member's voice march
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DESCRIPTIONMember's Voice March
The newsletter of CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers
Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to:CUPE Local 15545 W. 10th Ave.Vancouver, BCV5Z 1K9
General Membership MeetingMARCH
Date & Time: March 28th at 5:30 pmLocation: Italian Cultural Centre
3075 Slocan St. Vancouver, Room 5Under Discussion:
Bargaining updates from Vancouver Coastal Health, City et al group, Vancouver Art Gallery, Emily Carr University and Maritime Museum
Executive Board by-election - Member at Large Health Sector (HSPBA) Notice of Motion (see page 3) Nominations for Executive Board Executive Board report
General Meetings provide all members with an opportunity to participate indecisionsthataffecttheunion.
(ChildcareassistanceandInterpretationavailableuponrequest.) Please note that there will be a VMECW Society meeting following the April 26th, 2012 Local 15 Membership meeting to approve the 2011FinancialStatementsandappointanAuditor.
The MembersvoiceMARCH 2012CUPE members join rally in support of teachers and collective bargaining
Hundreds of CUPE members joined with thousands of other union members and activists in Victoria on Tuesday to rally at the BC Legislature in support of free collective bargaining rights and in opposition to the BC LiberalgovernmentsBill22.
CUPE BC President Barry ONeill spoke to the audience, estimated at more than 10,000, and told them that CUPE members all across the province were organizing local community rallies todemonstratetheirsolidarity.
If we dont stop this government from tearing up our rights, there will be nothing left for our children, or for their children, said ONeill.ChristyClarkandKevinFalconneedtounderstandthattheycantkeepdividingpeople.Workwithworkingpeopleinsteadofagainstus.
The mass rally was sparked by the BC Liberal governments introduction of Bill 22 and refusal to agree to mediation between the BC Teachers Federation and the BC Public Schools Employers Association(BCPSEA).TheBCTFbeganthreedays of strike action on Monday, after it reached an agreement with the BCPSEA through the Labour Relations Board that no picket lines wouldgouparoundschoolsduringthestrike.The agreement, which the BCTF asked CUPE to honour,meansCUPEmembersintheK-12sectorwereexpectedtoshowuptoworkasscheduled.CUPE members in BC deserve special thanks today,especiallythoseintheK-12sector,ONeill
saidaftertherally.Itsbeenaverydifficultissue for many members to come to terms with, and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for helping us support our colleagues in theBCTFastheyhaveaskedusto.
On Wednesday, ONeill spoke to rallies in Langley andVancouver.CUPE15PresidentPaulFaoro,Secretary Treasurer Leanne Toderian and 1st VPMiriamPulsiferattendedinVictoria.AttheVancouver rally, our members turned up in big numberstosupporttheteachers.
OurK-12membershaventhadtofaceapicketlessstrikebefore,saidFaoro.Infact,itsnewtoallofus.Itakemyhatofftoour members, who did everything to support our sisters and brothers in the BCTF and show solidarity while still respecting the unique circumstancesofthisdispute.
Once again, CUPE members stepped up to the plateunderdifficultcircumstancesandmadeourunionproud.
The MembersvoiceMARCH 20122
WWW.CUPE15.ORG CUPE Local 15, Vancouver Municipal Education and Community Workers
The BC Liberals should stay away from naminganything.Thatsbecausetheyalwaysgetitwrong.Justlookattherecent boondoggle with renaming BC Place stadium thats probably going to cost millionsfromgovernmentcofferstoresolve
looming law suits fromTelus.Thesamegoes for Bill 22 the regressive piece of legislation introduced by Education Minster George Abbott to end the teachers labour dispute.Itisnamedthe Education ImprovementAct.It does nothing to improve our broken education system in BritishColumbia.
Our education system is broken with one of the main reasons being it is chronically underfunded bytheprovincialgovernment.UnderfundinghaseffectivelyforcedeveryschooldistrictinBCtoputmorefocusoncuttingprograms,staffand services than what they should be doing - improvinglearningforstudents.Datacompiledby school administrators in 2010 put the size of the structural shortfall at several hundred million dollarsprovince-wide.
The Vancouver School Board has been faced withmakingmassivecutsinthepastdecade.Over the last ten years the VSB was forced to makesignificantbudgetreductionsofover$51million.TheVSBiscurrentlyfacinga$10millionshortfall.AsCUPE15srepresentativeattheVSBsFinance and Legal Committee, I will continue to do everything I can to protect our members and the important work they do every day at Vancouver schools.
Unfortunately Bill 22 does nothing to address provincialeducationunderfunding.Whatitwilldowhen it is jammed through the Legislature by the BC Liberals is resolve the BC Teachers Federation disputebyinstitutingacoolingoffperiodthatbansstrikeaction.Justtomakesuremassivefinesare included for members, union representatives andtheBCTFifthelegislationisviolated.Itsetsout terms of reference for a mediator to force the BCTF and the BC Public School Employers Association to reach an agreement under the net zeromandate.
What it really does is impose a collective agreement on a union and takes away their right tofreecollectivebargaining.Thisshouldbeextremely troubling for every worker and union in BC as it is a serious breach of the principle of freecollectivebargaining.TheBCLiberalstriedplaying this card before and lost a number of times withchallengesinSupremeCourt.CUPEdoesnotsupport legislative action by any government that interferesintheprocessofcollectivebargaining.
Minister Abbott said in his media release for Bill 22 most people are characterizing the bill as a measured, thoughtful, balanced and constructive approach to a dispute that has been going on for almostayearwithlittlechanceofaresolution.IsurewouldliketoknowwhoMr.Abbottisreferringto.Accordingtoarecentpollconductedfor the BC Federation of Labour 61 percent
of British Columbians surveyed oppose the imposition of a contract that freezes wages and increasesclasssize.Afurther80percentsupportthe appointment of an arbitrator to help resolve thesituation.
The BCTF did ask prior to Bill 22 being tabled for an independent mediator to be designated under the Labour Relations Board to try to bring both sides together and seek a resolution to the current impasseatthebargainingtable.ButMr.Abbottand Premier Clark refused, which clearly shows that the BC Liberals had no desire to allow the parties to get a deal and a legislated contract was alwaystheplan.
With just about every collective agreement in the public sector expiring in a few months there must be a united, common front across the public sector and all unions to obtain real improvements forpubicsectorworkersthatarelongoverdue.In early February CUPE held a regional strategic bargainingconferencefocusedondoingjustthat.DelegatesfromlocalsacrossBCincludingseveralfrom Local 15 urged increased participation in the BC Federation of Labour for greater coordination and called for the same across all sectors within ourunion.Attheendoftheconferencedelegatespresented many ideas on how to be successful in upcoming negotiations under a united workers mandate.
Bill 22 Doesnt Improve Anything...by Paul Faoro, President
Update from your Executive
Greetings, and a belated happy InternationalWomensDay,whichwascelebratedonMarch8th.Therewere several dinners and other events celebrating the contributions of women and shining a spotlight on issues that still need to be resolved.
Around the local, we saw our members at the Vancouver School Board out supporting the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) who are currently on strike acrossBC.Theyjoined them on the
sidewalkandatralliesaroundtheprovince.This unique situation called for a lot of faith and solidarity.
Brother Faoro covers Bill 22 in detail in his Presidents Message but I would like to comment onthereactionfrommembersattheVSB.They were anxious to support the teachers by standing with them on the line and many did join themontheirbreaks.Thelegislationputtheminan awkward position but they made the best of it by bringing soup, cookies, and other things to thelinetoshowtheirsolidarity.
Brother Paul Faoro, Sister Miriam Pulsifer, and I were pleased to be able to attend both the rally in Victoria and the rally at the Vancouver Art GalleryinVancouver.Thenumberofprivateandpublic sector unions represented at the rallies wasinspirational.Thewidespreadfrustrationisevident and union members across the province understand the long term devastation and underminingofourrightstooperateasunions.Ibelievethefighttoprotectthoserightshasjustbegun.
The City Stewards have adopted the steward line from the model used by the Vancouver School Board.Thislinewillenablememberstoleave
a message that is accessed by the steward on call.Stewardswillbeabletoaccesscallsontheirbreak,beforeoraftertheirshift,andinprivacy.Members at the City and School Board can reach astewardbycallingtheunionofficeandaskingtobeputthroughtothestewardline.
AttheJanuaryGeneralMembershipmeetingthe members approved moving the Annual General Membership meeting to April 30th asitconflictedwithCUPEBCs49thannualconvention.
Annual executive elections take place at the AGM.Youwillfindadvancepollinformation(locations, dates, and times) elsewhere in this newsletter.Theadvancepollwillalsobeopenat the Italian Cultural Centre preceding the AGM whichstartsat5:30p.m.inRoom5.Rememberto bring your union card or recent paystub for identification.
If you have not yet received your 2012 union card pleasecontacttheunionofficetoverifyyourcorrectmailingaddress.
Executive Board elections coming upBy Leanner Toderian
Leanne Toderian Secretary Treasu