Saskatoon Regional Women’s Committee (November 15, 2010)

Saskatoon Regional Women’s Committee Meeting

November 15, 2010

Attendance:  Nancy Johnson (UTE Chair), Elena Beynon (Agriculture Sec-Treas.), Marianne Hladun (Alt REVP Prairies, Agriculture), Raj Dhir (APSAR Rep.), Clara Fabbro (UEW), Rosemary Neufeld (Agriculture), Karen Zoller (Agriculture), Angie Chudy (Agriculture), Nicole Wurm (Agriculture), Evelyn Jackson (UNDE), Carol Casey (UEW), Louise Mardell (Saskatchewan-North PSAC Regional representative), Patty Pasloski (CEIU)

1) Welcome

2) Minutes of October 5, 2010 meeting

 Changes are to be made to the following items from last meeting’s minutes:

–  Take Back the Night and Sisters in Spirit (SIS) Vigils

–  Clara & Marianne also attended the SIS Vigil (in addition to Nancy).

3.) Prairie Region Convention (PRC) Update

The subsidy for Saskatchewan delegates will be approximately $500 and not $650 indicated in the October minutes.  This amount is subject to change depending on availability of funds.

Action:  Elena to make changes and forward final copy to Heather Longstaff for posting on the Regional site.

4.) National Women’s Conference Update

Evelyn, Nancy and Angie attended the conference as delegates and Marianne as a guest.

Nancy updated the RWC on the National Women’s Conference.  There was a request for extra time in the conference to discuss PSAC’s recommendation for the PA, EB and SV treasury board groups to accept the tentative agreement offered by Treasury Board.  The delegates wanted more information on the bargaining process, specifically on the level of debate that took place within and among the bargaining units and the level of control they had in negotiation over the terms of the agreement.  While the members respected the work of the bargaining teams, they were upset over the process and wanted clarification on how the bargaining took place and the rationale to accept the agreement. 

They were told that the wage package was negotiated nationally and not at the bargaining unit level.  General consensus by those present was that while the tone of debate at the conference was respectful, the answers provided to delegates was not sufficient.

5.) 40th Anniversary on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women Event

The Canadian Research Institute for Advancement of Women and the Saskatoon Council of Women hosted a 40th Anniversary celebration of the release of the report from the Royal Commission on the Status of Women on Friday, October 29th from 7-9:30pm at McClure Church in Saskatoon.  Nancy was one of the panel discussion participants and spoke on the gains that have been made for women in the Union movement.  About 30-40 people attended this event.

Action:  The RWC agreed to donate $150 to the Saskatoon Council of Women to help cover some of the costs of hosting this event.  The Human Rights Committee of the Agriculture Union also donated funds.

6.) Saskatoon Women’s Movement Committee/OXFAM

This local group is looking for RWC members to be involved.  Some of the events and causes they have been involved in are Take Back the Night and fundraising to help the victims of flooding in Pakistan.  Nationally, the PSAC has donated funds to the national umbrella group.  Nancy passed around information on the group to the RWC.

Action:  Nicole volunteered to be part of the group on behalf of the RWC.

7.) AIDS Saskatoon Household Drive

The RWC will be collecting household items for donation to AIDS Saskatoon until the first week in December.  A letter and poster have been distributed to all Local presidents.  This information will also be posted on the PSAC regional website as well as the AIDS Saskatoon site.  Items can be dropped off at the regional office, with the Local President (if they are willing) or people can contact Clara to pick them up.

Toiletries collected under Clean Sweep for November will also be donated. Cathy, the education officer from AIDS Saskatoon will be a guest speaker at the PSAC Open House on December 16th.  The office staff has also been invited to the Open House. 

8.) Appointments to SFL Committees and SFL Spring School

The Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) is looking for volunteers from PSAC and other affiliates to sit on various committees.    Most committees meet 2-4 times per year and sometimes by conference call.  Some of the committees are fully funded by the SFL while others are not.  PSAC nationally funds participation on Federation of Labour committee so Locals will not incur any cost for participation.  Appointed individuals will be required to report regularly to the REVP for the Prairie Region and communicate with the PSAC Vice-President.  The term of the appointment is 2 years. 

