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The Members’ The newsletter of CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers

Build Better BC Rally draws hundreds of supporters to the VAG On April 10th at the Vancouver Art Gallery, hundreds gathered together on a beautiful sunny day to rally for a Better BC. According to their site,, the Coalitions’ purpose is to bring us together. “The public, community and cultural services that we have built together over the years contribute greatly to a vibrant and diverse BC. They help to ensure that every British Columbian can participate and share in a quality of life that is recognized around the world.”

APRIL Date & Time: Location: Under Discussion:

2010 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: CUPE Local 15 545 W. 10th Ave. Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K9

Annual General Meeting Wednesday, April 28, 5:30 p.m. Italian Cultural Centre 3075 Slocan St. Vancouver, Room 5 • • • • •

Executive Board Elections VSB 2010 Operating Budget Vancouver Services Review Negotiations Update 2009 VMECW Audit

General Meetings provide all members with an opportunity to participate in decisions that affect the union. Please note that there will be a short VMECW Society meeting following the union meeting to deal with the 2009 financial audit. (Childcare assistance and Interpretation available upon request.)




The Members’

Update from your Executive


Margaret MacDiarmid Should Resign President’s Message by Paul Faoro

“Our Government wants all children to have access to a high-quality, progressive, and responsive education in British Columbia. The recent Speech from the Throne underscores our commitment to renew and revitalize public education by paying close attention to the unique needs and interests of every child. The throne speech highlights our plan to integrate family and community needs with early learning initiatives and educational services. It also supports the need to involve parents and caregivers in the education of their children and to maximize educational choice and diversity to meet the individual needs of students. In the months and years ahead, we will be pursuing bold strategies to improve Paul Faoro, President the delivery of education in this province, to help students discover and pursue their passion, and to secure and protect our children’s future.” What you just read is BC Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid’s “Accountability Statement” from her 2010/11 – 2012/13 Service Plan. I don’t think the 190 Vancouver School Board employees’, including 41 CUPE 15 members, who may be laid off due to lack of funding from Ms MacDiarmid’s Ministry would call what is happening to them and our public education as “progressive” or “responsive”. The 190 number is actually full time equivalents so the amount of impacted employees could even be higher.

The BC Liberal Government is underfunding the VSB for the upcoming school year by $18.2 million. I cannot emphasize this fact enough as I believe it is important for everyone to understand who is responsible for the devastation that is going to hit the VSB if our school district does not receive the proper level of funding. If the funding doesn’t arrive then I will put forward to Margaret MacDiarmid that she should resign as the Education Minister. It is her job to ensure public education in BC remains strong and vibrant and she simply can’t put her head in the sand and hope nobody will raise a fuss. It almost made me sick listening to the Superintendent for the VSB review line by line the cuts to positions and services being proposed to make up the funding shortfall. To name a few, cuts to Learning Services that will impact children with learning disabilities, reductions to Inner City School programs, Special Education Assistants, Multicultural Liaison Workers, clerical and administrative support, speech language services, Alternate Programs and not to mention nearly 100 teachers. Given that Ms MacDiarmid decided not to accept an invitation from the VSB to attend a public meeting regarding the funding shortfall, she should get ready for a rough ride. CUPE 15 has been meeting with other stakeholder groups including representatives from other unions, parents and community groups to mobilize a community based pushback. While plans are developed I would like to encourage all members to call the Education Minister at her Vancouver office to demand the proper funding for our vital school system. The number is 604- 660-7061. With more than 3000 CUPE 15 members living in Vancouver it would be very helpful if she heard from you. I have called to request a meeting with her but I was declined.

Over the coming weeks you are going to hear Ms MacDiarmid spew hyper-bull claiming that her government has the “highest level of funding ever” in public education. On March 25th John Malcolmson, one of our fine CUPE Research Representatives’ released a briefing note on K-12 budget allocations from the provincial government which blows the Education Minster’s claim out of the water. While I would encourage everyone to read the 6 page briefing note that is available online at the CUPE 15 website, the following paragraphs from the brief sums up clearly how the provincial government is starving public education; “School districts are to receive a $112 million increase in funding for 2010-11, along with a partial restoration of annual facilities grant funding that was cut last year. While the increase does provide partial and selective financial relief to districts, it is not sufficient to overcome the impact of a mounting structural funding shortfall set in motion earlier this decade. By next year, this shortfall will surpass $300 million and will increasingly curtail options available to boards attempting to bring their budgets into balance.” “K-12 public school education is severely and chronically underfunded. CUPE and its local unions, along with other education stakeholders, need to continue putting the lie to continued government claims regarding highest levels of funding. We need also to raise the call for an open and transparent administration of public school finance in this province, including a long overdue review of the funding formula and of funding adequacy.”

April is a busy month for the union by Betty McGee, Secretary Treasurer April is the busiest month of the year in the union office. We will be hosting our Activists’ Weekend April 9 to April 11, 2010. Our annual stewards’ dinner will be April 15th the VSB members will be holding a ratification vote on April 13th . The advanced poll for our elections (see more info in election article) is scheduled for April 20th and April 21st is the start of the 4 day long CUPE BC Convention and we wrap up the month on April 28th with our Annual General Membership Meeting.


The local hosted both a Basic and an Advanced shop stewarding course as well as a Duty to Accommodate course the last week of March. I am very excited and pleased with the recruitment of new Stewards into our local and it is particularly rewarding to see that these new additions are from across our bargaining units - Emily Carr, Langara, the Maritime Museum, several members from the Vancouver Betty McGee, Art Gallery, Secretary Treasurer members from the Health sector, several members from the Vancouver School Board K-12 sector, a member from Britannia, in addition to several new members from City and Parks departments. I consider the recruitment, mentoring and training of shop stewards one of the most

significant responsibilities of the position of Secretary Treasurer. As a shop steward from the Parks sector for many years I am intimately aware of the untold number of hours of personal time that I committed to the work of shop stewarding. While time consuming, it was also extraordinarily rewarding at times, and I have the utmost respect for our stewards who work to protect the rights of individual members to promote and enhance the public image of our Union. For those of you who may be interested I have requested basic and advanced courses for the Fall education season and am hoping that they may be available in September. If you are interested please contact the union office with your name and contact information as we have already started a list for both of those courses.

Financial Report

I am pleased to report that we are in receipt of post dated cheques from CUPE 391 which cover the entire amount outstanding from the 2007 strike. We have also invoiced CUPE Local 1004 and are awaiting payment on that front. In addition to these financial issues we have instituted a process which has produced positive results with respect to outstanding member hardship loans. Letters sent to those with outstanding loans have resulted in several loans being paid in full and a significant number of members providing post dated cheques as per the original loan agreement. This work will be ongoing for a number of months but again a process has been put in place that will ensure that this situation will be better monitored and addressed in a more timely fashion.


The audit has been completed and presented to you in this edition. Fairhall, Zhang and Associates, our

auditors, will be represented by David Fairhall at the April Annual General Membership Meeting. Many of you will recognize Mr. Fairhall, as his organization has handled our audits for a number of years. Mark Gloumeau, our Accounting Coordinator will also be present and able to respond to any questions you may have. If you are not comfortable speaking in public but have a concern you would like addressed please feel free to forward any questions or concerns to me at the union office and I will be happy to seek a response from either our Accounting Coordinator or the auditor.

CUPE BC Convention

CUPE Local 15 has elected our delegates to convention and I have been busy ensuring that they are registered and that all the details related to this event are addressed. Working with Paul Faoro, we have scheduled a pre-convention meeting at the union office. The focus of this meeting is to provide delegates with the information contained in both our policy and procedures manual and our by-laws with respect to expectation of members attending as representatives of the local. I am also enthusiastic about providing new delegates with enough information about how the convention works to hopefully ensure they are able to gain as much as possible from this truly rewarding experience. I have attended a number of conventions representing the local and am still excited about the amazing amount of information available to members, both on the convention floor and in the various caucus and information meetings that are scheduled before and after our full day on the convention floor. Although it can be exhausting it can be an extremely educational and energizing time for trade unionists.




The Members’

Letters, Notices, & Updates



I would like to thank the Education Committee for allowing for allowing me to attend week 3 of the Canadian Labour Congress Winter School at Harrison. The instructor and course material were excellent. My classmates were a talented group of activists providing valuable input into the course. The hotel and its facilities were very accommodating. And the food was great! Thank you again, for allowing me the opportunity to develop and learn new skills. I know that I can assist our membership with the new skills that I have learned.

Thank you for your contribution of $500.00 to support a student in his pursuit of higher education at Simon Fraser University. We appreciate your support and assure you that gifts like yours make a significant difference at Simon Fraser University.

Executive Board Election Information

We publicly acknowledge all donors to Simon Fraser University. On behalf of Simon Fraser University, again, thank you for your generosity.

