The newsletter of CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers
Truth and Reconciliation Walk brings thousands to Vancouver streets
Vancouver communities suffer under more health service cuts VANCOUVER—Layoff notices issued this week by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority will result in reduced health services for children and Vancouver¹s most vulnerable, says CUPE Local 15. “Premier Christy Clark is slowly starving local health services,” said CUPE 15 president Leanne Toderian. “These needless health service reductions will haunt our communities with long-term health care costs and greater social inequality. “Christy Clark doesn¹t get it: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Toderian said. The layoffs include professional nutritionists who specialize in children’s dietary well-being, skilled community developers who service vulnerable populations, and therapists who were dedicated to the needs of those with mental health issues. “Community health programs are not expendable. Service cuts like these harm individuals with health needs that can’t be addressed elsewhere, including elderly, homeless, and immigrant populations,” said CUPE BC president Mark Hancock. “The Liberals need to do the right thing, and direct the health authority to rescind these layoffs and provide the
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quality health care system they promised in the election.”
the professional care that British Columbians expect and deserve.
For more than a decade the BC Liberal government has consistently cut corners with public health services. The frontline core services on which the public healthcare system was built have been scaled back in favour of non-clinical online and/or telephone options that don’t offer
The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents more than 1,100 health care workers in the community across BC.
OCTOBER Date & Time: Location: Under Discussion:
- See more at: http://www.cupe.bc.ca/ news/3163#sthash.XEdry2P1.dpuf
General Membership Meeting Wednesday, Oct 30, 2013, 5:30 pm, Room 5 Italian Cultural Centre, 3075 Slocan St., Vancouver • By-elections for HSSCBA Sector Representative and Parks Sector Representative
General Meetings provide all members with an opportunity to participate in decisions that affect the union. (Childcare assistance and interpretation available upon request.)
Update from your Executive
“Time for change?” by Leanne Toderian, President
eople love that phrase; it’s generic, it’s catchy. Any citizen, or voter, or employee can fill in the blank on what “change” they want to see. It is a cheap way to engage voters to get out and support you, believing you are the answer to what ails them.
Being generic, it could be arguably be the kiss of death; “…running on a platform of change alone, with practical Leanne Toderian “one-step-at-a-time” President solutions does not inspire people to volunteer, donate or turn out to vote. If it did, the recent election in British Columbia would have ended differently”. Opinion: B.C. can draw lessons from New York’s Tale of Two Cities, Vancouver Sun, by Mira Oreck. The op-ed is on the recent Mayoral race in New York and candidate Bill de Blasio’s campaign for Mayor of New York City. To sum up this op-ed, De Blasio’s campaign for change was anything but generic, it hinged on higher taxes; clearly and unapologetically calling for funding to address poverty, child care, after school programs, and social inequality. Interestingly, his polling number not only rose during this aggressive campaign but he was successful, as he is Mayorelect.
I think everyone would characterize his campaign as a big bold move. Even when voicing what others are thinking and being a politician as most often not wanting to make big statements for fear of losing votes; hats off to Mr. de Blasio. I think we are in the same place in the labour movement. We are at a point in the labour movement where the fights are at least a generation away. Unless you are a historian, the deep hardship up to and including death for union activists is long forgotten. Union and labour geeks like me remember, but we cannot always pull facts and figures out to support the fear we feel when we look around at words like austerity, constraints, cost shares, and cooperative gains. These are thinly veiled threats to your interests, a direct correlation to your pocket book - directly or indirectly. It is a different fight we have on our hands. We face auditors, actuaries, consultants, productivity experts, shared services. They all boil down to one thing. What can we take away from our employees under the guise of budget constraints? Union leaders aren’t getting shot on the line, going to jail, or disappearing from their jobs. It is a different weapon being used on us to tear us down, divide and conquer; they put fear of God in people and say, we can’t do it without a tax hike. I call BS. I still pay my taxes and so I should. They ought to pay for services I want and need. Raise them if you need to, if it means I can access medical care and a good education for my children, but use them wisely. Do not use them for trough loungers getting six figure bonuses for delivering less than desirable results.
We are all in the service industry. We offer our services in exchange for something that benefits society as a whole or citizens in our community. When one of us is eliminated or our hours are reduced there is a direct correlation to one of our customers, clients, or member of the public. It is happening in Health Care right now – some of our members will be exercising their bumping rights as their positions fell outside the budget given to Vancouver Coastal Health under the Provincial Budget. What happens to the programs they delivered? They go away or create impossible wait times for clients of those services. Time for us to remind ourselves we are in a fight. Not a fight for sexy things like a five day work week, sick pay, or heaven forbid, vacation time. We are fighting to keep what we have and it is so easy to rationalize them away by saying we don’t have the money. They “didn’t” then either. It is a silent enemy we fight now. We can’t put down the tools and stand outside a fence and fight “the man”. We have to put faith in the union movement once more and renew our belief that standing united is stronger than any one of us standing alone. “Twenty years ago, the only pathway to victory may have been to stake out middle ground, but if de Blasio’s victory is any indication, it is unlikely to be the conduit to the future.”
Follow me on twitter at @LeanneToderian
To the members: Thank you! by Barb Dickinson, Secretary-Treasurer
am grateful for the trust and confidence that the membership has shown by electing me as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 15. I am confident that my hard work and commitment will not go unnoticed as I work with the rest of the executive to support the membership. In the last Members’ Voice I spoke of the K-12 Sector and the challenges they faced as they worked hard to get a fair and respectful agreement. I am happy to report that a Barb Dickinson Secretary-Treasurer tentative agreement was reached on September 19th. I applaud all those members who worked behind the scenes to prepare for the possibility of a strike and extend my thanks to the bargaining committee for their hard work.
Our brothers and sisters at the North Shore Winter Club have been locked out for over 150 days. No negotiations have taken place since the lockout began and CUPE members are very eager to get back to work. Together with other members of Local 15, I proudly joined the locked out workers on the picket line on the evening of September 30th when the club’s Annual General Meeting took place. Clearly it’s time for management to come to the bargaining table and negotiate a fair deal. We will continue to show our support for the NSWC CUPE members. This past week I had the pleasure of attending the Museum of Vancouver’s Legacy Dinner. This event was a fundraiser for the Museum which creates Vancouver-focused exhibitions. The Museum of Vancouver features many permanent exhibitions that tell the city’s stories from the early 1900s to the late 1970s and I would encourage each of you to pay it a visit.
their best chili. CUPE 15 had a team in the event and as always it was a great way to connect with our members. In a few weeks, elected delegates from our local will attend the CUPE National Convention in Quebec City. This convention will see participation from 2,000 locals representing over 600,000 members across Canada. A week of discussion and debate will shape our union’s direction for the next two years. We are very excited to be part of this convention and look forward to representing you there. As always, I encourage you to become more involved and informed when it comes to CUPE 15. The strength of your union is dependent on the strength of the individual members.
Another event that took place this month was the United Way Chili Cook Off at City Hall. The Chili Cook Off is an annual event held to support the United Way. Teams from across the city gather to show their culinary skills by serving up
CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers
Letters, Notices, & Updates
Thank-you letters Thank you so much for assisting me along my journey to receive a Masters in Social Work. The financial assistance that I have received through your bursary enables me to pursue this goal while continuing to support my family. It is so great that this award exists to help members like myself. Yours truly, Jodi Hooper It is with great gratitude that I write to you for awarding me the CUPE 15 educational bursary. I would like to thank you for your generous financial contribution towards my higher education. My name is Lidija Gollner and for the past twelve years I have worked as a Special Education Assistant for the Vancouver School Board where I have supported a variety of students with special needs. I have always dreamed of becoming a kindergarten teacher and this dream will finally become reality this December when I graduate from Simon Fraser University with my Teaching certificate. For the last three years I have worked full time, attended school, and raised my family. Your generous financial contribution has allowed me to continue my love affair with education and make my dreams and goals a reality. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Sincerely, Lidija Gollner
VMECW Society Member Bursary Thank you I would like to sincerely thank CUPE Local 15 for awarding me the VMECW Society Member Bursary. This bursary will be a great help to me as I complete my Masters of Social Work at UBC this year. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to upgrade my training and skills in order to continue working in the community as a social worker with Vancouver Coastal Health. Thank you very much!
Grateful for the opportunities Hello Members’ Voice Readers, my name is James Hogan and I am just writing to thank you for the opportunities you have given me.
The Executive decided
As well as giving a brief look into what these opportunities have been, I was pleased to be awarded the VMECW Society Dependant Bursary which was made possible from your union’s generous donations to your members’ dependants. Currently I am enrolled at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver Campus. The major I am studying is that of Forest Resource Management. I am currently also the Treasurer for the Forestry Undergraduate Society. The demanding course load, tied with the time that must be volunteered to the Undergraduate Society leaves almost no time for work. This is why the bursary is greatly needed and much appreciated. Thank you. James Hogan
• I am looking for someone to job share with three days out of the week starting as soon as possible. I’m currently on-call with the VSB and looking to have some regular side work. I am fairly open as to what school however I may have to consider how far it is. Please contact Asheida via email at info@asheida. com or by phone at 604-715-0356. • My name is Petya Pencheva and I work for VSB as an on-call SSSW. I am looking for a permanent worker, who would like to job share with me. Please contact me at 778-9963365 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. • My name is Nicole Miles. I am interested in finding a permanent job share partner to share 50% of my job as a School and Student Support Assistant at David Livingstone Elementary. I share my day between two classrooms and spend approximately 75% in one supporting a boy with High Functioning Autism and the other 25% is spent in another classroom supporting a boy with global delay. Both boys have an excellent attitude and the days go by very quickly and easily. I was hoping to find someone ASAP to work every Thursday and Friday with alternating Wednesdays with the hours all being 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. If you are interested please call me at 604-897-8435 or email nikkie18@ hotmail.com. I will be happy to answer any and all of your questions and I look forward to sharing my position with you.
At the Executive and Society meetings of September 18 and October 2, 2013 the following decisions were made: • To ratify the Memorandum of Agreement between CUPE Local 15 and Unifor Local 467-UW (staff union). • To appoint Sister Ravina Lal as a delegate to CUPE Metro. • To authorize book off for members of the VSB Strike Committee as needed leading up to the potential strike. • To authorize the Building Committee to prepare a detailed proposal to bring back to the Executive for approval. • To spend up to $1,500 total for supplies and book off for the chili cook-off event in support of the United Way. • To send Sister Ravina Lal to the CUPE National Convention as our alternate delegate. • To donate $1,000 to the Megaphone Annual Winter fundraising event “Night of Joyful Voices”. • To appoint Brother Mark Gloumeau, Accounting Coordinator, to the Building Committee.
The Members decided
VSB Job Share Opportunities
At the General Membership Meeting on September 25, 2013 the members in attendance made the following decisions: • To elect Sister Barb Dickinson for the remainder of the Secretary-Treasurer term ending on May 28, 2014. • To change the date of the October General Membership meeting from October 23, 2013 to October 30, 2013 to accommodate members attending the CUPE National Convention. • To donate $1,000 to the Grandmother’s Tribunal, an organization that supports grandmothers caring for their grandchildren and great grandchildren who have been orphaned due to the HIV/ AIDS epidemic in Africa. • To make recently retired members Sisters Betty McGee and Judy Graves and Brother Craig Hopkins honourary life members of CUPE Local 15.
Notice of By-election
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 27, 2015. Only members from the Community Health Sector are eligible to be nominated or to vote.
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 May 28, 2014. Only members from the Parks Sector are eligible to be nominated or to vote.
CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers
Updates & 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.
Save the Date! Children’s Christmas Train
We are working hard organizing this popular event and November 30th has been confirmed as the date. Watch for more details in the November issue of the Members’ Voice and on the website.
CUPE Local 15
545 West 10th Avenue Vancouver, BC V5Z 1K9 Phone: 604-879-4671 Fax: 604-879-7582 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cupe15.org 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: Leanne Toderian 1st Vice President: Miriam Pulsifer (on leave) 2nd Vice President: Sally Bankiner Secretary Treasurer: Barb Dickinson
City: Dierdre Bradshaw, Tony Zullo College/University: Peter Huron, Emma Somers Cultural: Rory Gylander Health/HSSCBA: Vacant Health/HSPBA: Chris Losito Parks: Vacant, Oliver Cooper K-12: Peggy Wong, Joey Lau
Kenny Brett, Ravina Lal, 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
North Shore Winter Club management should listen to members, return to bargaining—CUPE BC
Building Maintenance: Jeff Zaharia
CUPE National Representatives:
Sixteen CUPE 389 employees at the NSWC were locked out May 3 by the managers and board members at the NSWC. No negotiations have taken place since the lockout began and there are currently no bargaining dates set. “We have just passed the 150th day of this lockout—that’s nearly half a year these 16 employees have been kept out of their jobs by managers who won’t negotiate,” said CUPE BC Secretary-Treasurer Paul Faoro. “Despite the rain, I know that CUPE members from across the Lower Mainland will be on hand tonight to send a strong message to North Shore Winter Club members: Your management team needs to get back to the negotiating table and reach a fair and reasonable deal with your longserving and dedicated employees.” The North Shore Winter Club is located at 1325 East Keith Road in North Vancouver.
Troy Clifford, Susan Zander
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CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers