June 15, 2021 (monthly virtual meeting)

National Executive Minutes

National Executive Meeting

Virtual Bilingual Zoom Meeting

June 15, 2021

 

 Chair June Winger National President
 Members Terry Kiley Vice-President (NS)
  Johanne Roberge Vice-President (QC)
  Jeff Wrinn Vice-President (NCR)
  Grant Tennant Vice-President (ON)
  Mona Simcoe Vice-President (MB/SK)
  Bryan Meakin Vice-President (AB/North)
  T. Mark Miller Vice-President (BC)
  Cathy O’Kane Vice-President (NPF)
  Eugene Stone Vice-President (CSE)
  Paul Jones Human Rights Advisor
Recording Secretary Sandra Mombourquette  
Absent Benoit Laberge Executive Vice-President
  Dan Frost Vice-President (NL/NB)

 

 
   

The National President welcomed everyone to the monthly National Executive meeting and explained the virtual meeting process to the group.

 

National President Winger recognized that June is National Pride month.

 

She also acknowledged the recent discovery of the remains of the 215 undocumented children at the residential Catholic school in BC.   A moment of silence was observed by everyone.

 

The Harassment Statement was read aloud by Human Rights Advisor Paul Jones, he was also named as the intervenor.

 

UPDATE FROM THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT:

 

Check-in meeting with Department of the Deputy Minister: 

 

CAF Harassment:  After a letter was sent to Justice Arbour and MMD, UNDE received confirmation that Madame Justice Louise Arbour review will include public servants of National Defence and Non-Public Funds.  Lt. Gen. Jennie Carignan is building her team and confirmed her mandate and structure.  She is looking at concrete actions with three priorities. Consultation will be National Defence wide and external.  She says unions will be a big part that she would like to hear and receive input into the transformation process design consultative process.  She expects the consultation to occur in the Fall.  She is reviewing the complaint process as it looks quite convoluted, tools need to be streamlined.  She also wants to publish a guidance and expectations to leaders on leadership.  She has a 60-day timeframe to confirm the structure. She will then stabilize the structure and work with Madam Arbour to implement her recommendations in a synchronized way.

The Union is trying to figure out a way to engage members to offer a safe area to come forward with protection from retaliation.  The National President is open and welcomes all suggestions.  She recognizes and explained to the Department that there will not be a lot of buy-in from members because they are used to having nothing change after these types of reviews are completed.  DND is asking the union to join in and help them with this.

Human Rights Advisor suggested it would be good to get members involved in the restorative engagement process, as a way to encourage members to come forward.

 

The National President said there have been 6177 Harassment Claims received by third party in 18 months, there has been an amendment to the definition of harassment at DND, policy measures in progress.  They are taking in survivor consultations and gender diversity consultations with a report expected at the end.  There is an external review to 2024 to complement report already taken which will include Arbour’s report when it comes out.  They have asked the Union to remind complainants to participate in the class action if they so wish.

 

There is also the class action LGBT purge with the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the Public Service, it has seen 721 claimants.

 

Covid-19 update:  Rapid testing is being made available at some of the larger locations, DND aligned guidelines with public health measures, they recognize vaccinations are not a substitute for public health measures, they expect everyone to continue to follow public health guidelines regardless of their level of vaccination.  Vaccinations are not mandatory.  The leave to be used for vaccinations is 698 leave and is now available on the employer’s system.  No limit on number of times used just restrictions on how it is used (non-recurring appointments).

 

Mandatory training for violence in the workplace: Training should hit 50% by end of month.  If there are problems in your region which you can’t resolve first yourself, reach out to VP Kiley who will work with the Department to ensure Committees are in place and functioning appropriately.

 

Public Service Employee Survey: The survey report has been released.  The National President asks the National Officers to have a look at it and provide insights/observations on it.

 

Treasury Board Collective Agreements: Awaiting on contract to be appointed so that they may be printed.  The National President did express her frustration with this because the employer should anticipate that they need to print future Collective Agreements and be ready for that.  DND have not determined their distribution method, they are thinking they will put them at various locations within DND for members to pick up at their convenience, will consult when they receive the copies from the printer.

 

PSAC National Board of Directors Meeting:

 

699 Policy Grievance Update:  It is to be heard on Aug. 30 to Sept. 8 at the Federal Public Service Labour Relations Employment Board.  A Communiqué updating the Components on the grievance wording has been sent out and the National President has sent it out to National Officers.  They are planning a debrief for the Treasury Board Bargaining Conference to see what went well and what did not.  If there are suggestions or concerns, please send them in writing to National President by June 23, 2021.

 

Mobilization Relaunch:  This was launched following the National Bargaining Conference, updating the process, voting procedures and the platform for voting as well as the e-cards for RANDs.

 

Virtual “Talking Union Basics” Learning Workshop:  Pilot was launched in the Prairies and Quebec, will be offered across the regions.  They will also do Grievance Handling.  There have been 3 online courses available: a welcoming course, a course about precarious work and a course about Convention procedures.  Others are in development for the Fall schedule.  There is also a national webinar on systemic racism in the union, in English and French.

 

National Joint Council (NJC) Cyclical review of travel directives: This was launched on April 1, send all your proposals no later than September 13.  Only one received so far.

 

UNDE Triennial Convention: The Convention call-out was sent out, reminder that delegate accreditation forms need to be approved by VP before being sent to Sandra Mombourquette (mombos@unde.org) and resolutions to Kim Brackhahn (brackhk@unde.org) both no later than June 30.  The previously received resolutions remain valid for consideration.

 

VP Meakin: Asked if the Bylaws Committee looked into Local Bylaws as the Committee was asked to do, but nothing was sent to them.

VP Tennant: Asked about Local Presidents going according to their Bylaws.  The National President says it is ok that Presidents are going on Bylaws.  She explained situation where the form was sent before and now there is a new President in that Local.

VP Simcoe: Said that there will be changes in Locals following their AGMs in the Fall before Convention, what happens then.  The National President says it stays with whatever information on delegates was sent on June 30, regardless of what happens after.

 

Contracting In Campaign: This continues, still receiving responses from members, letters continue to be sent to MPs and asking them to ask pointed questions in Parliament.  The National President has a meeting coming up with the DM and PIPS to discuss combatting the contracting out.  The National President is still asking for everyone to engage with their Locals to ask for vacancy management reports at their Local UMCC.  Keep asking management why they are contracting out the work for new and old contracts.

 

AGM deferral minutes: The National President says she still has four Locals who have yet to send in their meeting minutes/statements or deferral minutes.  VPs are asked to follow up with these Locals because until these are sent in, they will not be permitted to participate in any union activities.

 

Phishing Scam: Email was sent out last week from Sandra at National Office about hackers creating fake e-mail accounts, but these are not UNDE accounts.  This scam is going on all over the world, it is not unique to UNDE or unions.  We are asking members to ONLY use UNDE accounts for union business.

 

Layoffs at SERCO in Goose Bay:  Currently dealing with this.  They are indicating with new contract that some work will be contracted out.  We are initiating a fightback campaign on this and asking everybody to please support the campaign.  We will be engaging the Department, there will be radio, print and billboard ads.  It looks like they are going to layoff 6 to 10 people but the Local feels this may continue on.

 

Treasury Board Bargaining Sub-committees: PSAC has agreed to establish FR, SC and HP subcommittee groups in support of SV bargaining. VPs can expect to be contacted shortly for nominations.

 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

MOTION – Trusteeship of Local 21017                                                          m/s Miller-Stone

 

WHEREAS Nanoose Local 1017 has been unable to maintain the responsibilities of Bylaw 7 Article 3 of UNDE National Bylaws;

WHEREAS after several attempts to maintain the responsibilities of Bylaw 7 Articles 3 and 6, Local 1017 is now considered inactive;   

WHEREAS all avenues have been exhausted to maintain Local 1017 as a functioning and active Local;    

BE IT RESOLVED that the UNDE National Executive, in accordance with UNDE’s National Bylaws 7 Article 8, act upon this motion as the request from the Vice-President British Columbia placing Local 1017 in trusteeship;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the National Executive, in accordance with UNDE’s National Bylaws 7 Article 9, appoint Mark Miller, VP BC, as the Trustee Officer with authority for managing Local 1017 day to day affairs, the finances and the coordination of union/management consultation forums until the Local rises from trusteeship as described in UNDE Bylaws and Regulations.

