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Yukon Employees’ Union 2285-2nd Ave. Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 1C9


Yukon Employees’ Union

Breaking new trail for workers' rights & social justice. April 2017

A Win for the Workers of Watson Lake! Congratulations to YEU/PSAC Local Y029, Municipal Workers in Watson Lake. After over a year of effort to reach an agreement, they were locked out by their employer on March 27. A lock-out nullifies an existing collective agreement, so the members chose to walk the picket line together rather than return to work unprotected. Workers were determined to get the town back to the bargaining table or to agree to binding arbitration.

After a week-long strike and many hours By Wyatt Trem blay, as seen of intense weekend negotiations, the conin the Yukon News. Reprinted wit flict was resolved with a tentative agreeh permission. ment reached Monday April 3, ratified April 4th. The members enjoyed a lot of community support while they were on the line, evident at their Show S’More Support event at the picket line fire pit. There was a great turnout and good discussion around the fire. They were able to explain their rationale, including the need for certainty around indemnity, updated job descriptions and classification review and appropriate notice of scheduling changes.

YEU President Steve Geick was impressed “They stood up for themselves and achieved a deal they can be proud of. This is a cohesive Local and a good team.”

Shop Steward Round Table Wednesday April 19th YEU Hall, 9am - 12pm

Facing Management with Confidence

Working with others to resolve conflict is stressful for most of us. It can be even tougher when someone is relying on you to protect their rights or interests, and tougher still when one party to the conflict is someone normally in a position of authority over you. Shop Stewards face this challenge when they present a grievance or support someone at a meeting that could lead to discipline. Part of managing this stress and building self-confidence comes from knowing what to expect and being prepared for it. Join us for this training... build your skill level and boost your confidence as a Shop Steward.

All YEU Shop Stewards are entitled to paid leave to attend union training. Not a Shop Steward but interested in the role? Contact David Anderson, YEU Shop Steward Coordinator: danderson@yeu.ca or 667-2331

It’s TRADE SHOW TIME! Yukon Trade Show May 5, 6 & 7

Join us! We need a few reliable volunteers to work with us in our booth, talking to the public and explaining the important role Unions play in our communities. It’s always a lot of fun and very social - in fact the Trade Show seems to be the only time most of us see our neighbours! No time to volunteer? Please make sure to stop by the booth and chat - we’d love to see you!

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YEU NEWS April 2017


From the President’s Desk Steve Geick

y the time you read this newsletter your Local impact on the direction the union’s Executive takes over will already have received the Call Out docu- the coming three year cycle. ments for the 2017 YEU Triennial Convention. Many of our active members tell us the friendships they What’s the next step? YOU contact your Local to find have built through their union activities have been a lastout how and when they are selecting delegates, YOU ing benefit of their involvement. That’s certainly true for show up at the meeting and YOU WAVE YOUR me. Many of my close friendships have evolved out of HANDS IN THE AIR AND YELL “CHOOSE ME”! my union activity… a great side effect!

Why would any sane person do that?? Well one of the better reasons is that you belong to YEU; YEU is the organization that represents you when it comes to your employment. You pay, through your union dues, for that service. This is one of the only times you will have any direct input into the organization that you pay to represent you. Guess what - you will be able to provide that input in a totally democratic way.

You’re not sure which local you belong to or how to contact someone from the Local Executive? You want to know more about being a delegate to the YEU 2017 Convention? Give me a call and I’ll point you in the right direction.

Don’t like unions, not sure why you pay dues or what the hell we DO for you? All the more reason for you to be a delegate at the YEU Triennial Convention. Show up and You pay for representation, you have the opportunity to put your mouth where your money is. Your vote can help influence what that representation looks like and you get make YEU a union you WANT to be part of! to hang out with 100 plus like-minded individuals for 3 days in Whitehorse at no expense to yourself! I don’t Remember this is the most definitive opportunity to know where you could hope to find a better offer. influence the direction of YEU for the next 3 years. In all seriousness, the decisions the Union’s leadership Make it your year to contribute! team make cannot be made in a vacuum. Our work requires input and direction from those that use the services. That’s YOU. You are a member, you pay dues, you get to VOTE on how those dues are allocated and spent. Steve Geick, President Whether you are new to the organization or a seasoned Yukon Employees’ Union veteran, whether you come from a small local, a new local or a larger more established local, YOUR voice is important and will be heard. As a representative for your Local at convention, you also vote on behalf of your coworkers; you carry their voices with you onto convention floor. Your decisions have a direct and dramatic

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YEU NEWS April 2017

At a union convention, a resolution is very different from our annual hopeful New Year’s Eve pronouncements. Resolutions are the tools by which union members set the direction for Union leadership to follow.

Locals & Committees will prepare resolutions and submit them to the Resolution Committee by the June 19th deadline.


PSAC’s constitution or bylaws are forwarded for review to PSAC President Robyn Benson.

The agenda for YEU’s convention in October will devote plenty of time for debate and discussion. Delegates will stand and speak for or against resolutions, and all credentialed delegates present will have the opportunity to vote.

Submissions likely to have a financial impact on the Union are costed out before reaching the Convention floor so members can vote with a clear understanding of the cost each resolution will incur. Those resolutions that refer to

Resolutions are absolutely necessary to guide the work of the Union over the coming three year cycle. If you have a suggestion for the YEU Executive to prioritize, or an idea that may impact the direction or mandate of YEU, speak with your Local about drafting a resolution.





WHEREAS the PSAC has a comprehensive harassment policy; and WHEREAS the PSAC has a policy of zero-tolerance regarding harassment; and WHEREAS founded charges of harassment are serious and warrant the suspension of membership; and WHEREAS the Constitution of the PSAC requires a twothirds vote of the National Board of Directors to discipline a member; and WHEREAS placing the question of harassment and discipline before a political body leaves it open to political manipulation; and WHEREAS this further victimizes the person who has been harassed:

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Constitution of the PSAC be amended such that cases of harassment are referred to an independent impartial review committee, who shall investigate and render a decision; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the decision of such committee shall be binding on the parties involved without referral to the National Board of Directors.

[Authorized signature:]

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The PSAC will amend its Constitution so that cases of harassment are referred to an independent impartial review committee.

The independent impartial review committee shall investigate and render a decision. The decision of the independent impartial review committee shall be binding on the parties involved without referral to the National Board of Directors.

Because the PSAC has a comprehensive harassment policy. Because the PSAC has a policy of zero-tolerance regarding harassment. Because founded charges of harassment are serious and warrant the suspension of membership. Because the Constitution of the PSAC requires a two-thirds vote of the National Board of Directors to discipline a member. Because placing the question of harassment and discipline before a political body leaves it open to political manipulation. Because this further victimizes the person who has been harassed. [Authorized signature:]

YEU NEWS April 2017

Taking the Show on the Road! Union Training in the Communities During the first week of April I took a road trip to Carmacks, Mayo and Dawson to do some representation training with shop stewards and local executives. If you live in one of those communities you should know that amongst you there are some dedicated folks working hard to protect and improve your working conditions! The time I spent with these good people centered on four main tasks of a union representative: a.) building union support in the workplace b.) understanding your Collective Agreement and guiding co-workers through it c.) understanding progressive discipline and assisting co-workers who are being investigated by management for potential discipline and d.) assisting co-workers to resolve a complaint about their working conditions, informally when possible but through the formal grievance procedure when necessary. The weather was great, the people were friendly and the trip was a great success. The Yukon is a special place and I am glad to know that even in our small communities there are people willing to look out for others at work and offer assistance when issues arise. In Carmacks, your rep is Lorraine Graham. The Stewards I worked with in Mayo are Joanne Aird, Jules Abel and Minnie Hassen. The Dawson representatives who received the training boost are Anton Berger, Jamie Tweedie, Brent MacDonald and Liz Grenon. It’s great to see so many strong union reps in our Communities! Dave Anderson YEU Shop Steward Coordinator danderson@yeu.ca

NO MORE Killer Heel Rules at Work!

On April 7, 2017 the BC Government announced a ban on mandatory high heels in the province’s workplaces. Some employers have required female staffers to wear high heeled shoes on the job, often in restaurants and bars. The government has now amended the existing footwear regulations in the Occupational Health & Safety Regulations under the Workers Compensation Act. Premier Christie Clark says the new regulation was put in place “to stop this unsafe & discriminatory practice” and adds that a WCB enforcement element has been added, as unsafe footwear is clearly a health & safety issue. The issue was brought to light by BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver who stressed the dangers of high heels on greasy restaurant kitchen floors and of the risks of musculoskeletal injury and pain from standing for hours in high heels. We can’t help but wonder how such discriminatory policies were even legal in 2017. Are there Yukon employers who insist on high heeled shoes for its female workers? Sure hope not!

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YEU NEWS April 2017

We all know someone who has been injured on the job, whose workplace made them ill. In the Yukon, many of us mourn the death of someone we knew, someone we loved who was killed at work. In 2016, three Yukoners were lost to workplace illness and accidents.

In a small community like ours, a workplace injury touches us all. The loss of a colleague, friend or neighbour can create a ripple effect of grief and anxiety. We have a shared responsibility to care for each other, to watch out for hazards, to report dangerous workplaces and to refuse unsafe work. We have the honour and the duty to help keep each other safe.

Yukon Federation of Labour President Justin Lemphers invites Yukoners to gather at the new Workers’ Memorial in Shipyards Park for the inaugural Day of Mourning Ceremony on the site. Dedicated to the memory of those injured and lost in the line of duty, the Workers’ Memorial is a solemn reminder of colleagues and friends who did not make it home at the end of the day.

“Please come and honour injured and deceased workers at the annual Day of Mourning, held this year at the Workers' Memorial in Shipyards Park. It is dedicated to workers who were injured or killed at work, or as a result of their work. It is also a time to recognize the families, friends and communities affected by work place injuries and deaths. This event is open the public, and all are welcome. ”

The ceremony will take place in a tent at the Memorial site. Music will commence at 12 noon on Friday, April 28th. The ceremony will begin at 12:30, followed by a procession to the Memorial.

2017 Day of Mourning Ceremony Friday April 28th, 12:30 pm Workers’ Memorial in Shipyards Park

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YEU NEWS April 2017

PSAC North Regional Women’s Conference

The PSAC North Regional Women’s Conference was held from March 22-23, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario. As travel in the north is very costly and our budget is limited, our northern region would only be able to have 20 women attend a northern conference for members across the region. Because of this, the Northern Women’s Conference is scheduled just prior to the National Equity Conference as PSAC National pays for travel to their Conference. This piggy-backing makes it possible for more northern women to attend. This year 40 participants made the journey, which is great for northern women!

Collective Agreements and the Yukon is a leader yet again! The Yukon Teacher’s Association was the first to include an Article addressing Domestic Violence in their Collective Agreement.

YEU/PSAC was proud to announce that The Yukon Government’s 2016 - 2018 Collective Agreement introduced a clause allowing access to Special Leave for The North Conference centered on Domestic Violence victims of domestic violence - Article 24.03 (15). in the Workplace which is an emerging issue and a priority of PSAC. We discussed the fact that although vio- This recognition of domestic violence as a workplace lence happens at home, it follows members to work in issue is a huge and important step forward. Unions different ways. Perhaps an abuser shows up unexpect- across the country are working hard to bring greater edly at work or maybe the victim can’t concentrate awareness to the issue of violence at home and its because of ongoing calls and texts from the abuser. impacts at work and we are proud to be at the forefront Someone living with domestic violence is often late for of that movement. work or has more frequent absences, and frequently For more information, visit http://psacunion.ca/domesfeels isolated or ashamed in the workplace. tic-violence-can-work-be-safe-when-home-isn’t. Conference participants were advised about signs to watch for and encouraged to offer support and referrals to counsellors and emergency services when needed. Members were reminded of the importance of treating co-workers with dignity and respect at all times, but most especially when we believe they are suffering violence at the hands of a romantic partner or family member.

It wasn’t all serious though, thankfully we shared some fun as well. Olivia Chislett, a 19 year old Inuk woman from Iqaluit, was a guest at our Conference and tried to teach us how to throat sing. Olivia started throat singing at a very young age and started teaching it roughly five years ago. She moved to Toronto for school, where she also teaches a weekly throat singing class and takes pride in being able to share her culture. It was fun - one of our participants joined her at the end of our lesson and did very well.

All in all, it was a great Conference with a lot of strong northern women joining together to fight injustices! If PSAC has been you are interested in participating in the PSAC’s urging all bar- Regional Women’s Committee (or any committee) gaining units to please contact PSAC’s Regional Office at 668-8593. i n c l u d e domestic vioSue Christianson, Vice President lence lanYukon Employees’ union guage in their

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YEU NEWS April 2017

Meetings & Events

Y010 Monthly Meeting: 2nd Tues., 5:30-7:30 p.m., YEU Hall

Y017 Monthly Meeting: 4th Wed., 7:30 p.m., YEU Hall

Y025 AGM: Tues. April 25, 7:00 p.m., YEU Hall & Teleconference Y010 SGM: April 18, 5:30 p.m., YEU Hall


Christie Harper, Labour Relations Advisor; charper@yeu.ca Susan Koser, Labour Relations Advisor; skoser@yeu.ca

Dan Robinson, Labour Relations Advisor; drobinson@yeu.ca Beckie Huston, Intake Officer; bhuston@yeu.ca Tammy Olsen, Financial Officer; tolsen@yeu.ca

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YEU Monthly Exec Meeting: 2nd Thurs., 5:15 - 7pm, YEU

Shop Steward Round Table: April 19, 9am - noon, YEU (SSRT Topic: Facing Management with Confidence)

David Anderson, Shop Steward Coordinator; danderson@yeu.ca

Roseanne Elias, Membership Svcs Assistant; relias@yeu.ca

Deborah Turner-Davis, Communications: dturner-davis@yeu.ca

Laura Hureau, Executive Director; lhureau@yeu.ca

Yukon Employees’ Union Office, 2285 2nd Avenue Whitehorse YT Y1A 1C9 PH: 867-667-2331 Fax: 867-667-6521 Toll Free: 1-888-YEU-2331 Email contact@yeu.ca Visit www.yeu.ca, follow us on Facebook & Twitter & visit our blog; www.theunionbillboard.com Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.

YEU NEWS April 2017

Profile for YEU/PSAC

Yukon Employees' Union April 2017 Newsletter  

A Win for Watson Lake, YEU Triennial Convention, New Member Benefit with G-P Distributors; Regional Women's Conference, Day of Mourning

Yukon Employees' Union April 2017 Newsletter  

A Win for Watson Lake, YEU Triennial Convention, New Member Benefit with G-P Distributors; Regional Women's Conference, Day of Mourning

Profile for yeupsac