Saskatoon Area Council AGM Minutes (Feb 22, 2021)

Attendees:  Kelsey Oram (President A/C, Local 40161), Elena Beynon (VP A/C, Local 40022), Tara Zwozdesky (Local 40161), Jon Durkin (Local 40022) Louise Mardell (Regional Representative, PSAC), Marianne Hladun (REVP Prairies)

Guest:  Hannah Gass (Community Developer, Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre)

  1. Agenda
  2. Call to Order

Hannah Gass was an invited guest from the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.  She spoke about the programs they offer, the effects that Covid has had on the way they do business, how they have had to adapt to meet those challenges and the support they have received from the local community.  She detailed the main programs they offer which include Emergency Food Hampers, the Clothing Depot, the Learning Centre and the Urban Agricultural Garden.

3. Minutes from the Last Meeting Jan 18, 2021

Elena made a motion to accept minutes from January 18, 2021.  Seconded by Jon Durkin.

4. President’s Report – Kelsey Oram

The report touched on the challenges of getting involvement from other PSAC locals, especially during the pandemic and discussions the executive has had to help remedy this.  Upcoming meetings will each have a guest speaker from local groups that we feel will be of interest to our members and align with the goals of the Area Council.  We also hope to have bargaining team members to give updates on the status of bargaining.  Kelsey will be reaching out to Local Presidents soliciting involvement of their members on the Area Council.

5. Saskatoon Food Bank

Kelsey spoke about the upcoming Food Drive to benefit the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre taking place March 1-8.  Two worksites (Justice and AAFC) will have collection bins and arrangements can be made for contactless pick up or drop off for other members.  A donation of $200 to the Food Bank was approved.

6. Election of Officers – Secretary/Treasurer

Elena nominated Tara Zwozdesky for Secretary Treasurer and it was seconded by Kelsey.  Louise Mardell ran the election and Tara was acclaimed. The Oath of Office was performed at the end of the meeting by Marianne Hladun.

7. Treasurer’s Report/Financial Statement & 2021 Budget – Kelsey Oram

The Financial Report for 2020 and tentative budget for 2021 were submitted by Kelsey to the REVP’s office as part of the 2021 reporting package.  Marianne clarified that it needs to go to our PRC representative for approval.  As our PRC representative has recently stepped down from this role and it will not be filled until after the Prairies convention, arrangements will be made to send to another representative instead.  Kelsey will provide an explainer for the proposed activities to help them better understand how and why the Area Council will be involved.

As of December 31, 2020, the bank balance was $1026.28 with one cheque for $75 donation to the Saskatoon Legion for Remembrance Day still outstanding, so available balance of $951.28.  Area Council activity for 2020 was very limited due to the pandemic.  The donation mentioned above and meeting expenses of $51.04 for the January meeting were the only expenses.

Elena made a motion to accept the Financial statement, seconded by Jon.  Statement was approved.

Kelsey presented the tentative budget for 2021 which is still subject to approval by the REVP’s office and the whims of covid.  The total for 2021 is $1840.  We will be requesting the difference of this and our current bank balance to cover the costs. 

Food Drive Saskatoon Food BankMarch$200 
Day of Mourning Saskatoon and District Labour CouncilApril$200 
Day of Caring United WayJune$200 
Pride ParadeJuly$100 
Summer Snack Program DonationJuly$300 
Community Garden Saskatoon Food BankApril-Sept$300 
Remembrance Day DonationNovember$75 
Christmas Open HouseDecember$200 
Voter Registration CampaignTBD$100 
Bank ChargesN/A$15 
Meeting ExpensesN/A$150 

Jon Durkin made a motion to accept the budget, seconded by Elena.  Budget approved.

8. New Business

The PSAC 8th Prairie Region Convention will be taking place, virtually June 25-27, 2021.  Kelsey will be attending on behalf of the Area Council.

9. Roundtable

Louise spoke about upcoming union education courses, specifically the Talking Union Basics (TUB) course which will take place this weekend and online workshops about how Locals can put on Orientation Sessions to the union for their workplace. There was a lot of interest and more registrants than spots.  Members are reminded to keep an eye out for more TUB as well as Education for Shop Stewards and Understanding the Collective Agreement courses.  Information can be found on the PSAC Saskatoon website.  The national PSAC site is also offering online courses for members.

Marianne gave an update on the status of payment of Phoenix damages to members and whether this settlement will be taxed.  It is the Union’s position that the CRA relied on erroneous information provided by Treasury Board when they rendered their initial decision.  When this was pointed out to CRA they agreed to revisit the decision if correct information was provided by Treasury Board which they have thus far, refused to do.  They have stated that they will be paying out the settlement on March 3rd and subjecting it to income tax deduction.  PSAC has mounted a campaign for members to contact their MP’s electronically or by phone to voice their disagreement with this decision and to ask them to delay payment until a proper decision can be rendered.  The concern is that if later deemed not taxable, fixing this issue, could cause additional delays and problems to members’ pay.  PSAC will be submitting their own declaration of facts to CRA directly in an attempt to get them to reconsider their decision.  More detailed information can be found on the National PSAC website.

The National Bargaining conference will take place the last week of April 2021.

While it is too late to submit demands for the current round of bargaining, there is a survey on Treasury Board bargaining that allow members to give input on what their concerns are for future rounds of bargaining. 

10. Next Meeting:       April 19th, 5:15pm virtual, contact details will be posted on the PSAC Saskatoon website and shared with Locals by the Regional Office.