Minutes of the Presidents' Conference

September 15, 16, 17, 2005

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2005
AFTERNOON SESSION

CALL TO ORDER

The meeting was called to order at 1:15 pm.  Betty Bannon, President of the Union of Taxation Employees presided.  All members of the Executive Council were in attendance. 

The session opened with the song Solidarity Forever in both French and English.

President Bannon went over the Harassment Policy and introduced the Complaint Administrators, Marcel Bertrand, Shawn Bergeron, David Quist and Lyson Paquette.

She introduced the members of the staff from the National Office present in the room and she then asked the Local Presidents to introduce themselves.  The members of the Executive Council were then introduced.

A moment of silence was taken in memory of the members deceased since we last met.

OPENING REMARKS

Sister Bannon updated the attendees on the following topics:

  • The feasibility study on on-site childcare was not completed due to the lack of time between now and Convention.  The study will be sent out as soon as it is ready.
  • The web mail directory where you can store your emails has not been completed but is on the top of the list.
  • The Budget Impact Committee that was running the campaign on the Cash and Client Service Counter has concluded all of its business and has been dissolved. Nevertheless, the campaign is not over and all issues have been referred to the Political Action Committee.
  • Few reports of people visiting their MPs were received in the National Office with respect to the campaign.  This is a reminder to do so.
  • New amended postcards regarding the campaign were mailed to all locals and they can be used for any events.  Signed cards must be send to the National Office by next week and they will be delivered with the 6,400 cards already received in the office by the National President to the Commissioner by the end of September.
  • The National Office will be moving to the 8th floor next November.  There will be a boardroom available for all committee meetings.
  • A memo on Service Canada went out.  There will be access to the CRA website and some phones available that will be relayed to the Montreal service call center.  It has been confirmed that Service Canada will not be taking any calls or payments.
  • More restructuring from the employer is expected in shared or common services within IT and purchasing sections.
  • We have been given a new 3 year mandate by convention and the schedule will be a very busy one.
  • An input call will be sent out shortly on the next convention location.

Conclusion

Sister Bannon concluded by saying that these Presidents’ Conferences were the forum where locals could share their concerns and information and also receive educational advice via guest speakers, workshops, etc.

Point of privilege – M. Bertrand

Brother Bertrand reminded the attendees that a questionnaire was passed earlier to all participants on harassment cases and that this was to be sent back by September 30, 2005 to the National Office.

The point of privilege was well taken by the Chair.

HOURS OF SESSION

M/S/C Barb Stewart/Doug Gaetz

That the hours of session be as follows:

Thursday: 1:15 to 5:00
Friday:  0900 to 11:30; 1:15 to 5:00;
Saturday:  0900 to 11:45; 1:15 to 5:00 or end of business

MOTION CARRIED.

ADOPTION OF AGENDA

(see attached agenda, participants list and Items submitted by the Local Presidents)

M/S/C G. Ennis/Vicki-Lynn Smith
 
That the agenda be adopted as circulated with the following additions from the floor.

1. Cash Counters (St. Catharines)
2. MGs (St. Catharines)
3. Katrina Relief Fund (Halifax)
4. St. Stephen Site (Saint John)
5. Communications (Montérégie)
6. Olympic Games (Montérégie)
7. Report of ad hoc Political Committee (Montérégie)
8. Telus Lockout (Calgary)
9. Terms over 3 years (Lethbridge)
10. Safety of members at Information Counters (Kingston)
11. Funding for LWOP for small claims court (Kingston)
12. Follow-up to Presidents’ Conference Minutes (Peterborough)

MOTION CARRIED.

Sister Bannon emphasized the fact that it was very important that the items for discussions be sent by the due date in order for her to prepare adequately.

EXECUTIVE COUNCIL BUSINESS

President Bannon reported briefly on some of the business conducted by the Executive Council earlier during the week. (See Council Minutes September 2005).

1) For the next October NBoD: that PSAC provide UTE with the number of designated members per bargaining unit and the amount paid into the hardship fund per bargaining unit.
2) Appointment of Auditors for 2005: Andrew Foreman from Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.
3) That the PSAC assign to UTE all employees working for Winnipeg Compensation.
4) The following were adopted as Non-UTE Events:
PSAC Regional Health and Safety Conferences,
WSIB Level V Course,
OFL Disability Conference,
OFL Ontario Network of Injured Workers Group Workers Compensation Conference.

  • Pictures of scholarship winners should be sent to the National Office to be posted on the web.
  • By-Laws Committee proposed two (2) amendments to the Regulations being the terms and conditions of elected paid officers (Regulation 22), and the RVP must be present for the creation of a new local (Regulation 2).
  • Unfinished business was dealt with in one block for the committee recommendations of non-concurrence and one for the committee recommendation of concurrence being the Statement of Principle on Bargaining.
  • Committee assignments were adopted (see attached item 16).  A new committee was formed (the Political Action Committee) chaired by Brother MacDonald and co-chaired by Brother Stein.
  • Resolutions were passed as follows:
  • Financial reports will no longer be posted on the website.  They will be sent electronically to all locals.

Question to the chair – D. Quist

Are we to understand from previous discussions that a local can sell a product with the UTE logo on it at these conferences or other UTE events and the money collected goes back to the local?

The chair acknowledged that some locals were doing it.

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEES

The Chair of the Health and Safety Committee presented his co-chair Brother Kent MacDonald and the Presidents’ representative, Brother Norbert Wenzel.  He went on to update the participants on three (3) subjects.

  • The Job Hazard Analysis is being done now.
  • A resolution was passed at convention to hold regional conferences and one national conference.  The Committee will be meeting shortly to discuss these conferences.  We are asking all locals for any suggestions on the format, content and guest speakers for these conferences.
  • Workplace local committees should be receiving their first quarterly statistical security incident report.  We will ask you to make sure that all incidents are reported and if not, to contact the national committee.

The chairperson concluded by saying that a new set of By-Laws and Regulations will be emailed to all locals by the end of the month.

The chair of the Finance Committee, Brother Campbell, briefly talked about a resolution passed at convention where locals are requested to send in their financial statements after holding their Annual General Meeting.  He also indicated that people attending courses should address any questions pertaining to advances to either their RVP or the first VP.

ITEMS SUBMITTED BY THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS

1. Day Grievances (Saskatoon)

Local: What is the update on this issue?

President:  She has talked with Jacques Cloutier and everybody will be adjusted and their grievance replied to.

Local:  What about the people that have not grieved?

L. Paquette: Sister Paquette explained that even if some members have not grieved, the employer will credit the following leaves:  family leave, leave for marriage, pre-retiree leave, personal leave and performance leave. They will go back as far as April 1st, 2002, the date when the first grievance was filed by UTE.  An article would be published in the UTE newsletter to explain why members have obtained this adjustment and why it is important to grieve.

2. RVPs Record of Expenses (Saskatoon)

Local:  We are still missing September and December 2003 and the recorded votes of December 2003 of the Executive Council Minutes.

President:  We will see how much time it will take to do this and make the appropriate decision. If it takes too long, we will not do it.

3. UTE Disciplinary / Scab Report (Peterborough)

Local:  Presented a resolution as follows:

M/S D. Quist/C. Crupi

Be it resolved that the Collective Bargaining Committee undertake a thorough review of the 2003/2004 bargaining process, including strike activities of September and October 2004.  This review should include, but not be limited to the following: (1) receipt of bargaining demands (in light of resolution 234); (2) prioritizing of demands; (3) composition/size of negotiating team; (4) strike activities; (5) full report by region/local of all disciplinary actions taken as a result of strike-breakers; and

Be it further resolved that this report be completed and presented to the September 2006 Presidents’ Conference.

M/S B. Stewart/D. Brunette

That this motion be postponed until we have a written and translated version.

MOTION CARRIED.

4. CRA & Social Development Canada (SDC) Collection Integration (Peterborough)

Local:  Asked the chair to give an update on the affected 500 members pertaining to UTE, Agriculture, CEUDA, and CEIU.

President:  Sister Turmel will be waiting until all Component Conventions are over and then she will make the decision.  The members will either go to CBSA or CRA.  The majority belongs to CEIU and are located in the National Capital Region.  These members are covered under the Treasury Board collective agreement until CRA applies to have them under our collective agreement.

5. CRA / UTE Mileage Rates (gas prices) (Peterborough)

Local:  Will anything be done by the National Office?

President:  CRA is following Treasury Board’s increase rate.  Our national Finance Committee met last Monday and discussed the aspect of UTE mileage rate and they were satisfied to stay with the regulation in place which is the highest provincial rate plus 1 cent.

It was suggested that members traveling for the employer not use their own car, but to use one from the employer and also to use the discount offer by OC Transpo in Ottawa and other offered discounts available across the country.

6. Personal Leave Day & Determinate Employees (Surrey)

Local:  We should push management in order for the terms to get that special leave. The local has dealt with this during UMCs and would like to know if this is affecting other locals?

Some locals said that they have to make sure they tell their terms about this leave because sometimes management fails to talk about this.  The local should use the opportunity of the new employee orientation session to let the terms know about this leave. 

It is not an issue in many locals.
 
7. Conflict of Interest (Windsor)

Local:  Are there other locals experiencing problems with an employee having outside employment?

Calgary and St. Catharine locals had experienced a similar situation.

Local:  We should keep our eyes open on this because the employer will find most outside employment as being a conflict of interest.

8. Joint Union / Management Workers’ Compensation Training in the Region (Windsor)

Local:  Wants to know if joint training was provided in the workplace? If not this is something that we should be looking at.

A few locals answered that they do receive some training from the PSAC or the Federation of Labour, but not through union/management.

President:  Asked the submitting local if management was providing the training and the answer was no.  The training was provided by WSIB to CRA managers and union executives.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

President Bannon asked the Honours and Awards Committee to come up to the stage where Sister Abbott, Chair of the Committee, presented a 15 year pin to Sister Darlene Muise from the Winnipeg TC Local for her service to the membership.  Sister Muise thanked everybody and mentioned that she will not run for president during the next elections.

A 20 year pin was presented to Brother Jerry Dee from the North York Local for his dedicated work and involvement in the union for over 20 years.

A 25 year pin was presented to Brother Gary Esslinger from the Winnipeg TC Local who has served in many union positions.

Sister Abbott passed the Chair to UTE President Sister Bannon who presented the Godfroy Coté Award to Sister Judy Andersen.  Sister Andersen has been active for more than 20 years between the local executives at the Ottawa TSO and Ottawa TC Locals.

Sister Bannon then invited Brother Campbell to give some instructions with respect to the first UTE Olympics.  Brother Campbell explained that the games were open to the ten regions and that there would be 5 events:  Sequence Board Game, Cribbage Tournament, Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament, Walking Relay Race and the writing of an article for the newsletter.  The awards would be as follows:  Gold medal ($5,000 to local regional budget), Silver medal ($3,000 to local regional budget) and Bronze ($2,000 to the local regional budget). The first activity would be the sequence board game held today at 7:00 p.m. in the suite.  Next would be the Texas Holdem Poker Tournament and the cribbage tournament and Friday would be the walking relay race and the newsletter articles.  The announcement of the winners would be on Saturday.

The meeting recessed at 1700 hours.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2005

MORNING SESSION

The Conference was called to order at 09:00 a.m. with Sister Bannon presiding.  She mentioned that the session will break at 11:30 to permit the participants to go and support the CBC members that have been locked out for approximately five weeks now.  Sister Bannon wished Sister Rita Hinchliffe happy birthday.

Brother D. Gaetz presented Sister Judy Sparks with a gift for her birthday and Sister B. Stewart announced that Sister Sharon Bulger’s son would be running in the Terry Fox run and invited people to pledge money for the cause.

ITEM SUBMITTED BY THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS

9. Pension Contributions Increase (Southern Interior BC)

Local:  Would like to see the Political Action Committee take action with respect to the fact that the government stole the money from our surplus.

President:  I have asked sister Turmel to speak about the pension issue tomorrow.

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEES

The Chair of the Staffing Committee, Sister Cassidy, presented her Co-chair, Sister Pamela Abbott, the TSO representative, Brother Normand Pelletier and the TC representative, Sister Madonna Gardiner.

