GSU Local 60018
Annual General Meeting Minutes
November 8, 2016
Call to Order by the Chairperson
The Annual General Meeting of the GSU Local 60018 was called to order at 15:00 on November 8, 2016 in Shediac by President Lisa Babin.
Roll Call of Officers
Sister Lisa Babin- President
Brother Ed Lane- 1st Vice- President
Sister Shanny Doucet- 2nd Vice-President
Brother Jean-Marie Brideau- Treasurer
Sister Alice Walden- Secretary
Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting
Lisa mentioned to membership that the AGM minutes can be viewed electronically on the GSU website to be more environmentally friendly and also said that the Minutes are available in French if anyone would like.
A question from the floor was asked, “where are the administrative details on the strike fund?”
Lisa answered that the recommendations of the Strike Fund Committee will be presented today.
Lisa put forward the Motion to accept the Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting by Anthony Hachey and seconded by Tessa Wheaton. All in favor.
Minutes from 2015 adopted.
Lisa put forward motion to accept the agenda. Motion to accept the Agenda by Odette Babineau and Ferne Beaman. All in favour.
Report of President
Lisa asked to continue in English for expediency. Motion put forward. None against.
For those of you who don’t know me: my name is Lisa Babin and I am the president of this local. The other members of the executive are: Ed Lane 1st VP, Shanny Doucet 2nd VP, Jean-Marie Brideau Treasurer and Alice Walden Secretary
This day marks the end of my 2 year mandate as president and today you will be electing your executive committee for the next 2 years. All positions are open for nominations and we will be asking you shortly for yours.
We have a full agenda so I will keep this short. Continuing from last year’s theme, we had our federal elections that we thought would change so much for us in terms of our negotiations and treatment. Sadly this has not been the case. We elected for change and yet we are still waiting. It’s important to support PSAC’s efforts by responding to and participating whenever possible in their various campaigns. Our guest speakers may have more to say on this.
This year I asked our OSH committee’s to report on the year’s activities. We are pleased to report that no major incidents were recorded or reported over the past year. So, instead I asked committee members what they liked about being OSH representatives and what they would say to somebody considering getting involved. To summarize, they agreed it is a great way to meet new people and to have a real impact on the health and safety of their friends and colleagues at work. The time commitment required is very reasonable given the huge impact this committee has on the workplace. If you have been thinking about joining a committee please consider this one.
Mental Health in the workplace continues to be a concern and we continue to work with the employer, union representatives and industry professionals in our quest for a healthier workplace. If you find yourself one of the many who need to be out whether for physical or psychological health reasons, please know your union representatives are here for you and to reach out if you need help.
Speaking of union representation: Your team of Union representation has fluctuated over the past year. We still have 4 new stewards ready to help you. We had 7, but 3 are pursuing opportunities outside of the pension centre. I have an idea! Wouldn’t it be great if every one of us was a shop steward!? What a message that would send! If you want to make a difference in our workplace, if you want to help somebody through a difficult or challenging situation, if you want a peek behind the curtain please don’t hesitate to talk to one of us.
We are always ready to welcome new volunteers to join our network of stewards and/ or if you’re so inclined, to our Health & Safety committees.
I want to thank you again for your participation today. We do have a few things to decide upon that will have impact on the entire membership so we appreciate your attention, time and engagement.
I respectfully submit this: my president’s report for 2016 and move for a motion to accept this report and a seconder.
First accept for the President’s Report: Ferne Beaman, second Cindy-Lynn Frenette. Motion carried.
Treasurer Jean-Marie Brideau presented the Financial Statements and Budgets noting that some is projected as 2016 is not finished yet.
A question was asked from the floor, “Why is there no revenue for January and June?”
Jean-Marie answered that sometimes GSU-national is late with the deposits. Donna Lackie added that the difficulties with Phoenix were responsible. Jean-Marie made the further comment that the deposits sometimes came in late even before Phoenix.
A question was asked from the floor regarding “should have $12,000, only 10,000.” Jean-Marie discussed the situation. The value of one deposit was completely taken up by the amount needed to cover expenditures made at the conference in Saint John by Local representatives, expenditures that had been temporarily covered by GSU-national. The other missing deposit comes from an increase in the lateness of the deposits – instead of coming in one month late the deposits started coming in two months late.
Motion to accept the Financial Statement by Anthony Hachey, and Seconded by Tessa Wheaton
Financial Statement accepted.
Jean-Marie pointed out that there are 2 sections to the Budget: Regular and Strike fund. Purpose is to separate the two as much as possible.
