Municipal election candidates endorsed by Victoria Labour Council

This is from the Victoria Labour Council:

Municipal elections are quickly approaching. The Victoria Labour Council works with unions and community partners to identify key issues and priorities that are important to working people in Victoria and the surrounding areas.
Earlier this year we put out a call to those who plan on standing for office and wanted to seek endorsement from the Victoria Labour Council. We only endorse candidates who seek our support.
Our endorsement process is now complete, and we are pleased to recommend the following candidates to our members.

* identifies incumbent.
City of Victoria
Marianne Alto *
Ben Isitt *
Jeremy Loveday*
Grace Lore
Laurel Collins
Sarah Potts
Sharmarke Dubow

Central Saanich
Zeb King *

Judy Brownoff *
Colin Plant *
Zac de Vries
Nathalie Chambers

School District #61
Rob Paynter *
Diane McNally*
Ryan Painter
Jordan Watters*
Vincent Gornall

School District #62
Ravi Parmar *

Oak Bay
Andrew Stinson
Isabella Lee

Gordie Logan *

Victoria Labour Council – May 2016

18 May 2016

[There was no guest speaker]

Report of the CLC Representative:

– There is a campaign to pressure certain MLAs in BC so that they will encourage Christy Clark to support additions to the Canada Pension Plan.  (Altering the Plan requires approval from the provinces.)

– The CLC will hold two conferences in Ottawa: one for Young Workers; one on human rights and equity.

– The Federal Liberals have agreed in principle to legislate vs. asbestos.

– The CLC has a “1 Million Climate Jobs Action Plan”;

-Around Labour Day, the CLC will have a lot of messaging about standing for fairness–how the labour movement stands for fairness in general society, not just in their own workplaces.  Work on CPP is an example of this.

Reports of Delegates:

– Unifor 333 (transit)  8 months ago, BC Transit asked for bids on medium-sized buses.  Transit awarded the contract to a Chinese company that has only manufactured 15 buses in its lifetime.  Unifor plans a campaign about buying Canadian.  There are companies in other provinces who can build these buses.

– CUPW (postal workers)  The union will hold strike votes from May 28th – June 26th.  In the event of “work disruption”, postal workers will continue to deliver “socioeconomic cheques and live animals”.
Expect questions to the public on CUPW’s website–an opportunity for public feedback.

– (social services)  Workers in this sector now have a Memorandum of Agreement concerning portability.  If they have to switch jobs within their sector, they can keep their wages and seniority.  There have been a lot of problems with retaining employees, so this is good news.

– IBEW (electrical workers)  There has been progress vs. asbestos at the Federal level.  The union is pushing BC to adopt Alberta’s level of asbestos safety for workers, which would be a great improvement.  The delegate met with two Victoria councillors to revisit the issue of asbestos in the city.  3 retired workers have reported asbestos-related problems; two of these three had worked for the City of Victoria.
Progress in wages for electrical workers.

– (care workers)  The BC Nurses’ Union is raiding up-island.  The BCN targeted staff at Stanford Place in Parksville.

United Way:

– Stu Shields has been nominated as the new director.  He has a strong labour background.

Unfinished Business:

– The Day of Mourning event on April 28th was a positive event with 5- or 6-hundred attendees.

Good and Welfare:

–  MLA Maureen Karagianis will host a High Tea fundraiser on June 18th.  RSVP by June 1st.  40 women attended last year.

– Greater Victoria Acting Together has a series of house meetings coming up: small groups at members houses multiple times per week.

– The Rainbow Kitchen will be renovated Sept. 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 by Hero Work Volunteers.  More volunteers are welcome.  Unifor 333 will provide food.

-The VLC’s June meeting will be the last meeting until September.  Remember Pride Parade on July 10th, then remember Labour Day.

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.