Vancouver Island District Council May 28, 2016

Vancouver Island District Council Report    May 28, 2016

Our guest speaker was from SEVA.CA.  Seva Canada is a Vancouver based charitable organization whose mission is to restore sight and prevent blindness in the developing world.  This was an excellent presentation and well worth donating money to.

Hand Bags of Hope.  These are handbags that will be filled with articles for women in transition.  We hope to fill them with love parcels, ladies supplies, emery boards, nail polish, things that can be used to help with job interviews and everyday life.  If anyone wishes to donate, please bring handbags, toiletries and other items to our July or September 2016 union meeting.

There is a Library Health & Safety Report on the CUPE BC website. This is well worth reading the PDF online.

VIDC Steward Conference November 23-25, 2016 Workshops include Steward Learning Series as well as Health & Safety Learning Series.  This conference is recommended for Shop Stewards, Executive Officers, Safely Committee Members and any member interested in more advanced union education.   Safety Sound-off, VIDC Occupational Health & Safety Committee Newsletter is readable here.

Victoria Labour Council – April 2016

VLC – 20 April ’16

Guest speakers:

– Peggy Wilmot from Greater Victoria Acting Together.  GVAT is looking for organizations to join their coalition.   GVAT offers leadership training, and will find and promote common goals among the members of the coalition.  As an example, she gave a recent victory by the Metro Vancouver Alliance concerning affordable housing.
She mentioned that one of the Vancouver Alliance members is the Canadian Labour Congress’s Pacific Region group.
One of the audience members asked Wilmot what GVAT needed.  They need organizations to sign up, and they will need money to pay a full-time organizer.

– James Coccola from the BC Federation of Labour’s Young Workers Committee  (also the VLC’s Young Worker).
The Young Workers Committee held a Grant’s Law sit-in outside of the Mac’s at Douglas and Yates.  (Mac’s strongly protested against the safety requirements in Grant’s Law.)  The Committee’s petition received over 500 signatures.  They had “lots of positive interaction”, and media attention from CHEK and CFAX.  (CBC documented the Vancouver event.)  Interaction with the Mac’s employee was brief but positive.

Union Reports: Reports of Delegates:

– IBEW 230.  “Victoria has no Fair Wage policy.  We should work on that.”
Labour issues involving the John Hart project; slow progress.

– Postal Workers.  Moving the workers at Discovery St. into the Glanford site involved gaining three p/t positions.
Canada Post wants rollbacks.

– Steelworkers 2009 (UVic).  A right-of-centre slate has been elected to the UVic Student Society’s board of directors.  The delegate expects trouble concerning privatization.

– Machinists.  Payroll troubles stemming from the government’s use of Phoenix software.  [cf. ]
No luck yet in their legal battle over the Expenditure Restraint Act.

– HEU  In Nanimo, the Wexford Creek care home has been privatized.  [cf. ]  80% of the Island’s long-term care homes do not meet the Province’s minimum staffing levels.

United Way Report:  Kim Manton brought VLC members to serve lunch at the Rainbow Kitchen in Esquimalt.
The annual Spirit Awards are this Friday Apr. 22nd.

Concerning the Rainbow Kitchen, another delegate mentioned May 13th, 10-2 at Tillicum Centre: paper-shredding; proceeds will go the the Rainbow Kitchen.  That charity’s site is undergoing an expensive renovation.

Good and Welfare:

– April 28th, at some point before the Day of Mourning event begins, a flag will be raised on the flagpole by the Cenotaph in front of the Legislature.

– The Pride Society is now registering participants for the parade on July 10th.  The registration fee has gone up.
Unifor 333 (Transit) will have a float and can take some passengers.

Vancouver Island District Council Meeting Jan 2016

30 Jan 2016         VIDC meeting
Stewards Convention is Nov 23, 24, 25, 2016, in Nanaimo.  Mark Hancock will be the Keynote speaker. Sign-up will include 3, 3 hour workshops of your choice.  Theme is Health & Safety.

2016 Lapel Pin Design Competition – Year of Health and Safety.  Competition runs March 17, 2016- April 10, 2016.  Pin must clearly represent safety in the workplace, include the year, be unique and reflect Vancouver Island’s uniqueness.  Maximum 2 designs submitted, (per person).   Entry forms must be submitted and can be found at  They are submitted to  Good-luck!

Sept Meeting we are collecting toiletries for “Purses of hope”

GVPL Joint OH&S Committee Report for Union Membership Meeting – March 21, 2016

GVPL Joint OH&S Committee Report for Union Membership Meeting – March 21, 2016

The last OH&S meeting was held on March 3, 2016 at CE.
Current OH&S branch reps: Dawn Holland (BH), Adrienne Else (CE & Union Co-chair), Debbie Chu (CS), Sarah Dyck (EC), Georgia Tomiuk (ES), Kate Wood (GO), Rob Ewing (JF), Laura Baker (NM), Marianne Baatz (OB), Melissa Ferguson (SC), Paulette Kirkland (CaTS)
Management Co-chair: Carolina Munoz
Branch Supervisor liaisons as per Branch Supervisor rotation: Amanda Butler (ES), and Becky Lee (NM)
Resource People: Peter Thompson (Member at Large), Ben Parker (ITS)

Key items from February and March 2016 OH&S meetings:

GVPL Wellness Program –various Wellness Program ideas are being worked on including the possibility of early morning Yoga for staff at the Central Branch, a Wellness session at the GVPL Staff Day on June 22nd, and an initiative with Alyson Haynes (GVPL staff member and certified athletic therapist). Catherine Putters has been writing a Wellness blog for BH staff and has agreed to share her blog with OH&S reps for posting in the Branches.  Marianne Baatz and Kate Wood are currently working on a presentation on safe work practices to be presented to the committee soon. Don’t forget to make use of the programs GVPL already has in place (Optim Employee & Family Services Program, Pacific Blue Cross, and WorkSafe BC resources). Ask your Branch Supervisor or OH&S rep for more information if needed.