Jean-Marie highlighted that one of our members won $250.00 for herself and $250.00 for the Local by obtaining an insurance quote from AGR insurance. Lisa explained further about the ongoing contest and that more info can be found on the Local bulletin boards.
Jean-Marie then discussed expenditures. The big items were the honoraria, per diem, and $500.00 cheque to the Wellness Committee.
Jean-Marie explained that no money came in for the Strike Fund for the first 9 months but it has been collected from our pay since August. It is not on the bank statement yet. The collection for the Strike Fund is approximately $3000.00 per month.
A question was asked from the floor in French, why is the $44,000 surplus from regular operations presented separately from any surplus that would come from the Strike Fund. It was pointed out at a past AGM that the fund from regular operations could be used as a Strike Fund.
Jean-Marie responded that the money in the Strike Fund is specifically to be used in case of a strike. The surplus from regular operations is available for other purposes, though it also, subject to a decision by the members, is available for a strike
A question was asked from the floor, “A lot of money – is it earning interest?”
Jean-Marie answered “It’s a good question. There is no interest.”
Lisa said it could be a suggestion. The surplus is not earning interest. It would have to be put to the membership to be voted on.
A question was asked on if it had been put to the floor before, Shanny and Lisa said that it had. Jean-Marie explained that as Treasurer he had suggested we take steps to earn interest, but there was resistance from the Executive of the time. Jean-Marie said that at the time he was new on the team and he did not insist.
A member from the floor suggested “insist harder.”
Jean-Marie made the comment that it appears the members present strongly favour the earning of interest by our funds and that he hoped such steps would be taken by the new Executive.
Jean-Marie added that another objection put up by the then Executive is that if the Local was earning interest it would be subject to tax. Jean-Marie said that he personally did not believe the interest would be subject to tax, but it remained an objection. Donna Lackie suggested that we ask the specialists at GSU-National for a ruling.
Simultaneous discussion ensued and Lisa had to call the meeting to order.
Jean-Marie explained that the strike fund is currently earning interest in a Super Savings account.
Jean-Marie explained that to help the membership understand and decide on whether they felt the 2017 Budget was reasonable, he included figures for 2015 and 2016.
He highlighted the increase relating to the Equity Committee and said we would like you to approve a subsidy to the Committee of $400.00.
Jean-Marie explained we have always budgeted more than we have spent.
Odette Babineau and Inez Henry of the Employment Equity and Diversity Committee were then invited to present to the membership their financial request.
Good Afternoon members of GSU local 60008,
We wish to begin by thanking our local GSU component for their past contribution of 300.00$. The EEDC had been idle for a little while but was revived during the past year. It was a challenge to re-activate the committee all over again, but thanks to the support of the Management team, the addition of a new Champion Denise Smith and the commitment of 13 new members, we have been busy at planning a schedule of activities for 2017. We look forward to the next year as we have planned many wonderful events to raise awareness on social and diversity issues. We will continue to lobby and promote employment equity in the workplace.
Your past contribution has been used in the following manner:
Starting balance of 300.00$
Banking charges BMO (29 months @ 2.50$) $ 72.50 (-)
Honorarium guest speaker (October 2016) $100.00(-)
Misc. (hospitality & supplies) $ 71.88 (-)
Balance November 2016 $ 55.62 (+)
As we set out on a year with the commitment of a new dynamic team, renewed energy and a complete schedule of events and activities, we would ask our local Union for financial assistance in the amount of $400.00 for the year 2017. This financial assistance would help us to organize the following activities:
This will cover the cost of creating /printing a diversity calendar that will cover the period from April 2017 until March 2018. This calendar would be filled with facts on historical events, in order to educate and raise awareness on important dates on social issues, historical events. Our goal is to offer this calendar to all our co-workers.
Human-Library: We plan to organize sessions at each of our buildings (Weldon, MCL, 522 Main & The Mall) These four hour sessions will be offered over the next year at each building in order to raise awareness on stereotypes.
Visible and non-visible minority’s awareness skits; We plan to offer presentations during NPSW in order to raise awareness on the challenges faced by our co-workers when they suffer from impairments such as hearing, mental illness and other non-visible challenges.
A question from the floor was posed to the EE & DC: “how much did SEC commit?”
Odette answered $500.00
A member asked that in the future, the membership could have an advance copy of Committee reports.
A member wished to say thank you to the Committee for being re-established.
