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

Motions to increase financial transparency at the VAG This summer, CUPE 15 President Paul Faoro hand delivered two motions to the Chairperson of the Vancouver Art Gallery to be dealt with at the VAG’s upcoming Annual General Meeting. Over the last several years CUPE 15, along with its members employed by the VAG, have become increasingly concerned about the financial affairs of the gallery. The last two years the VAG has recorded an operating deficit which has lead to cuts in hours of work for all members and to layoffs, including six within the last two months. This is at the same time that the Director and Board of the gallery are on a spending spree in an attempt to secure the Larwill Park site for a new gallery. The spending includes running full page ads in national newspapers, hiring a public relations firm, launching a new website, producing videos, and conducting community meetings. “Our members at the VAG have reached an end to their patience with senior management after watching what appears to be buckets of money going out the door while having money taken out of their pockets” said Paul Faoro, CUPE 15 President. Faoro said “along with laying off our members and cutting programs VAG management “Our members at the have scaled back maintenance on the VAG have reached existing heritage an end to their building which could be seen as way to patience with senior highlight the need for a new building”.

management after

watching what appears In light of the VAG’s spending spree and

to be buckets of money with no financial going out the door while disclosure to date, two motions have

Are you a member of the Vancouver Art Gallery? by Sally Bankiner, 2nd Vice President We need your help. On Wednesday, September 29th the Vancouver Art Gallery Association is holding their Annual General Meeting for members of the gallery. At this meeting two motions that were submitted by President Paul Faoro will be discussed and voted on. These motions deal with lack of financial transparency at the VAG and questionable spending practices by senior gallery management. CUPE 15 members employed by the Vancouver Art Gallery have suffered through layoffs and serious cutbacks

Annual General Meeting for the Vancouver Art Gallery Association which will be held on September 29, 2010. The meeting is open to all members of the VAG. Please see back page for full text of the motions.

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

The AGM will be held on Wednesday, September 29th at 5:30 p.m. in the forecourt (first floor) of the Vancouver Art Gallery at 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver. Please try to attend.

September 29th 5:30pm @VAG SEPTEMBER General Meeting Date & Time: Location: Under Discussion:

having money taken out been put forward of their pockets” for debate at the

and are continually told there is no money. Yet the VAG receives over $4.2 million each year from public bodies and the VAG refuses to fully disclose where the money is going. It’s time to get financial disclosure at the Art Gallery and with your help this can happen.


Wednesday, Sept. 22, 5:30 p.m. Italian Cultural Centre 3075 Slocan St. Vancouver, Room 5 • Executive Board By-Election: College/University Sector Rep • Notice of Motion - see page 3 • City of Vancouver - VSR & 2011 budget update • Bargaining Updates - Langara College, Emily Carr, VSB • Fall Calendar review 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

Fall Planning


President’s Message by Paul Faoro


here did our summer go? I hope you and your family were able to take some time to enjoy the great weather we had in our city. I was fortunate to take time off in August which I spent mostly in my back patio reading, sipping on cool beverages, and pushing my barbequing skills to a new level. I also used some time to walk and ride my bike around Vancouver Paul Faoro, President checking out new places, parks, and areas where I haven’t been for a while. Every time I explore Vancouver it makes me pause for a few seconds and think of how great our city really is. A significant part of this is due to the valuable work our members do every day, whether it’s working at the Park Board, Vancouver Art Gallery, City, Langara College, Emily Carr University, Vancouver

Museum or at the other employers where we represents workers. CUPE 15 members have helped make Vancouver the special place it is and I don’t think our members get the true recognition they deserve. I spent the last few days of my vacation thinking about what lays ahead for our union and members in the fall and winter months. I believe the words “recognition” and “protecting” are good words to sum up our fall work plan. Members in every sector, along with the public services and programs they help deliver, will be at risk from employers who will be trying to deal with their financial pressures and shrinking budgets. Right out of the gate after Labour Day our union will continue to land contract settlements for our members at Langara, Emily Carr, and Vancouver Coastal Health. Mixed in with these negotiations will be the ones we will start for our members at the Vancouver School Board. All of these negotiations are more difficult due to the BC Liberal Government dictating a 0% cost mandate. Creative, strategic, and coordinated are our essential guiding principles. In addition, our Executive Board and staff will

also be doing preparatory work for the four additional collective agreements that expire at the end of the year in our Cultural Sector. The Vancouver School Board will start public consultation on the possibility of closing 12 elementary schools, which CUPE 15 will actively participate in. This potentially has significant ramifications for our members at the VSB especially in administrative areas. School closures is part of a larger concerning issue which is the lack of proper, sustained funding for public education by the province. Fuelling this was Premier Campbell’s appointment of rookie MLA Margaret MacDiarmid as the Minister of Education which has proven to be another poor decision. Rather than showing leadership and working towards delivering the essential funding, Ms. MacDiarmid’s first steps were picking a fight with the Trustees at Vancouver School Board which showed her inexperience. I am deeply worried that Minister MacDiarmid has only begun her attack on school boards as I am convinced she will attempt to dismantle, amalgamate, or create regional school boards. con’t on pg 8

2010 is the year of the Steward by Leanne Toderian, Secretary Treasurer


tew-ard (noun): a person who is elected by their co-workers to represent fellow workers; to ensure their safety, protect and preserve their working conditions; dignity and relationships, with each other, in the workplace and with their employer.

September is Stewards’ month and I would like to thank all the stewards around 18 different bargaining units of this local. The good Leanne Toderian work you do is Secretary Treasurer not unnoticed by your peers, the local, and your employers. You are selfless, dedicated individuals who, despite the responsibility over and above your own workloads, take on this work undaunted. You are to be commended. Stewards are passionate, compassionate, and work to ensure each and every one of us is treated with dignity, respect, and fairness,

above all. You are true leaders, who often seem faceless, who listen to members, or sit across from supervisors and managers trying to resolve problems that arise in the workplace. You are the ears, eyes, and voice of the union and are vital to our success. One other message I want to impress upon you all is the work of a steward is one that is respected by good managers. If you feel the work of a steward is not respected in your workplace because it is something you feel would invite repercussions, then I say you are most desperately in need of having a steward in the workplace. Please call me and I will assist you. A reminder that Stewards’ month also means elections. Should you require information on this please give me a call at the local. On to other things. I hope everyone had a safe and relaxing summer. As I write this, many of those in the College and K-12 sectors will be preparing to return to work. 2010 has been a very busy year to date with lots going on around the local including layoffs in the K-12, Health, and City sectors. I am pleased to report we have not had significant impacts in regards to loss of jobs. While change and disruption is hard on everyone involved, placement is our goal and we have survived what we hope is just one round. It has not been an easy transition and we sincerely hope the affected members know our thoughts are with you. The Art Gallery has come under the microscope

in regards to its future which of course affects our members who work there. You can find some interesting bulletins on CUPE 15’s webpage. I urge you to read these updates regularly. Elsewhere in the Cultural Sector we have been facing similar circumstances as these sectors rely on grants and other sources of funding to operate. We have to maintain good communications with members from these areas and I urge you to attend general membership meetings and/or to keep in close contact with your sector rep. This goes for all sectors. In order for the local to thrive, not just survive, we need the assistance of our members to keep us informed about issues in the workplace. As you can imagine we are not the first call placed by your employers when issues arise. Although we have enjoyed better communication than we ever have in past years, we can always do better. On that note, for the City of Vancouver, Park Board, Britannia, and Ray-Cam employees, there is a survey called the Employee Engagement Survey that is currently available on-line. We strongly encourage you to complete this survey. We have been advising that any employee can complete this survey on work time using work equipment. For this information to accurately reflect the thoughts and opinions of our members we need a large percentage of responses, otherwise the data has very limited value. Please take the time to fill it out.




The Members’

Letters, Notices, & Updates

We will miss you Wayne...

Notices of Motion • To make Brother Wayne Bowes a posthumous honourary life member.

Notice of By-Election College/University Sector Representative There will be a by-election for a College/ University Sector Representative at the September General Membership. Note: Only members of a specific sector may vote for candidates in that sector.

Clothing donations for WISH submitted by Diane Brown, City Sector Representative WISH (Women In Safe Haven) is an organization in the Downtown Eastside whose mandate is to advocate for women working in the survival sex trade. I will be taking donations of clothing and gently used or unused cosmetics and beauty products to the WISH location after membership meetings on a regular basis, starting in September.

by Paul Faoro, President July 5, 2010 was sad day for our members at the Evelyne Saller Centre and at CUPE 15 as we were informed that Brother Wayne Bowes passed away.

A Day in the Life

Wayne was in his 29th year of service with the City of Vancouver and nearing retirement. In those years Wayne was a dedicated activist for our union during which he assisted and helped so many members along the way. I met Wayne over 20 years ago at my first union shop steward’s training weekend. I remember listening to him talk about an earlier strike our union had along with some picket line stories. At that time I was a young pup and I think Wayne’s stories and passion for social justice fueled my union activism.

… loved by family & friends

I feel honoured that I had the opportunity to speak at Wayne’s memorial service and share some of my memories with his family. At this month’s membership meeting our union will recognize the contribution made by Brother Bowes. The following poem was written by Sister Debbie Jimmy who was one of Wayne’s coworkers and a member of our union.

If you have a donation please bring it to the membership meeting. Please bring only clean, folded clothing in good condition. To find out more about WISH, go to

… a human being … liked to tell a good joke

member survey

… dedicated City employee

City of Vancouver Members – Employee Engagement Survey

… faithful Canucks fan!!

by Paul Faoro, President

… enjoyed smiling & laughing … a son/a father/an uncle/a grandfather

… shared Tim Hortons donuts … loved his cars & trucks The list could go on and on… but one thing for sure. You touch a lot of people’s lives. You will be truly missed, by all who knew you Wayne!!! It’s time to shake, bake, rattle and roll, till we all meet again… by Debbie Jimmy, ESC Co-worker and CUPE 15 Member

Over the next few weeks you have the opportunity to participate in the City of Vancouver’s first ever organization wide Employee Engagement Survey. Our union representatives have reviewed the purpose of the survey and the survey questions with the employer which has lead us to recommend that you take the required time to complete it. We believe this survey will provide the employer and our union with valuable information to improve your workplace, and your career with the City of Vancouver. The employer has agreed to provide the full results of the Employee Engagement Survey to CUPE 15. If you have any questions about the survey please contact your immediate supervisor or shop steward. Please remember that the survey can be completed on work time.





The Members’


Canadian Election Observers were at the scene By Elizabeth Dollaga, VSB member Twenty-seven delegates from Canada traveled throughout the Philippine archipelago to witness and observe first hand the May 2010 vote, the first automated elections in the country. Canadian participation in the PIOM included representatives from the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), elected government officials, academics, lawyers, journalists, students, and human rights activists. The first automated election in the Philippines was far from being fair, honest, and peaceful, the biggest group of international observers concluded. The People’s International Observers’ Mission (PIOM 2010) composed of 86 delegates from Australia, Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, France, Germany, Denmark, and Argentina drew this conclusion from their experiences in monitoring the elections in the country’s nine regions. Observers traveled to the Philippines from coastto-coast in response to an international appeal from civil society and ecumenical organizations in Manila calling for independent election observers in light of systematic human rights violations in the Philippines and the political violence that has accented past elections. As gunshots rang out toward Filipino voters gathered at a polling center in Mindanao, Canadian election observers were at the scene. As systematic breakdowns of the first fully automated vote in Asia created chaotic scenes of disenfranchisement for thousands of voters at polling precincts, election observers from Canada were on the ground. As debate swirled

across the country and on to the headlines in Manila about a rigged electronic election, independent observers from across Canada were on the ground to analyse. Did the automated electoral system (AES) achieve its objectives? For the PIOM, the widespread intimidation, vote-buying, corruption and violence showed that automation could solve only part of the problem. In focusing on the machines, the Comelec [Commission on Elections] lost the people. The PIOM delegates noted that political dynasties and their armed militias still lord over local politics. The political and economic inequality creates vulnerability to intimidation and vote-buying. The PIOM also felt strongly against the heavy military and police presence in the communities, and within polling places. They observed that this has contributed to or has caused the climate of fear. Soldiers even harassed members of the mission. Concluding recommendations by the PIOM have been presented to media and civil society groups in the Philippines. Key points to those recommendations are: • Philippine government to dismantle private armies and to put a stop to the militarization of villages. • Security of the voting process should be ensured through a systematic and transparent process and not through the deployment of men with guns. • Arroyo government, the Comelec and Smartmatic must be held accountable for the problems encountered in the elections.

Recommendations to the international community and to the Canadian government: Take note, and pass on findings of the People’s IOM to your respective governments; and ask the governments to keep these in mind in all future dealings with the Philippine government. Tie all aid money to Human Rights initiatives and ensure that an independent audit is performed on spending. Sustain international monitoring and pressure on the Philippine government to comply with its commitments and pledges to universally accepted human rights instrumentalities. Send formal international observer delegations from all advanced democratic nations. With the many serious problems in the whole election process, the People’s International Observers’ Mission deemed that it is only through the efforts of the people – the sacrifices made by the public school teachers and the resilience of voters – that the elections were made possible. WATCH:

Paul Moist calls for end to human rights violations in Philippines


he Canadian Union of Public Employees was shocked to hear that three teachers, including Mark Francisco of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), were assassinated early in July.Antonio Tinio, National Chairperson of ACT and newly elected ACT representative in the Philippine Congress, reported to CUPE that the killings are linked to the failure of the previous administration to prosecute and punish human rights violators. The following is a letter written on July 26 by Paul Moist, CUPE National President, to H. E. Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, calling for an end to human rights abuses and an end to extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.Dear President Aquino:How unfortunate to have to write at the time of your inauguration regarding the recent killing of three teachers. The Canadian Union of Public Employees is shocked and saddened to hear this news from our colleagues at the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT), that three teachers, including ACT member Mark Francisco were assassinated earlier in July. Antonio Tinio, the National Chairperson of ACT and newly elected ACT-Party Representative in the Philippine Congress reported to us that the

killings are linked to the failure of the previous administration to prosecute and punish human rights violators. We support the ACT’s demand for justice for their fellow teachers and their call for your new government to take decisive action to stop the killings and end impunity.

• Demilitarize the area pending investigation and disarm military-backed vigilantes. • Extend protection and assistance to the families of the murdered activists. • Review the government’s counterinsurgence program as per the recommendations of UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions Philip Alston.

We are aware that over 1,000 activists and journalists were murdered in extra-judicial killings under the Arroyo government and that to date no one has been convicted. The killings had abated under international pressure for a twoyear period, but have started again since the May 2010 national and local elections.

What you can do:

CUPE members hosted two Filipino public sector union representatives in a speaking tour across Canada in the spring of 2009, and earlier this year, members of our union were hosted by ACT and COURAGE in the Philippines. We are committed to building our relationship with these unions and to support their call for an end to human rights abuses and an end to extrajudicial killings in your country.We call on the Philippine government to: • Ensure an impartial investigation on the extra-judicial killing of Mark Francisco and other activists since the election.

Send to:Mr. H. E. Benigno S. Aquino IIIPresident of the Republic of the PhilippinesMalacanang Palace,JP Laurel Street, San MiquelManila, Philippines Email: / Fax: (+632) 742-1641 / 929-3936 Web:

Yours truly, Paul Moist, CUPE National President

CUPE members are encouraged to take action by sending an email or letter to the President of the Republic of the Philippines. Demand an end to human rights abuses and an end to extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.




The Members’


When OHI comes-a-calling:

Privacy rights info for City and Parks employees on sick leave by John Geppert, CUPE 15 Staff Representative The City of Vancouver and Park Board (the “Employer”) have a contract with Organizational Health Inc. (“OHI”) to provide occupational health related services as part of the employer’s Disability Management Program. Part of the employer’s mandate for OHI is that OHI contact at home employees who have been absent due to illness for five days. Understandably, a lot of sick employees have been contacted by OHI and as a result the union office and your shop stewards have received numerous phone calls from sick colleagues complaining about both the breadth and invasiveness of OHI’s query. The typical question is “Do I have to talk to OHI?”, the short answer is “No”, but please read on to understand what you do need to do when off sick. As background, employees have complained about the relevance of hour long OHI interviews that have included such nuggets as “Do you like your job?” or “Who does the vacuuming at your house?”. Or who are told by OHI that they must sign a Medical Release that is in effect an “open sesame” to all personal medical information regardless of whether it is related to their current illness. One member opined that it was downright creepy when OHI was asking her for details about her height, weight, physique, etceteras in what seemed more properly destined for surveillance identification than to determine the presence of a bona fide illness. The union voiced these complaints to the employer, but nothing changed. That is nothing until a draft preview of this newsletter article was provided to the employer. The response to this Voice story was changes to the Medical Release, removing the “open sesame” effect of that release; and a shortening of OHI’s initial assessment interview to 15 minutes. These indeed are positive changes, responsive to the union’s and employees’ complaints, but nevertheless, such a shortened OHI interview still has the purpose to determine whether there is a “bona fide medical issue”, and the question of whether the employer has the right to any OHI interview is canvassed below.

Medical Information Privacy Rights General Principles Given employee concerns about the intrusiveness of OHI interviews and demands for information, the following are the foundational principles of your rights and obligations while off sick. These general principles would be applicable to all CUPE Local 15 members in any worksite whether or not they are City or Parks employees: 1. Employees do not lose all their privacy rights simply because they enter into an employment relationship. 2. Personal medical information attracts a substantial privacy right. 3. An employee’s individual right to privacy must be reasonably balanced against the employer’s operational and business needs. 4. The three broad purposes for which the employer may properly seek some medical information from an employee are: a) To verify that an employee is entitled to sick leave, i.e. the employee is indeed ill. b) To verify that an employee is fit to return to work after a period of illness, i.e. the employee is not a safety hazard to themselves or others. c) In the context of a claim to the “duty to accommodate”. d) To verify the presence of a disability triggering a duty to accommodate obligation; and e) Assist in the identification of work suitable to accommodate the disabled employee. 5. The collective agreement language is the first source of an employee’s rights and obligations with respect to supplying personal medical information. 6. Where the collective agreement does not address the purpose for collection, a demand for the disclosure of personal medical information must be reasonable in all the circumstances e.g. not overly broad or invasive.

What the City and Parks Employee Should Do When OHI Calls Although the “duty to accommodate” or verifying fitness to return to work generally requires a higher degree of medical information,

it will be the exceptionally rare sick leave claim where an employee must participate in an OHI interview; sign a Medical Release so that OHI can talk to your doctor, etceteras. This is because the City and Parks collective agreements state: “Any employee requesting sick leave with pay may be required to produce a certificate from a duly qualified medical practitioner licensed to practice in the Province of British Columbia certifying that such person is unable to carry out their duties due to illness”. Thus, applying the six general principles, in particular principle 5, and contract language, the employer (and therefore OHI) has a significantly limited right to medical information when setting out to determine whether there is a “bona fide medical issue” when an employee claims sick leave. That is, OHI on behalf of the employer “may” ask for “a certificate” from a doctor that certifies that the employee “is unable to carry out their duties due to illness”. The necessary implication arising from this language is that your doctor (or the doctor at the walk in clinic) may need a general understanding of your job before opining that your illness makes you unable to do those duties, but other than such non intrusive medical certificate, the employer can not require any further medical information unless exceptional circumstances exist, e.g. evidence that would cause the employer to reasonably disbelieve the medical certificate on its face, such as real evidence that you are working at a second job while claiming sick leave from the employer. The upshot: When off five or more days on a simple sick leave claim, do not feel obligated, bullied or harassed into talking to OHI if you do not want to. If the employer or OHI want a medical certificate in accordance with the collective agreement then they may ask for it, otherwise feel free to exercise your individual right of privacy to the degree that suits you and gives you comfort. Tell OHI you are not interested in talking to them and politely hang up. If there ever is a demand for a Medical Release to talk to your doctor; to see the doctor of your employer’s choice; or to have a particular form filled out by your own doctor, you would be well advised to call your shop steward or the union office to determine whether your sick leave claim fits within those few exceptions where a simple medical certificate is not sufficient.




The Members’


Interview with a Chief Shop Steward - Steve Salsman, City Sector Q: Where do you work?

I work at Vancouver Fire & Rescue Fleet Services as a Storekeeper, down in Strathcona at #1 Firehall.

Q: How long have you been doing that now? I’ve been in this position since August 1999.

Q: Was this your first job at the City?

I’m not always right (laughing). Actually, I’ve learned quite a bit. I’ve learned that I truly enjoy helping people. I’ve learned that I’m not a particularly patient person and I have to work on that much of the time. I’ve learned how vitally important it is to realize that work is just one part of life, that it is there to sustain the home, and that your day actually begins when you get home from work. Work is important and rewarding for me, but family and home must come first. Most of us don’t make enough time for ourselves in that respect.

No, my first job was as an auxiliary in Stanley Park Yard at the concession warehouse. I was a Driver. It was a great job actually but unfortunately there wasn’t much prospect for full time work at that time. I started farming myself out as an auxiliary wherever I could, which is how I eventually ended up at Fire although a lot of people still think my father-in-law got me the job. Ha ha.

Q: What made you decide to get involved and was stewarding your first involvement?

I didn’t really have a choice actually. During my first year at the warehouse the Park Board was contemplating shutting the operation down. I had replaced a person who was very much involved in the union and our shop had a very strong union presence. One of my co-workers at the time spent hours and hours working on saving our jobs (which he did). Following that I took a temporary assignment working at the union office. With all that exposure I was bound to get involved. Come to think of it, there may be genetics involved. My grandfather was a shop steward with National Sea Products on the east coast for thirty years, and my father was a strong trade unionist as a welder in the shipyards (mostly because he couldn’t stay out of trouble with his bosses). My first experience on a picket line was as a kid around 1978 when his crew walked out because he got suspended. Those were the days, eh?

Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began stewarding?

Q: What was your most rewarding experience?

As a shop steward? Too many to mention. It’s hard to articulate how it feels when someone is grateful to you for helping them. I remember every thank you I’ve ever received. One thing that stands out was when the Union and the City got together to ensure a group of members received money owed to them for unreported overtime. It was nice to be on the same page with the employer and to see those cheques go out right after Christmas. I actually wrote about it in this newsletter at the time.

Q: You are now Chief Shop Steward for the City Sector. How did it make you feel to be elected into this position by your peers?

Imagine someone asking you to wear a set of antlers and a brown coat into the woods on the first day of deer hunting season. Getting that picture? I was a bit apprehensive at first, after all I really do like my job with the City and I knew there would be a significant time commitment

involved. Thankfully I have a very understanding manager who supports me in the role. I was also surprised at how much faith the other stewards had in me. Usually when you are “voluntold” to do something it’s because no one else wants to do it. Hmmm…never really thought of it like that before actually.

Q: If there was some advice to give to someone who is contemplating becoming a steward what would that be?

Run away. Run far far away. I’m kidding obviously. Anyone who’s thinking about becoming a shop steward has usually had some form of labour relations issue trigger, either an issue of their own or through a co-worker. It’s important to commit to the training and to the term of election. Often people who become stewards don’t get the exposure and experience they need early on which is something our local is working on through mentoring and other training tools. The City, for the most part, respects the role of the shop steward and the contribution they make. Believe it or not “grievance” is not actually a bad word. A grievance is just a dispute resolution process and a way for us to bring issues to the attention of the employer. They can’t fix it if they don’t know it’s broken after all. If anyone is thinking about taking on the role of shop steward within the City Sector they should give me a call, I’d be more than happy to talk to them about it. Oh, and do it on your own time so I don’t have to defend you later, kay?

Q: Tell us something about yourself that we would not otherwise know? I do not like parsnips. I’m surprised they are actually considered food. Any other answer I have you either wouldn’t believe or wouldn’t print. Or both.

Look for further shop steward profiles and articles in subsequent editions of the Members’ Voice.




The Members’


CUPE 15 Summer of fun! At Justice Rocks, Vancouver Giants, and Labour Day, CUPE 15 members got out this summer to enjoy some time away from the office and socialize with fellow members. We hope everyone had a safe and happy summer, and be sure to look for our Fall and Winter events so we can catch up again. All the best for the rest of 2010!



Events & Credits


The Members’

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

CUPE Local 15

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

CUPE Local 15 Executive Board Table Officers:

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

Sector Representatives:

City: Santino Scardillo, Diane Brown College/University: Emma Somers Cultural: Matthew Quiring Health/HSSCBA: Patricia Taylor Health/HSPBA: Caroline Mewis Parks: Anne-Marie McGee, Barb Dickinson K-12: Peggy Wong, Warren Williams


Joey Lau, Michelle Alexander, Arthur Lum

Staff Representatives:

Steve Baker, John Geppert, Keith Graham, Graeme Moore

Office & Administrative Staff:

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

Building Maintenance: Jeff Zaharia

CUPE National Representatives: Justin Schmid, Tina Meadows, Matt Yun Designed by




The Members’


Motions to increase financial transparency at the VAG, con’t 1. Financial Transparency WHEREAS since the late 1980s, B.C.’s Financial Information Act has required public sector agencies to disclose the total remuneration of employees earning more than $75,000 a year including salary, bonuses, and overtime; and WHEREAS the B.C.’s Financial Information Act also requires public sector agencies to disclose payments to suppliers of goods and services during the fiscal year; and WHEREAS in 2008, disclosure of executive compensation across British Columbia’s public sector was expanded to increase transparency and accountability by requiring disclosures to include an explanation of the employer’s compensation philosophy, the objectives of the compensation program and what it is designed to reward, and how the performance payments for the top five executives relate to the organization’s performance targets; and WHEREAS the Vancouver Art Gallery received $4,287,115 in grants from public bodies for the year ending June 30, 2009; and WHEREAS the Vancouver Art Gallery spent $1,064,264 for Administration and Finance and $774,942 for Board and Management Services for the year ending June 30, 2009; and WHEREAS the Vancouver Art Gallery does not disclose, release or publish any information on employee remuneration or payments to suppliers of goods and services. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Vancouver Art Gallery proactively disclose annually on the organizations website the total remuneration of each employee earning more than $75,000 a year including salary, bonuses, and overtime based on the similar provisions contained in the Financial Information Act of British Columbia; and

Winner of Email Draw!

FURTHER THAT the Vancouver Art Gallery proactively disclose annually on the organization’s website all payments to suppliers of goods and services based on the similar provisions contained in the Financial Information Act of British Columbia. 2. New Building Advocacy Expenses WHEREAS the Board of the Vancouver Art Gallery has unanimously agreed and unilaterally determined that the Larwill Park site on Georgia Street is the preferred location for a new building for the Vancouver Art Gallery; and WHEREAS the Vancouver Art Gallery has embarked on an aggressive lobbying campaign to secure this site including running full page ads in national newspapers, launching a new website, holding a series of public meetings, producing videos, and reportedly hiring a public relations firm; and WHEREAS the Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery reportedly commissioned architect Michael Maltzan from Los Angeles at an undisclosed cost several years ago for professional services; and WHEREAS the Vancouver Art Gallery recorded an operating shortfall for the last two years and staff have been laid off and had hours cut; and WHERAS the collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery is owned by the City of Vancouver and its citizens. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Vancouver Art Gallery proactively disclose annually on the organizations website commencing January 1, 2010 all expenses and costs for all advocacy related to secure the Larwill Park site for a new Vancouver Art Gallery.

Sister Elena Arrau is the lucky winner of the $150 Safeway Gift Certificate. Thanks to all those who participated in the contest by submitting their home email addresses to the union office.

Presidents’ message con’t: On the municipal and Park Board front the City of Vancouver will start its 2011 operating budget process in September which appears will be another challenging budget to chart through. I have called a meeting with the presidents from the other unions representing City employees where I hope to discuss the budget situation and other emerging issues. The Vancouver Art Gallery’s financial situation continues to be a concern as our members at the VAG have once again been hit with several more layoffs and cuts. During the summer the layoffs and the VAG’s financial affairs made it into local media which helped expose the chronic state that financial matters are really in at the gallery. Adding to our union’s and members’ unease and frustration is that at the same time cutbacks and layoffs are taking place the VAG is shoveling buckets of money on hiring consultants and for newspaper ads in their quest to obtain a large piece of land from the City in downtown Vancouver to build a new art gallery.

The land they want for free and reportedly worth $110 million, was unilaterally chosen by theVAG’s Director Kathleen Bartels and her inner circle. The City has not had a public planningprocess to determine the use of this land, yet the VAG continues to spend from our members’pockets trying to secure it. Cutbacks in maintenance of the current building have also occurred which I suggest have been made to help demonstrate the need for a new building. I have personally submitted two motions to the VAG for their upcoming September 29th Annual General Meeting to force a greater financial transparency at the gallery. Given the large amount of public dollars going to fund the VAG it’s time for Ms. Bartels to open up the book and show where the money is going. I believe she should be paying more attention to the current gallery and dedicated staff rather than her dream building. This is only a few of the key issues and tasks at hand and there are certainly a lot more. Our Executive Board and staff will continue to do our best on your behalf.


The Members’


General Meeting SEPTEMBER Under Discussion: Location: Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: CUPE Local 15 545 W. 10th Ave. Vancouver,...