Executive Committee

Minutes of the Executive Committee

May 11 - 12, 2004


1. Grievance Data Bank
2. Local Representative Visibility
3. UTE Membership Questionnaire
4. Restructuring/Bargaining Strategy
5. Protocol on Mourning
6. The Office Needs/Move
7. Hospitality Suite and Minors
8. UMC Agreement

The Committee was able to discuss items 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7. A further meeting has been scheduled for June 21st and 22nd.

1. Grievance Data Bank:

The President advised the committee that the PSAC Regional Offices no longer use a CD for Reference on grievances but have now subscribed to the likes of “Quick Law”, which is quite costly. Our National Office has four licenses to Quick Law for the use of our LROs. Brown & Beatty is still available and in CD format. However, the President did not obtain the cost. We also need to make sure that whatever we get must be obtainable in English and French. The President will find out the cost and advise the committee.

2. Local Representative Visibility:

Brother Campbell met with Key Industries and then sent samples of a desk identifier sign via e-mail to the committee to choose one. The order was placed with the intention of having them ready for the March Presidents Conference. However, they didn’t arrive in time. The committee agreed that we would have the identifier signs for sale at the National OSH Conference. However, we will notify the locals before the Conference to let them know that they will be on sale and that they would also receive one complimentary sign at the September Presidents Conference. We will attach a picture of the sign to our e-mail and we will also put it on the web. Each local can send their numbers to Bob if they want to purchase any signs for their representatives. We will then have their orders ready for the September Presidents Conference.

3. UTE Membership Questionnaire:

At the last meeting, the following issues were assigned to the members of the committee to conduct an analysis of the Questionnaire responses with a National perspective: Youth (Bob), Questions 61, 62 and 63 (Nick) and Bargaining (Denis). Betty was to request the Regional Action Plans from the RVPs prior to the committee making final recommendations to the Council.

The President reported that she had requested the Regional Action Plans be sent to her by the end of February. She received two on time and two later. She also reported this at the March Council meeting in her report and received one more after that meeting. The reason the Action Plans were requested was for the committee to have a look at them and see if there was anything that could be used at the National level, to let the Committee share best practices with all the regions and for the committee to see what the regions identified as issues in need of improvement. However, the President only received five of the ten regional plans. The regions that complied with the President’s request were: Rocky Mountains, Greater Toronto, Pacific, NCR and SW Ontario. The President also reported that she was aware, by reading minutes from a regional meeting, that one region would not be developing an Action Plan. The reason given was because the National would not provide the Questionnaire response breakdown by local. With only half of the regions responding the committee left the review of the Plans until a later date. However, the committee members expressed disappointment with the response and did discuss whether or not the Council still viewed this as an important issue. There has been a lot of money and time spent on this and the committee certainly believes that this is one of the most important opportunities that UTE has to change and improve the way we provide service to the members.

These minutes will show the issues identified above for analysis in four parts: 1. Reporting on the analysis, 2. The issues, 3. What we have already done and finally, 4. What we need to do.

Part 1. Reporting On the Analysis:

Bob reported to the committee on his analysis of the responses of the Youth. The areas where the responses of the Youth were quite different from the rest of the membership were Collective Bargaining and Staffing. His overall recommendation is to treat the Youth the same as the general membership in regards to any Action Plan we initiate. However, we should make sure that the locals take some extra steps to ensure the Youth are provided information on Collective Bargaining and Staffing.

Nick reported on questions 61, 62 and 63. Approximately 1460 members responded to Question 61, 1280 to Question 62 and 1530 to Question 63.

Question 61 “Please supply any suggestions for the UTE to improve communications with the members.” The top three methods of communication identified in the Questions are; using the employer’s e-mail, space on the employer’s Infozone and a monthly/quarterly newsletter. Yet, the national average in Question 15 for e-mail updates was 19%, the Internet UTE Website was 2% and the employer’s Infozone was 5%. In question 15 the most preferred method of communications was direct mailing to the member’s home. In the committee’s opinion, the most preferred method for visibility of the union is plantgating. The analysis identified communications as a very important issue and UTE has already taken some action on member identified issues: e.g.: improved website with a dedicated Web/Communications Officer, a Newsletter with direct mailing to the member’s homes, Orientation Sessions and New Members Kits etc.

Question 62 “Please supply any suggestions for the UTE to improve the Collective Bargaining process.” The issue that stood out the most was that the members, for the most part, were not asked for their input for bargaining demands. There were also many comments regarding the length of time the process takes, as well as, some confusion as to what can or cannot be bargained e.g.: Benefits (medical/dental).

Question 63 “Please supply any other comments or suggestions.” Many of the comments were negative about what and how we do things, however, union visibility was by far the greatest issue of the respondents. The committee also kept in mind that only approximately 1530 of the 6104 members that responded to the Questionnaire wrote comments. Although the comments cannot be taken on their own and must be read in conjunction with the rest of the questionnaire; they have to taken seriously.

Denis reported on the Bargaining questions. Less than 50% of respondents have attended strike vote or ratification vote meetings. Lack of notice was one of the major reasons for not attending the meetings. However, 64% believe that unions help workers to achieve decent wage and fair working conditions. Also, 62% believe that Collective Bargaining is the first or second most important thing that the union does. The majority of the members have never read the Reglulation on the bargaining process but most have some kind of knowledge on the process e.g.: that there is a bargaining committee, a negotiating team, that there is an input call for demands etc. A high majority of the respondents know that a vote is held on a tentative agreement and 54% have participated in a strike while employed by the Federal Government. Almost half of the members are satisfied how a strike vote or ratification vote meeting is held. However, only 47% attended the last ratification vote meeting. A major concern was identified with Question 36 where they were asked if their local solicited input from them for the bargaining demands. Only 39% said “yes”. As well, only 41% said they had seen the daily updates from the bargaining table.

Part 2. The Issues:


(Youth) Bargaining and Staffing
Employer Infozone
Employer e-mail

Visibility of the Union and Personal Contact:


lack of knowledge of the process
No membership input
Can or cannot bargain benefits
Need a faster process
Trouble receiving information during process

Negative Perception of the Union:

Inactive Locals:

Part 3. What we have already done:


  • New website and hired Web/Communications Officer
  • Will have a link on the employer Infozone to our site
  • Newsletter 3 times a year by direct mail to the member’s home
  • Provided each local with an e-mail address
  • New Members Kit
  • Help Manual for the locals
  • Bargaining updates from the Table
  • Individual committee logos for identification
  • Regional caucuses at the Presidents Conference
  • Using website address on all documents and envelopes
  • UTE education courses
  • Youth Conference and caucus
  • Questionnaire direct to members
  • Created list of e-mail addresses from respondents to questionnaire
  • Contacted the employer to emphasis the wording in the Collective Agreement regarding Orientation Sessions which caused the employer to issue a Bulletin to the field managers

Visibility of the Union and Personal Contact:

  • Identification stands for union representatives
  • Promotional UTE items for sale
  • AGM give aways
  • Donations and sponsorships
  • $5000 budget line item for local translation
  • UTE logo identified on all stationary
  • Website
  • Link on the employers Infozone to our site
  • Newsletter
  • Promotional give aways to activists (jean jackets)
  • Scholarships
  • Contests (web and Negoquizz)
  • Youth Conference and caucus
  • Questionnaire direct to members home
  • UTE calendars


  • Smaller Team and attempts to have longer negotiation sessions
  • Bargaining updates from the Table
  • UTE Bargaining bulletins
  • Negoquizz
  • Providing all demands to the locals for posting/distribution for information to the members
  • Website
  • Newsletter articles
  • Use our structure and the PSAC structure to disseminate information and instructions to the members for bargaining

Negative Perception of the Union:

  • New Members Kit
  • The Questionnaire direct to the members home
  • The Newsletter
  • Scholarships
  • Donations and Sponsorships
  • The website
  • Contests
  • Youth Conference and caucus

Inactive Locals:

  • Developing Membership Activism Course, specifically
  • Local Officers Course, specifically
  • Other UTE education
  • Funding e.g. Non-UTE Events, computer loan policy, etc.
  • Changes to the Presidents Conference e.g. more educational, workshops, etc.
  • Help Manual
  • Bulletins
  • E-mail access for the locals and committee members
  • Website as a reference
  • Speakers for AGMs
  • Regional and Inter-regional conferences
  • Regional education budget
  • Recognition (awards, in a speech etc)

Part 4. What We Need To Do:

  • Encourage input from the members directly in regards to the website and newsletter via the website and newsletter
  • A Bulletin in September to locals as a reminder of having Orientation Sessions under the Collective Agreement. The committee believes that this is needed since there has been no new requests for New Members Kits since the original mailing. Then a follow-up should be done with the RVPs to see if Orientation Session are being held in their locals. We would use a short questionnaire so there is no yes or no single word answer.
  • Develop a contact list for all members to be contacted by e-mail via self-identification through the website and the Newsletter.
  • Investigate the feature of “subscribe” for our website.
  • Use the website and Newsletter to announce the input call for demands. This may require a Newsletter date change for flexibility. The chair of the Communications committee may have to bring a resolution to Council to give the committee the flexibility on the dates.
  • A Bulletin on what is negotiated at the CRA Table and what is not. Then a second Bulletin outlining the process for the issues that are not negotiated at the CRA Table.
  • Remind the locals of the Resolution of Record “Membership Survey” which states: “Be it resolved that UTE encourage all locals to contact their members (ie. Standing Committees, membership meetings, surveys) before replying to an input call”. This would include the call for demands.
  • We should continue to push the envelope in bargaining to conclude an agreement prior to the old one expiring and to have sustained dates for bargaining.

5. Protocol On Mourning

Due to some recent events, the President brought this issue to the table. The committee had a good discussion and will be recommending the following changes to Council in June:


Former Executive Council Member: A card expressing condolences on behalf of the Union will be signed by the National President and sent to the next of kin. If specified by the family, a suitable floral wreath in red and white or a contribution shall be made to the designated charity in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The President or their designate shall attend the funeral.


For the purpose of this Protocol, Immediate Family is defined as: father, mother (or alternatively stepfather, stepmother, or foster parent), brother, sister, spouse (including common-law spouse resident with the employee), child (including child of common-law spouse), stepchild or ward of the employee, grandchild, father-in-law, mother-in-law, and relative permanently residing in the employee’s household or with whom the employee permanently resides.

(4) Life Member; A card expressing condolences on behalf of the Union will be signed by the National President and sent to the next of kin. If specified by the family, a suitable floral wreath in red and white or a contribution shall be made to the designated charity in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The President or their designate shall attend the funeral.


Former Local Officer; A card expressing condolences on behalf of the Union will be signed by the National President and sent to the next of kin.

(7) Member killed on the job; A card expressing condolences on behalf of the Union will be signed by the National President and sent to the next of kin. If specified by the family, a suitable floral wreath in red and white or a contribution shall be made to the designated charity in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00). The President or their designate shall attend the funeral.


General; on a case by case basis, the President may decide on an alternate form of acknowledgement other than what is specified above.


7. The Hospitality Suite and Minors:

After some discussion the committee will make the following recommendation to the Council:

Be it resolved that minors will only be allowed in any UTE Hospitality Suite if they are accompanied by an adult UTE member or UTE Staff and it is before 7:00 PM.

The committee recessed and will reconvene June 21st and 22nd.