Brother MacDonald explained that the study on term employment has been completed and it is very clear on the fact that these members are employees of UTE/PSAC and they are entitled to the same benefits as everybody else.  The only difference is that they are not cover under the WFA.  Therefore, they have the same rights and access to courses, education allowances, etc.  With respect to the observe and attest initiative, this will give more work to our team leaders.  This will be an interesting rollout.  According to the schedule, senior management will be trained now until spring and they will start observing and attesting their team leaders.  When they have been observer and attested on their three competencies, they will have the authority to observed and attest their employees, our members.

Sister Cassidy gave an update on ACS and referred as well to the staffing report presented at the Executive Council during the week. (document attached).  The committee members answered some questions.

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEES

The chair of the Communications Committee, Brother Campbell introduced the Co-chair, Brother Sabri Khayat and President’s representative, Brother Barry Melanson who went over a PowerPoint document on how to introduce UTE to new members during the orientation session. This presentation will be sent electronically to all locals on Monday. Brother Campbell concluded with a request to locals to send in articles for the newsletter that is produced three times a year.

A suggestion was made to add to the presentation for new members, the free subscription to the $5,000 PSAC Life Insurance and also the complimentary PSAC Insurance available through salary deductions.

Another suggestion was made to the effect that within the presentation, we should encourage people to get involved.  This needs to be stressed to new members in any presentation.

ITEM SUBMITTED BY THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS

UTE Disciplinary / Scab Report (Peterborough)

M/S D. Quist/C. Crupi

The motion is self-explanatory.

Be it resolved that the Collective Bargaining Committee undertake a thorough review of the 2003/2004 bargaining process, including strike activities of September and October 2004.  This review should include, but not be limited to the following: (1) receipt of bargaining demands (in light of resolution 234); (2) prioritizing of demands; (3) composition/size of negotiating team; (4) strike activities; (5) full report by region/local of all disciplinary actions taken as a result of strike-breading (scabs); and

Be it further resolved that this report be completed and presented to the September 2006 Presidents’ Conference.

MOTION CARRIED.

10. Policy on Illness and Injuries vs Health Canada (Trois-Rivières)

Local: Following a medical certificate attesting that the employee can’t work 37 ½ hours per week, the employer’s policy is to offer part-time work to the employee and as a result of this, the employee loses all its benefits related to a full-time job.  Can we inform the members of this situation?

Sister Tranchemontagne advised that there were many cases across the country to the effect that the employer changes the employee’s schedule and this is discriminatory to the employee due to his/her condition.  Affected members have been advised to file grievances and to file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Some locals have said that they were encountering similar problems at their workplace.  It was also mentioned that a case was denied at the 4th level of the grievance procedure stating that as a result of the inability to meet the full-time requirements of the position, management requested a medical assessment from the workplace health and public safety program.  They advised that because of the employee’s limitation to work, the hours of work should be reduced to 6.5 hours per day.  The employer changed the schedule to part-time and denied the grievance based on the fact that the employee was unable to perform full-time duties. This was referred to adjudication.
Coughlin Insurance, in a June 05 document, made reference to a Court statement to accommodate disabled employees even if it doesn’t meet the sponsored traditional concept of that term and provide disabled workers with the same legal and compensatory rights as other workers even in cases of employees’ termination.
This will have a large effect across the country for our members.  A Canadian Human Rights complaint has been filed and we are expecting a favourable decision.
 

11. Computer Scanned Competition Results (Peterborough)

Local:  This is brought as a reminder to double-check the results marked by a computer.  There was a case where a member failed the test, but he thought he did quite well.  After having the test checked by a person, the marks on the test were higher and he was successful in moving forward in the competitive process.

President:  The Staffing Committee should keep in mind that they may have to use this information.

12. WEB Updates (Peterborough)  

Local:  Make sure that the information is accurate.

President: I have used the phone book to reach members and it took four phone call transfers to find the person.  Please inform your RVP of any moves of location and new telephone numbers and they will inform the National Office.

It was also asked that the computer printout that used to be included in the Presidents’ envelopes be made available again for all Presidents’ Conferences.
 
13. Convention Resolution 234 Bargaining Demands (Peterborough)

Be it resolved that bargaining demands be received and reviewed by the UTE National Bargaining Committee at any time on a continual basis.

Local:  Make sure that something gets set up following this resolution to make sure that this portfolio receives more recognition.  Please provide a place on the web for locals to send in demands.

President: There has been a preliminary discussion this week with the Chair of the committee to the effect of who would receive the demands and ensure that the chair receives a copy.  We would like to receive the demands through the local executive as they should.  They should not be sent to the National Office before they are looked at by the local and should be rewritten if necessary.  The locals would have to acknowledge receipt of the demands, print them and file them.

We will publish something to give members instructions on how to proceed with bargaining demands.

Point of Privilege – K. MacDdonald

Brother Berofe will be retiring next December.  We would like to present him with a small token to show our appreciation.  Brother Berofe thanked everybody for having the great opportunity to represent the members of the UTE Kingston Local.

The point of privilege was well taken by the chair.

Sister Bannon added that $110.00 was raised for the Terry Fox run.

14. Suing of Scabs (Ottawa TC)

Local:  Can we ask the PSAC to take on test cases for each province to help in suing scabs?

The local thanked Sister Tranchemontagne, our Legal Advisor and Shannon Blatt from the PSAC for their help in one of the cases.

President: The PSAC will not take test cases because it is the local’s responsibility as stated in the Constitution.  Sister Blatt has done some work and it will be shared with all the locals when available.

A local asked if anybody has proceeded with small claims court fines and the answer was: No not yet.

How do we calculate the daily fine for individuals?

President:  It is specified in the PSAC letter sent to the individuals.  Apparently there are 2 different types of letters.  We will ask the PSAC next week why there are two letters going out: one with the figures and one without, and we will let the locals know.

15. CRA Expenditure Review – Client Services, Status (Peterborough)

Local:  People are being denied transfer.  What is the direction from the National Office on this, further to the Commissioner’s email? 

N. Stein: The members are not affected yet.  Nothing precludes the employer from saying yes or no to a non-affected member who wants to leave Client Services and requests a lateral transfer.  The union is opposed to lateral transfers because there should be reasonable job offers.  The union is trying very hard to get the employer to move off their position to delay declaring the members that work in the Counter and Cash area as affected members.

The local added that they have a commitment from management to consider lateral transfers to PM1 Non-filer positions prior to appointing someone who has just became a PM1.

16. Political Action Committee / Canadian Sovereignty (Peterborough)

Local:  Brother Quist advised that he was using this president's conference as forum to provide information to the locals and general membership. Although he realized that the Political Action Committee is in its infancy, at some point it may look to issues outside of the CRA environment. The brother read parts of an email he sent to the Federal NDP party and the response, concerning three individuals (Marc Emery - B.C Marijuana party leader, Gregory Keith Williams and Michelle Rainey-Fenkarek) who were arrested by the RCMP on behalf of the United States, DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), with each facing the Canadian Courts for extradition hearings to the US to face criminal proceedings. The three are accused by the US government of selling marijuana seed to Americans through the internet and the mail, conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and conspiracy to engage in money laundering. Brother Quist quoted the DEA Administrator positive response to the arrest as well as a response from the federal NDP leader who stated "We believe it is wrong to extradite our citizens for an offence that would not and, in this case, did not result in them being charged in Canada The NDP urges Justice Irwin Cotler to consider Canadian justice and sovereignty in his decision and not be swayed by the laws and practices of the U.S." The brother also provided information and dates of various Canadian and worldwide demonstrations against this US tactic and the Canadian government's complacency. Lastly, brother Quist commented that regardless of various opinions on the subject matter of this case, the real issue is one of our Canadian sovereignty.

17. Cash Counters (St. Catharines)

Local:  Were told by management that they will not replace counter cashiers that have been moved to a new position within the office.  Management said that they do not have a budget to replace these people.  Is this happening in other locals?

A local said that they are taking debit cards in many offices and also pre-authorized payments.  They have been told that maintaining the cash service does not necessarily mean having a person to receive the cash.  It may well be an automatic cash stop machine that would collect the money.  Then the machine would be emptied by a security company and deposited to a CRA bank account. They are studying different scenarios that may not be favorable to our members.

Some other locals are using part-time workers at the Cash Counter.

President:  Their intention is to stop taking cash eventually.  The bulletin from M. Dorais mentioned that they will not be closing the Cash Counters but that there will be a closing time.  There will be no reduction of staff.  He did not commit to replacement of staff when they left.

We will make contact with the Commissioner’s Office to get clarification when we deliver the post cards.

K. MacDonald:  There is no initiative ongoing as per Guy Proulx’s email to combine Client Services work with Revenue Collections work at the national level.

President:  It has been seen at the managerial level (AD level) in small offices like Lethbridge but not on the working level.

The session recessed at 5:00 p.m.


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2005

MORNING SESSION

The Conference was called to order at 09:00 a.m. with Sister Bannon presiding.

Point of privilege – E. Burt

Thanked the national for the great fun and asked to keep up the good initiative.

The point was well taken by the Chair.

UTE Olympics

UTE held it’s first-ever Olympic games to provide an opportunity for all participants to socialize with all the regions and to have fun. There were four competitions starting with the RVPs Sequence Board Game Tournament, other events included a Cribbage and Texas Hold’em Poker Tournaments, a walking race and a newsletter article-writing contest. All events were held during the evening hours. Each region received points for placing first, second or third in the events. All regions participated and it provided an excellent opportunity for conference participants to mingle with each other. The National Capital Region rose to the challenge and placed first overall to claim the gold while the Quebec and Pacific Regions tied for silver and the Prairie captured bronze. It’s sure to be held again as all participants enjoyed the camaraderie.

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER

Sister Bannon introduced Sister Nycole Turmel, the National President of the PSAC.  Sister Turmel spoke on three important issues.  She started with the PSAC Convention by saying that there will be a dues increase to help rebuild the Strike Emergency Fund and that this mandate will be her last one with the PSAC.  She then went on to talk about the PSAC employer contributions to the staff pension plan by saying that they will have to budget for full budget contributions that represent $1.5 million a year and that they will also develop a budget that increases staff resources to adequately get the job done.  With respect to the Public Service Health Care Plan, she stated that the PSAC and Treasury Board have reached a tentative agreement that will bring some significant changes to the way the plan operates.  The new plan will come into effect on April 1, 2006 and will run until March 31, 2011. As she was not in a position to provide details on the actual benefit changes, she simply said that members would be protected in substantial ways.  She concluded with the superannuation issue mentioning that the government announced a reduction gradually from 2008-2013.  She went on to say that this was a step in the right direction, but that they will continue to argue for a bigger and faster reduction when enabling legislation is before Parliament.  With regards to the law suit, she said that it was painful because they have waited six full years to get to trial, and pension plan improvements delayed are pension plan improvements denied for many people.  Sister Turmel answered a few questions.

18. MG’s (St. Catharines)

Local: Executive Assistant positions to the Directors used to be filled by AUs, but management has now being filling with MGs.  Can they keep their MG status? This is also happening in the Windsor local.

L. Cassidy: Chair of the staffing committee confirmed that they will keep their salary because it is protected.  They do not have to supervise anyone because it is not a new position.

Sister Cassidy asked that locals let the committee know if people are wrongly appointed to a position.  They will send the job description to the director for rectification to the right level.

19.   Katrina Relief Fund (Halifax)

M/S D. Gaetz/A. Rollins

Be it resolved that the Union of Taxation Employees donate five thousand dollars ($5000.00) to the Canadian Red Cross Katrina Relief fund; and

Be it further resolved that the donation of five thousand dollars ($5000.00) to the Canadian Red Cross Katrina Relief Fund come from the unappropriated surplus; and

Be it further resolved that all UTE locals be encouraged to donate one hundred dollars ($100.00) to the same relief fund.

MOTION CARRIED.

20.   St. Stephen Site (Saint John)

Local:  Gave an update on what was happening at that site.  The site counts 12 people: 2 permanents and 10 determinate (CR4) that have been working for 10 years now.  As a result of the expenditure review, the office will be closing January 2006.  These 10 members do not come under the WFA Appendix because they are terms and also they do not fall under the 25% term rollover that was negotiated during the last round of bargaining.  These members should not have been kept terms for that long. The local went to the employer and asked them to do something good for these employees and they have been transferred as terms to the Saint John local.  This was a promotion for them as they will be working as PM1s in Client Services and Revenue Collections.  It a small win, but a great one.

The local thanked some activists from headquarters that offered to help.

Point of privilege – S. Zekry

Brother Shady Zekry thanked everybody for their support and generosity to help him to run the marathon for diabetes in Iceland a few weeks back.  He circulated an envelope to raise money to help him pay for some of the costs that he incurred over there because everything was very expensive.  He also had a few gifts to be drawn for people who will participate and guess the time he took to run the marathon.

The point of privilege was well taken.

REPORT OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEES

Brother Kent MacDonald, Chair of the Political Action Committee, and Brother Nick Stein, Co-chair, spoke of the committee’s vision being to increase our visibility in the political arena. They spoke also about the committee’s main focus that will be coming from the National Office and that terms of references will be developed to establish their mandate.  The committee will evolve with time and we will have to be patient.  The committee will also keep the membership informed of their communications with the government at all levels and would ask the locals for feedback.  The Executive Council, while in Ottawa, will arrange meetings with MPs in Ottawa on issues that are important to UTE.  The committee also mentioned that they would need information from the locals such as the name of their mayor, who the members of their provincial legislation  are in their ridings, etc. in order to tailor adequately the expectation of the committee.  They concluded saying that the existing data bank prepared by the ad hoc committee will be used as a base to start gathering information.

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER

Sister Bannon introduced Captain Ed Smith who gave a presentation on the International Children Awareness Organization.  The organization is seeking funding for a water project in Cameron, West Africa.  They are involved in development projects throughout West Africa that are focused at serving the needs of communities as a whole.  Consequently, they focus on education, health care and water projects.  It has been their experience that by helping a village in these areas it empowers them for years as they struggle to make themselves a viable component of the global community.  Without these basic human entitlements, these villages remain very much marginalized from the rest of the world.  The organization can be reach at www. Icacanada.com. Captain Smith is the brother of Vicki-Lynn Smith, President of Local 70030 in Ottawa.

The amount of $1060.00 was collected after the presentation for the organization.  The Council was challenged by brother Gaetz to donate the same amount of money.  President Bannon stated that she would bring this to the Executive Council later during the week.

Captain Smith was impressed with the amount of money raised and thanked everybody for their generosity.  He added that he will keep us informed and have a follow-up report through his sister Vicky early next year.

Point of privilege – C. Aylward

Brother Aylward reported that the National Capital Region was the reigning champion for the Olympics with the most points accumulated.

Point of privilege – S. Zekry

The time he took to run the marathon was 4:47:12.  The winners were :

Lise Pitt from Montérégie with 4:47:00.
Alisha Bigelow from Winnipeg TSO with 4:47:42
Marc Brière from Laval with 4:46:05.
Paula Strachan from Toronto East with 4:48:30.

The participants donated the amount of $330.00.  Brother Zekry thanked everybody for their generosity.

Point of privilege – B. Ferady

Just a reminder that the deadline for submitting projects to the Social Justice Fund Committee is September 30th. 

ELECTIONS OF PRESIDENT REPRESENTATIVE COMMITTEE

By-Laws Committee

David Quist was acclaimed.

Honours & Awards Committee

Linnett Moldovan was acclaimed.

Political Action Committee

Annette Melanson was elected.

M/S/C N. Pelletier/B. Steward

That the ballots be destroyed.

ITEM SUBMITTED BY THE LOCAL PRESIDENTS

21.   Communications (Montérégie)

Local:  As it was done before, can we be emailed committee minutes instead of being referred to the website to get them?

President:  That will be done.

22.   Olympic Games (Montérégie)

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

23.   Report of the Ad Hoc Political Information Committee (Montérégie)

The item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

24.   Telus Lockout (Calgary)

Local: Gave some background information and stated that Telus was rewarding their scabs by offering them Ipods and other electronic gadgets, meal allowances, catering 2 meals a day for all scabs.  Telus has a benefit stock plan for their employees who are scabs.  We want a full scab list and a payroll audit on each and every one of them.  We also would like to see written communication to the Commissioner advising him that we want these taxable benefits to scabs included on their T4s. 

President:  I could do that.

Local:  Added that TWU has an ad campaign with Telus’ customers to cancel any of the extra services that they now have on their phone and eventually to cancel the entire service and deal with another company.

President:  We have contacted TWU about a year ago on that matter because we are using Telus phones and we asked them what we should do.  They told us not to do anything at the time.  Since, we have contacted the President’s office to ask what their position was now with their customers.  We are keeping in touch.

It was suggested by a local that we should all show our support by going to TWU website and let them know that we are behind them and to go also on the Telus site to tell them that what they are doing is wrong.

25.   Terms over 3 years (Lethbridge)

This item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

26.   Safety of members at Information Counters (Burnaby Fraser)

This item was withdrawn by the submitting local.

27. Funding for Leave without pay (LWOP) for small claims court (Kingston)

Local:  Explained that they have 2 scabs that they want to bring to small claims court and that they would like some monetary help from the National Office because it’s a small local.  If we lose, it could be hard on the local.

President: The rule is that if you win the case, the local keeps the money and pay the related expenses.  If you lose, the local pays the expenses.  It’s the body that brings them to court that keeps the money if it’s a win.

After a request from a local to see what could be done to change this rule, the President stated that she would bring this issue to the Executive Committee for debate.

28.   Follow-up to Presidents’ Conference Minutes (Peterborough)

Local: With respected to designated members, will there be a follow-up with CEUDA President Ronny Moran?

President: We will raise the issue at the NBoD in October. 

The Constitution, Section 24 sub-section 9 a) states:  Members who received remuneration during a legal strike and who has been fined under Section 25 sub-section 3 shall remit the amount of the fine to the PSAC or any of its subordinate bodies.  The money received under this sub-section shall be directed to the body that has initiated the disciplinary action.

Local:  Follow-up on working variable work schedule.  We filed a grievance with respect to that issue and by the time it reached the 2nd level, the party had quit. We went ahead to the 3rd level and at this time there is a case before the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

Local:  Will we have a follow-up on the Environic survey (June Council minutes) ?

President: Not at this time.  It was discussed at Council and was decided not to have a follow-up survey.  This issue was referred to the Executive Committee some time ago and is still their property.

Local:  While all presidents are here, twice a year, can we have small surveys at the microphone on different issues?

President: We have put survey from time to time in your package here at Presidents’ Conferences.  We do ask the presidents to go to the microphone and report on specific issues from time to time. e.g. In March, we asked an update from locals with respect to their scabs etc.  We will continue doing both depending on the topic.

Brother Campbell drew names for 2 UTE jackets and the winners were Brother Jean-Pierre Fraser and Sister Marie-Claude Cole.

Point of Privilege – N. Pelletier

Suggestion for the next Olympics to help the Quebec region to win against NCR would be to have a test only for RVPs because we were disadvantaged with Brother Bertrand’s performance on our team.  We need a game where Marcel would perform better.

Brother Bertrand answered to Brother Pelletier by saying that this was his last mandate as the alternate. (Laughs…)

The points were well taken by the Chair.

CLOSING REMARKS

President Bannon said that she would be short since it was a long week.  She stated that she was very pleased with the participation in the Olympics because it did build some camaraderie with each other and that was the purpose of this initiative.  She said that there was a lot of work ahead and that she will see a lot of people during the upcoming Annual General Meetings. We should be proud because we probably had the fewest scabs and biggest picket lines during the strike. Other organizations recognize our good work and our strength.  We will be going to PSAC convention next May and we should have the count for delegates sometime in January and we will advise accordingly. We will have a retreat to plan the next three (3) years and we will report back.

The Executive Council would be meeting at 3:00 p.m. instead of tomorrow Sunday.

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 pm.