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The Members’

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

Have a long and happy retirement, Keith…

You deserve it!

Kathie Currie, Staff Rep with Keith Graham and his wife Darlene by Paul Faoro, President In 2004 our union made a great decision. That decision made our union more strategic, intelligent, organized, and respected in the labour movement. That decision was hiring Keith Graham as one of our Staff Representatives. When Keith was hired he already had worked a long career with the labour movement in key positions with the United Steelworkers, the BC Federation of Labour, and the BCGEU. For the last eight years I have had the pleasure of working with Keith and I can say without hesitation that our

Attention VSB Members Ratification of Proposals Meeting

November 5, 2012, 5:00p.m. (Doors open at 4:30)

Room B, Croatian Cultural Centre 3250 Commercial Drive

Search CUPE 15 for Facebook, and keep up-todate- on news from your union at: @cupelocal15

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

Keith looking on, as he listens to words spoken in his honour

“Your job position is attractive to me as the job duties as outlined are certainly in line with my history and experience.”

strategy sessions that we had almost daily in my office over the years and being able to watch his brilliance at the bargaining table. Keith is a true trade unionist.

union is stronger and better because of what he brought us.

The résumé that Keith submitted to us in 2004 said “your job position is attractive to me as the job duties as outlined are certainly in line with my history and experience”. Our union has truly benefited from Keith’s experience and now after representing workers for more than 40 years I want to wish Keith and his wife Darlene a long and happy retirement. Brother Keith you deserve it!

When Keith told me a few months ago that it was time for him to retire I felt I was losing a good friend. Well I have. I cannot express enough the experience and confidence I have gained working alongside Keith. I will miss the early morning


General Membership Meeting

Date & Time: Location: Under Discussion:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 5:30 pm, Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St., Vancouver


• By-election: Member at Large – Parks Sector Representative • Bargaining Updates: HR MacMillan Space Centre, Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver Maritime Museum, Vancouver Coastal Health, City et al, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver School Board • Shared Services General Meetings provide all members with an opportunity to participate in decisions that affect the union. (Childcare assistance and interpretation available upon request.) Please note that following the November General Membership meeting there will be a short General Society meeting to vote on the 2013 budget.




The Members’

Update from your Executive


It’s time for a few deals - fair ones.

by Paul Faoro, President


am really hopeful that by the time the Members’ Voice newsletter is delivered to our members’ homes a deal will have been reached for the 14,000 front line health care workers in the Community Health Sector. I am hopeful because in British Columbia’s health care system the Community Subsector is the lowest paid and least respected group of workers. They have not had a wage increase since 2009 and over the past 10 years they have had rights and benefits in their collective Paul Faoro, President agreement gutted by the BC Liberal government. Almost half of the workers in this sector are casuals and receive no benefits while out of the 52% who are regular staff only a portion work full-time. CUPE Local 15 represents about 400 members within this health sector who work at Vancouver Coastal Health. It’s time the provincial government recognized the important jobs these workers perform every day in communities across the province. I say it’s time for a fair and reasonable deal especially after eight months at the bargaining table with the Health Employers’ Association of BC.

If Premier Clark and her government choose to continue to ignore these workers and this essential health sector it will be time for the union members in Community Health to use the 86% strike mandate that they recently delivered to their bargaining committee. I am proud of these members for standing up for fairness and respect. Our union will do whatever it takes to get an agreement that is built on these fundamental values.

On a different bargaining note, I am also hopeful that within the same time frame our City et al Bargaining Committee will be close to reaching an agreement with the City of Vancouver for a renewed collective agreement for 2500 members. I am pleased that the City agreed to get back to the bargaining table and carry on with contract negotiations that we started back in February. We were the first CUPE local in the lower mainland representing municipal workers to commence negotiations. We will be meeting with the City’s representatives on October 15, 22, 23 and 24. While we have had a break from the table we have been using the non-bargaining time to review our position and most recently the extensive data we received from the employer. We have also examined the recent settlement in New Westminster and the ones reached late last year for 4,200 CUPE members working throughout the Greater Victoria area. In addition, we have looked at the agreement reached in January of this year between CUPE Local 401 and the City of Nanaimo. This three year agreement included a two per cent wage increase in each