RV 1 – CARRIED

RECORDED VOTE #1

Frost, D. 4
Kiley, T. 1
Laberge, B. 4
Meakin, B. 1
Miller, M. 1
O’Kane, C. 1
Roberge, J. 1
Simcoe, M. 1
Stone. E. 1
Tennant, G. 1
Wrinn, J. 1
Winger, J 3

 

 

MOTION – Human Rights Award                                                                  m/s O’Kane-Kiley

 

Whereas the UNDE Human Rights Policy states that The Union of National Defence Employees will establish a National Human Rights Award and;

Whereas the UNDE Human Rights Committee completed its work to establish criteria for the Human Rights Award;

Be it resolved that the UNDE adopt the UNDE Human Rights award criteria as presented by the UNDEHRC and;

Be it further resolved that the UNDE Human Rights Policy be amended to accurately reflect that the award be presented to one recipient, once per mandate.

RV 2 – CARRIED

 

 

RECORDED VOTE # 2

 

Frost, D. 4
Kiley, T. 1
Laberge, B. 4
Meakin, B. 1
Miller, M. 1
O’Kane, C. 1
Roberge, J. 1
Simcoe, M. 1
Stone. E. 1
Tennant, G. 1
Wrinn, J. 1
Winger, J 3

DONATION:

Fayez Afzaal is now an orphaned child due to a horrific islamophobic attack in London, Ontario that killed his family.  An Uncle of his will now be adopting him and there is discussion about building for a trust fund for him.  UTE made a $10,000 contribution and challenged other Components to make a donation.  The National President asked this body if there is a will to donate. Following some discussion for and against this initiative, the National President decided that any Locals who want to send a donation are to show proof of this to the UNDE National Office, they will match any donations made and will send in a final donation cheque to the Muslim Mosque in London, Ontario.  The National President also asked Sandra at National Office to monitor the decision that Western University will take concerning a commemoration for this family and let her know what they decide to do.  The National President will then present this to the National Executive for a final decision.  In the meantime, the National President is asking the National Officers for ideas about how to combat islamophobia within the union environment.

 

REGIONAL UPDATES

 

BC Update:

VP Miller says that Covid restrictions lifting are moved up to Phase 2.  Military will be back 100% by end of July.  Rapid testing will be rolled out.  Townhall with Ombudsman.  CAD Air Division UMCC minutes to be sent out to NE soon.  IE UMCC was held but no minutes yet.

 

ABN Update:

VP Meakin said the UNDE audit is complete just waiting on signatures, monthly financial statements will be sent out shortly.  Presentation on violence in the workplace.  Yellowknife change in Executive, new Local President.  New Human Rights Coordinator is Cheryl Jensen.  ODM is opening Edmonton office in two phases.  Working on grievance handling course.  PSAC North Convention went well, Prairies PSAC Convention is next week.  Having another teleconference with Locals tonight.

VP Tennant asked about excluded FR positions.  VP Meakin said currently, Wainwright, Shilo, Suffield, Halifax and 2 positions in Esquimalt have excluded Fire Chief positions

 

 

Man-Sask Update:

VP Simcoe gave an update on her region:

PSAC Regional- The PSAC Prairies Regional Convention is next week.  Marianne Hladun is re-offering for the position.

ODM – Office of Disability Management Expansion –Winnipeg anticipating a potential service delivery date of June.

Station Wear FRs-Through the ADM(mat) meeting we have finally got movement on the FR station wear.  Sample will be trialed end of month.  Management has stated “a combination of changed requirements, understaffing, and covid have been factors in this project stalling.  DSSPM has one technical authority responsible for op clothing of the CAF (who is also currently responsible for firefighter uniforms) dealing with numerous requirements from multiple clients. DSSPM indicated that because of the multiple clients and numerous requirements for clothing, it has started the prioritization of the requirements as a joint exercise with client L1s. The firefighters, through CFFM, is encouraged to take part in this exercise to ensure that FF requirements are addressed accordingly.” That said, I am addressing the concern on proper staffing levels, so this does not happen again.  FR’s are critical workers who will have had to wait over six years for this to roll out. Unacceptable. Crosby is looking into this further.

Locals-

Locals are busy sending in their delegate forms for UNDE as well as resolutions.

There are many staffing vacancies, lack of hiring or delays in hiring which are affecting all locals.  Again, locals are being encouraged to address these through their LMCC’s.

ATCO is currently in bargaining returning to the table July 8.

At the UMCC’s that I attend September is the plan to move to a more back to work phase to the workplace.  July/Aug with vacations and school summer break, management is feeling this is a better transition timeline.

We continue to have workplaces shut for 14 days dealing with COVID cases.

 

Ontario Update:

VP Tennant said the RPops meeting took place on May 4, they have a new Lt. Colonel.  CDSG had an LMCC on May 5, it was on the operational piece, vacancy reports have been requested.  As for business resumption plans, they are expecting civilian staff to return under public health measures which might raise some issues.  Delegates for UNDE Triennial Convention, some Locals still trying to get their elections done to elect delegates to go.  The National President asked VP Tennant to let her, as well as VP Kiley, know if some situations are not meeting public health measures in order to have it corrected.  Those who are able to continue to work from home should continue to do so, throughout the summer.

 

 

NCR Update:

VP Wrinn says his region is busy, some units in DRDC are trying to move into Phase 3, he has told Local Presidents to ask for information and let him know.

NP says the employee should have their own doctor complete the assessment.

 

CSE Update:

VP Stone is happy to report CSE ratified a new Collective Agreement.  There was a OSH policy meeting yesterday, Covid cases in office have doubled in the last month.

 

Quebec Update:

VP Roberge said that Quebec is out of lockdown as of yesterday.  Vaccinations are going well.  Telework will continue for the summer with a return in September.  Violence in the workplace in some Locals.  Firehall in Valcartier, it was founded but nothing was done so they asked for an investigation.  VP Roberge thanked the National President for her assistance on this. Unfair labour practice cases in some Locals, she gave kudos to LROs Colleen Strong and Dan Verreault for all their hard work.  She mentioned the DCC Committee that UNDE had in previous years and suggested it might be a good idea to reinstate this Committee because DCC is back and doing what they were doing before.  The National President says we continue to have our Privatization Committee which takes care of this area and VP Roberge is welcome to join the Committee if she wishes.  This week is the PSAC Quebec Regional Convention.  Still waiting on some Locals for accreditation forms to send up to National Office.  VP Roberge asked the National President about when the regions can start having regional conferences again.  National President Winger says VP Roberge, and other VPs, can plan a regional conference whenever they want by submitting the required business case for approval, and as long as everyone stays within public health measures in their region during the conference to have the safest meeting possible.  If there are any questions about the business case to just contact the National President.

 

Nova Scotia Update:

VP Kiley gave update on Locals:

Greenwood: regular meetings and LMRCs

FMF:  regular LMRCs, doing H&S meetings, keeping ships going, rapid testing available for those who want it

CFED/Bedford:  members are back in full swing of things, if not busy they are sent home

QHM:  tugboats still working, schedules are getting better, tighter schedule helps them, they are doing long hauls

DRDC: having regular LMRC meetings, some members still working from home

RPops:  doing well, keeping buildings going, proper H&S

PSAC Atlantic Regional Convention was two weeks ago, Colleen Coffey was acclaimed as REVP.  Technical Issues with Encore.

National Health & Safety:  rapid testing is big issue going on and going well.

 

 

Non-Public funds (NPF) Update:

VP O’Kane said she has attended all PSAC Regional Conventions where her NPF members are.  Bargaining is ongoing still for Goose Bay, Gagetown and Kingston.  All other Locals have been ratified.  She attended the National Labour Relations Committee meeting last week.  There is an issue in the workplace about members having to use an authentication code with their personal cellphones in the workplace, she is looking into this with management.

 

Human Rights Update:

Human Rights Advisor Jones said his 699 case is with the policy grievance.  He heard that the Department is trying to remove everyone off of 699 regardless of their vulnerability or of their conditions at home and to use sick leave instead.  The National President said this is the first she has heard of it and is interested in knowing more about it.

The Human Rights video script is done in English, just waiting on French now.  He said during his discussion with Labour Relations around the 699 issue it was brought up by a Labour Relations Officer that they are now asked to do a briefing note for the DGWM, he finds this odd and asked the National President if she had heard anything about that. He says it’s just another layer and no need for this.  The National President said she finds it interesting that they have probably adopted this new way and that it is due to part of the challenge they are dealing with in trying to provide better advice.  They are trying to get people to take responsibility for the advice they are providing.

 

Adjournment.