Minutes of Atlantic Regional Council, October 2012

Present:   

Jeannie Baldwin - REVP Atlantic Region, Katie Murphy Langille – Executive Assistant, Cathy Murphy – Regional Coordinator, Lesley Thompson – Political Communications Officer,

Darlene Bembridge, Robert Lewis, André Beaulieu, Dana Bailey, Rhonda Doyle LeBlanc, Anne Fagan-Wood, Chris Di Liberatore, Jim Hondas, Jody LaPierre, Brian Oldford, Shanny Doucet, Melissa Hyde, Bill Walsh,

Sandy Cake, Lori Walton, Dawn Hardy.  

 

Regrets:

Charlene Vidito-Milne

Angela Decker

 

Guests:

Debi Buell, NVP Charlottetown - UVAE

Rick Cormier, RVP Western Atlantic – AGR

Michelle Little, RVP Atlantic - GSU

Heather Ford, UTE Local 90006, Chief Shop Steward

 

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m on October 13, 2012 with Jeannie Baldwin, REVP Atlantic Region in the chair and the above identified Council Directors, Guests and PSAC Staff in attendance.

 

2. Moment of Silence

A moment of silence was held in memory of our Union Brothers and Sisters who passed away since the last Council Meeting.  The following names were read into the minutes:

 

Denise Roche-Comerford, UTE Local 90000

Larry Martin, UTE Local 90000

Marion Webb, UTE Local 60005

Ricky LeBlanc, CEIU Local 60004


 

3. Harassment Statement

Sister Melissa Hyde and Sister Shanny Doucet read aloud the PSAC Statement on Harassment.  Cathy Murphy was identified as harassment coordinator.

 

4. Hours of Session

Hours of session shall be:

§      October 13, 2012, 9:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m

§      October 14, 2012, 9:00 a.m – 12:00 p.m or until close of business

 

5. Adoption of Agenda

The following amendments were made to the agenda:

§      Item 13 “Gander Regional Office Update” moved to first order of business

§      Added Federation of Labour Conventions

§      Added Novell GroupWise

 

Motion to Adopt Amended Agenda

 

Brother Brian Oldford/Brother Chris Di Liberatore

Motion Carried

 

6.  Adoption of Previous Minutes

Review the previous minutes from February 25-26, 2012.

There were suggested changes to the previous minutes.

 

All in favour of changes to minutes.

Carried

 

7. Opening Remarks

Sister Jeannie welcomed the guests and Council Directors and commended the recently elected PSAC National Executive, Robyn Benson and Chris Alwyard for their work thus far.  National President, Robyn Benson along with the NBoD have made a decision that the “We are all Affected” campaign will be our campaign for the next 3 years; there will be continued National and Regional work to ensure this message is clear.

 

 

 

Archaeology Centre

The Archaeology Artifacts Centre located in Dartmouth NS plans to ship all of the Aboriginal and Francophone artifacts to Ottawa. With hope to overturn this decision, a successful press conference was organized with MPs Robert Chisholm and Megan Leslie, along with a representative from both the Francophone and Aboriginal community. There are 5 Parks employees at this facility that are in fear of loosing their job.   

 

Highland Links

A rally was held at Highland Links on October 6th.  The Request for Proposal (RFP) is out on tender and will be good for 45 yrs and has included the Keltic lodge.  NEVP, Eddy Kennedy for the Union of National Employees and Local President, Dean LeFriend along with over 200 others attended the rally.

Sister Jeannie Baldwin, Brother Eddie Kennedy, Brother Mark Eyking and a young worker in community all spoke at the rally. For further information please visit www.itsourgame.ca

 

Pensions

We must continue meeting with Members of Parliament and provide information regarding the average Federal Government Employee receives $26,000 for their pension – this is not clear, and we must continue to education others around our pension.

 

Strike Update

Fredericton Airport strike has been ongoing for eight months.  We are currently working with mediator and looking at enforcing the back to work protocol. However, the employer has clearly acknowledged that they do not want some of the workers back.

 

Five week strike at St.John’s Airport.  There are some major concessions on the table, one is contracting out.  The mayor, Dennis O’Keefe is working with us.  Both the NL Federation of Labour and PIPSC Union have cancelled their Convention’s.  On Friday, October 12th we were served with an injunction which has now been delayed.   We have been picketing the St. John’s Airport Authority Board of Directors businesses

 

and the CEO Keith Collins home.  Brother Chris Aylward and Sister Jeannie were down for the rally and stormed into the airport asking to

 

speak with managers.  However, they wouldn’t come out to speak, but they did come out to speak with media after PSAC representatives left.

 

Day of Action

Sept 15th – Day of Action. We worked with UNDE and they cost shared the event in New Glasgow and Antigonish.  We had a couple of buses for transport to Peter McKay’s office.  This was a successful event.

 

In Charlottetown, Brother Jody and Sister Dawn took the lead on the rally in front of MP Gail Shea’s office.

 

In Bouctouche an event was held around the closure of the Research Station.

 

In Goose Bay, members attended the local farmers market and were able to get 500 letters signed by community people and have them delivered by a PSAC member to MP Peter Penashue Office.

 

In Miramichi, the Area Council partnered with the NB Federation of Labour and CUPE and held a barbecue in the town square. Also, the new GSU Local had some members attend the event.  The local media attended the event, and MP Tilly O’Neil- Gordon drove by in her vehicle all the while snapping photos! 

 

Sister Jeannie thanked everyone for their participation in the Day of Action and advised that there are more cuts to come. Sister Jeannie advised that Sister Robyn Benson is meeting with Tony Clements, Minister of Treasury Board in next couple weeks. 

 

GroupWise

Sister Jeannie advised that if anyone continues to have problems with their GroupWise email account to discuss with Lesley.

 


 

DCL Conference

The Conference for the Directly Chartered Locals will take place November 24-25, 2012 in Moncton NB.  Brother Brian Oldford and Brother Robert Lewis will be attending the conference in their role as Directors for Non-Treasury Board/Separate Employer.

 

 

8. Gander Office Update

 

Recently, posted on a grassroots facebook account, was a letter posted by Bob Jackson, President of CULE. In that letter he mentioned the Atlantic Regional Council and their role in the closure of the Gander office. Sister Jeannie took a moment to confirm that the Atlantic Council had no role in the closure of the Gander office and advised that the process that took place in the review was as follows:

 

A Regional Office Branch Review was mandated to be followed through by the ROB Director over one year ago, previous to the PSAC Convention; it came to realization that this didn’t occur when we were advised that the Gander RO lease was to expire the end of November 2012.  Given this knowledge an expedited review was to be completed.  The process for the review went as follows:

-       Sister Robyn Benson sent a letter to NBoD and CULE to explain the process of the expedited review on August 8, 2012.

-       The Regional Coordinator advised the Atlantic Office staff on August 9, 2012.

-       Sister Jeannie held a teleconference with Atlantic Council on September 4, 2012 to explain the process and why the review was necessary; at that time providing pertinent information and statistics.  Sister also explained when/who would be involved in the review.

-       A teleconference with RVPs/NVPs and Local Presidents in the Newfoundland & Labrador Region took place September 5-6, 2012.

-       A Face to face meeting with the membership in the Newfoundland & Labrador Region was held September 19-20, 2012.

 

 

 

-       Membership had chance to put forward their comments to the REVP by September 26, 2012 as the report would be drafted by September 28, 2012 to be presented to the AEC for a decision.

 

 

Sister Jeannie and Sister Cathy Murphy put together a report of findings based on the statistical figures along with the feedback from the Leaders and Executive Members from the NL region.  Sister Jeannie then brought the report to AEC for discussion and decision.  The AEC made the decision to close the Gander Regional Office, effective November 30, 2012 by way of moving positions and resources to the St.John’s Regional Office. Following the decision to close the office, it was deemed that both Staff and CULE be notified, followed by the rest of the membership.

 

9. Committee Reports

 

Human Rights Committee

Sister Sandy read the report aloud.

 

The committee put forth a resolution regarding the allotted equity seats for the National Human Rights Committee Meeting. Sister Jeannie advised that she will discuss with Robyn as she believes the first BIR is out of order, the resolution be dealt with and voted separately from the report.

 

Motion to accept Human Rights Report

Carried

 

The National President Robyn Benson has advised that no observers will be able tot attend the NHRC.  However because we have two women’s Directors on council both of the directors will be able to alternate.

 

Resolution

Be it resolved that in the future PSAC Atlantic Council is the deciding body in choosing a Women’s Director on the National Human Rights Committee;

 

 

And be it further resolved the decision be made by secret ballot.

 

Motion to accept resolution submitted by the HR Committee.

Sister Sandy/Sister Anne

 

RECORDED VOTE

Carried

 

 

Health, Safety & Environment Committee

Brother Brian provided an overview of report

 

Recommendations:

1.   That the Education Committee ensures that a 1 day course on Mental Health is offered in the spring of 2013. 

2.   That council recommend to the JLP to develop a National Course on Mental Health as part of their program.

 

Motion to accept Health, Safety & Environment Report

Carried

 

PSAC Equity Conference Update

Guest Speaker, Mariam Abou-Dib provided a presentation on the structure of the National Human Rights Committee as well as the reasoning behind the new format for the PSAC Equity Conference.

 

Update on Bill C-377 (An act to amend the Income Tax Act)

Tony Tracey, CLC Representative – Atlantic Region provided very useful information concerning the federal Bill C-377 and its’ impacts on the entire labour movement.

 

Tony advised that documents pertaining to the Bill will be provided next week and then circulated to council.

 

The CLC’s Key Messages are:

“Bill C-377 is unnecessary, bureaucratic red tape that would be very expensive for government to administer, would intrude on privacy and may be unconstitutional. It should not proceed.”

