Page 1




The Members’

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

Matheson for keeping me focused on the tasks at hand. And for fixing all the typos in my letters over the years. I also would like to say thanks to Leanne Toderian who I have had the pleasure of working closely with over the last few years in her role as Secretary Treasurer of our local. CUPE 15 is a large, diverse and complex local that is certainly challenging at times. Being able to work through issues with Leanne, many times difficult ones, was incredibly helpful. I would have never thought when I started with the City of Vancouver in 1983 that I would be in the position I am today with our union. Looking back I have to point to one of our former Presidents, Rick Gates, who provided me with confidence and mentorship as a young new activist. I know the experience and knowledge I have gained while at CUPE Local 15 has provided me with a solid foundation and will help in my new role with CUPE BC.

All the Best CUPE Local 15! Dear Sisters and Brothers, As you have probably heard by now I have stepped down as President of CUPE Local 15. This comes from me being elected as Secretary Treasurer of CUPE British Columbia Division. I am honoured that the delegates representing more than 160 CUPE locals in the province put their trust in me for this important position within our union. The convention was certainly special on several fronts. First, it provided an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of accomplishments of our provincial division. Second, it was a time to honour Brother Barry O’ Neill for his years of dedication and service to CUPE BC. Barry decided to retire and not seek re-election as President. A well deserved retirement indeed. Barry’s strong leadership and wisdom will be missed. The delegates at convention also approved a bold action plan for the coming year that puts renewed energy towards protecting public services and programs delivered by CUPE members across British Columbia. I am excited to be working with newly elected CUPE BC President Mark Hancock and the incoming Executive Board. My election is bitter sweet however. While I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life it is going to be difficult leaving my direct involvement at Local 15. It has been a privilege for me to have served as President of our local

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

for more than a decade. I cannot express enough how proud I am of the work our local has done on behalf of our membership over the years. We have collectively taken on many campaigns and been through many struggles. I had the easy job as I worked with amazing dedicated activists and dedicated staff. All of whom I would consider my friends and who I would also describe as true trade unionists. While there is not enough space to single people out I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fantastic office manager Rosemary

MAY Date & Time: Location: Under Discussion:


I am going to miss everyone within the world of CUPE Local 15. I am pleased that I will continue to be a member of CUPE 15 and look forward to attending as many membership meetings I can fit into my new busy schedule. While I am no longer President of CUPE 15 I am always available to assist the local on any matter or challenge ahead. I wish CUPE Local 15 all the best in the future. In solidarity, Paul Faoro Secretary Treasurer, CUPE British Columbia Division

Annual General Membership Meeting Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 5:30 pm, Room 5 Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St., Vancouver • • • •

Audited Financial Statements Executive Board Elections Bargaining Updates: Vancouver School Board Notices of Motion, see page 3

General Meetings provide all members with an opportunity to participate in decisions that affect the union. Please note that there will be a VMECW Society meeting following the Annual General Meeting to approve the 2012 Financial Statements and appoint an Auditor for 2013 (Childcare assistance and interpretation available upon request.)



Update from your Executive

Welcome! by Miriam Pulsifer, Interim President


irst of all, I would like to congratulate Brother Paul Faoro on his newly elected position of CUPE BC Secretary Treasurer; and to thank him for all his hard work and commitment as President of Local 15 over the last many years. As 1st Vice President of CUPE 15, I have stepped into the President position until after the May 22nd Executive Board elections where a new president will be elected. I have previously served on Miriam Pulsifer, the Executive Board Interim President as the K-12 Sector Representative, and School Board Chief Shop Steward for five years. Currently, and for the last three years I have held the position 1st Vice President and during this last year I had the opportunity to work at the BC Regional Office as a National Servicing Representative. Over the last month I attended and spoke out at the Vancouver School Board budget proposal meetings. The cuts in provincial funding


The Members’


have been devastating to school budgets. As school districts receive more than 90% of their funding from the province, these shortfalls over the last decade have resulted in reductions to the level of services being provided. The City Sector has been busy and members are concerned regarding slashed budgets, workloads, attendance management programs, contracting out our work, Core and Shared Service Reviews, medical accommodations, and harassment in our worksites. Be assured that our Executive Board is working hard on these issues on your behalf. Our new electronic voting has been set up for members to vote online. You should have received your PIN number and voting instructions in the mail. CUPE Local 15 has been forefront in adopting electronic voting, giving our members the ability to vote from their computer.

Please contact the CUPE 15 office if you have any questions or have not received your PIN number. You need your individual PIN number to cast your vote. Your patience in this new advanced process is appreciated. I look forward to working with all sectors and the opportunity to meet members I haven’t met before. The VSB Strike vote was conducted on May 1 and May 2. The results of the vote were 86% in favor, it was a good turn out. Thanks to all that came out to cast their vote.

Around Local 15: Elections, Convention and AGM By Leanne Toderian, Secretary-Treasurer


have had a few conversations with members who have expressed interest in becoming stewards. I am heartened to hear their reasons why. Both have felt vulnerable in the past due to budget cuts and questionable management, and after being protected by the union decided it was time to give back. There is no better reason to become a steward than that. A desire to give back and helping others when they can speak to the role of the union from a first person position is a very powerful message. I have also spoken with members Leanne Toderian about their recent Secretary Treasurer awareness of the correlation between participating in elections both at the local and provincial levels, the resulting governments, and their job security and working conditions. For those who work in provincially funded careers, realizing there is a direct relationship between who makes the decisions in parliament and the employer representative groups who report to the governing parties, is the key to understanding

the weight of their vote on who forms government. I am happy to report that many of our contract groups have settled their agreements; Emily Carr University, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Langara Students’ Union. The VSB bargaining committee has made as much progress they can at the local table and by the time you read this have taken a strike vote. The real issues are stalled at the provincial table and nothing short of a good strong strike vote will get the employer agent’s attention. I would like to briefly report on CUPE BC’s 50th Annual Convention. Local 15 sent delegates to Victoria to participate in the business of our union. A very important task for delegates was to elect their executive board. Our own President, Brother Paul Faoro, let his name stand for CUPE BC’s Secretary Treasurer. Incumbent Secretary Treasurer, Mark Hancock, stood for President and his bid was uncontested so he was acclaimed as President. Outgoing President Brother Barry O’Neill decided to retire after many years of dedicated service and members honoured his contributions at a wonderful roast. As many now know Brother Faoro was elected as the full time Secretary Treasurer and has resigned as Local 15 President. It is a mixed blessing as I personally will miss his steady support and day to day collaboration that I have enjoyed for the last


12 years we have shared on Local 15’s executive board and the last three years in the union office. I can say without doubt that Paul put in more care and attention to each and every sector from the two person worksites up to the largest. No one sector meant more than the other and I am proud to share his philosophy that we get more accomplished working together than caving to self interest. The office on the other side of the floor from mine is mighty quiet with his absence and I miss him dearly. On the plus side, Paul will still work for the betterment of Local 15 members, but will now add members across this entire province. I look forward to seeing what he accomplishes for the 85,000 CUPE members in British Columbia. Lastly, I am happy to report our Auditors have once again reviewed Local 15 books and have a report to give at the AGM in May. I hope you are able to attend this important meeting which serves to assure members our Finance Committee and I have worked very hard to make sure our members’ money is spent in accordance with our budget. I am pleased to report we have a favourable report coming out of this audit. I am personally proud we stick to our mandate as it is the primary interest of the Finance Committee to protect the principles of our budget and appropriate expenditures. I hope to see you all there.

CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers



Letters, Notices, & Updates

Thank you! I am proud to be representing you actively since 1992. I have been on the Executive Board in the past in multiple capacities including Trustee and as K-12 Sector Representative. I offer my experiences and accomplishments to the union members. As an experienced former Chief Shop Steward, past bargaining team member and Labour Management Committee member I have insight on better serving you. I am very active in training new stewards from across the province. As a Member Facilitator I have the opportunity to share my expertise in Social Media, Diversity Issues including Building Diverse Leadership in the local, Intersectional Representation and in Aboriginal and Indigenous issues. One of biggest privileges I have been bestowed by the local is being appointed as the Convention Ombudsperson. This position I do not take lightly and treat with dignity, honour, and respect. I believe in unionism at all levels. I have represented members at CUPE BC and CUPE National as a volunteer at my local constituent’s office, on the street, or at phone banks at CUPE Regional offices. I know it is important we use our energy and voice. Welcoming new members and stewards in my local is equally important. Sharing information throughout the membership makes us a strong proud union. Thank you for allowing me to serve on your Executive Board. Joey Lau, VSB

VSB Ad-Hoc Committee

by Craig Hopkins, VSB Steward CUPE 15 has joined with the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association (VESTA) in an ad-hoc committee to strengthen and support Inner City Schools in Vancouver. Important issues that this committee are working towards include a presentation to Trustees and Senior Management on what is happening in Inner City Schools including the need for more support staff. The committee is also organizing a professional development day for all staff that work in Inner City Schools. For further information contact Warren Williams at


The Members’

VSB Job Share Opportunities

• I am looking for an SSW job share position starting September 2013 with someone who owns a position. Please contact Judy Heintz at or 604-8730105 (home). • I am looking for a partner to do 50/50 or 60/40 job share beginning in September 2013 at Carnarvon Elementary School. Please contact Suzy Zarin at suzy_q_78@hotmail. com for more information. • I am interested in finding an SSSW who is looking for a job share with a casual employee starting in September 2013. Please, contact Petya at or by cell 778-996-3365.

Notices of Motion UNION

• The Executive recommends to the membership approval of the draft Union Audited Financial Statement for 2012. • The Executive recommends approval of Fairhall Zhang and Associates to do the 2013 Union Audit. • The Executive recommends an annual donation of $1,000 to Out on Screen.


• The Executive recommends to the membership approval of the draft Society Audited Financial Statement for 2012. • The Executive recommends approval of Fairhall Zhang and Associates to do the 2013 Society Audit.

