Saskatoon Regional Women’s Committee (October 5, 2010)

Saskatoon Regional Women’s Committee Meeting

October 5, 2010

Attendance:  Nancy Johnson (UTE Chair), Elena Beynon (Agriculture Sec-Treas.), Raj Dhir (APSAR Rep.), Clara Fabbro (UEW), Rosemary Neufeld (Agriculture), Karen Zoller (Agriculture), Angie Chudy (Agriculture), Carla Zatorski (USGE)

1) Welcome and Introductions

2) Prairie Women’s Conference

The Regional Women’s Conference took place September 10-12th in Saskatoon.  There were approximately 70 participants in all.  Feedback was positive.  The pension seminar was a big hit in particular and particpants wanted a more detailed course to be offered.  Judy Shannon is looking at delivering a one-day course in the Prairies.  Nancy thanked participants, especially those from Saskatoon who acted as ambassadors during the conference. 

Four resolutions were submitted by the Saskatoon RWC and two went through to the National Women’s Conference.  Nancy reminded RWC members that in committee votes setting resolution priorities and on the floor they should be voting in favour of resolutions submitted by their local RWC.  Discussion ensued on this point.

The conference raised money for AIDS Saskatoon, NASHI and Joints in Motion and these organizations also had informational booths at the conference.  Over $1100 in donations was divided 3 ways between these organizations.  Participants also donated household items for AIDS Saskatoon.  The local Food Bank collected food and $400-500 in donations.    Ten Thousand Villages also had a booth where they sold products.  They did good business and were pleased to be invited.

3) National Women’s Conference

The PSAC National Women’s Conference will be taking place October 22-24, 2010 in Ottawa.  Nancy and Angie have been accepted as delegates.  The theme of the conference is “Thinking Back – Moving Forward”.

4) RWC Resolutions to Conferences

This item was covered in agenda item 2 above.

5) Regional Open House

The Saskatoon & District Area Council and Regional Women’s Committee will be co-hosting an Open House on Thursday, December 16, 2010 at the Regional Office from 4-7pm.  All PSAC members are welcome to attend.  Community partners will also be invited.  We hope to arrange for a speaker for ~5:30-6pm.  The RWC and Area Council will develop informational material to display at the Open House.

Action:  Elena will arrange food and drink and co-ordinate with the Area Council.  Clara will contact AIDS Saskatoon to see if they would be willing to send a speaker for the Open House.

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

Nancy, Marianne and Clara attended the SIS vigil on Monday, October 4 and Nancy attended Take Back the Night on Monday, September 27.  Both had good speakers.  The RWC is frustrated at the short notice for both events from the organizers as it makes it difficult for members to attend. 

We also looked at arranging speakers for future RWC meetings.

Action:  Elena to contact Grandmothers for Grandmothers to see if they would be interested in speaking at a future RWC meeting.

7) Prairie Region Convention (PRC) Update

The Prairie region convention will take place June 10-12, 2011 at the Fairmont hotel in Winnipegt.  Due to scheduling difficulties, the location has been changed from Regina to Winnipeg.  The call-out for this convention should be coming out soon.  Delegates are NOT fully-funded and a subsidy in the amount of approximately $500 (subject to change) per delegate will be paid to help cover costs for delegates from Saskatchewan.  Delegates and observers MUST PRE-REGISTER by January 28, 2011 at a cost of $100 (for both delegate and observer) in order to be eligible for the subsidy.  Hotel rooms should be booked asap but no later than May 9, 2011.  You will need to give a special id to qualify for union rates.  Nancy will be attending the convention as a representative of the Prairie Region Council.  The RWC is entitled to send a delegate and will need to elect someone early in the new year.  The Resolution deadline will be included in the convention call-out information.  We can expect a resolution from the Prairie Region Council on delegate status to the convention in the hopes of increasing the chances of getting this convention fully-funded in time.

8) Roundtable Discussion

The Area Council is sponsoring a build on Wednesday, October 20th for Habitat for Humanity and is looking for members to volunteer.  It is a good way to use the Volunteer Day in their Collective Agreements.  The build is at an early stage of development so work will be outside and labour intensive.  Steel toed boots are required and will be provided if necessary.  Lunch will be provided by the Area Council.  Interested people should contact Elena Beynon.  Posters have been distributed to all Local Presidents, RWC’s and Area Council members.

Raj Dhir talked about the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the report of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women which will take place Friday, October 29th from 7-9:30pm at McClure Church, located at 4025 Taylor in Saskatoon.  A poster will be sent out by the Regional office.  The night will include an introduction, panel discussion on the changes made by women in the Union and Entertainment.  The night is meant to recognize the gains as a result of this report as well as the setbacks that we are currently facing.  As the organizing group has no funds, they are looking for donations to help with this event.  Nancy agreed to be a panel member to present about how unions have moved issues for women.

Action:  Nancy will check with Robyn Benson to see if there are funds available to donate.  Angie will look into whether the Agriculture Union Human Rights committee has funds available and will get back to Raj by next Thursday.  Nancy, Clara and Elena will attend the event on October 29th.

Nancy told the group about the following upcoming union education:

-November 12-15, 2010 Young Workers in Action conference.  The deadline for this conference has been extended.  Participants must be 30 years of age or under.

-Alliance Facilitator Course  January 12-16, 2011

-Union Women at Work.  This course is being re-vamped by Judy Shannon as a dedicated course and she hopes to be able to offer it in March 2011.