A member asked, “can we only give money at the time the Committee needs it, not in advance because money was wasted towards bank fees.”
A follow-up question was asked- what bank are you dealing with?”
Odette answered that the bank fees from the last cheque were $2.50 a month for 29 months.”
A member asked, regarding the Budget for 2017, if we could increase the strike expense to more than $500.00.
Lisa clarified that the strike expense is not the strike fund, it is just for supplies, etc.
The member said they realized that.
Jean-Marie answered that that could be addressed at a later meeting and put to a vote.
Speaking about the strike fund, Jean-Marie explained that we may have expenditures or we may not (thus there is projected revenue but nothing for expenses.)
Jean-Marie also clarified that with regards to dues, he does follow them and they do come in to account for every month.
Motion to accept the Budget was put forward. Accepted by Lorraine Belliveau and seconded by Pierrette Boudreau. None opposed. Motion carried.
Lisa presented the Resolution regarding Funding for Observers at Conventions/Conferences and apologized for it not being translated yet. Lisa also asked for attention as this is an important matter.
Whereas membership education and involvement are the lifeblood of future local executive committees and/or steward networks;
Whereas the goal is to find and develop new union activists;
Whereas conventions and conferences are the best means of exposing members to the inner workings and top level operations of PSAC and our GSU component;
Whereas observers at conventions must be self-funded;
Be it resolved that the local pay to send one member from the local as an observer to either one GSU National or PSAC Regional convention per triennial. This payment would include travel expenses, accommodations, per diems, salary, child care if required and registrations.
Be it further resolved that payment is contingent on the local executive receiving a summary report from the participating member.
Be it further resolved that the eligible member be a member in good standing and elected by the membership at a general meeting of the membership.
Be it further resolved that this opportunity is limited to a one-time offer per member.
Be it further resolved that this be added to the Local operating budget.
A member asked, “what is the point at the end of the day/ what will it serve?”
Lisa thanked the member for the question and explained that while there was a great turnout at the present meeting, historically the Local has low turnouts for meetings. Lisa is hoping that by members going to conventions and conferences it could be an incentive for people to get involved who are not quite sure. The goal is to generate more interest and get more people involved in the Local without the cost to the member being a deterrent.
A member expressed concerned that it would be a little vacation, costing the membership lots of money, and that “we never hear from the Local so we don’t know what the money is spent on.”
Another member said she disagreed with daycare being paid for as she explained that she has to pay for daycare and a person would normally have to pay for daycare.
A member expressed they don’t think the Local should have to pay.
A member replied to that that it is referring to 24-hour daycare.
A member suggested that in a prior department she worked at, a person who went to a convention would have to present at a Lunch and Learn, so may that could be a possibility.
A member suggested that the member should have to demonstrate prior interest?
A member asked for clarification- “do we have to vote on a person today?”
Lisa answered no.
Lisa explained that yes, the candidate would have to be interested, apply, explain why they want to do, etc.
A question was asked about how many Executive can go?
Lisa explained that the President automatically has a delegate seat but other delegates can be any member in good standing from the local.
Lori Walton clarified that for Regional conventions, it was voted on by the membership that the President must always attend and explained that there is a formula per convention on how many can attend. PSAC doesn’t always fully fund. GSU has been covering the rest. The proposal is for observers to get to go, to see what the process is.It has been done with the Local in Halifax and when the observer returned and did a presentation, people were in awe.
A member asked if we can revisit it once we have a valid collective agreement.
Lisa answered that she does not see how it is related. Funds would not come out of the strike fund.
A member asked how many can go to a convention? The answer was that there are 3 delegate seats available plus the President.
Lisa explained that currently a member who wants to go as an Observer has to pay to go, they are not funded.
A member said they don’t see why Local should have to pay for observer when there are already 3 delegate seats. Lisa explained it is a way to get other people involved.
A member said, “a way to take a test drive of the position.”
Lisa said when they see all that action and passion they may decide that want to participate more. Lisa said, to be clear, it is not to send someone on a vacation. They must submit a report.
A member said, “it is a hook to try to get lasting participation/ interest.”
A member asked if we could move ahead to the Elections because some people have to leave.
A motion was put for the Resolution. Accepted by Odette Babineau and seconded by Noel Sherwood. There were 3 opposed. There was at least a 2/3 majority. Motion carried.
Recommendations by Strike Fund Committee members
Lisa apologized that she accidently left the report at her desk, but did a summary of the Committee’s recommendations. After a question from the member about surplus, Lisa clarified that there is no limit right now. The membership can vote on that.
