CUPE 391 Update


  1. Retirement Planning Seminar March 29-31 (Full replacement)
  2. Criminal Records Check step 4 at the Board’s HR Committee
  3. Legislative library / Bindery
  4. Pension Arrears
  5. VESP
  6. March and Demonstration Airport Maintenance
  7. BC Hydro
  8. Open Conversation on Health

1. Retirement Planning Seminar March 29-31 (Full replacement)

CUPE 15 and Metro Council are hosting a Retirement Planning Seminar March 29-31, from 9-4, at the Italian Cultural Centre (3075 Slocan Street).  They inform me that spaces are available for our local Ask your colleagues who attended the CUPE 391 retirement workshop at Oakridge for feedback.  The one at the Italian Cultural Centre provides food and refreshments – apparently the food is excellent.  Participants’ spouses are encouraged to attend.  Full replacement.  Please bring a calculator.

Subjects covered:

  • Orientation to retirement planning
  • Pension benefits and retirement income
  • Financial planning
  • Good health in retirement
  • Legal affairs – wills and estate planning
  • Leisure time
  • Living arrangements
  • Relationships and organising personal resources

Email Alex at or phone 604-322-4879

2. Criminal Records Check step 4 at the Board’s HR Committee

I presented Step 4 at the Board’s Human Resources Committee meeting March 22, 2007.  Two Board members, three HR staff, Paul Whitney, Lily Gee, and Jim Gorman were present.  The Board’s HR members asked us questions and went incamera to confer about their recommendation to the regular Board.  The decision will be on step 4 will be finalised at the March 28, 2007 Board meeting at 5.30 pm in the Board room.  Call 604-331-4003 or 604-331-4000 if you wish a seat.  The union will discuss this issue very briefly as presentation has already been made.  I will put an electronic copy of the report on the CUPE 391 website after the Board meeting.

The gist of the union’s arguments is that the criminal records and credit checks are:

  • unreasonable,  unnecessary, and an unwarranted invasion of privacy. The Library has not shown any evidence the checks serve any business purposes.
  • The Union maintains the Employment Checks Policy is an unreasonable exercise of managements rights and, therefore, in violation of our collective agreement
  • We maintain the Policy contravenes Part 3 of the BC Freedom of Information and the Protection of Privacy Act.
  • Finally,  the Union submits that application of the checks could lead the Library to contravene section 13(1) of the BC Human Rights Code.

If the Board decides that this policy is unreasonable, then the checks will stop.

If the Board agrees with Management, then the grievance will go to arbitration.  We will be sharing an arbitrator with the City of Vancouver and CUPE 15 if we go to arbitration.  If this is the case, then the employment checks do not need to be completed until November.  This outcome comes from our step 3 with Management where it was decide if we share an arbitrator with COV, then we will share the COV’s due date (end of November) for completion of Employment Checks.

3. Legislative Library / Bindery
Some of you have read about this from the BCLA listserve…
The impact of the story of the “temporary closing” of the Legislative Library in Victoria will have an enormously detrimental effect on the libraries and the communities they serve, archivists, the media’s research departments, business people and the MLA’s who serve us.  I will attach BCLA’s letter for those who have not seen it.

This increasing dumbing down of government and its hoarding of its records goes beyond being frustrating.  What will happen to our right to access the “records of our time”, the business of British Columbia and its peoples?  I frankly don’t want Gordon Campbell determining what I should have access to, in the way of government records.  The thought scares the pants off me.  We already have the media giving us endless stories on Lord and Lady Black instead of the real meat of provinicial affairs such as: TILMA, run-of-the-river privatised hydro projects, and the latest tweak to GATTS.  Stephen Hume wrote a terrific column in the Sun today, March 23, 2007: A11. His opening sentence is matchless in describing the intellectual depth displayed by our current provincial government. “Philistinism—actually, the street term “creeping meatballism” sounds better—spreads through British Columbia’s political class like some zombie virus in a B-grade movie.” Stephen describes the legislative chamber as “the heart of democracy” and “the library as its brain”.  He goes onto say that “These collections are BC’s memory.  Making it less accessible invites Altzheimer’s disease.”  Is not the same argument CUPE 391’s members have been presenting to Management and the Board regarding the importance of the VPL collection and the value of keeping the Bindery? The bindery ensures that the useful life of all parts of the collection is extended as much as possible. In addition to the general collection, rare books, maps, historic and archival documents are all protected with great care in the interests of preserving and protecting the history of our community. This is particularly important given that VPL is a depository library and a provincial resource. VPL preserves a record of the times of the peoples and province of BC.  It has always been important to have the legislative library near the legislature for purposes of accurate and immediate access to research on government documents.  In the same way, the proximity of the Bindery to Central library has given collections development and collections maintenance staff the ability to make decisions on what to order and how to maintain collections. The decision to close both the legislative library and VPL’s Bindery comes down to the same meaningless reason.  Office space.  The MLA’s apparently fancy shorter walks to the legislature.  VPL’s Management’s visioning is anywhere from RFID, to Multi and Youth Departments offices.  Mr. Hume suspects “Olympic vanity – politicians who want a stately pleasure dome and marble-clad reception area where they can swan about on your tab impressing international VIPs with their witty bon mots.  The politicians and Management want the flavour of the month and the public wants access for all.  Who is going to win?  We may need spiritual intervention.

4.  Pension Arrears

The award is being written as I write.  The minute the award is published, we will pass it on.  The only part-times who have to pay both Employers and Employees arrears are those who were:

  • On maternity leave
  • LWOP
  • Probation up to becoming a recognised employee, etc.

Phone 1-800-668-6335 for further information.  If your issues are not being dealt with, let us know and we will grieve if they are grievable.


VanCity has renewed our extension until June 30.  The board of nominees will be examining the RFIs from prospective financial institutions with our financial advisor and lawyer in early April.

6. March and Demonstration Airport Maintenance
This is an effort to contract out aviation maintenance to the lowest foreign bidder.  Canada has the best reputation in the world for the safety of its aircraft.  We don’t want to follow the US example and have limited maintenance on our aircraft due to contracted out labour.

Go to:

Vancouver International Airport
Save the jobs of 700 Aviation Maintenance Professionals in Vancouver


Gathering Point: 10:30 a.m. Sea Island Elementary School, corner of Miller Road and Templeton.

Lots of parking.

Rain or Shine, dress accordingly.

March and Demonstration: 11:00 a.m. Vancouver International Airport Terminal in the grass area across from the Airport RCMP Station which is located at the West End of Miller Road, right hand side of the outgoing Domestic Departure Ramps.

7. BC Hydro

Please visit the BC Hydro – Take back the Power website and learn what horrors the provincial government has in store for you.  Visit and get active.  Our water and power is being privatised now and in future developments. 

8. Open Conversation on Health

How can you resist? Visit and soften your brain tissue.  You may want further exposure to government MLA Chuck Puchmayr.  He is inviting you to join New Westminsters Open Conversation on Health.

Thursday, March 29,

7-9 pm

St. Barnabas Church Hall

1010 – 5th Avenue, New West.

Opposition health critic Adrian Dix and health care professionals (see if there are any nurses) will be on hand to discuss healthcare in our community.

Please go for me.  I will be at choir practice.