Archive for the 'Human Rights' Category



John Gordon has written to Prime Minister Stephen Harper to support the continued funding of the Sisters in Spirit initiative.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada had secured government support to pursue the initiative but the federal government has slowly reduced funding for the initiative and even tried to prevent the association from using the name Sisters in Spirit for any other government-funded work.

“PSAC members have actively supported the work of the Sisters in Spirit initiative,” Gordon wrote. “It has become not only a symbol of the commitment of the community to ensuring the safety of Aboriginal women, but also a way of honoring the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls, their families and their communities.”

Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee – September 9, 2010 AGM Minutes

Minutes prepared by VIHRC Recording Secretary Laura Gracie

  • Released Unofficially: September 12, 2010
  • Adopted Officially: November 29, 2010 (E-Meeting)

Attendance

  • Boardroom: Michael Doerfler, Paul Jones, Sonia Manak, Laura Gracie, Mark McCavour, Virginia Vaillancourt, Robert Mitchell, Wendy Bruce, Tracy Shudo and PSAC Rep: Dave Jackson.
  • Teleconference: None.
  • Guest: Rene Doerfler
  • Translators: Mary Butterfield and Mary Warner
  • Regrets: Anita Hoffman, Cindy Little, Mandi Schubert, Ryan Dowell, Pamela Grant, Levan Turner, Glen Hendry, Sayed Subzwari, Nick Humphries and Maddalena Maher.

Continue reading below, or download the Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee – September 9, 2010 AGM Minutes as .pdf

‘Pre-Meeting’ Happenings:

Socialization: Committee had a social function with food platters, drinks and a little bit of entertainment with door prizes from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Unveiling of Banner:Prior to the start of meeting; VIHRC was shown the committee’s new banner for their use which would be used at parades and info sessions etc. This introduction was done to accommodate Brother Mark McCavour who had to leave early.

All were impressed with the banner. The banner, however; was not the nylon material which was originally planned but vinyl material was used instead. The material, however; did allow the design to be ‘much more’ sharper than which the nylon material would have allowed. After much discussion, a motion was then put on the floor as follows:

Motion: To accept the banner as provided at the cost of $200.00 by Michael Doerfler. Seconded: Tracy Shudo. Carried: Unanimously

The committee would like to really thank both Mark McCavour and Robert Mitchell for the amount of time and their effort of making this banner to become a reality for our committee. Many, many Thanks.

Meeting Called to Order by Acting Chairperson at 6:30 p.m.

Acting Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Michael Doerfler gave a brief history of how our committee was started.

  • The spearhead of this committee was Mandi Schubert and how she had started to work towards establishing this committee in 2004. However the timing was not right and the proposal of creating this committee was put on the back burner.
  • Later in 2007, Mandi Schubert was instrumental in getting key people in place to once again bring this committee to the starting point. The committee then became an ad hoc committee in 2008. In 2009, VIHRC became a duly constituted committee. Beyond this point, there was no turning back.
  • It is with Mandi Schubert’s perseverance and determination to get this committee up and running that we have come into being.
  • This committee would really like to thank Mandi Schubert for seeing the need for this committee and all the countless of hours plus incredible efforts on her part over the years to make this a reality for Vancouver Island. Thank you Mandi Schubert!

Roundtable Introduction

  • At this time we proceeded with a round of introduction of the members that were present.

Old Business for review

  • Reviewed / Adopted June 22nd Minutes & ready to post to PSAC BC website
  • Motion: To adopt previous meeting’s minutes by Wendy Bruce. Seconded: Laura Gracie. Carried: Unanimously

VIHRC Caucus Election:

The committee proceeded with their first inaugural elections ever with PSAC Staff Member Dave Jackson presiding over this historical process and the swearing in of new caucus members.

The newly elected members of this caucus are:

  • Chairperson:Michael Doerfler – Elected by acclamation from acting position. Michael Doerfler is one of VIHRC’s founding members. He comes from Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU) Local 20975 (Canada Pension Plan Office). Michael Doerfler also currently holds the ad-hoc position of Human Rights Officer within this Local too.
  • Co-Chairperson:Robert Mitchell – Elected into new position. Robert Mitchell currently holds the position of shop steward within the Union of Taxation Employees (UTE) Local 20028 (Canada Revenue Agency).
  • Treasurer:Wendy Bruce – Elected by acclamation from acting position. Wendy Bruce works with Michael Doerfler at CEIU Local 20975 at Service Canada. She has been involved at the Local level since 2007; holding the position of Local treasurer for almost two years until 2009. Wendy Bruce became interested in the Human Rights Committee along with Mark McCavour and Michael Doerfler where all of them are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Wendy Bruce is interested in helping others and learning more about Human Rights.
  • Recording Secretary:Laura Gracie – Elected by acclamation from acting position. Laura Gracie comes from CEIU Local 20975 and has been very active at the Local level holding various positions within the Local including President, Secretary, Shop Steward, Local Bargaining Rep, Local Strike Captain and currently holds the position of Local Condolence Rep.
  • Technical Communications:Robert Mitchell – Elected by acclamation from acting position – see above bio.
  • Member & Media Relations Officer:Paul Jones – Elected into new position. Paul Jones holds several positions within the Union umbrella. He currently holds the position of PSAC-EOC National Rep for Persons With Disabilities (PWD), he is also a member of the PSAC BC Regional Council holding the position of Pride Coordinator and is also a Local Steward too.
  • Congratulations to all of them!

VIHRC 2011 Meeting Dates

  • This was the first business item for 2010-2011 committee on deciding which days in 2011 to hold our meetings.
  • The committee discussed at length whether to adopt current format of four meetings plus an AGM each year or a new proposal to add one more meeting in October therefore a five meetings plus an AGM format.
  • Discussion ensured and the issue was made to clarify that AGM is actually a meeting too and that PSAC constitution requires the committee to meet at minimum 4 times a year. The committee already currently meets that requirement by holding five meetings including AGM per year.
  • The committee has agreed to stay with the current format. A new ‘Tuesday then Thursday’ back and forth approach throughout 2011 was also proposed as that might help some members to be able to attend the meetings.
  • The proposed dates are as below:
    • Tuesday February 8, 2011
    • Thursday April 14, 2011
    • Tuesday June 21, 2011
    • Thursday September 15, 2011 AGM (Tentative)
    • Tuesday November 22, 2011
  • These dates are pending on availability of PSAC boardroom and interpreters.
  • Motion: To adopt proposed 2011 meeting dates as above by Wendy Bruce. Seconded: Michael Doerfler. Carried: Unanimously

Update on 2011 Dates

  • Late additional comment by PSAC Staff Rosemary MacKenzie on Thursday September 23: AGM date (Sept 15, 2011) may be a conflicting date for some CEIU members who may decide to go to a CEIU conference in the following days ahead. It was determined to stay course on this date for now and the date may be adjusted to a week earlier on Sept 8, 2011.

Committee’s Appreciation

  • The committee would also like to thank Tracy Shudo for coming from Mainland BC Human Rights Committee (Vancouver) for our first AGM and for supplying all of the fantastic door prizes too.

Conclusion of Meeting

  • Motion: To adjourn the meeting by Wendy Bruce. Seconded: Tracy Shudo. Carried: Unanimously

Meeting Adjourned: 7:23 p.m.

  • Thanks to everyone who attended this historical meeting.

Socialization

  • The evening proceeded with the continuation of our social event to 8:00 p.m.

Next Meeting: November 23, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee – Notification of Regular Meeting

  • Open to: All PSAC Members on Vancouver Island
  • Date/Time: November 23, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: PSAC Victoria Regional Office, 210-1497 Admirals Road
  • Teleconference: Please call 250-953-1050 or 1-866-953-1050 for ‘call in’ coordinates, no later than November 22 at 12:00 noon.

Come out or Telephone in & See what your newly formed Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee (VIHRC) has been doing for you!

New members and allies are always welcomed to observe or join VIHRC! VIHRC is particularly keen in welcoming any member from 4 equity groups:

  • Aboriginals;
  • Access (Persons with Disabilities which also includes invisible disorders such as ADHD, Brain injury, OCD etc.);
  • Pride (Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgendered, Transsexual etc.);
  • Racially Visible

Regular meeting atmosphere is casual. Please contact 250-953-1050 or email PSAC Victoria Regional Office at mackenr@psac.com for more info. Download a poster (pdf).

The 2011 Conference for Racially Visible Members will take place April 1-3, 2011 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver under the theme “United, Empowered, Fearless: Ready for Action!”. The objectives of the 2011 PSAC National Conference for Racially Visible Members are to:

  • educate, politicize and mobilize racialized members by making links between themselves, the union, the workplace, the community and equality rights;
  • empower and engage racialized members to take action and move the human rights agenda forward;
  • provide tools and leadership skills to advocate for racialized workers’ rights

For more information and online application, visit the national website. The deadline for applications and resolutions is December 17th.

PSAC Mainland BC Human Rights Committee Meeting

  • Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • PSAC Vancouver Regional Office
  • 200-5238 Joyce St., Vancouver, B.C. (Buzz 200 to enter)

Agenda:

  1. Conferences, to discuss delegate selection, tables at conferences, buying swag and other related items.
  2. Christmas gathering.
  3. National Women’s Conference report.

If you would like to join the meeting by conference call, please contact Regina Brennan by Nov. 2 at e-mail: brennar@psac.com or by phone at: 604-430-5631 or toll-free at: 1-800-663-1655 for conference call-in codes. Download the poster (pdf).

Here are some recent photos from PSAC activities in Victoria. Members of UTE 20028 at Victoria TSO held a “Stand Together, Stand Strong! ” member mobilization event where they heard about ways to support their CRA bargaining team, showed off their red wristbands, and ate pizza. The Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee AGM was held in September – VIHRC members elected their 2010/11 Executive and discussed resolutions to be put forward to various PSAC Conventions and Conferences.

Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee June 22, 2010 Meeting Minutes

Minutes released unofficially: June 24, 2010
Minutes adopted officially: September 9, 2010

Meeting Called to Order at 6:37 pm.

Continue reading below or download the VIHRC meeting minutes (pdf).

Attendance

Boardroom: Michael Doerfler, Laura Gracie, Glen Hendry, Robert Mitchell, Pamela Grant, Maddalena Maher, Ariel Parks, Paul Jones, Wendy Bruce and PSAC Rep: Rosemary MacKenzie.

Teleconference: Tracy Shudo

Translators: Mary Butterfield and Mary Warner

Regrets: Anita Hoffman, Cindy Little, Mandi Schubert, Ryan Dowell, Virginia Vaillancourt, Mark McCavour.

Old Business for review:

Review / Adopt April 22nd Minutes & Post to PSAC BC website—-Clarification was made in reference to the term ‘Local’ when requesting Access Funding, Local refers to each individual Local whereas Access funding is from the Regional Access Fund from the Regional REVP.

Vote Carried

Treasurer report presented—We currently have a balance of $1350.00.

New Business:

2010 National ‘Access’ Conference Feedback – 5 ‘Conference Reps’

Our five members attending the National Access Conference enjoyed the various seminars and workshops that were made available to those in attendance. Our members felt that this conference was much more positive than previously attended conferences and they came back feeling inspired, empowered and rejuvenated.

It was a great opportunity to meet other members who are like minded as well as a great networking opportunity with members from all across Canada. The workshops were very informative.

In one workshop members were asked to take 5 concrete actions to change something in their lives, the actions could be personal, work life, union or whatever else members chose.

2 workshops were offered during the conference, one was on Duty to Accommodate and the second one was on mental health exploring the myths and negative labels given to those who are suffering mental disorders and the way they are treated not only by society as a whole, but also by the medical profession itself.

Congratulations to all our members who attended this conference.

Round table introductions were made at this time as we had 3 new members in attendance. The committee would like to welcome all 3 new members, Glen Hendry, UNDE, who came all the way down from Comox to attend this meeting, Pamela Grant and Ariel Parks both of 2 CEIU Locals in Victoria. Welcome to all 3 new members.

Access Conference feedback continued, the Committee would like to congratulate Paul Jones on being voted into the position of EOC (Equal Opportunities Committee) National Male Rep.

Tracy would like to remind everyone that under Duty to Accommodate there are Regional Reps who can help locals deal with issues under this umbrella. Also, funding for Duty to Accommodate is not paid from the individual office budget but from National Government funding specifically for this purpose. Employers cannot say that they cannot afford to accommodate an individual under Duty to Accommodate.

Pride 2010 Funding Request (Follow up) – Paul

Paul updated the committee on the monies spent on the float for the 2010 Pride float. The GLBT (Gays, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered) Committee has a yearly budget of $1250.00 per year of which $1000.00 has been spent for the cost of the float for the parade this year, as well as some give away items along the route. Some of the cost of this float has also been paid for from donations from Locals and other committees and organizations.
Paul has asked if the VIHRC would also like to contribute to the cost of the float as this is a great way to promote our Committee.

Motion made by Laura and seconded by Pamela for the Committee to donate $250.00 for the purpose of the Pride 2010 Event/Float costs.

Carried

Update on Banner Style & Costing – Mark

The info was provided via e-mail. Mark has received 5 different costings for the banner. It was decided that Robert and Mark would work on this together and table a report for the Committee’s consideration. Pamela also will look into the possibility of finding a sponsor to cover the cost of the banner. It was also suggested that perhaps we could request funding from Kay (REVP) National Funding.

Summer BBQ fundraising for CMHR – Robert

BBQ date to follow, perhaps we could send out invitations to bring people into our committee and/or to promote knowledge of our Committee. As this year is the year that the CMHR (Canadian Museum of Human Rights) opens in Winnipeg perhaps we could do a small fund raising event to make a donation to this museum. Tracy advised that the Regional Human Rights Committee may be interested in helping fund a donation for a cobblestone for the museum.

RDSP Info – Maddalena

RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan) Maddalena spoke of the various obstacles many people face in trying to get this benefit. Many general practitioners and other persons in the medical field are not willing to sign the medical forms needed in order to qualify for this benefit through Revenue Canada.

One of the biggest obstacles is the terminology used by Revenue Canada, many practitioners feel that patients may not meet the Revenue Canada definitions in order to qualify for this benefit.

Robert advised that the criteria that must be met has changed dramatically in the last two years and those who may not have qualified previously may now meet the criteria. This funding through bonds or grants can provide thousands of dollars to persons who are given this designation.

Maddalena reports that the Bank of Montreal appears to be the only financial institution that is well versed on the implications of this benefit. Maddalena will provide a more detailed description of these benefits through an e-mail to all members.

Networking with other HRCs, Locals/Components – Michael

Michael had originally decided to table this item until the next meeting, however as the next meeting (September 9, 2010) will be dealing with our first AGM (Annual General Meeting) he has now decided to table this item to the next second available meeting which would be on November 23, 2010.

Honorariums for VIHRC Caucus – Wendy

Discussion ensued regarding this issue and it was felt that this Committee is all volunteer and that most of the paper, pens, inks and other office supplies needed are covered by the PSAC BC Regional office and that there was no need to put in place an honorarium for the Caucus members. Any out of pocket expenses would be reimbursed by the Committee.

Website hosting for VIHRC resources? – Michael

Michael presented a PowerPoint slide show of a possible website (free hosting) to be used on the www (world wide web), please see below.

There may be other possibility of adding a link to the BC PSAC site, however the content on this 2nd website would have to be very general.

Michael applauded Robert on creating a sample of the webpage that was shown to the committee via PowerPoint Slideshow.

Two options ensured… either using one free website or PSAC BC to host a couple of webpages.

Committee agreed that we should take advantage of both options.

Robert mentioned that Michael has also started a facebook group page for VIHRC however some members appear to be uncomfortable using this medium at this time.

Robert also commends Michael on the VIHRC facebook group he has created.

For the free website, Pamela suggested moving the contact information to the top of the page as opposed to the bottom of the page.

VIHRC AGM on September 9, 2010 — All

The following is the proposed items that will be conducted during this meeting.

Elections of the following positions:

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Treasurer
  • Recording Secretary
  • Technical Advisor
  • Members & Media Relations Officer

Also to be discussed and decided on is constitutional items, future direction of our Committee and the adoption of the 2011 Meeting Dates.

Michael reminded our Committee members that our year follows the school year (September to August) as opposed to the Calendar year (January to December) or the Government year (April to March).

New Businesses (Continued)

Discussion took place regarding the cost of our two translators, needed for our Deaf members.

Wendy advised that she had spoken with Kay regarding this issue, at the Access Conference, and the cost to our Committee, Kay advised that the cost of this would be covered by the Regional Office from their Access funds. Tracy also indicated that this is correct.

Wendy to submit the receipts for the cost of the previous two meetings that we have already paid for. Not sure at this time exactly how this payment will be made for future meetings, it could be paid out in one lump sum or it may be paid after each meeting’s receipts are submitted to our Regional office.

More to follow on this once the payment plan has been decided on.

Pamela suggested that the minutes from the previous meetings be sent out prior to the current meeting so that members could read them and be ready to vote on them quickly at the beginning of the meeting. She has also suggested that time limits be given for each agenda item to ensure the meeting proceeds in a timely manner.

Meeting adjourned at 8:18 pm.

Next Meeting (Annual General Meeting) is on September 9, 2010 and starts 6:30 p.m. at the PSAC office.

testvihrcimageSMALL3.JPGVancouver Island

Human Rights Committee

June 22, 2010 Meeting Minutes

Minutes released unofficially: June 24, 2010

Minutes adopted officially: September 9, 2010

Meeting Called to Order at 6:37 pm.

Attendance

Boardroom: Michael Doerfler, Laura Gracie, Glen Hendry, Robert Mitchell, Pamela Grant, Maddalena Maher, Ariel Parks, Paul Jones, Wendy Bruce and PSAC Rep: Rosemary MacKenzie.

Teleconference: Tracy Shudo

Translators: Mary Butterfield and Mary Warner

Regrets: Anita Hoffman, Cindy Little, Mandi Schubert, Ryan Dowell, Virginia Vaillancourt, Mark McCavour.

Old Business for review:

Review / Adopt April 22nd Minutes & Post to PSAC BC website—-Clarification was made in reference to the term ‘Local’ when requesting Access Funding, Local refers to each individual Local whereas Access funding is from the Regional Access Fund from the Regional REVP.

Vote Carried

Treasurer report presented—We currently have a balance of $1350.00.

New Business:

2010 National ‘Access’ Conference Feedback – 5 ‘Conference Reps’

Our five members attending the National Access Conference enjoyed the various seminars and workshops that were made available to those in attendance. Our members felt that this conference was much more positive than previously attended conferences and they came back feeling inspired, empowered and rejuvenated.

It was a great opportunity to meet other members who are like minded as well as a great networking opportunity with members from all across Canada. The workshops were very informative.

In one workshop members were asked to take 5 concrete actions to change something in their lives, the actions could be personal, work life, union or whatever else members chose.

2 workshops were offered during the conference, one was on Duty to Accommodate and the second one was on mental health exploring the myths and negative labels given to those who are suffering mental disorders and the way they are treated not only by society as a whole, but also by the medical profession itself.

Congratulations to all our members who attended this conference.

Round table introductions were made at this time as we had 3 new members in attendance. The committee would like to welcome all 3 new members, Glen Hendry, UNDE, who came all the way down from Comox to attend this meeting, Pamela Grant and Ariel Parks both of 2 CEIU Locals in Victoria. Welcome to all 3 new members.

Access Conference feedback continued, the Committee would like to congratulate Paul Jones on being voted into the position of EOC (Equal Opportunities Committee) National Male Rep.

Tracy would like to remind everyone that under Duty to Accommodate there are Regional Reps who can help locals deal with issues under this umbrella. Also, funding for Duty to Accommodate is not paid from the individual office budget but from National Government funding specifically for this purpose. Employers cannot say that they cannot afford to accommodate an individual under Duty to Accommodate.

Pride 2010 Funding Request (Follow up) – Paul

Paul updated the committee on the monies spent on the float for the 2010 Pride float. The GLBT (Gays, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered) Committee has a yearly budget of $1250.00 per year of which $1000.00 has been spent for the cost of the float for the parade this year, as well as some give away items along the route. Some of the cost of this float has also been paid for from donations from Locals and other committees and organizations.

Paul has asked if the VIHRC would also like to contribute to the cost of the float as this is a great way to promote our Committee.

Motion made by Laura and seconded by Pamela for the Committee to donate $250.00 for the purpose of the Pride 2010 Event/Float costs.

Carried

Update on Banner Style & Costing – Mark

The info was provided via e-mail. Mark has received 5 different costings for the banner. It was decided that Robert and Mark would work on this together and table a report for the Committee’s consideration. Pamela also will look into the possibility of finding a sponsor to cover the cost of the banner. It was also suggested that perhaps we could request funding from Kay (REVP) National Funding.

Summer BBQ fundraising for CMHR – Robert

BBQ date to follow, perhaps we could send out invitations to bring people into our committee and/or to promote knowledge of our Committee. As this year is the year that the CMHR (Canadian Museum of Human Rights) opens in Winnipeg perhaps we could do a small fund raising event to make a donation to this museum. Tracy advised that the Regional Human Rights Committee may be interested in helping fund a donation for a cobblestone for the museum.

RDSP Info – Maddalena

RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan) Maddalena spoke of the various obstacles many people face in trying to get this benefit. Many general practitioners and other persons in the medical field are not willing to sign the medical forms needed in order to qualify for this benefit through Revenue Canada.

One of the biggest obstacles is the terminology used by Revenue Canada, many practitioners feel that patients may not meet the Revenue Canada definitions in order to qualify for this benefit.

Robert advised that the criteria that must be met has changed dramatically in the last two years and those who may not have qualified previously may now meet the criteria. This funding through bonds or grants can provide thousands of dollars to persons who are given this designation.

Maddalena reports that the Bank of Montreal appears to be the only financial institution that is well versed on the implications of this benefit. Maddalena will provide a more detailed description of these benefits through an e-mail to all members.

Networking with other HRCs, Locals/Components – Michael

Michael had originally decided to table this item until the next meeting, however as the next meeting (September 9, 2010) will be dealing with our first AGM (Annual General Meeting) he has now decided to table this item to the next second available meeting which would be on November 23, 2010.

Honorariums for VIHRC Caucus – Wendy

Discussion ensued regarding this issue and it was felt that this Committee is all volunteer and that most of the paper, pens, inks and other office supplies needed are covered by the PSAC BC Regional office and that there was no need to put in place an honorarium for the Caucus members. Any out of pocket expenses would be reimbursed by the Committee.

Website hosting for VIHRC resources? – Michael

Michael presented a PowerPoint slide show of a possible website (free hosting) to be used on the www (world wide web), please see below.

There may be other possibility of adding a link to the BC PSAC site, however the content on this 2nd website would have to be very general.

Michael applauded Robert on creating a sample of the webpage that was shown to the committee via PowerPoint Slideshow.

Two options ensured… either using one free website or PSAC BC to host a couple of webpages.

Committee agreed that we should take advantage of both options.

Robert mentioned that Michael has also started a facebook group page for VIHRC however some members appear to be uncomfortable using this medium at this time.

Robert also commends Michael on the VIHRC facebook group he has created.

For the free website, Pamela suggested moving the contact information to the top of the page as opposed to the bottom of the page.

VIHRC AGM on September 9, 2010 — All

The following is the proposed items that will be conducted during this meeting.

Elections of the following positions:

Chair

Vice Chair

Treasurer

Recording Secretary

Technical Advisor

Members & Media Relations Officer

Also to be discussed and decided on is constitutional items, future direction of our Committee and the adoption of the 2011 Meeting Dates.

Michael reminded our Committee members that our year follows the school year (September to August) as opposed to the Calendar year (January to December) or the Government year (April to March).

New Businesses (Continued)

Discussion took place regarding the cost of our two translators, needed for our Deaf members.

Wendy advised that she had spoken with Kay regarding this issue, at the Access Conference, and the cost to our Committee, Kay advised that the cost of this would be covered by the Regional Office from their Access funds. Tracy also indicated that this is correct.

Wendy to submit the receipts for the cost of the previous two meetings that we have already paid for. Not sure at this time exactly how this payment will be made for future meetings, it could be paid out in one lump sum or it may be paid after each meeting’s receipts are submitted to our Regional office.

More to follow on this once the payment plan has been decided on.

Pamela suggested that the minutes from the previous meetings be sent out prior to the current meeting so that members could read them and be ready to vote on them quickly at the beginning of the meeting. She has also suggested that time limits be given for each agenda item to ensure the meeting proceeds in a timely manner.

Meeting adjourned at 8:18 pm.

Next Meeting (Annual General Meeting) is on September 9, 2010 and starts 6:30 p.m. at the PSAC office.

Join the BC Human Rights Committee on September 15th at 6PM for a screening and discussion of the film Made In L.A.

  • Wednesday September 15th, 6PM
  • PSAC Vancouver RO 2nd floor boardroom
  • #200 – 5238 Joyce Street

Made in L.A. is an Emmy award-winning feature documentary (70 min) that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from trendy clothing retailer Forever 21. In intimate observational style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience.

Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice.

There will be popcorn and light snacks – please RSVP to 604 430 5631 or via email to Regina Brennan. Download a poster (.pdf)

VIHRC AGM September 9, 2010 5 to 8 pm PSAC Victoria Regional Office – 210-1497 Admirals Road

What is the Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee?

Our goals:

  • to actively promote and encourage members from the Aboriginal Peoples, Racially Visible Persons, Pride and Access equity groups to participate in the union and in society as a whole;
  • and to educate union members at large on sensitivity and inclusiveness in the union.

Our hope:

  • that you join us in championing human rights on Vancouver Island.

Our agenda:

  • Adoption of minutes
  • Election of officers
  • Resolutions
  • Dates for 2011 meetings

Afterwards, please stay for snacks and drinks and to meet the committee.

Download the poster (pdf)

Please see the letter below from Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, President of the Native Women`s Association of Canada (NWAC) and take a moment to download and circulate the petition calling for Parliament to ensure NWAC and the Sisters In Spirit initiative continue to receive funding (.pdf).

*****

Dear friends,

The Native Womens Association of Canada (NWAC) has just recently learned of and would like extend our appreciation for the support by NDP MP Irene Mathyssen and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) in their creation of a petition to ensure that the Federal Government take steps to renew funding for Phase II of the Sisters In Spirit (SIS) initiative called Evidence to Action.

For the past five years, the Native Womens Association of Canadas (NWAC) Sisters In Spirit initiative has worked to identify root causes, trends and circumstances of violence that have led to disappearance and death of Aboriginal women and girls. In March 2010, NWAC released the report What Their Stories Tell Us which provided evidence that 582 Aboriginal women and girls have gone missing or been murdered in Canada.

(more…)

PSAC members marched with Pride in Vancouver on Sunday August 1st.  This year, the Multi-Union Pride entry, which won the prize for “Captivating Community Cluster”, took inspiration from Vancouver Pride’s “educate, liberate and celebrate” theme. MUP educated last year, liberated this year, and next year they’ll celebrate!

PSAC BC also hosted a Think Public booth at the Pride Festival at Sunset Beach. PSAC members and the public stopped by to play “Spot The Public Service” and learn about the work PSAC members do. We also gathered over 300 signatures on our long form census petition.

Read more for some photos …

(more…)

Ottawa – In a groundbreaking decision today, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that employers cannot discriminate against their employees should they choose to become parents. Fiona Johnstone, a Canadian Border Services Officer and a member of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, convinced the Tribunal that she was a victim of discrimination based on family status.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) refused to accommodate her request for more regular hours so she could arrange for proper child care. The CBSA told her that the only way that she could care for her kids was to work part time. Fiona Johnstone was unable to obtain child care because she and her husband both worked rotating shift schedules at Pearson International Airport.

(more…)

Racialized Communities Ask Provincial Premiers to Help Stop the Attack on Federal Employment Equity Program

As Premiers and Territorial Leaders gather in Manitoba, the Colour of Poverty Campaign (COPC) today releases an Open Letter to Stephen Harper, asking the Prime Minister to call off the attack on the Federal Employment Equity Program by members of his cabinet. The Open Letter has been endorsed by over 100 community groups, labour organizations, businesses and individuals across Canada who believe all Canadians should enjoy equal opportunity to employment without discrimination.

The Open Letter is a response to comments by Ministers Stockwell Day and Jason Kenney who have both suggested that the Federal Employment Equity program bars qualified Canadians from job opportunities in the federal public service and that unqualified candidates may have gotten hired because of their race.

(more…)

Come down to the Van Pride festivities and join PSAC and other Union members in the parade, Sunday August 1st.  To march with Multi-Union Pride, be at the staging area (AS – on Robson, south side, between Thurlow and Alberni) by 11:30AM.

Also, be sure to visit the PSAC Think Public booth which will be in the Pride Festival area at Sunset Beach – stop by, say hi to fellow PSAC members, sign a petition, and play “Spot the Public Service”.

OTTAWA – First the Harper Conservatives cancelled the mandatory long-form census, now they’re going after the federal Employment Equity Act that depends on this data with the announcement that they will be reviewing employment equity policies and practices in the federal public service.

“The government claims to support diversity but its news release implies the opposite”, says PSAC National Executive Vice-President Patty Ducharme. “It reinforces the misconception that equal opportunity is threatened by employment equity measures and that employment equity hiring policies are not based on merit.”

The purpose of employment equity is to ensure equal access to jobs for all and to make sure that workplaces reflect the diversity of the Canadian population. The Employment Equity Act and the Public Service Employment Act already require all hiring to be based on merit and qualifications.

Less than 2% of job competitions in the federal public service are designated for equity group members, and managers have to justify the use of these designations with data showing large gaps in their workforce representation.

“In fact, the government needs to be doing more to ensure diversity throughout its workforce,” says Ducharme.

Continue reading at the national website.

PSAC BC has been out and about this summer promoting our Think Public, Workplace Watch and other campaigns.  Here are some photos from the Surrey Pride Festival at Holland Park last July 11th.

June was a busy month around the province! Here are some photos and a video of some of the activities PSAC members participated in.

Under the theme “Step In to Something That Moves You” PSAC women activists, old and new, joined together at the 2010 BC Regional Women’s Conference in Vancouver. They heard from guest speakers and held discussions and workshops on a variety of topics including childcare, women and pensions, pay equity, work-life balance, violence against women, lobbying and political action/campaign work, and debated resolutions to be sent to the PSAC National Women’s Conference. Huge thanks to Virginia Vaillancourt for putting together a most excellent video!

In Victoria, PSAC staff and members from the South Island marched in the 2010 Pride Parade under the theme “Gay Rights are Human Rights” and hosted a booth at the festival held at MacDonald Park.

In Cumberland, a delegation of PSAC members from the Campbell River and District Area Council attended the Miners Memorial Day Weekend, where they laid a wreath to commemorate the miners who worked and lost their lives in the mines of Cumberland and other workplaces throughout BC.

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, PSAC BC hosted a Think Public! booth at the Surrey Canada Day festivities. Staff and members met with the fair goers and spoke with them about the value of strong, quality, public services and public pensions.

“Read more” for the photos and video …

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VIHRC Meeting Minutes April 22, 2010

  • In attendance: Robert Mitchell, Paul Jones, Laura Gracie, Wendy Bruce, Michael Doerfler, Virginia Vaillancourt, Maddalena Maher, Dave Jackson, Rosemary MacKenzie – Tracy Shudo via teleconference.
  • ASL & SIGNED ENGLISH INTERPRETERS: Mary Butterfield & Mary Warner & Student Translator, Alison Corrigan.
  • Regrets: Mark McCavour, Cindy Little, Anita Hoffman, Mandi Schubert and Ryan Dowell.

Meeting started at 6:32 p.m.

Continue reading below, or download the meeting minutes (.pdf).

Round table introductions were done.

Reviewed and adopted last minutes from February 18, 2010.

  1. VIHRC Bank Account Signers: Rosemary reported all five financial signers signed the new paperwork provided by Community Savings, which included the Treasurer (Wendy Bruce), who was elected at the last meeting. The five signers are Michael Doerfler, Wendy Bruce, Paul Jones, Virginia Vaillancourt and Rosemary MacKenzie.
  2. Follow up with Treasury and VIHRC financial details and budget was presented by Wendy Bruce. The current balance is $391.93. 2 statements have been received because we have 2 accounts, one is an equal shares account with the Community Savings account of which we put in $50.00 and have earned $.03 cents in interest so far and our business checking account which started with a balance of $450.00. Once the BC Committee receives their allocation we will receive ours shortly after that. Treasurer wants to apply for a local access fund to help pay for interpreters instead of from our operating budget.
  3. Pride 2010 funding request – Paul: Looking for money for Pride activities, as we don’t know how much we have for funding Paul has made a motion to move this item to next meeting on June 22, 2010. Carried.
  4. National GLBT convention resolution re: “Pride” term – Paul: Resolution made at the convention, great exception to the word Pride, resolution did not pass. Copy of National conference from 2007-2009 for anyone who wants to know what happened at these conventions. There were many discussions around the word Pride and many did not feel it was a very good word to use as it indicated only the GLBT group were proud and did not include other members under the 4 equity groups, it was felt that Pride was a term that excluded other equity people.
  5. Progress/vote on VIHRC logo designs – Robert: Robert gave a power point presentation with 4 designs for discussion and voting on. Symbols such as a dove, human figures, candles and urban imagery were used in the designing and planning. VIHRC has voted on a logo for the committee. The Committee would like to thank Robert for all the hard work he put into the planning and designing of these logos.
  6. Update on banner style & costing – Mark: Moved to next meeting.
  • Break 7:32 Meeting Resumed at 7:36
  1. Duty to accommodate – Maddalena: Presented to the Committee a power point presentation on the role of Community based Health Providers regarding Occupation Addiction Medicine. It was very informative and gave some of the responsibilities and rights between the employers and the employees as well as what information your Dr. is allowed to release to the employer. She advised of actual outcomes of cases heard by the courts and HR Tribunals. Bill C-45 is the key to understanding the term safety in the workplace. Thank you Maddalena.
  2. Amendments to TOR – Dave/Michael: Amendments to clean up the language of our VIHRC TOR previously voted in from our February 18, 2010 meeting to ensure clarity and consistency within the document. Amended version submitted. Discussion ensued and vote taken and passed to clean up language of our TOR as presented at today’s meeting. Cheque signers will communicate via e-mail to put in place processes for cheque signing which will then be amended and voted into the VIHRC’s TOR.
  3. Clarification on committee positions’ roles – Michael: Duties and responsibilities of committee positions for secretary duties. Recording secretary to use audio/digital recorder for meetings, meeting notifications and e-mailing agenda items along with the chair. Rosemary will usually do up agenda items and send them out to the committee members. She also has a template for signing in of members on meeting nights to ensure the contact information is up to date.
  4. VIHRC National Access conference in Ottawa – all: 4 members of our committee have been chosen for this convention; Paul, Maddalena, Wendy and Mark, congratulations! Paul would like to add a resolution for this conference; however the deadline has now passed. Deadline was the same time as the delegate applications on March 3, 2010. Virginia felt that this was unfair as members who would like to put forth a resolution may not do so because they don’t know at that time if they have been accepted as a delegate or not. Michael has brought forth some considerations he would like to be brought forward at this convention regarding a special access fund being started to accommodate funds for equipment for business related equipment for PWD members such as laptops and projectors for PSAC related business. Robert mentioned that his local has just bought a new laptop and are looking to donate their old one. He will look into the possibility of donating it to the VIHRC. Thank you!!! Paul will also bring forward a special resolution during convention to request a new access fund be established for special equipment needed for PWD members.
  • Final note to this: VIHRC has just been advised that we have another member of our committee who has been selected to attend this conference too. Congratulations Michael for being chosen to attend this conference as well!
  1. Website hosting for VIHRC resources – Michael: Moved to next meeting June 22, 2010.

Meeting adjourned at 8:29 p.m.

Next meeting is June 22, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the PSAC office.

June 21st is National Aboriginal Day

It’s been 14 years since then Governor-General Romèo Leblanc declared that June 21 was to become National Aboriginal Day across Canada. The day of the summer solstice was chosen because of its significance in a wide variety of Aboriginal cultures, and many First Nations had already been using the longest day of the year to celebrate their heritage and traditions. The day is meant for every Canadian to recognize, honour and respect the contributions Aboriginal Peoples have made to the Canadian fabric.

June 21st should also be a day for us to learn more about the diverse Aboriginal cultures and about the issues that face Canada’s First Peoples. It is important that all of us make ourselves more aware of the reasons why, in almost every measure, Aboriginal Peoples fare much worse than other Canadians.

Continue reading at the national website.

Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee – Notification of Regular Meeting

  • Open to: All PSAC Members on Vancouver Island
  • Date/Time: June 22, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: PSAC Victoria Regional Office, 210-1497 Admirals Road
  • Teleconference: Please call 250-953-1050 or 1-866-953-1050 for ‘call in’ coordinates, no later than June 22 at 12:00 noon.

Come out or Telephone in & See what your newly formed Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee (VIHRC) has been doing for you! New members and allies are always welcomed to observe or join VIHRC!

VIHRC is particularly keen in welcoming any member from 4 equity groups:

  • Aboriginals;
  • Access (Persons with Disabilities which also includes invisible disorders such as ADHD, Brain injury, OCD etc.);
  • Pride (Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transgendered, Transsexual etc.);
  • Racially Visible

Regular meeting atmosphere is casual. Please contact 250-953-1050 or email PSAC Victoria Regional Office at mackenr@psac.com for more info. Download the poster!

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