A member asked how many people were at the last meetings.
Lisa answered 65.
The member asked in many people were in favor?
Lisa answered yes, or it wouldn’t have happened.
A member said he was told it is an insurance policy for people who can’t save money on their own.
Lisa explained that the decision was made last year, but it can be addressed again.
A member from the floor said that people who are designated essential can help share this way for the cost of non-designated.
A member asked how come the strike fund deductions didn’t come out right away?
Lisa explained it was an administrative error and could not be retroactive.
Lisa put to the floor to accept the strike fund recommendations.
A member said they cannot decide without seeing the recommendations prepared by the Committee.
Lori said it can be deferred to the next meeting.
All were in favour of deferring to the next meeting.
Elections of Executive Committee Members for 2016-2018 Term
Lori began by reminding everyone that all positions are available.
Lisa committed the meeting over to Donna Lackey.
Donna clarified that everyone on the Executive is stepping down. The order for the elections goes from top-down. There are 5 positions available. We will call out for nominations three times.
President: Shanny Doucet.
Nominated by: 1. Danny Belanger
- Sara Colford
There were no nominations from the floor. Shanny allowed her nomination to stand.
Donna congratulated Shanny Doucet.
First Vice-President: Donna explained the First VP replaces the President in their absence and must be very aware. She said they could learn a lot from Shanny’s experience.
First Vice-President: Lisa Babin.
Nominated by: 1. Odette Babineau
- Lorraine Gallant
There were no nominations from the floor. Lisa allowed her nomination to stand.
Donna congratulated Lisa Babin.
Second Vice-President: Donna explained this person is the backup’s backup. This is your union, your opportunity.
Second-Vice President: Matthew Fields
Nominated by: 1. Jennifer LeBlanc
- Robert Barclay
There were no nominations from the floor. Matthew allowed his nomination to stand.
Donna congratulated Matthew Fields.
Lisa asked for a Point of Privilege from Donna. Lisa then introduced Matthew to the membership and explained he had started as a Shop Steward. Thus there is an opening for a Shop Steward!
Treasurer: Donna explained that there is a fair bit of work to being the Treasurer, however, the Manager of Finance for GSU can help you. Donna said that our Local’s Budget is great, tight, and that there is no frivolous spending. We only spend about $5400 per year.
Treasurer: Joanne Carroll.
Nominated by: 1. Jan Purdy
- Melani Frenette
Joanne allowed her nomination to stand.
There was one nomination from the floor for Jean-Marie Brideau again. However Jean-Marie declined.
Donna congratulated Joanne Carroll.
There were no written nominations for Secretary.
Nomination from the floor: Inez Henry
Nominated by : Jessica Murphy and Natalie Darling.
Inez declined to stand for Secretary.
Nomination from the floor: Alice Walden
Nominated by: Inez Henry, Cindy-Lynn Frenette
Alice accepted the nomination and was congratulated by Donna.
Donna said that getting volunteers is the hardest thing we do.
Donna thanked Ed Lane, Jean-Marie Brideau , and Lisa Babin for all their years of service.
Donna Lackey– spoke about: the new Liberal government not being as easy to negotiate with as they had hoped; Phoenix: how Miramichi workers are our members too and are dealing with hundreds of pay issues a week. Donna said she just wants our members paid and that she wishes the Government had listened to GSU’s warnings about Phoenix from the beginning.
Lori Walton– explained that she has been here before a couple times for past AGM’s and will keep it brief. Lori explained she will be running as Regional Executive Vice-President and hopes to represent us at National.
Randy Howard– did not do a speech.
Monique Laplante– spoke about two special committees in Greater Moncton. The Human Rights Committee (Monique explained that everyone is welcome but to be on the Executive you must be a visible minority. If interested, talk to the Local); and Area Council. Both committees meet four times a year. Monique said that with regards to the Bargaining process, there is not much to update. However she is encouraged that the union was called back for a modified mandate last week. Monique congratulated the Executive for setting up a strike fund. She encouraged the new Executive members to take GSU training.
There were no Committee Reports presented.
The meeting was conferred to the new President. Accepted by Susan Smith and seconded by Pierrette Boudreau.
Motion to adjourn meeting put forth by President Shanny Doucet. Motion to accept. Accepted by Susan Smith and seconded by Pierrette Boudreau.
The new local executive were sworn in by Donna Lackie.
Minutes submitted by: Alice Walden
Approved by: Local 60018 Executive