Page 1




The Members’

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

Let’s rethink child care “If you want to have kids, and if you want to have a job you need to have child care.” By CUPE National Finding affordable licensed day care is a huge challenge for parents. Child care wait lists are notoriously long and 78 per cent of Canadian children under the age of six don’t have regulated child care spaces. The costs of child care are growing too. The average cost per child is $30-$80 a day, or over $1,000 a month per child.

The campaign will feature a short video, accompanied by interactive “kitchen table” conversations which provide an informal space for members to talk about their personal experiences with both public and private child care centres. This campaign is designed to engage all Canadians in calling for improved child care.

You can join the campaign at

In Quebec, regulated child care spaces are just seven dollars a day. We want to have affordable and accessible child care services in the rest of Canada.

CUPE 15 is very -able! Are you on Facebook? If so, come join us on our new CUPE 15 Facebook Page. You will find updates, news, and the occasional photo of what we’re up to at your union. Links to local stories and like-minded folks will be posted too. Be sure to share it with your fellow members and friends!

A coalition of Canadian unions and child care advocates is launching a new campaign to make sure that the provision of public and non-profit child care is a priority in the 2015 federal election.

MARCH Date & Time: Location: Under Discussion:

2013 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: CUPE Local 15 545 W. 10th Ave. Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K9

General Membership Meeting Wednesday, March 27, 2013, 5:30 pm, Room 5 Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St., Vancouver • Nominations for Executive Board Elections • Bargaining Updates: Vancouver Coastal Health, Vancouver School Board, Langara College, Emily Carr University, Langara Students’ Union, Vancouver Art Gallery • Notices of Motion, see page 3 General Meetings provide all members with an opportunity to participate in decisions that affect the union. (Childcare assistance and interpretation available upon request.)




The Members’

Update from your Executive


This government is well past their expiry date By Paul Faoro, President


he provincial election is on May 14. That’s less than 60 days from the time this Members’ Voice came through your mail slot to E-Day, where we collectively can change government. This is a change that is desperately needed. In CUPE 15 about half of our membership works for an employer that receives its funding directly from the provincial government. For the last 12 years we have had a government whose priority has Paul Faoro, President been cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy at the expense of properly funding public services. CUPE members have felt the effect of the BC Liberals’ skewed priorities. Members have had their wages frozen, their benefits clawed back, and their rights taken away. The lack of sustained funding has hammered public sector employers. The Vancouver School Board is facing another multimillion dollar shortfall for the coming school year. This is on top of the $80 million it has had to cut from its budgets over the last 10 years due to underfunding. Education spending in BC is the

second lowest in Canada behind only Prince Edward Island. This is from a government that spews its “Family First Plan” on a daily basis.

have taken our province from second to ninth place compared to other provinces for per capita investment in health care needs of its residents.

Premier Christy Clark presented her government’s 2013 budget a few weeks ago and it doesn’t look any better. School boards are squeezed further as they will have to absorb many new costs such as MSP increases and converting from the HST to PST. Post-secondary funding will be cut again and the tuition fees will continue to rise. Premier Clark wants students to carry more debt load for their education as graduates are expected to use 8% of their income to pay for student loans, up from 5%.

This budget was coined “Investing in our future” but it does nothing for our future but place more costs on working families. The BC Liberals affirmed this budget as “balanced” but when you know they are selling $260 million of government assets or what I should say as “our” assets there is nothing balanced about it. This government is well past their expiry date.

The arts and cultural sector will feel the cut of $126.7 million to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development – a cut that amounts to 41% of its budget. Our members at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Vancouver, HR MacMillan Space Centre, and Maritime Museum have fallen behind due to grant cuts under this government. Last year BC’s arts funding was well below that of all other provinces of Canada. The national average for provincial arts funding is $26 per capita with BC at approximately $6.50 per capita. Premier Clark is also slashing health care spending as levels announced last year for the fiscal year 2013-2014 have been reduced by $234 million. Budget documents also forecast that health authorities and societies will spend $90 million less on front-line health care services than forecasted in last year’s plan. The BC Liberals

In the last provincial election, more than half of the eligible voters stayed home. In order to address this and help elected people who value public services and working families in British Columbia, our Provincial Division has started member-to-member calling. That is CUPE members calling other CUPE members to talk about the importance of this election. The phone banks have started but we need more members to help with the calling. The calling is taking place from the CUPE Regional office in Burnaby Monday through Thursday each week until the election. Ideally we need help between the hours of 4:00 and 8:00 p.m. If you can help please call the CUPE 15 office at 604-879-4671 or send an email to email@cupe15. org. There are 85,000 CUPE members in B.C. We need your help to ensure every member votes on May 14th.

The Heart and Soul of Labour By Leanne Toderian, Secretary-Treasurer


arlier this month, I attended a Langara membership meeting where the Bargaining Committee met to discuss taking a strike vote. The membership felt they had waited long enough for some movement toward a settlement from the employer and it simply was going nowhere. As we have learned in the labour movement our option at this point is to take a strike vote. Dates were set and the members were ready to cast their ballots. Then happily, Leanne Toderian a deal was offered Secretary Treasurer by the Employer and the membership will now attend a contract ratification vote instead of a strike vote. I am very pleased they fought off some wicked stuff and it can be described as a step in the right direction. Congratulations to the Langara members, the Langara bargaining committee, and Kathie Currie, Staff Representative. At the last General Membership meeting, discussion arose about encouraging and involving

young workers around the union. This question has been asked by many before and it was a good chance for our members that attended to share their thoughts and suggestions on how to accomplish this. Out of that discussion I was happy to follow up with a young worker who attended the meeting and I encouraged him to harness the enthusiasm shown at the meeting and organize a meeting or event. Watch for upcoming events from these young enthusiastic activists! Also arising from that discussion was a motion that you will find in the Notices of Motion section of this newsletter. If passed, this motion will provide an opportunity for a young worker from any sector to run for election as a delegate to attend convention. If no young worker is eligible under the 50 percent attendance at membership meetings bylaw the seat will go back into the at large pool and become open to all members. I think this is a step in the right direction and hope to see more young workers get involved. I am sure you have all noticed labour and unions get quite a bad rap in the media and perhaps in your own circles. With the upcoming provincial election things will be in high gear. Accusations will fly and the age old attacks on unions and labour will arise. I have pondered the whys and figure it boils down to this: it is inconceivable to some that anyone would help or fight for something they may or may not directly benefit from. This puzzles those who are used to the dog


eat dog mentality of many of those not on the left of politics. But we all know involvement in the labour movement is a calling because there are no pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is something that capitalists will never understand. Which leads me to a related item. A cherished member of this union has been struck with a serious illness and a few of her union colleagues decided they wanted to help. One thing lead to another and the next thing you know, not only did they get help from her friends, coworkers, union sisters and brothers, but Barry O’Neill, our BC President and Mark Hancock, our BC Secretary Treasurer, attended an event held in her name recently. This kind of solidarity and support is not easily found and I was humbled to be part of it. One thing I have learned is that we stick together like family. It is a blessing. Lastly, I would like to thank our outgoing Chief Steward from the City, Steve Salsman. Steve and I worked together for years as stewards in the trenches and I got to know him to be a solid activist who has a sound commitment to labour values. He brought a critical eye which is so much different than a critical voice. He had solutions. But I am happy to say he is still an active steward and on a much needed break from Chief. Sally Bankiner has taken up the reins and will be Chief for the City sector stewards and is already gearing up for her new role. Congratulations Sally!

CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers




The Members’

Letters, Notices, & Updates

Notice of Motion

It’s Nomination Time!

Bylaw Amendment

Nominations to be held at the March 27, 2013 General Membership Meeting

The Executive Board recommends to the membership amendment of Section 27.1 of the bylaws by adding one additional delegate for a young worker.


27.1 The President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, and Secretary Treasurer will have first preference to the CUPE National and CUPE BC Conventions. Additional delegates will be elected by the membership as follows: • City Sector - 2 delegates • K-12 Sector - 2 delegates • Parks Sector - 2 delegates • Health Sector - 2 delegates • College and University Sector - 1 delegate • Cultural Sector - 1 delegate • Young Worker – 1 delegate (A young worker is defined as a person of the age of 30 or under.) Additional and alternate delegates, if required, will be elected at large by the membership. Eligibility to stand as a CUPE 15 delegate will be attendance at a minimum of 50% of the General Membership meetings in the 12 months prior to the convention.


At the February membership meeting there was discussion about creating a delegate position for a young worker. This amendment, if approved, would ensure a young worker has the opportunity to attend and participate in conventions. Locals have been strongly encouraged by CUPE National to send young workers to conventions as part of a strategy for strengthening the union.

VSB Job Share Opportunity

Another year has passed and Executive Board elections are on the agenda. The term of these positions is two years (3 years for the Trustee). Up to half of the Executive is elected each year to ensure consistency on the elected board. This year there are eight positions up for democratic renewal. They are: • • • • • • • •

President (full time paid position) 2nd Vice President City Sector Representative (1) Park Board Sector Representative (1) College/University Sector Representative (1) Cultural Sector Representative (1) K-12 Sector Representative (1) Health Sector Representative – HSSCBA (Community) (1) • Trustee (1) To be eligible to accept nomination for the President, 2nd Vice President, or Trustee you must have attended at least 50% of the membership meetings in the past year.

Donation Thanks Thank you for making an investment in education. Your generosity goes far beyond its financial value to impact the lives of students who are setting out to achieve their dreams and goals. You inspire us all to achieve our potential, individually and collectively, and elevate our success beyond what we once imagined possible by placing your support and trust in Kwantlen Polytechnic University. On behalf of students, faculty and volunteers, thank you for helping us deliver exceptional, cutting edge education to more than 19,000 students each year. D. Mellenger Advancement Officer, KPU

I am looking for a 50/50 or 60/40 job share partner from mid April to the end of the year at Eric Hamber Secondary in the Resource Center. I work with mainstream students with mild learning disabilities on their academics. Excellent team and low stress environment. To discuss this further please email me at - Shelley Locascio, VSB

Notice of By-election


The Executive decided

At the Executive and Society Board meetings on February 20, 2013 and March 6, 2013 the following decisions were made: • To send the request for proposals for electronic voting with a proposal return date of March 25, 2013. • To donate $300 annually to Co-Dev Canada. • To appoint Brother Mark Gloumeau to the VESP Board. • To confirm Sister Sally Bankiner as the Chief Shop Steward at the City of Vancouver. • To purchase four tickets to the Annual COPE Gala fundraising event. • To purchase two tickets to the “Get Your Art On” Spencer Chandra Herbert fundraising event. • To purchase a table at the annual International Women’s Day Dinner. • To allocate $25,000 towards the 2013 Provincial election. • To recommend an amendment to Section 27 of the bylaws. See Notices of Motion. • To authorize up to $4,000 to work with other K-12 locals in the lower mainland to fund a suitable ad campaign in support of K-12 members. • To purchase a table at the Vancouver and District Labour Council annual fundraising dinner in support of Queen Alexandra Elementary School.

The Members decided At the General Membership Meeting on February 27, 2013 the following decisions were made by the members in attendance: • To acclaim Brother Rory Gylander as the Cultural Sector Representative on the Executive Board. • To donate $500 to Brother Paul Faoro’s campaign for Secretary Treasurer of CUPE BC. • To donate $1,500 to Gordon Neighbourhood House and to invite a representative to speak at an upcoming General Membership meeting.

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

Member at Large – Health Sector Representative (HSSCBA) There is a vacancy for a Member at Large – HSSCBA Sector Representative for the balance of a two year term ending May 22, 2013. Only members from the Community Health Sector are eligible to be nominated or to vote.


CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers





The Members’

Events & Credits

Please help re-elect Allen Garr to the Vancity Board of Directors 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, the Vancouver & District Labour Council, and the BC Federation of Labour. 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: 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: Rory Gylander Health/HSSCBA: Vacant Health/HSPBA: Chris Losito Parks: Barb Dickinson, Brenda Coombs K-12: Peggy Wong, Warren Williams

For much of his career as a journalist he has supported progressive causes. He was trained as an accountant and has received formal director education. As a board member he is committed to working for members and building healthier communities.

He is committed to cooperative values and social justice. And as an urban beekeeper he is a strong environmentalist. The election takes place through the month of April by mail, on line, or in selected branches.

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 604-879-4671 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


Michele Alexander, Kenny Brett, Karla Mairena

Staff Representatives: Kathie Currie, John Geppert, Graeme Moore, Kevin Tilley

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

Designed by UFCW1518


CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers


March Member's Voice  

member's voice, newseltter, March 2013

March Member's Voice  

member's voice, newseltter, March 2013