of the three years along with improvement to extended health care coverage. Workers at the City of Nanaimo don’t need to worry about service reviews or losing their jobs due to privatization or contracting out as they are protected by solid contract language. These workers come to work knowing “the Employer agrees that all work or services performed by the employees shall not be contracted, sub‐contracted, transferred, leased, assigned, or conveyed, in whole or in part, to any other plant, person, company or non‐unit employee if it would result in lay off of any permanent employee, or failure to recall those employees on lay off who are able to perform the work”. We will reach a settlement if the employer’s representatives come to the table with a mandate to reach a fair settlement for our City and Park Board members. That is up to City Manager Penny Ballem. A settlement must encompass job security that ensures ongoing employment for regular full-time and regular part-time employees and auxiliary scheduling that prioritizes the role of seniority for our large auxiliary workforce. Fixing the broken job reclassification system is also a must. I’ve said numerous times that our goal is to renew a collective agreement with the City of Vancouver that is fair and reasonable, that keeps our members working, values their length of service, and is achieved without a labour dispute. It can be done.

Follow Paul on Twitter @paulfaoro.

Rooftop companions, Strathcona, Vancouver

Fall roundup - chili, dinner, trains, oh my!


his month, our local hosted our Steward Appreciation dinner at the Italian Cultural Centre. The event was well attended by stewards from all our sectors. The dinner was delicious as usual and the before dinner bocce was also a big hit. It was nice to see so many familiar faces and many new ones too.

In addition, Barry O’Neill, CUPE BC President, Mark Hancock, CUPE BC Secretary Treasurer, Leanne Toderian and Sharon Prescott, Secretary Treasurer CUPE Assistant to Barry and Mark took time out of their busy schedules to attend and speak to the stewards. It was good to see them at our event and they were able enjoy a good meal with our members.

Also in attendance were our own staff and their partners. We had one bitter sweet moment when Paul Faoro spoke about our retiring staff Brother Keith Graham. Keith’s extensive experience and support to our local, members, stewards and executive will be missed greatly. When one takes on staff representative work, those types of people are the most dedicated and committed individuals you will find in the labour movement. He will be greatly missed. You will see more on Keith in this newsletter. Elsewhere, we held a strike vote at the Community Health Sector. Those who came out to vote showed strong support for job action; they want to show the Employer Association they are serious about wanting a good deal and are tired of a forced deal from the provincial government. Needless to say a resounding strike vote was delivered! At the union office, we have had several bargaining committee meetings, the VSB committee have been working on their bargaining


survey and results; an Intro to Stewarding class where we welcomed 10 new Local 15 stewards and regular steward meetings. Local 15 participated in the City of Vancouver Chili Cook off once again and the team had a great time mixing with fellow contestants and members. Unfortunately the team did not have a repeat win, but we were pleased there were many repeat “tasters” and not a drop left in the pots! Thanks to Michele Alexander, City, for organizing and cooking; Chris Losito, Health, for chopping and serving; Tony Zullo, City for the heavy lifting and service with a smile; Barb Dickinson, Parks for all around support and assistance at the event. Please watch the calendar for upcoming dates - the Children’s Christmas Train is back! - I look forward to seeing you there. And lastly, we’re gearing up for the 2013 Union and Society Budgets.

CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers



Letters, Notices, & Updates

Bursary Thanks! I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your continued support of higher education. I feel privileged to be supported by so many people and really appreciate the assistance and work that everyone does. This bursary will help allow me to complete the final three credits I require to become a certified teacher. Thank you. June Sanders, CUPE 15 Member My second year of university has arrived and I would like to thank you for your support and generosity towards my academic career. Aside from my commerce classes at UBC, I am also involved in the Commerce Undergraduate Society as the Health and Wellness Chair, and as a photographer for the Visual Media Team. I am really enjoying my university experience studying at the Sauder School of Business, and this is in part due to your support. So, thank you. Abby N.

VSB Job Share Requests I am looking for an SSW job share position starting as soon as possible. I do not own a position but am looking to share with someone who does. Please contact Judy Heintz at SSW looking to job share at Carnarvon Elementary for the 2012/2013 school year. I am willing to do 60/40 or 50/50. I am flexible with what days may work for job share partner. If you are interested please contact Suzi Zarin at for more info. Permanent SSSW at Moberly Elementary would like to job share commencing October 2012. My job share partner would work 40% (Mondays and Tuesdays). Please contact Surjit at


The Members’

HSPBA Education Fund update by Paul Faoro, President

In January of 2008, the Health Science Professionals’ Bargaining Association successfully negotiated an agreement to resolve issues flowing from the Supreme Court of Canada decision that certain sections of Bill 29 were unconstitutional. The final agreement included a fund for professional development education for all HSPBA members. I am pleased to report that since the fund was established our union has dispersed approximately $82,000 to over 150 CUPE 15 members covered by the HSPBA collective agreement working at Vancouver Coastal Health. Our members used these funds for professional development, including specialized training and upgrading their education levels. Unfortunately there are no more funds remaining at this time. However, we are working to try to secure more funding on a permanent ongoing basis. We will advise members when we are able to obtain additional funding.

Notice of By-election Member at Large –

Parks Sector Representative

There is a vacancy for a Member at Large - Parks Sector Representative for the balance of a two year term ending on April 23, 2013. Only members from the Parks Sector (including Ray-Cam, Britannia, and WECCA) are eligible to vote.


The Members Decided At the General Membership Meeting on September 26, 2012 the members in attendance made the following decisions: • To elect Sister Barbara Dickinson to the vacant Parks Sector Representative position ending in May 2014 thereby creating a vacancy for the Parks Sector Rep position ending on May 22, 2013. • To donate $800 to the Word on the Street Festival that took place at Library Square on September 30, 2012.

The Executive Decided At the September 19th, September 26th and October 3rd Executive meetings the following decisions were made: • To send five members to the CUPE Anti-Privatization conference in Richmond in November 2012. • To purchase 25 CUPE flags. • To approve Sister Sally Bankiner to fill in as an Acting Staff Representative 1. • To develop and recommend a process for the election of delegates to the BC Federation of Labour conventions on a move forward basis. • To appoint the Executive Board, Chief Shop Stewards, and Local 15 Staff Representatives to attend the BC Federation of Labour Convention where possible and schedules permit.

No charge legal advice available to members by Paul Faoro, President I would like to remind members about the no charge legal advice service that is available for all members of CUPE 15. Through our Vancouver Municipal, Education and Community Workers’ Society (VMECWS) we have signed an agreement with the Ethos Law Group in Vancouver to provide legal consultation to members. CUPE 15 members are automatically members of the VMECWS. Our agreement with Ethos provides members with 30 minutes of legal (initial) consultation at no charge for non-employment related matters including civil litigation, personal injury, family law, wills and estates, residential tenancy and residential real estate, workers’ compensation claims, criminal law and motor vehicle violations. After the 30 minute initial consultation Ethos will give members preferential retainer agreements for additional legal services. Members can access this service by calling the CUPE 15 office at 604-8794671 and obtaining a Legal Services Referral Certificate. This must be done before any services can be provided. For more information about Ethos Law Group, please visit


CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers





The Members’

Events & Credits

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 15’s Children’s Christmas Train in Stanley Park

DEC. 8th

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).

Look for more details and information in the November Members’ Voice.

CUPE Local 15 Executive Board Table Officers:

President: Paul Faoro 1st Vice President: Miriam Pulsifer 2nd Vice President: Sally Bankiner Secretary Treasurer: Leanne Toderian

Sector Representatives: City: Santino Scardillo, Tony Zullo College/University: Reba Noel, Emma Somers Cultural: Matthew Quiring Health/HSSCBA: Patricia Taylor Health/HSPBA: Chris Losito Parks: Barb Dickinson K-12: Peggy Wong, Warren Williams


Michele Alexander, Kenny Brett, Karla Mairena

Staff Representatives: Kathie Currie, John Geppert, Graeme Moore

Office & Administrative Staff:

Mark Gloumeau, Accounting Coordinator Rosemary Matheson, Office Manager Barbara Simpson, Office Assistant Nadia Thibault, Office Assistant

Building Maintenance: Jeff Zaharia

CUPE National Representatives: Justin Schmid, Susan Zander, Kevin Tilley (Legal Representative) Designed by UFCW1518


CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers