half day to get additional business done
  • Funding
  • Financial breakdown of costs to be presented at Spring meeting
  • Striking a Committee to work with REVP’s office to make decisions regarding 2014 Convention in Regina

Committees – Committees will be decided at the next Prairie Region Council meeting.

Reports – No reports were required for this 1st meeting.  For future meetings, reports will be required by the deadline and should speak to the work the Council members are doing on behalf of the Council.

1. Communications – Brother Jeffrey Vallis gave an overview of:

  • the newly designed Prairie Region website.
  • accessing Groupwise for email
  • lobbying documents

He will also look at how many banners are across the Region and this will come back to the November meeting about how they should be distributed.

Meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm.