DIRECTOR’S REPORT BC/YUKON REGION
Dear members and colleagues,
Here is the summary of my activities as your Director for the month of January 2008 and other worthwhile new.
THE NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Board of Directors
The Board met on Saturday January 12, following a two-day retreat. Some of the issues that we dealt with:
Composition of Board Committees
From the BC/Yukon Region, the following individuals were nominated by the respective Chairs and approved by the Board: By-Laws and Policies: Marie-France Lapierre; Human Rights in the Workplace: Sean Auguste; Elections: Sue Ramsay; Member Services: Ray Lauzier; Professional Recognition and Qualifications: Shirley Friesen; Science Advisory: Daryl Wong. I would like to remind all BC/Yukon committee members that they are expected to make all reasonable effort to attend their respective meetings, to send a report to the Regional Executive secretary within 28 days following the meeting and to prepare a report for the Regional Council 2008. For BC/Yukon Region members who have questions and or suggestions for any of those committees, please contact the regional representative directly. To our members who put their names forward and were not selected, I want to thank you for volunteering and assure you that there are many ways to help the Institute during the year.
The Board of Directors has struck a task force of Directors to review the content and processes of our Annual General Meeting. In the months to come, we’ll be reporting on the efforts of the task force to develop a model for future AGMs that will invigorate and energize our most important gathering of Institute members.
Expectation on Steward Work
Through a motion, the Board of Directors has reaffirmed that we do expect that “Grievances at the first level will be handled by a Steward.” If there is no Steward in a workplace, by de facto, the ERO or another Steward from another department will handle the grievance. Exceptions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Please see BC/Yukon Stewards below in the Regional News section.
The next Finance Committee meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2008. We will be preparing the budget for fiscal year 2009/2010 during the month of April. Between now and then all constituent bodies, committees and teams will be called to submit their respective budgets. Please be timely with your answers as they are a vital part of the overall plan and only with your timely replies can we build an accurate budget for the coming years. Furthermore, any other recommendations that you would like the Finance Committee to consider while preparing for the upcoming AGM should be sent directly to me.
The Buildings Trust
The Building Trust is comprised of nine Governors and has, among other things, the fiduciary duty to look after the best interests of the Trust and address issues such as: rent, repairs, parking and possible future catering services. The next meeting is scheduled for March 14.
Executive Compensation Committee
The 2008 edition of this committee is as follows: Richard Dupuis, Nita Saville, Marilyn Best and Al Ravjiani. The work that we have in front of us for this year is to prepare ourselves for the next round of negotiations with our elected officials, managers and excluded employees. A few issues were left in abeyance during the 2007 negotiations and we plan to help resolve them during the next two years.
ON THE REGIONAL SIDE
PENSION AND BENEFITS
Rudy Loiselle, one of our staff members and a renowned speaker, will be in our region in early March. His presentation on pensions and benefits is second to none as far as information and entertainment value is concerned. I strongly encourage all of you to try to attend your local event (where available).
Victoria and Victoria CRA Branches
Both Branches are working together to bring you a very interesting night on Monday, March 3.
The Nanaimo Branch will be hosting Rudy and its members on the evening of Tuesday, March 4 at the Pacific Biological Station.
The Fraser Valley Branch will be the third stop on Rudy’s Pacific tour. Members will be invited to attend Rudy’s presentation on the evening of Wednesday, March 5 at the Coast Hotel in Abbotsford.
Rudy will finish his tour in Vancouver on the evening of Thursday, March 6 where the Vancouver Branch will be hosting him and their members.
More details will follow in my next newsletter regarding the exact time of each presentation. This is the last time that Rudy will be in our region as he will be retiring in April.
The Vancouver CS Sub-Group held its AGM on Thursday, January 31. The event was well attended as the members had the opportunity to talk and hear from their Sub-Group Vice-President (Stan Buday), PIPSC Vice-President Don Burns and myself. The Sub-Group Executive is now comprised of: Quinton Jansen (President), Guy Vallières (Vice-President), Sam Jung (Secretary-Treasurer), Rose da Silva and Wes Kurokawa as members at large. Thanks to all of you who are volunteering your time to work for the betterment of the Institute.
DEPARTMENTS AND WORK SITE VISITS
Marie-France Lapierre, with the help of Karen Hall of Transport Canada, organized the first “PIPSC and You” session of the year at 800 Burrard in Vancouver. Evan Heidinger and I were in attendance at this well attended meeting. These sessions help promote the Institute and the work that we do on behalf of the members, as well as introducing our staff and elected officials to the members of a particular office. These sessions also serve to talk about the work of Stewards and hopefully help recruit new Stewards in areas where we do not have any.
IF ANY OF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN HAVING A ”PIPSC AND YOU” SESSION AT YOUR WORKPLACE, PLEASE CONTACT ME AND I WILL SEE THAT IT HAPPENS. AS AN INCENTIVE FOR MEMBERS TO ATTEND, LUNCH AND REFRESHMENTS WILL BE PROVIDED.
Thank you to Marie-France for organizing this event and to Karen for her help coordinating from the inside.
THE REGIONAL OFFICE
I am please to announce that we have a new administrative assistant at the Vancouver office. Elise Oliveira (ext 3820) has been on strength since early January. A new employment relations officer is scheduled to start on February 4.
Our next training opportunity will be the new "Steward School" which is developed around three different modules presented over four days. The two day Grievance Handling module will be given back to back and the two day Preventing Workplace Harassment and Executive Training will be given consecutively and at the same time as the Grievance Handling. For example, Stewards will be given the choice of taking Grievance Handling followed by Executive Training, or Harassment followed by Grievance Handling. The prerequisite is to have successfully attended Steward I Training (or basic Steward training). If this is something that may be of interest to you, keep the following dates in mind: March 11 -14, with an announcement and registration to be mailed out soon. The training will take place in Vancouver.
The Institute relies on its elected representatives, stewards and representational staff working out of the regional office to provide representation for members. These, and other individuals, work together as a team on different issues at different levels. As I often say, our stewards are the backbone of the Institute and the front line between our members and their concerns.
Previously and in most instances, Stewards referred members who required representation to the regional office. While there were serious issues, there seemed to be fewer of them, and the bulk of the representational workload has been shouldered by representational staff who provided whatever representational services were required, from formal and informal consultation with the employer, to representation on grievances and complaints before the employer, as well as before tribunals.
However, as the issues facing our members have become more numerous, serious and complex, it has become necessary for us to rely more and more on our Steward team to provide basic representational services at the workplace level. Stewards now participate in union management consultation fora at all levels, accompany members to various meetings with managers and supervisors, and represent members at the first level of the grievance process.
The BC/Yukon Region has a very good Steward team, comprised of close to 200 Stewards located in most workplaces where PIPSC has members. We have experienced Stewards who have volunteered to be mentors for our newer Stewards. Please do not hesitate to contact them. More than ever, the Institute needs its Steward team to do the work for which they have volunteered and been trained. Representational staff is simply not available to perform Steward duties, nor is that a wise use of our limited resources. While staff are still available for these functions when required, members are and will be referred to their local representatives where Stewards are available, and the Institute has an expectation that the Stewards will provide the requisite representation. Staff is available to provide advice, counsel and guidance to Stewards, and will assume the representational responsibilities when appropriate and required. However, first and foremost, we expect our Stewards to provide the initial response and representation.
THE REGIONAL EXECUTIVE
The next meeting of the Regional Executive is scheduled for February 02, 2008. If any of you have any suggestions or ideas that you would like us to develop and or implement over the next year, please contact me and it would be my pleasure to discuss those with you.
Steward Recognition Day
For the second straight year, the BC/Yukon Regional Executive decided to give you, the members, the opportunity to thank our Stewards for the work that they do on your behalf. A campaign will be developed around that theme. More details to follow.
The BC/Yukon Regional Council will be held on June 6 and 7 in Richmond at the River Rock Casino. Branches should start thinking about their delegates and their availability within the next few months. We would also like to see Branches and Branch executives submit their reports on time for printing and distributing in the delegate packages. Proposed changes to the by-laws need to be sent to delegates at least three weeks prior to the meeting .
ODDS AND ENDS
Here is the answer to the October question: HOW MANY COMMITTEES OF THE BOARD CURRENTLY EXIST AT THE INSTITUTE?” There are currently eight committees of the Board. The draw was held by: Sean Ireton P. Eng. The lucky winner of a $50 gift certificate is Murray Hamish, a meteorologist in Comox.
Here is the answer to the December question: HOW MANY BRANCHES CURRENTLY EXIST IN THE BC/YUKON REGION?” There are currently 9 Branches in the Region. The draw was held by VP Gary Corbett. The lucky winner of a $50 gift certificate is Suzan Jinks, a supply officer (PG) in Victoria.
Here is your chance to showcase your PIPSC knowledge and/or your research abilities, as all answers can be found on the Web. A winner will be chosen randomly from all correct answers submitted prior to February 29th, 2008. The prize? A gift certificate in the amount of $60. Probably the toughest question so far (Hint: it applies to the structure and function of the Region.)
“HOW MANY LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION ARE THERE WITHIN THE BC/YUKON REGION?”
Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org and include QUESTION OF THE MONTH (January) in the subject line.
Did you know?
An interesting book on the topic of grievances exists. It is entitled “Research on Unionized Grievance Procedures: Management Issues and Recommendations” (by Richard B Peterson) where the author summarizes fifty plus years of research on the topic of grievances that have been performed by different academic fields, namely psychological, sociological, economic and industrial based researches. The author reviews the key findings of all the researchers and transposes them into key issues for human resource managers and labour relations executives. In this context, he provides recommendations for dealing with every single aspect that these issues represent within their particular field and how they affect individuals. Over the course of the following few months, I will be sharing some of the key findings with you. From the psychological based researches, key finding # 1 states that:
“The employee the most likely to file a grievance is a young male, more educated or more skilled than average.”
Do not hesitate to call me regarding any PIPSC issues that you may have.
Stéphane Chevalier MBA. P.Eng.
“A long dispute means both parties are wrong”.
- Voltaire (1694-1778)