Communications Committee

Minutes of the Communications Committee Meeting

August 19-21, 2004

The Committee met in Ottawa from August 19th to the 21st, with the following members in attendance: Barry Melanson, Sabri Khayat, Bob Campbell and Susan Duncan.

The Committee prepared the September newsletter for publication and had a general discussion on other UTE communication items. The following agenda items were discussed:

1. Review of previous minutes
2. Postage rates for publications
3. Review of the UTE website
4. Other items

1. Review of Previous Minutes

The previous minutes were reviewed.

2. Postage rates for publications

A general discussion was held concerning a possible change from regular postage rates for our Union News publication, to publication mail rates. Based on the information available, we should save at least $1000 with the move to publication mail rates. We will continue to use envelopes for the publication as there was some concern about the condition the newsletter might be in if it were shipped without an envelope.

3. Review of the UTE website

In our previous report, we made a number of recommendations with regard to the new website.

  • That there is a contact link on the committee pages. Each committee member’s name has been linked to their email address, where available.
  • That the National President suggest that committees update and review their own web space and that it be the responsibility of the committees to ensure that their information is up to date.
  • That all committee minutes be completed in a standardized format. Council discussed this item and there wasn’t agreement.
  • That the National Officers review and send updates for their biographies. Some of the National Officers have sent updates and these have been implemented.
  • That the search engine be improved to be more user friendly. We have included an alternative search method on the search results page that can be used if the primary search results do not provide the expected results. We have also added a short tutorial that explains how to use the search engine.
  • The Committee reminds that the Union News should be available online in a format which is accessible to the visually impaired. The Union News is now available online in both PDF and HTML format. The HTML format can be access by speech readers and screen magnifiers for the visually impaired.
  • That the final word section under ‘overview’ include links to the new members’ kit, bulletins and newsletters. There are links to the bulletins and the newsletters on this page. We have also added an email link for members to notify us if they have not yet received a new member’s kit. We will add a new member’s kit link once the full kit is available online.
  • That the item concerning a chat room or discussion be brought forward during the next meeting. The committee discussed chat rooms and message forums. After some discussion, we have decided to focus on a real time chat solution, as opposed to a message forum. The committee with try out a few different programs and will report back.
  • That the phone book search be improved. The phone book search allows for searching on the last name, first name and local of a member, or any part thereof. This works quite well for many names but causes some confusion with names that include accented characters. If the name includes an accent, it must be search with an accent. We are continuing to look for a solution.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30pm on August 21st, 2004.