Earthquake Kits for GVPL Staff –Columbia Fire and Safety Ltd. will now offer a 20% discount on Personal Emergency Kits and replacement supplies for existing personal kits. To take advantage of this great offer you need to be a GVPL employee and present your name badge, business card, or a copy of a pay stub. Order directly from Columbia Fire and Safety, #1-410 Garbally Road, ph# 250-386-6773. Ask your OH&S rep for more details. (Thanks to Bonnie Fraser for arranging this!)

GVPL First Aid program improvements –this 2016 initiative is still in progress…
•Increase number of attendants/Training and Support throughout GVPL
•To establish clear guidelines, roles and responsibilities for First Aid Attendants around the system and to encourage First Aid   Attendants to share information and support each other.

WSBC Reports and ADV reports – A reminder that it is important that all staff be trained in Emergency Procedures. It becomes a liability issue if staff members are not trained. This also pertains to auxiliary staff members (including Pages) working around the system. Branch Supervisors please make sure that all staff receive training and take time to provide an orientation for each new staff member working at their Branch.  Additionally it is very important whenever a staff member is injured at work, even with something small like a paper cut, the incident should be reported through a Service Desk Ticket, in the OHS Incident/Concern queue. A WorkSafe 6A form must also be completed and attached to the ticket even if no work is lost. If no further action is required the form is filed. If delayed symptoms or complications arise, the WorkSafe 6A form is an important piece in the process of obtaining compensation/support for a workplace injury or RSI.

Please visit V:\System_wide\Occupational_Health_Safety\Minutes\ for complete OH&S meeting minutes.

Thank you to all of the OH&S reps for their work!  :)

Submitted by Adrienne Else

Victoria Labour Council – March 2016

16 March, 2016

Guest Speaker: Sergeant Dave Smith, labour liason for the RCMP.  He encouraged us to call him if there was a possibility of a lockout/strike/rally, etc.  “My job is to keep police away from labour issues.  They’re not trained in labour law.”  The VLC’s representative from the Canadian Labour Congress -Orion Irvine- has Sgt. Smith’s contact information.

For April 16th, the BC Federation of Labour’s Young Workers Committee is organizing a Grant’s Law Sit-in.  This will be at Mac’s Convenience Store, 1304 Douglas St., from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  “On March 8, 2005, 24-year old Grant DePatie was working alone as a gas station attendant and was killed due to a gas and dash incident.  This tragedy exposed that workers alone in their workplace were at a greater risk of violence.  Laws were put in place to better protect workers.  However in April 2012, facing lobbying pressure from companies like Mac’s Convenience Store, the BC Liberal government weakened the legislation and reversed worker protections.  Each year we return to Mac’s to fight to return these protections and to ensure that similar tragedies do not occur again.”

Executive Recommendation: “That the VLC write a letter to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change to support CUPW’s Delivering Community Power.”  M, S, C.
The idea behind Delivering Community Power is that Canada Post could do more with the infrastructure that it already has in place, such as charging stations at post offices.  A delegate from CUPW said Canada Post has “the largest retail network in the country and more outlets than Tim Horton’s.”

Report of CLC Representative: Winter School had a large turnout.
The CLC is doing more lobbying for their retirement security campaign.  It sounds as if the federal government will make some improvements.
The CLC has a campaign for “One Million Climate Jobs”.
The representative encouraged us to support Syrian refugees; options include donating to settlement funds and writing supportive letters to the editor.
The CLC will hold a conference in November for young workers and workers of colour.
There are more details and more topics on the CLC’s website:
[Judging by the handout, there will be a Young Workers’ Summit in Ottawa Oct. 23-25. cf.]

Union Reports:

Saanich Teachers – the BCTF rejoined the Canadian Teacher’s Association.  It also made major changes to its pension plan.

CUPE 4163, UVic Education Workers – in a strike vote, 86.5% voted “yes”.  The employer has returned to the bargaining table.

CUPE 1978 – The CRD has made a small amount of progress on sewage treatment.  The Chair of the CRD will meet with CUPE on Thurs. Mar. 17th.
The CRD’s board meetings can be found on their website.  (Kim Manton added that they’re worth watching – “pop some popcorn”.)

United Way Report: On April 1st, the United Way will announce which programs they’re starting to fund for the next “funding cycles”.
The Spirit Awards are starting with Spirit Fest, March 29th, 4:30-6, at the Delta.  RSVP so that they know how much food to purchase.
Manton listed several nominees for the Spirit Awards (employers and unions working in tandem), including us.  To sum up, a lot of unions and employers are doing great work.

Good and Welfare:  Participants from a recent Heels on the Ground event thanked the VLC for their sponsorship.  That assistance helped sponsor women who could not have attended otherwise.
The BC Fed’s Women’s Day event was “energized”.
April 28 is a day of mourning for workers who have been killed or injured on their jobsites.  There will be an event on the lawn of the Legislature at 11 a.m.; details forthcoming.
Saskatchewan’s premier Brad Wall plans to close half of the province’s government liquor stores, which provide substantial revenue to the province.