Notice of Executive Board Elections

Craig Hopkins, Shop Steward, VSB On behalf of the students, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and our Foundation, I would like to extend our sincerest thank you for the incredible support you have shown to our students and university. Your involvement and support touched the hearts of our many deserving students who, without your help, may not otherwise have had a chance to realize their educational and life dreams. We know that higher education gives people more freedom and more options, but it also provides the knowledge and tools needed to lead important civic, environmental, health and social service initiatives that benefit our entire society. The recipient of the CUPE Local 15 Vancouver Municipal, Educational and Community Workers’ Society Award is enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Your gift touches the life of the award recipient but, in turn, it will touch countless others as these students become accomplished, dynamic leaders that value innovation, creativity and social responsibility, and who every day make important contributions to industry and society. Once again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Debbie Mellenger Development Officer, Kwantlen Polytechnic University Foundation On behalf of the members of ATU Local 1724 we would like to thank you for your donation of $1000.00 We have endured a long year of negotiating and a lengthy ten week strike in which we successfully fought against company proposed concessions and cuts to our benefits and pension. We have finally settled our contract through binding arbitration and have returned to work. It was a long and difficult time for our members especially over the holiday season. Your generosity and support in helping us through this tough time has been greatly appreciated. We thank your membership and wish you all a healthy and prosperous New Year. Dave Watt President, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1724

Erin Geary Director, Advancement Services and Donor Relations, Simon Fraser University

To the Members of CUPE 15 First, I must thank my nominator for putting my name forward to once again serve the members of Local 15. It is with great reluctance that I decline the nomination for Parks Sector Representative at this time. I am a shift worker and as such I am not available to attend meetings that I believe sector representatives should be in attendance at. When CUPE 15 changed our bylaws and set up the positions of sector representative (formerly members at large on the Executive) we set up these positions to serve the entire membership, as well as to ensure that the Executive heard the voice of each sector and ensured that each sector was served by this union. Another reason we went through this process of changing Members at Large to Sector Representatives is solidarity amongst our local. As each sector learned about the other sectors and the issues happening to the members of that sector it was a responsibility of these Sector Representatives on the Executive to ensure that we supported one another and built solidarity in the local. In order to build solidarity you must be involved and active in the entire union. You should be willing to attend meetings of all bargaining units, you should ensure that the voice of every sector in CUPE 15 is heard and supported. That takes time and a lot of evening meetings, and as a shift worker I am unable to do this, so I feel that unless I can serve the members and build this local it is unfair to put my name forward. Should my hours of work change I would happy to put my name forward, again, to serve the members of Local 15. Brenda Coombs, Shop steward, Brittannia

VSB Job Share My name is Shauna Mann and I am a YFW at Gladstone Secondary School. I am looking for someone to job share with me starting in September, 2010. If you would like to work Monday, Tuesday and alternating Wednesdays please email me at

Secretary Treasurer Two candidates have accepted nomination: Betty McGee Parks Leanne Toderian City 1st Vice President Miriam Pulsifer VSB Sector Acclaimed Health Sector Representative Caroline Mewis Health Paramedical Sector - Acclaimed City Sector Representative Two candidates have accepted nomination: Diane Brown Santino Scardillo College Sector Representative No nominees have accepted VSB Sector Representative Two candidates have accepted nomination: Donna Petersen Peggy Wong Park Sector Representative Two candidates have accepted nomination: Randi Gurholt-Seary Anne-Marie McGee Trustees Two candidates have accepted nomination: Michele Alexander Kezia Hanson

Advanced Poll April 20th 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Italian Cultural Centre 3075 Slocan Street, Vancouver

The Executive/ Members Decided

by Betty McGee, A/ Secretary Treasurer At the March 2010 Executive and General Membership meetings the following decisions were made: • To donate $500 to the “Out in Schools” campaign • To send John Geppert to a Accommodation Law Course in May • To purchase a membership in the Coalition of Child Care Advocates at a cost of $100 • To purchase four tickets to the CPPA fundraiser event at a cost of $300 • To send 8 members to Naramata School in May




2009 VMECW Society Audit

Financial Position


The Members’


To the Executive Board of Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers Society, We have audited the statement of financial position of VANCOUVER MUNICIPAL EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY WORKERS SOCIETY, as at December 31, 2009 and the statements of operation, changes in net assets and cash flows for the year then ended. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Society. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audit. We conducted our audit in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform an audit to obtain reasonable assurance whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. In our opinion, these financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Society as at December 31, 2009 and the results of its operations and cash flow for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles. FAIRHALL ZHANG & ASSOCIATES LTD.

1. Purposes of the Society: The purposes of the Society are to hold the Capital Assets used by the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 15 - VMECW (referred to as Local 15) and to provide benefits to society members, as determined by Society policy or membership resolution.

Statement of Operations

2. Significant Accounting Policies (a) Revenue Recognition The Society follows the deferral method of accounting for revenue, (b) Capital Assets Purchased Capital Assets are recorded at cost. Amortization of Capital Assets is provided for on the straight line basis at the annual rates set out below. The final year amortization is not taken if the asset remains in use. Building: No amortization taken since 1998 Equipment, furniture and fixtures 20% Straight Line (c) Investments Investments are recorded at cost. 3. Term Deposits Investment certificates of the Credit Union have annual interest rates of 2.40% to 4.55% 4. Loans Receivable from Members

The Society is subject to higher than normal credit risk on loans to members as these loans are available only for hardship cases. The amount that represents the Society’s maximum credit risk exposure on these loans as at December 31, 2009 has not been determined. 5. Capital Assets: Capital Assets are recorded at cost and consist of:

6. Related Party Transactions The Society rents its office space and leases its office equipment to the Canadian Union of Public Employees - Local 15. Total income earned from Local 15 for the year is $309,300 (Equipment lease $157,800 and Office rental $151,800).

Statement of Cash Flows

7. Transfer- Health Members During 2009, the Society was transferred funds from Bill 29 settlement, for the purpose of professional development by Health Science Professionals Bargaining Association members. Any undistributed funds have been recorded as deferred revenue. 8. Sick Benefits The Society benefits continuance policy normally covers a period of six months. 9. This loan is unsecured, non interest bearing, and there are no fixed terms for repayment. 10. Certain prior year figures have been adjusted to conform with the current year presentation.

Changes in Net Assets




The Members’

Education Committee Report


Education committee report By Sally Bankiner, Education Committee


nother month has come and gone and by the looks of the weather we are well into spring.

Getting involved with the union as a steward means learning new things about the union, the employer, your community, and yourself with opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. At times it may seem intimidating or a challenge but I know that in the long run, you will find it extremely rewarding. To support our stewards Local 15 offers a wide variety of education courses that are available to you. For those stewards out there who have not had the opportunity to take the “Advanced Effective Stewarding” course please contact the Union office and ask when the next course is scheduled. This excellent course offers you a more in-depth look at your role as a steward along with a wide variety of courses such as “Duty to Accommodate”, “Representing Members at Meetings”, “Facing Management”, “Bullying and Harassment”, “Occupational Health and Safety” and others. There are many avenues for you to gain experience as a steward. Education courses are one option. Also at your disposal is our

mentoring program; a valuable tool to assist you and give you experience in handling meetings with the employer and in time, the grievance process. If you would like to have a mentor, contact the Union office for more information. We also encourage all of you to participate in the stewards’ meetings for your sector. These meetings are extremely important and are an opportunity not only to network but to share our common goals and wealth of experiences. April 28th marks the national “Day of Mourning” which was first established in 1984. In 2009, 121 people lost their lives due to workplace injury and disease. The CUPE BC Occupational Health and Safety Committee has heard overwhelming concerns from members across BC about their struggles to deal with issues such as unsafe working conditions, violence in the workplace, working alone, and risks to young workers. Because many workplace committees are struggling to get their voices heard in the workplace it’s important that all locals and sectors participate in this survey. The survey was launched at the CUPE BC Division Convention in Victoria and covers a wide range of safety issues. The easiest way to participate is online. It’s quick, easy, and confidential. If you’re interested, please visit

The following is an excerpt from the CUPE BC website: “CUPE helps protect workers and the public by putting a high priority on health and safety issues. We develop materials to help workers understand their rights and responsibilities in the workplace, ability to refuse unsafe work, and ensure that changes are made to keep the work environment safe. We also support locals to negotiate health and safety provisions into collective agreements to ensure that workers are protected. CUPE has also been part of putting together some of the world’s most progressive workers’ compensation and health and safety laws here in BC. But that work is now threatened. The Liberal government is developing significant changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. CUPE members and other workers want to protect the gains we’ve made in creating healthier, safer workplaces. A safe and healthy workplace environment protects both the workers and the public we serve.”

Remember the Canary April 28 is the Day of Mourning, a time to pause, reflect, and gather to remember those workers that have been injured and killed on the job. The tiny canary was once the only safeguard mine workers had against danger in the workplace. If the canary died, it was a signal to evacuate the mines, FAST! Today, CUPE members across Canada act as frontline protection for their fellow citizens. They have become the canaries. Each year approximately 1,000 Canadian workers are killed on the job. Hundreds of thousands are injured and countless thousands become permanently disabled or die from work related diseases. April 28 is a day to rededicate ourselves to the fight for improved Health and Safety. In closing let me say that often it is not an easy road being a steward or for that matter a Health and Safety Representative. It takes a huge amount of personal dedication and commitment and for some, it may even seem thankless at times. But please know that all our brothers and sisters who individually and collectively make our union what it is value your ongoing support, dedication, and assistance. Remember, knowledge is power!

Provincial underfunding to blame for VSB budget woes VANCOUVER—Education minister Margaret MacDiarmid was not on hand to hear the community struggle with an $18 million funding shortfall in the Vancouver school district.

financial picture is not good. In stark contrast to the BC government’s spin of the ‘highest funding ever’ – districts throughout the province instead will see continued chronic underfunding.

“It is truly shameful that this minister refuses to come face-to-face with the trustees, parents, staff and students who are being hurt by underfunding,” said CUPE 15 president Paul Faoro. Trustees on the Vancouver Board of Education had invited the minister to attend. Faoro said that given that her constituency office is three blocks from where the VSB meeting was held, Minister MacDiarmid should have been there.

“Provincial underfunding over the past eight years has brought most districts to the point of massive structural funding shortfalls. Vancouver is the most recent example of what we know is going to be a tsunami of program and service cuts in BC’s 60 districts,” said Barry O’Neill, president of CUPE BC.

On March 15, BC school districts received notice of their preliminary budget allocations for the coming school year, and got a clear signal that the

CUPE research indicates that the magnitude of the mounting structural funding shortfall will surpass $300 million this year, and will increasingly curtail options available to boards attempting to bring their budgets into balance.

Trustees on the Vancouver Board of Education are reviewing options that include reducing instructional days from 185 to 175 next year and adding extra minutes to each day; cutting teachers and support staff positions, and administrative time for vice-principals; and delaying necessary facility improvements. Faoro and O’Neill said that it is time for the Campbell government to face the music, admit that it needs to provide higher levels of funding to districts and address the faulty funding formula. CUPE has released a background analysis of the BC education funding situation, and will be releasing further research on the magnitude of BC government underfunding in the days to come.



Executive Board Elections

Candidate statements Betty McGee, for CUPE Local 15 Secretary Treasurer

I am pleased to announce that I have accepted the nomination for the position of Secretary Treasurer of Local 15. Having been in the position for the past seven months I am able to report that despite all the hard work and long hours it has been an amazing and extremely rewarding experience. I am delighted to have had many more opportunities to meet with members from various bargaining units and further develop my understanding of the incredibly diverse and committed nature of the membership of Local 15. I have come to realize that while our strength as a Union is in sheer numbers, on one level, it must be appreciated that there exists in the union a solid core of trade unionists who will fight for and defend the rights of our members, and it is that unity of spirit which I find so inspiring. I have highlighted financial issues as an area of accomplishment while I have been in office as it quickly became the focus of much of my work. However, I am also happy to report that we have recruited a number of new stewards and I am particularly pleased that some of these new stewards are from bargaining units not well represented in the past. Mentoring of stewards is also a significant component of the work of this office and one in which I take a great deal of pleasure. Finances The Secretary Treasurer has primary responsibility for the financial well being of the local and I am extremely proud of the processes/changes that have been implemented in the months I have been in office. Regularly scheduled meetings of the Finance Committee are a significant step in ensuring that a team approach is taken to decision making and increases the accountability to the membership with respect to financial decisions. I am somewhat conservative, fiscally, and am committed to ensuring that Union resources are utilized fully in support of the members, the social agencies we support and our bursary programs, and to overseeing all expenditures with the same thoughtful approach I utilize in my own personal spending habits. Working with the committee the following issues have either been resolved or are moving toward resolution: • Outstanding monies owed, from the 2007 strike – CUPE Local 391 – post dated cheques for the outstanding balance have been received. Local 1004 have been invoiced and we are awaiting payment. • Outstanding hardship loans. A number of loans issued during the 2007 strike have been repaid following correspondence sent from


The Members’

my office. This is an ongoing process which will take many months to resolve. • Book-off processes are being tracked in a more efficient manner to ensure accountability both on the part of members requesting book-off and the Employers who bill the union for book-off costs. • Creation of templates and procedures to ensure minutes of meetings are processed in a timely fashion – back up documentation as per proper accounting procedures to ensure cheques issued are as per Executive or General Membership motions. I have included the information below as it is an indication of the significant experience that I bring to the position of Secretary-Treasurer. Elected Positions • Served as a member of the 2004 and 2007 • Bargaining Committees for the City et al group • Executive Board member for over ten years • Elected as 2nd Vice President 2005 • Chief Shop Steward, Parks Sector until election as Secretary Treasurer • Held position of 1st Vice President for two terms • Elected Acting Secretary Treasurer September, 2009 – January, 2010 • Elected Secretary Treasurer January 2010 Experience • Acted as Staff Representative at various times for the City, Parks and College sectors. • Acted as executive liaison to various rounds of bargaining including, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Museum of Vancouver, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and the Vancouver Art Gallery during their most recent rounds of bargaining. • Chair of the Local 15 Staff Advisory Committee. • Member of bargaining committees for last two rounds of bargaining for the CEP Local 467- CUPE 15 negotiations - as the chair for the most recent round of bargaining. • CUPE Metro delegate and regular attendee. • Local 15 delegate to CUPE B.C. Pension Committee. • Recently named Trustee to the Vancouver and Employee Savings Plan. I believe I have demonstrated my commitment to the local and its members and would appreciate very much your support in the upcoming election.


Leanne Toderian, for CUPE Local 15 Secretary Treasurer

I am seeking your support for the position of Secretary Treasurer. Some of you may remember me in this role when I replaced Donalda Greenwell-Baker in 2008. I have been a Union member for 22 years and following the City et al strike in 2000, I decided to become a steward. During this strike I was a driver on the coffee wagon; I was inspired by the passion and commitment of the strike coordinating committee, executive and stewards. What I bring to the table is: I have cool head, I think before I act and I listen with an open mind. I am confident with the experience I have gained as a steward and my years on the Executive, that I would represent you well. With your support, I look forward to fulfilling the duties of the Secretary Treasurer. The role of the Secretary Treasurer is one that involves both the monitoring of the Financial Health of the Union and steward training and mentoring to ensure ongoing support to our membership. In my current position at the City, I manage the City’s $32 million parking meter program. It is my job to make sure our program runs smoothly. I keep track of the equipment and budgets; I make recommendations for changes and upgrades; monitor revenues coming into the city. This position has given me a head start on managing our finances at the union. I am confident I can work with the Finance Committee to continue to deliver a healthy budget every year and look forward to the challenge. My strengths have always been that of a problem solver. I listen with compassion and empathy, but with the determination to find a resolve. We must work together to face the challenges in each of our sectors. It is my goal to bring unity back to the union. This is the year of the steward and our union relies heavily on the services they provide. A number of years ago we approved 8 Chief Shop Stewards. It is time to evaluate and improve on this concept and expand support to stewards across the organization. The issues facing stewards are complex, but I am confident we are up for the challenge. If elected I intend to make steward support a top priority. Our local is diverse and made up of 18 different contracts and with a range of complex issues facing stewards. Our school workers are facing serious ramifications if budget projections are true. School workers like so many of our sectors are struggling to maintain the integrity of their jobs. Fighting for respect and recognition is something I hope to add my voice to. Finding a way to reach out to stewards and connecting with members is a priority. The Vancouver Services Review is pending and the consequences for our members are hanging over our City and Parks members like a cloud of



Executive Board Elections

doom. We need now more than ever to work together to minimize the effect this has on our members. Parks members and stewards face a similar challenge to school stewards, of being spread out. I hope to continue to support the roving steward program which was so well received in the Parks sector. The City sector faces similar challenges with the Vancouver Services Review and the Vacancy Committee. Being a steward in the City sector has provided me a rich training ground. Often considered the most challenging sector to steward in due to the philosophies held by management, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. Our steward numbers are growing and with that our strength. Nowhere more is the adage, strength in numbers and knowledge is power. Recently our local was able to negotiate an agreement in regards to the 2010 Olympics with the assistance of our members in Engineering standing together and putting trust and faith in the union and that we had their best interests at heart. My thanks go out to them as that agreement protected far more than they may have realized at the time. Our Cultural sector, the Museums, Space Centre and Art Gallery have also been vulnerable to budget cuts. They face challenges that are unique to their sector as the Employer is boards - a much less unifying figurehead than other sectors have. We must be creative in finding ways to support our members in these facilities. Our Health sector members have always stood strong amongst themselves. They face the unique challenge of being part of a larger bargaining unit facing up against the Provincial Government as its bargaining agent. While our members in Health may be a small voice in that group they have proven to be a mighty voice. Our choice may be to continue to challenge the Provincial Government and in the next election to take them on head first. If elected it would be my honour and privilege to represent you all! Some of my career highlights are: • Local 15 Executive • Currently 2nd Vice President • City Sector Representative for 5 years • Acting Secretary Treasurer • Steward for 11 years Commiteees • Local 15 Anti-Harassment Committee • Finance Committee • Education Committee • Grievance Committee • Strike Coordinating Committee Other • Coffee Wagon Coordinator • CUPE Member Facilitator City Involvement – Member of: • Engineering Diversity Committee • Engineering Safety Committee • Facilitator Training Levels I & II


The Members’

Miriam Pulsifer for CUPE Local 15 1st Vice President

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my nominator Craig Hopkins, and announce that I have accepted the nomination for the position of 1st Vice President of CUPE Local 15. I am asking for your vote in supporting my candidacy in this upcoming election. For those members who may not know me, my name is Miriam Pulsifer and I have worked for the past 10 years for the Vancouver School Board; initially as a Special Education Assistant and more recently for the last 5 years as a Youth and Family Worker. I am committed to working with all sector groups of CUPE 15 in strengthening our bonds and building better relationships. I believe together we can create positive change. The qualities I bring to this position are my calm and reasonable demeanour; my practice and nature is to look at both sides of a situation before making a decision. I am honest, trustworthy and use sound judgement when dealing with situations; I have exemplified these qualities throughout my personal life, employment and union career. My commitment and dedication to the members has been demonstrated through my active shop stewarding; some of which includes: representing members on diverse issues such as harassment in the workplace, discipline, mediation between members in resolving communication and conflict, assisting members through the grievance process, as well as mentoring and training new shop stewards through my Chief Shop Steward role. Furthermore, beyond any of my experience and education is my innate caring and concern for people. I am currently the VSB Chief Shop Steward and sit on the Executive Board as a Member-at-Large. I am also an elected member of the Bargaining Committee for the upcoming 2010 round of VSB bargaining. My commitment to our membership, strong core values, education and experience make me an excellent candidate for the position of 1st Vice President, a challenge I would be honoured to fulfill. I am open to new ideas and change, which I find is essential in these demanding and crucial times. With the projected budget cuts we need to unite and work together in supporting one another to minimize the challenges and impact that each sector group is, and will be facing. I am passionate about serving our membership and providing the best service possible in assisting our members from all sectors. I come from a strong trade union background. My father, who I have great respect for, was a shop steward and the Vice President of his local for 20 years; I grew up learning the fundamentals of strong union principles and political activism. With your support, I look forward to continuing to work for the betterment of our local in the capacity of 1st Vice President. Education and Experience: • Graduated from the University of Victoria with a bachelor degree in Psychology (1992) • Conflict Resolution Certificate (80 hours

• • • • • • •


mediation focused), Justice Institute of BC (2000) Advanced Stewarding/Bargaining Courses, Duty to Accommodate and many other CUPE courses. (2006 – to present) Shop Steward since 2006 Currently Chief Shop Steward Currently Member at Large (School Sector Rep) Executive Committee Currently Bargaining Committee member Joint Labour Management Committee Pride Advisory Committee

Donna Petersen for CUPE 15 School Sector Representative

Let us unite together to defend our collective interests and the interests of public education in B.C. Donna Petersen has been a union activist, former School Sector Representative, and shop steward for 10 years. Her stand is Education is a Right! - requiring increased investments, not cut backs! Donna, an Administrative Assistant at Hastings Elementary, is also a public affairs broadcaster on Co-Op Radio at 102.7 FM from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Donna works to unify CUPE workers to defend their established living standards and argues that “concessions are not solutions.” She believes increased funding for social programs are available if government stops paying the rich, and stops the closures of wood industry mills in B.C. For almost two decades real dollar funding to public education has decreased, year after year, regardless of which political party is in power. We need to work out how we are going to turn the tide of this assault on our working conditions and the wrecking of public education. There is an alternative. “Let us use our numbers and organization to discuss how to bring it about,” says Donna. As your School Sector Representative on the CUPE 15 Executive, Donna will represent your interests, fight for your rights and work to ensure our union actively participates in fighting for the rights of all.

Michele Alexander, for CUPE Local 15 Trustee

My name is Michele Alexander and I am running for the position of Trustee. I feel that I would make a good Trustee because I have integrity, am trustworthy, reliable, honest, level-headed, above reproach and I use sound judgment. I would like to build on the fiscal health of our local; and ensure our finances reflect the strength of our union. I am committed to




The Members’

Events & Credits


The Members’

The Members’ Voice is published nine times a year for members of CUPE Local 15 - Vancouver Municipal, Education and Community Workers. The Deadline for submissions is 9:00 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. All submissions may be edited for brevity and clarity. Signed articles and letters do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of CUPE Local 15.

CUPE Local 15

545 West 10th Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K9 Phone: 604-879-4671 Fax: 604-879-7582 Email: Website: Local 15 is a chartered affiliate of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and is also affiliated with the CUPE British Columbia Division, CUPE Metro District Council and the Vancouver & District Labour Council. CUPE 15 is a member of the Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM).

CUPE Local 15 Executive Board Table Officers:

President: Paul Faoro 1st Vice President: vacant 2nd Vice President: Leanne Toderian Secretary Treasurer: Betty McGee

Sector Representatives:

City: Sally Bankiner, Diane Brown College/University: Emma Somers Cultural: Matthew Quiring Health/HSSCBA: Patricia Taylor

Executive Elections protecting our assets and working with the other Trustees to make sure our local remains strong financially, and that we can fulfill the roles our union is committed to. I am proud of the state of our finances and promise to supervise the property and finances of the local and to make certain of the financial accountability of the National Union’s policies and practices, and to ensure financial control and protection of Local 15 properties. It is the job of the Trustee to not only ensure the checks and balances are done correctly but to make recommendations to the Executive regarding hardship loans and education bursaries. A Trustee on the Financial Committee is responsible for advising the Executive on all financial matters as well as authorizing expenses and paying bills. For those of you who don’t know me – I have been with the City of Vancouver for 17 years. I started out working in the EEO Department in 1993; and then moved on to The Hastings Institute. From there I went to the Planning Department, and then to the Parks Board Office, Evans Yards, Manitoba Yards and then to Parking Enforcement in 1998 and became a permanent employee in 1999 at Parking Enforcement and have worked there ever since. I am an active shop steward and have been on the Executive before as City Sector Representative. I am also on the Education Committee, the Social Committee and the OH&S Committee for Local 15 as well as the Joint Union/City OH&S Committee. I am also a delegate for CUPE Metro and sit on the CARD Committee (Committee against Racial Discrimination) and the People of Colour Working Group. If elected, I look forward to representing all our members.

Health/HSPBA: Caroline Mewis Parks: Anne-Marie McGee, Barb Dickinson K-12: Kenny Brett, Miriam Pulsifer


Diane Brown, for CUPE Local 15 City Sector Representative

Office & Administrative Staff:

Hi, my name is Diane Brown and I would like to thank Anne-Marie McGee for nominating me for City Sector Representative. I have been a shop steward at Carnegie Community Centre in the downtown eastside where I have worked for nearly 14 years.

Building Maintenance:

I am currently one of the City Sector Representatives on our Executive, and prior to this I was one of the three Trustees in our local. I have also served on the Education Committee and the Staff Advisory Committee.

Joey Lau, Donald Rounding, Arthur Lum

Staff Representatives:

Steve Baker, John Geppert, Keith Graham, Graeme Moore

Mark Gloumeau, Accounting Coordinator Maureen Dorratt, Office Assistant Rosemary Matheson, Office Manager Barbara Simpson, Office Assistant

Jeff Zaharia

CUPE National Representatives:

I enjoy working with the diverse and hard working activists that comprise our Executive. I would value the opportunity to continue to contribute to our union, which as we all know, will be in for some very tough challenges in upcoming years. I am grateful for the many courses CUPE has provided me. These courses have given me the knowledge to advocate for members on issues such as contracting out, workplace harassment, and duty to accommodate. I am committed to giving back to members what they have provided me through these educational opportunities. I have the energy and the commitment to continue to serve members if I am re-elected and would be honoured by the opportunity to do so. I ask for your support.

Peggy Wong, for CUPE Local 15 Vancouver School Board School Sector Representative

I would like to thank Kenny Brett for nominating me for the position of School Sector Representative. I am excited and honoured by the opportunity to run for this position. For those of you who may not know me, my name is Peggy Wong and I have worked for the Vancouver School Board as an Office Support C for the past 12 years. During this time I have worked at various sites and had a variety of clerical job roles. I am presently an Office Manager for a program called CAYA at SET BC. My involvement in the union began when I first began working at the VSB, in terms of getting to know the collective agreement which informed me about our rights and benefit entitlements. I attend regular General Membership Meetings and have a good working relationship with the union staff and Executive Board, as well as the members I have represented. I have been an active shop steward for the past 2 years and site contact for 8 years. I am very organized and proficient in getting things done. I have a sound knowledge of the VSB’s practices and systems. I also sit on the Education Committee. I have taken basic and advanced stewarding courses. I have helped many members in resolving conflict, and provided information and guidance on their issues. I am committed to working hard for you in the capacity of School Sector Representative. Please come out and support me on Election Day! I look forward to working with you. If you have any questions, please contact me at

When Someone Dies at Work, Whole Families are Harmed National Day of Mourning - Vancouver Art Gallery Date: Wednesday April 28, 2010 from 7:30 am to 8:30 am

Designed by

Bring your own union banners and invite co-workers, friends and family members to attend with you.


Justin Schmid, Tina Meadows, Matt Yun




The Members’


Annual General Meeting APRIL APRIL Under Discussion: Location: Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: CUPE Local 15 545 W. 10th Ave. Va...

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