 

"Bill C-377 is discriminatory, singling out unions and union members for

unfair treatment under the law."

 

“Bill C-377 may be unconstitutional legislation that will violate provisions

of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

 

Women’s Committee Report

Rhonda read aloud the report.

 

A recommendation to hold 1 Women’s Conference instead of 2 given budgetary reasons was put fourth and carried.

 

Sister Melissa and Brother Bill requested to be recorded against this motion.

 

All in favour of the report.

Carried

 

Education Committee Report

Andre read aloud the report.

 

Education Committee will be meeting in January to discuss the Three Year Strategic plan of action and the 2013 Atlantic School.

 

All in favour of committee’s report.

Carried

 

A motion was put fourth to extend the hours of session by 15 minutes, until 5:15pm to finish business.

 

Sister Dawn/Sister Darlene

Carried

 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

 

Motion to amend the agenda to continue with presentations, followed by the PSAC 2014 Triennial Atlantic Regional Convention, Finance and Political Action reports and any other items.

 

 

Sister Darlene/Sister Dawn

Carried

 

Breaking the Silence Presentation

Sister Marla LeBlanc was one of the two delegates from the Atlantic Region who were given the opportunity to be part of the delegation to Guatemala; a campaign that is provided through the PSAC Social Justice Fund.  Sister Marla provided a slideshow presentation on her trip which brought awareness to how important the Social Justice Fund really is.

 

PSAC Social Justice Fund Presentation

Sister Louise Casselman, PSAC Social Justice Fund Officer provided an overview as to how the SJF operates within PSAC.

 

10. PSAC Atlantic Triennial Convention

Sister Gaelle Felix, Convention Coordinator and Sister Katie underwent site visits to 4 different venues in late summer 2012.  Information provided to Atlantic council in determining the Convention venue was as follows:

-       Cost of rooms & parking

-       Cost of plenary

-       Does the venue suit convention needs & requirements

-       Proximity of hotels

The Atlantic Council Directors discussed options provided and determined that Saint John, NB is most feasible based on our needs and requirements surrounding cost and accommodations.

The preferred dates for the Atlantic Convention in Saint John NB, in order of preference are June 5-8, June 26-29, and June 19-22.

 

Sister Jeannie advised that as soon as the Convention Contract is confirmed and signed it will be announced to Council and posted on the PSAC Atlantic Website.

 

11. Continuation of Committee Reports


 

Political Action Committee

Motion to postpone Political Action Committee report until the next Council Meeting.

 

Sister Dawn/Sister Darlene

Carried

 

Finance Committee

Motion to postpone Finance Committee report until the next Council Meeting.

Sister Darlene/Brother Brian

Carried

 

12. Reports of REVP and Directors

Motion to accept the REVP and Directors reports put as a whole and no updates.

Brother Brian/Sister Lori

All in favour

Carried

 

13. Next Atlantic Regional Council Meeting

Discussion was held and the decision was made to host the next Regional Council Meeting February 20-23, 2013 at the Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax NS assuming the hotel has availability at this time or earlier in the month.

 

14. We are all Affected Campaign

This is an ongoing PSAC campaign that will carry us through until the next federal election.  Sister Lesley asked that you keep the message when speaking at different events and make it applicable to the members and their community.

 

15. PSAC Summer Students

Brother Brian has a concern with repeat students receiving terms at the PSAC Regional Offices. Feels we should look at our members’ families.  Sister Jeannie advises that if their home address is in the area of the regional office and meets the job criteria they are deemed qualified for the position.  Each interested student has to apply for the position, competition process is conducted and the most qualified is offered the position.

 

 

16. Communication Update/GroupWise

Sister Lesley applauded Council for the work they are doing in their roles when handling media and acting as spokespeople at different events.

 

Sister Lesley advises that the Council section of the website is on its way to be up and running in the next month or two.

 

Sister Lesley also advised that should there be any issues with the Novell GroupWise email account that they contact PSAC user support at 1-613-560-4259.

 

17. Federation of Labour Convention

Sister Dawn discussed selection of delegate seats at the Federation of Labour Conventions.  Sister Dawn feels council should hold a more prominent role within the different Provincial Federations; and try to ensure delegate seats are filled.

 

Sister Jeannie advises that PSAC has no control over the Federation of Labour Conventions as the delegate seats applications are sent directly to the Locals.  PSAC has no funding to allow Council or other PSAC members interested in attending Federation of labour Convention’s unless you hold a seat with the Federation as a PSAC Executive.  However, should any Council Director want to attend a Federation of Labour Convention, requests to access director’s budget is welcome.

 

Closing Remarks

In closing, Sister Jeannie asks Council to reflect on the teambuilding sessions they have taken part in while on Council and remind them that we have the Conservative government to battle and we need to do this together as leaders and not be divided amongst one another.

 

Adjournment 12:15 pm

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