The deadline to put your name forward is 4pm on Friday, N.ovember 26th.  Interested individuals should complete the application form and foward it by email to Marianne Hladun or fax it to the Regional Office at 664-2016 to Marianne’s attention.  Application forms can be obtained from Marianne or from your Local President.

The SFL Spring School will take place March 27-April 1st, 2011 in Humboldt.  The deadline for earlybird registration is Februay 14, 2011.  More information can be found on the SFL website,  Interested individuals should contact their Local to see if they can be sponsored to attend. 

9.) Contact Information for Federal Women’s Symposium

Organizers of this Symposium wanted contact information for members of the RWC in order to send them information on the Symposium.

Action:  Instead of individual email addresses, Nancy will give them Heather Longstaff’s email address.  Information sent to her can then be forwarded  to Local Presidents and RWC members. 

10.) YWCA Rose Campaign and December 6th events

Nancy distributed information on the YWCA Rose Campaign to end Violence against Women and Girls.  This campaign is asking supporters to send a rose campaign message to their local Member of Parliament demanding that Parliament immediately adopt a National Housing Strategy with a women’s component.  The YWCA also has rose buttons for sale commemorating December 6, 1989 as well as a variety of awareness and action materials available for order by local organizations.  More information on this campaign, including a link to your local MP can be found at the following website:

National Action Day is taking place on Friday, December 3rd and the YWCA is looking for volunteers to lobby MP’s about the link between homelessness and gender inequality with violence against women. 

December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal. A memorial will be held on December 5th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm in the St. Thomas More College Cafeteria (University of Saskatchewan Campus)

The program will begin with a candlelight vigil in remembrance of women murdered violently. Artist expressions such as poetry and music will also be included in the service. The program will be followed by refreshments.

“Polytechnique” documentary screenings will be taking place:
November 26 – 3:00pm to 5:00pm
December 1 – 7:00pm to 9:00pm
(Room 146 in the Arts building)

Action:  Nancy has requested a lobby kit for the YWCA Rose Campaign. She will also look into additional events going on locally to commemorate December 6, 1989.

11.) Prairies Convention Call Out

The call out for the upcoming Prairies Convention June 10-12, 2011 has come out.  Registration for delegates must be received by January 26, 2011 and the deadline for submitting resolutions is
February 23, 2011.  A resolution writing workshop will be held Wednesday, January 12th at 5:15pm at the Regional Office.  This course will be open to all PSAC members.  Resolutions to be submitted on behalf of the RWC will be finalized at an RWC meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 19th at 5:15 at the Regional Office.  The RWC delegate will also be elected at this meeting.

Action:  RWC members are to come up with resolutions that they would like submitted to the convention and encouraged to attend the resolution writing workshop.  Louise will send out resolutions from the Regional and National Women’s conferences to RWC members as food for thought.

12.) Regional Open House

The Regional Open House will take place Thursday, December 16th at the Regional Office.  Clara has confirmed a speaker from AIDS Saskatoon for 6pm and has invited the local office staff and Nancy will look into getting a speaker from the Saskatoon Women’s Movement.  The Area Council and RWC will make a poster to display their activities.  A video shown at the Regional Women’s Conference highlighting the involvement of PSAC members in local events will be shown.  Carol Casey will be present as a representative from the Joint Learning Program. 

Action:  Elena to send posters to Heather Longstaff for distribution to Local Presidents and to take care of food.  Nancy to arrange a second speaker.  Marianne will invite local partners to the Open House.  A poster of RWC activities will also need to be done.

13.) Activities

The Saskatoon Community Clinic will be hosting a Brown Bag Lunch session on Housing and Health:  What is the link?  What can be done? on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 from noon to 1pm.  This will take place at the Westside Clinic Meeting Room located at 1528 20th Street West in Saskatoon.

14.) Round Table Discussion

Clara suggested that the RWC do a summary of activities they have been involved in for posting on the Regional website.  Clara and Karen spoke about some of the events they have been involved with in the last year. 

Action:  Members should submit items/activities to Nancy to include in the summary