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!


The Executive decided At the Executive and Society Board meetings on April 17, 2013 and May 1, 2013 the following decisions were made: • To arrange a broadcast message to all members encouraging them to vote in the upcoming Provincial Election. • To send up to six members to the CUPE Western Municipal and Skilled Trades Workers’ Conference in Victoria, BC. • To hold an event and purchase a gift to honour Brother Paul Faoro for his contributions to Local 15. • To contribute $250 to the BC Guide Dog Services Project. • To hold a strike vote for Vancouver School Board members on May 1st and 2nd. • To donate $200 to purchase organic apples for distribution on Earth Day. • To appoint Brother Kenny Brett and Sister Karla Mariena as returning officers and Brother Mike Dumler as the advisor to the 2013 Executive Election. • To recommend the 2012 Union and Society Draft Audited Statement to the Membership. • To recommend Fairhall Zhang and Associates to conduct the 2013 Union and Society audit to the membership. • To purchase ad space in the Fringe Festival program guide. • To send a food donation to the Kathy Corrigan Labour Night event and encourage Executive members to attend. • To invite a representative from Out on Screen to the June General Membership Meeting and donate $1,000 with a request to CUPE National to match it. • To donate $250 to the Sunshine Market Aboriginal Day event. • To book off two members to supervise the Local 15 sponsored bouncy castle at the City of Vancouver Family Day.

The Members decided At the General Membership Meeting on April 24, 2013 the following decisions were made by the members in attendance: • To donate $400 to Kids for Climate Change. • To extend Honourary Life Membership to Sister Lynne Ryan, long time shop steward and activist from the Health Sector.

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


CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers




voice Get ready to cast your electronic vote! The Members’


Executive Board Elections

You should have received your electronic voting instructions and Personal Identification Number in the mail. You will need this PIN to cast your vote. If you have not received this number and voting instructions please call the union office immediately.

2013 Executive Election Candidate Statements President Brenda Coombs

Congratulations to Brother Faoro on being elected as Secretary Treasurer of the B.C. Division and thank you for your work over the last 12 years – Paul has worked very hard on behalf of the members and spent many hours moving our rights forward. I wish him well in his new position and look forward to the assistance of CUPE B.C. in our campaigns and struggles. We know we have an ally. Thank you to my nominator Donald Rounding. History: Activist, Secretary Treasurer – full time (at the time we did not have a full time President so I was the only full time officer in the local) • 1st and 2nd Vice President • Parks Sector Representative • Member at Large • Trustee • Shop Steward and Interim Chief Steward • Chair of the Internal Staff Committee and Bargaining spokesperson • Chair and Vice Chair and Member of the City, Parks, Ray Cam, Britannia Bargaining Committees since late 80s • Assisted other Bargaining Committees, including our 2.5 member bargaining unit achieve their first agreement. • CUPE Member Facilitator 17 years • Chair, member of the Finance Committee, Education Committee • Active Delegate to Vancouver District Labour Council and Metro District Council • Executive Member CUPE Metro District Council. • Served as a Trustee for CUPE B.C. for 3 years. • Strikes: Strike coordinator committee chair, completed strike payroll before computers (writing 2,000 cheques) and after we had computers (it was much easier). • Presentations on behalf of our members to Councillors, Park Board Commissioners, School Board Trustees, and Association Boards. Successfully fought contracting out for our Park Board golf course concession members. • Created and worked on campaigns. • Member of the Pay Equity Task Force and Women’s Committee and City of Vancouver Women’s Task Force. Our strength is our ability to speak on behalf of our members and having our members support what we are saying. The Executive Board has to be cohesive, strong, and committed to the principles of trade unionism. Membership involvement has to be a priority in order to move your working rights forward and create a respectful workplace, and strong collective agreements. Over the next two years I will address the needs of our members; work at ensuring that our members feel supported and represented. We must have a decent, respectful and communicative relationship with our employers. If we can’t talk, we can’t move anything forward. During bargaining we need to ensure “concession” is not a word that is brought to our tables or accepted by our members. Support me and I will work diligently on your behalf to create strong, healthy, respectful workplaces that understand and uphold the collective agreement. Collectively we will move this local forward and strong locals have good collective rights. Questions? Please email and check out my website at: bcoombsforprescupe15.

The electronic poll will open at 8:00 a.m. on May 15th and will be accessible 24 hours a day until the close of the poll on May 22nd at 8:00 a.m. The results will be announced at the Annual General Meeting on May 22, 2013. Please keep your PIN number after you vote as there may be a run-off in which case another vote

Leanne Toderian

Anything worth having is worth fighting for; this is a work ethic my father taught me. He also told me you are nothing without your word and I live by that. I am excited about this opportunity to run for President of CUPE Local 15. I have been a proud member, steward and union activist for more than 15 years. I spent 12 years on the Executive Board as City Sector Rep, 2nd Vice President, and the last three years as Secretary Treasurer. I will continue to work to protect and preserve member jobs; ensure members go to work in a safe, secure and rewarding place; and have a reasonable opportunity to better themselves through advancement and education. Unions and the work they do on behalf of members are strangely getting lost in this era of communication. Knowledge will be our power to resist this to the best of our abilities. My Goals for our Union: • Encourage new members in ways we have not before by web and new member profiles. • Encourage young workers to get involved in their union. • Facilitate dialogue amongst members about issues that are important to them through surveys, one on one conversation and site meetings. • Continue to modernize Local 15’s office, including upgrading or rebuilding infrastructure, promotion of technology, polices, and office practices. • Retain union membership and fight privatization. As a full time officer at the union office I have had the pleasure of working with Health, K-12, Cultural, Colleges and Universities, City and Parks, and gained a strong understanding of issues facing all our sectors. I feel the time I have spent working closely with stewards, Paul Faoro (current president), staff and the executive board has prepared me for this leadership role. Working in the labour movement is my calling. I got involved in the labour movement because I believe in a level playing field. I saw my co-workers and fellow members being treated unfairly and I knew right away I had to step in and make a difference. Being a leader means you have to make tough choices and deliver good and bad news. With the good news you have a chance to celebrate victories and with the bad news a chance to develop a plan to win. I am honest, hard working, and open-minded. I welcome challenges, because they make me and our union stronger. In my role as Secretary Treasurer I take pride in the fact that I have handled union members’ money with the utmost respect and follow generally accepted accounting practices that ensure your money is used for what it is intended; keeping the union financially strong, working for members in dispute with their employers, and enforcing the collective agreements. If elected I promise to continue to do the work of the union and its members with honour and integrity. I can be reached via email at: leannetod@gmail. com Twitter: @LeanneToderian and http://

“There are two primary choices in life: One is to accept conditions as they exist; or accept the responsibility for changing them.” - D. Waitley


will be conducted. We will inform members by mail and email if this is the case. If you have not already provided the union office with your personal email address please contact us as soon as possible to let us know. As we move more electronic, email may be a preferable choice of communication.

Warren Williams

Greetings CUPE 15 Sisters and Brothers, My name is Warren Williams and I am seeking the position of President of CUPE Local 15. I am proud, as we all should be, of all the hard work we contribute to our communities with the work we as members do. CUPE Local 15 is a large composite local that has 6 sectors and 19 employers working in various fields of public service including Health, School Board, Colleges, Universities, City, Parks and Culture. We have over 6,000 members. I believe a local of this size and composition needs a strong leader and one that will utilize the full complement of its executive to meet the challenges our members are facing day to day whether that be at the bargaining table or in their immediate workplace. Commitment at the executive level is key in meeting the needs of our members. We need to ensure that the voices of our members are heard and acted on. Our executive by working together will make our local stronger and more efficient. As a current member of our Executive, I believe I have shown I am a leader and a good advocate for our members, promoting fairness and good working conditions for all members. My commitment and dedication to you if elected as President, would be to continue to promote fairness and good working conditions and to ensure that our executive members’ focus is for the betterment of our membership as a whole. We will be electing a number of positions at our Annual General Membership meeting on May 22, 2013, one of which will be the position of President. I encourage you to come out and vote and allow your voice to be heard. I welcome your questions. Please feel free to contact me via email at and also visit my web page at Thank you.

Jordan Parente

The Future of our Local. I would like to thank my friend and mentor, Peter Stary for nominating me for the position of President of Local 15. I am proud of the work I have done serving our union over the last dozen years that I have been a member. I have played many important roles such as activist, Shop Steward and Trustee of the Union’s Society. In addition, for City of Vancouver, Park Board, Ray-Cam and Britannia members I was a part of the 2007 committee that saw challenges to nearly every part of the labour code in a single round of bargaining. As a young worker and part of a CUPE BC task force I have also worked to engage young members from around the province. With your help I will continue to focus my energy on bettering our Local in the role of President. I envision a transparent organization where communication easily flows back and forth from member work sites to the union hall. I believe we all need to step up and take part in our organization. Once elected my first task will be to bolster site contacts and Shop Stewards at all work sites. Additionally, I would like to see greater responsibility entrusted to the Union’s Executive Board members in their respective sectors. I will make regular site visits to check in with members and keep the lines of communication flowing. If you regularly take the time to read your Members’ Voice, thank you for being engaged. By continuing to take ownership in our Local you are already ensuring the health of the organization. I ask that you take the next step to

CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers




The Members’

Executive Board Elections

vote for your new Union Executive and help me continue to better our Local.

that would give me stability, a means to raise my daughter as well as a good pension at the end of it.

For more information please visit my website www.

I am a very active shop steward; I sit on the Joint Labour/ Management and OH&S committees as well as a few of CUPE 15’s committees. I am energetic and I believe I have clearly demonstrated my commitment to the local through my activism and my values that I feel strengthen our union. Fiscal responsibility, following and adhering to the local’s bylaws and policies and procedures, as well as transparency, are key from the people who we elect. I am proud that my actions over the years reflect these core values.

2nd Vice President Sally Bankiner

My parents taught me that our differences make each of us unique and I celebrate and embrace that diversity. My goal is to support a creative and strong leadership team that truly represents all members. I have spent many years advocating for Auxiliaries, Temporary, Seasonal, Part and Full Time workers that make up our 6,000+ members in the Health, City, Parks, Cultural, College/Universities and K-12 sectors. Developing a respectful, cohesive Executive Board who work as a team and share a united vision that engages our members is vital. We educate and mentor our children to become future leaders and we do the same in the labour movement with optimism and dedication. Respect, integrity and strong ethics are important leadership qualities. My own experience is what compels me and continues to be a great teacher. I believe a true leader works for the members and not their own self interests. I was working as a member like you, trying to do a good job for a paycheque, however I began to experience workplace bullying. This experience had such an impact that I wanted to make a difference for others and became a Steward. I worked hard to develop my skills and effectiveness with the employer and through this work became the City Sector Rep and then Second Vice President. Recently I assumed the responsibilities as First Vice President until the elections are held in May. I am thankful and appreciate the experiences I have had and the hard work and dedication of our stewards as they are a vital link to our worksites. I will continue to reinforce our commitment to our members and stewards by networking and committing resources to health & safety, education and mentoring programs. There is much work to be done as our employers slash budgets, do not replace staff, create massive workloads, institute onerous attendance management programs, create funding shortfalls, school closures, contract out our work, Core and Shared Service Reviews, unrealistic bargaining strategies, fail to accommodate disabilities and do not effectively deal with bullying and harassment in our worksites. This is where my understanding of these issues and passion for the work I do is invaluable to you, the members. Our collective voices are truly powerful. My experience includes the following committees and work: Bargaining, By-Law, Occupational Health & Safety Chair, Labour Management, Staff Advisory, Resolutions and Credentials Committee at CUPE BC conventions, Education & Activist Training School Committee Chair, CUPE National Facilitator, CUPE BC Disabilities Working Group, Chief Steward, Staff Representative and have represented the local, speaking to media on current issues such as the Vancouver Art Gallery. I understand the role of social and political activism; however I strongly believe that our members must come first. Respect and integrity are leadership qualities and I encourage every member to make an informed decision during this election and ask for your vote to continue representing you as your 2nd Vice President. You can contact me at or sbankiner@telus. net.

Michele Alexander

I would like to take the opportunity to announce that I have accepted the nomination for 2nd Vice President of CUPE Local 15. I would also like to thank my nominator Joey Lau as well as the other members who encouraged me to allow my name to stand.

I have sat on the Executive in the past as a City Sector Representative. The last three years I have served as a Trustee on the Executive and have enjoyed my role. I have a great respect for the membership and this union and I want to continue to represent all of you. I will bring energy and commitment to the position, along with the experience I have gained in my years of service to Local 15. I believe that every worker has the right to a fair wage and a respectful, harassment free work environment. We must work hard to maintain these rights, both locally and globally. For our local, I believe that a solid Executive is a key to efficiently serving the membership and I also believe I would be an asset on the Board as 2nd Vice President. I want to continue to work with you, and for you making our union even greater. If given the opportunity to serve as 2nd Vice President, I promise to do so with diplomacy, enthusiasm, respect and integrity. With your support I am hopeful that I may once again bring these qualities and my dedication to strengthening solidarity in our union and representing members in the role of 2nd Vice President. I would be honoured to have this opportunity and I am asking for your support at the polls.

City Sector Representative Donald Rounding

My name is Donald Rounding and I’m running for the position of Member at Large – City Sector Representative. I have been active in CUPE 15 for the past 13 years. I’ve served two terms on the Executive Board as a Trustee. As Trustee and member of the Finance Committee, I was responsible for overseeing the expenditure of union funds by ensuring that union policy, procedures, and bylaws were followed when creating the budget and reviewing expenditures. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the Bargaining Committee, helping to negotiate the best possible collective agreements for all of us. I’m currently a member of the Labour/Management Committee, mediating and negotiating with City Management to expedite the resolution of members’ issues in a fair and responsible way – ensuring that your rights are respected. As a long-time activist and firm believer in activism, I think that member involvement in our union is crucial. I will work to engage the members, encourage discussion and input so that your wishes, as decided at general membership meetings, are followed. Solidarity amongst the membership, and with other unions and progressive community groups, strengthens all of us. I’m asking for your support in the upcoming election. We need to prioritize member education and involvement. With your help we can achieve these goals together. • • • • •

2 term Trustee and Finance Committee member for CUPE 15 Bargaining Committee 2007 & 2012 for City, Parks, RayCam, and Britannia Labour/Management Committee 2013 Shop Steward 2012 Past delegate to both National and Regional CUPE conventions

I have worked for the City of Vancouver since May 1993 and this month marks my 20th year. I have enjoyed my years of service with the City. When I left California in 1992 with an eight month old child my only goal was to get a job with the City and that is exactly what I did. I knew that I wanted a job



Dierdre Bradshaw

“I am committed to making sure you and your issues are represented at the board of the union.” My Goals: To make myself available to you as a member of this union, hear what you are most concerned about in your work life, improve your experience of being a member of a union, and ensure your dues are being well-spent. Here is a little bit about me: Work at City Hall Campus since 1999 • Worked at the City Archives,1981 to 1999 • Union member for 33 years • Steward for 14 years • Volunteer on three boards (professional, co-op & community centre) • Volunteer in my community (festivals) • Member of the Compressed Work Week Committee, 19989 • Currently working as a Records Administrator in Community Services (9 years) • Worked with most City departments during my 23 years with the corporate records program • Helped implement the LTD for union members • Office manager at strike headquarters 2004

Santino Scardillo

I am humbled and honored to have represented you as the City Sector Rep for the past three years and am asking for your support. Your Executive Board has an excellent working relationship and I am proud of our dedicated and talented activists working tirelessly for our members. Developing those internal and external relationships is imperative as we welcome and support our new President. I have been a CUPE Local 15 member for over 25 years and spent the first four years as an auxiliary at Hastings Community Center. Eventually I moved into a Traffic Painter position at National Yards where I have had the privilege of representing members as a Steward for the past eight years. I am a passionate and outspoken Health & Safety Representative on the Joint Committee addressing your concerns directly with the employer. Safety in the workplace is of utmost priority and I am dedicated to ensuring our members that work in potentially violent or hazardous situations, receive the appropriate training for the work they are performing such as violence prevention and worksite risk assessments. Our Worksite Safety Committee’s purpose is to deal with issues arising for members and I am committed to ensuring this happens. I have been fortunate enough to participate in many educational programs our Union offers which enables me to address your workplace concerns such as privatization, resolving workplace conflict, respectful workplaces, bullying and personal harassment, grievance handling, representing members at meetings, discipline and discharge, human rights and the duty to accommodate. These educational courses are invaluable tools and are used to directly benefit you. Members have approached me with concerns regarding shared services, contracting out, budget cuts and core service reviews. As public employees it is imperative that we work together and network with other locals on these important global issues and I stay committed to continuing this work on your behalf. Solidarity is not just a word; it’s a movement and I am passionate about strengthening our Union. One area where I will never give up my work is in the area of auxiliary rights. Many years ago as a young and somewhat naive auxiliary worker, I didn’t understand the value of being a unionized employee nor did I realize I actually had rights. I was grateful to have a job and was eager to work as hard as I could but appreciate now, that it was my unionized co-workers that looked out for me. Long before we had the “Respectful Workplace Policy” they spoke up on my behalf when they saw inappropriate behavior and they taught me what it really means to belong to a union. Solidarity means standing together instead of standing alone and a collective voice instead of a sole voice. I would like to continue the work I have started and am asking for your support during the election for City Sector Representative.

CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers



Executive Board Elections

2013 Executive Election Candidate Statements Parks Sector Representative Guilherme Rosales

I am proud to be an activist and shop steward for CUPE 15 and I look for more activism to occur. I first got involved a few years ago when the City first opened Hillcrest Pool, where I currently work as a lifeguard/swim instructor. At that time I knew no shop stewards; so I took it upon myself to represent my fellow coworkers by nominating myself and asking for their support and signatures. I not only thought this was a good way to use my degree in philosophy and political science (in becoming a steward and activist), but I also saw it as a necessity and an opportunity to help coworkers out over a range of issues and ensure social justice in the workplace. With the upcoming executive board election it is a similar story: I see my candidacy as an opportunity to further advance social justice in the workplace for all of the park board staff, and also to strengthen and build more union solidarity. If I am elected I will pursue social justice for all, I will do my best to represent all park board staff as democratically as possible; meaning I will make the effort to get to know as many parks staff as I can; and I will continue being active, firstly, by furthering an awareness and educational campaign to try and bring in new activists, that I am currently working on with others. My name is Guilherme Rosales and I want your vote on election day to help further what I’ve mentioned, and to bring in new active members who share our beliefs and our cause in the labour movement.


The Members’

Oliver Cooper

In my 8 years of work with the Vancouver Park Board, I have gained experience as a lifeguard, swim instructor, aquatic fitness instructor, and lifesaving instructor. In the last 3 years, I took on the role of Regular Part Time Swimming Instructor Attendant (head lifeguard). Throughout this period, I have completed degrees in Philosophy and English at SFU, and am currently enrolled in part-time studies, completing a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. Upon the completion of my undergraduate degrees, I sought opportunities to learn, and grow further within my workplace. Knowing how much our union has done to protect our interests, and how much I have gained from that protection, as well as recognizing that as a fundamentally democratic institution, our union will only ever be as strong as those who step forward to represent it, I committed myself to giving back by becoming more involved. As the Parks Sector Representative, I will put my conflict resolution skills to work in working with management, respectfully, but firmly if need be, to represent the interests of our members, and encourage a fair and equitable workplace for all. Our membership, the public, and even management will benefit when such a workplace is nurtured. I will work diligently with the other members of the executive to this end. Of particular interest to me is the large auxiliary workforce that exists within the parks sector. The issue of auxiliary scheduling and job security is a real one, and there is much progress to be made for our members in this regard. Regardless of whether I am elected, I will continue to explore new ways of building solidarity within our membership. This is our union, and with our involvement, we can accomplish great things.

Elected by acclamation: Trustee:

Ravina Lal (City) (elected by acclamation)

College/ University Sector Representative: Peter Huron (Langara) (elected by acclamation)

Cultural Sector Representative:

Rory Gylander (Vancouver Art Gallery) (elected by acclamation)

K-12 Sector Representative:

Joey Lau (elected by acclamation)

2013/2014 Bursary Program Member Bursaries – Full and Part-Time Studies Ten full-time bursaries and ten part-time bursaries are available annually to CUPE Local 15 members. Full-time bursaries are to a maximum of $1,000 of tuition only and parttime bursaries are to a maximum of $500 of tuition only. Bursaries are paid directly to the institution upon receipt of invoices and proof of registration. Bursaries will be paid in two equal amounts; half applied to the first semester attended during the academic year, and half applied to second semester attended. The academic year is defined as September to the following August. Eligibility To be eligible for a full-time or part-time bursary, the member must be a current member of the union in good standing at the time of application and must demonstrate a primary attachment to CUPE Local 15 by holding union membership through a minimum of six months employment for each of the two years prior to the date of enrolment. The applicant must be pursuing a field of study not in contradiction to the aims of the labour movement and must be attending a Canadian public post-secondary institution, and beginning or continuing full-time or parttime studies as defined by the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act. Students receiving scholarship funding equal to or in excess of full tuition are not eligible. Students receiving partial funding from other

sources will be eligible for the amount of remaining unpaid tuition, up to the bursary maximum. Selection The award selection will be approved by the Society Board. Awards will be based upon the highest level of aggregate service, measured from the start date. A member may only be awarded a bursary once every four years. Dependant Bursaries - Full-Time Studies Only Ten dependant bursaries are available annually to dependants of CUPE Local 15 members. Dependant bursaries are to a maximum of $1,000 of tuition only. Bursaries are paid directly to the institution upon receipt of invoices and proof of registration. Bursaries will be paid in two equal amounts; half applied to the first semester attended during the academic year, and half applied to second semester attended. The academic year is defined as September to the following August. Eligibility To be eligible for a dependant bursary, the member/dependant must satisfy the following criteria: The member must be a current member of the union in good standing at the time of application. The member must demonstrate a primary attachment to CUPE Local 15 by holding union membership through a minimum of six months employment for each of the two years prior to the date of enrolment.


The dependant must be pursuing a field of study not in contradiction to the aims of the labour movement and must be attending a Canadian public post-secondary institution, and beginning or continuing full-time studies as defined by the Canada Student Financial Assistance Act. Students receiving scholarship funding equal to or in excess of full tuition are not eligible. Students receiving partial funding from other sources will be eligible for the amount of remaining unpaid tuition, up to the bursary maximum. Selection The award selection will be approved by the Society Board. Awards will be based upon the highest level of aggregate service of the member, measured from the start date. Dependant bursary awards are limited to one per member every four years.

Application Process

The application period is June of each year. The form will be available on the CUPE 15 website on Friday, May 31, 2013. The union office will also have hard copies available. Application forms for both Member and Dependant bursaries must be received at the Union office by June 28, 2013.

CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers





The Members’

Financial Statements

Financial Position


VMECW Society Financial Statements

We have audited the accompanying financial statements of Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers Society, which comprise the statement of financial position as at December 31, 2012, and the statement of operations and changes in net assets, and statement of cash flow for the year then ended, and a summary of significant accounting policies and other explanatory information.

Management’s responsibility for the financial statements

Management is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of these financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations, and for such internal control as management determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

Auditor’s responsibility

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 comply with ethical requirements and plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement. An audit involves performing procedures to obtain audit evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. The procedures selected depend on the auditor’s judgment, including the assessment of the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error. In making those risk assessments, the auditor considers internal control relevant to the entity’s preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the entity’s internal control. An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our audit opinion.


Statement of Operations

In our opinion, the financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers Society as at December 31, 2012, and its financial performance for the year then ended in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles for not-for-profit organizations. Burnaby, BC May 4, 2013 FAIRHALL ZHANG & ASSOCIATES LTD.

Notes to the Financial Statements

1. 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. It was incorporated under the Society Act of British Columbia and is therefore exempted from income tax. 2. Significant Accounting Policies (a) The Society prepares its financial statements in accordance with Canadian accounting standards for notfor-profit organizations (ASNPO). (b) Fund Accounting: The Society follows the restricted fund method of accounting for revenues. The Unrestricted Fund accounts for the Society’s administrative activities. The Building Fund reports the assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses related to the Society’s capital asset expansion. The Memorial Fund reports resources for memorial donations to members’ families. Investment income earned on resources of the Building Fund and Memorial Fund is reported i n the Unrestricted Fund. (c) Revenue Recognition: The Society follows the deferral method of accounting for revenue. (d) 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. (e) Cash and cash equivalents: Cash equivalents are comprised of highly liquid term deposits that are readily convertible to cash with maturities that are less than three months from the date of acquisition. 3. 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, 2012 has not been determined.

4. Capital Assets:

Statement of Cash Flows

5. 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 $294,000 (for 2011: $297,600). 6. Transfer- Health Members The transfer was made 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. 7. Sick Benefits The Society benefits continuance policy normally covers a period of six months. 8. This loan is unsecured, non interest bearing, and there are no fixed terms for repayment. 9. Financial Instruments: The Society is exposed to the following risks arising from financial instruments. Credit risk: Credit risks arise from two sources: cash and cash equivalents, and accounts receivable. Cash and cash equivalents are deposited with reputable, major financial institutions to limit the credit risk exposure. The credit risk from counter parties not paying accounts receivable is not considered to be significant. Interest rate risk: The Association is exposed to interest rate risk with respect to cash and cash equivalents. Changes in interest rates can affect the fair value of investments and the cash flows related to interest income and expense. Liquidity risk: Liquidity risk exposure is dependent on the receipt of rental revenue from CUPE 15 to enable the Society to pay its liabilities as they become due. 10. Certain prior year figures have been adjusted to conform with the current year presentation.

Changes in Net Assets


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 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:

Interim 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


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


Bullying Happens Because it is Allowed by Sally Bankiner, 2nd Vice President Bullying has existed in one form or another for many years. However, since the early 90s the frequency and severity of workplace bullying has increased dramatically. “I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of facing another agonizing day at work” she wrote. “I never knew the job I loved so much could be so painful. What will today bring - more condescending nasty emails; will I be ignored one minute and yelled at the next. Every day started with the same thoughts” she continued; “will conversations stop when I enter the room and start again as I leave the room with my co-workers, snickering at me? Or, will I be given more impossible deadlines and have parts of my job I really enjoy taken away and given some meaningless work to replace it? Every day something would happen that made it the most toxic and impossible environment I have ever been in. I even considered quitting the job I loved and had worked diligently for the past 12 years; now they were attacking my integrity and work ethic. One of my co-workers even threw papers at me and pounded her desk when talking to me. I was constantly ridiculed and when I asked a question, all I received was a nasty look a shaking head and sarcasm in return. They even made themselves out to be the victims of an incompetent co-worker - me!” Putting up with bullying is not a part of the job! Unions and progressive employers all over the world are working with each other on implementing both collective agreement language and comprehensive programs to deal with mobbing, personal harassment and bullying. It is imperative all parties understand bullies for what they are. It is vital that we work together and acknowledge what is happening in our workplaces and take action personally. There is a real and significant human impact not only aimed at the target of the bully but on your work environment. The hostility bullies and their mobs create have real consequences for both parties which can be severe if not dealt with quickly and effectively. There are many definitions of bullying and most identify and refer to schoolyard bullying behaviour that is transferred to the adult workplace. In most situations the target finds themselves isolated, alone and working with colleagues who may have formerly been friendly and supportive and now they feel like an outcast. There are many reasons why colleagues may fail to come to the aid of someone they know is being targeted. Most bullies are master manipulators and can mimic normal behaviour of being confident, cooperative, supportive and accommodating. Emotions are manipulated and exploited. Perceptions, atmospheres


and alliances are actively managed and the workplace becomes poisoned and toxic. Bullies often partake in mobbing using their influence and warning others against being a friend or ally by using implied threats and positional power, thereby creating a climate of fear and intimidation. Unintentionally some may become instruments of the bully - perhaps by remaining silent. I don’t like them and I don’t want you to like them either; and the workplace is systematically and intentionally poisoned for everyone. Bystanders are often afraid to speak for fear of becoming targeted themselves or perhaps they really just don’t know what to do. The tactics or plan usually starts small and increases from the first incident to hundreds or thousands over a long period of time. What should you do? First, educate yourself and your family as it impacts them also. Increase your understanding of bullying and the signs that may be right in front of you. Talk to someone you respect and trust; a union steward, your partner, an uninvolved supervisor or manager. Call it what it is and focus on the behaviour and the impact it is having on you and the workplace and not the person. Search out a remedy and come with

options. Find out what programs are available to assist you and research which one may work for your particular situation. Don’t let anyone dismiss your concerns as an “attitude problem” or “just a personal conflict you’re creating”. If you are one of those bystanders, speak up! Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated and used as a weapon by a workplace bully. Make it a point to just say hello or good morning to the one that is being isolated - perhaps invite them for coffee. Often the smallest thing can make a world of difference to someone being targeted. Remember, “he who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it” (Martin Luther King). To the bullies: Watch out! You will become the target of a respectful, inclusive and harassment free workplace.

CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers

May Member's Voice  
May Member's Voice  

newsletter member's voice