January 13, 2021 – Summary of our Membership Meeting (Virtual)

Here is a summary of our January meeting:

Happy New Year everyone!

Thanks to everyone who was able to join us for our first general meeting of 2021 yesterday.

Here is a brief summary of our meeting and discussions

Election for Job Evaluation Committee – Alternate
Congratulations to Jasmine Haskell elected to the position and thanks to all for letting their name stand.

Hardship Fund Discussion

Reminder that this fund of $100 is available for those members who may be in need. Applications will be vetted by our Office Admin and you will be required to provide evidence of need. The Application is posted on website and we will resend to the CUPE list as well. All applications, names and information will be kept confidential. The Executive will make the decisions on each application on a case by case need basis. First time applicants will have priority. The fund is available until June 30th.

Okanagan Mainline District Council (OMDC) Young Worker opportunity – CUPE BC Convention

Karl Fultz provided information on opportunity for young worker to attend CUPE BC convention, sponsored by OMDC. Only one spot available, discussed eligibility criteria and application process. Applicants from all CUPE Locals affiliated to the OMDC are eligible to apply so odds will be based on total number of applicants. If you are a young worker, between the age of 18 to 30 inclusive, in our local please send us a paragraph of why you would like to be considered for this opportunity to attend the CUPE BC convention. Send the application to the Executive via cupe4879@shaw.ca by February 14th. Deadline subject to change as we are waiting to hear officially from the OMDC what their deadline is. The Convention will be held virtually over 3 days, 9am to 4pm, May 19-21. Wages and expenses (if any) will be covered.

President Report/update:

Grievance updates:
One grievance filed so far this year regarding selection and there are 5-6 outstanding from previous years. Will be taking 3 grievance to mediation with Arbitrator Mark Brown. We are still waiting for dates.

Layoff update:
We still have people on temp leave. Some people have already been told that there positions will be eliminated and so are not being brought back. They have been offered their layoff options. Some members are still waiting to hear and the Union is hoping TRU will make decisions soon about those members and if there leave will be extended or not. Several people have also been told they will be bringing back their position back so some positive news on that front. We will let the membership know what the final numbers look like as we learn more but want members to know that this is about more than numbers and that we continue and always need to be kind to each other in these times of trouble and distress. Please reach out if you need support or just need to talk.
Benefits for those turning 65:

Some members reaching 65 years of age are still receiving automated letter from Manulife saying their benefits will no longer be available. The Union would like to clarify that those members will not receive LTD and will have reduced life insurance when they turn 65 but will still receive short term disability benefits and get extended health benefits until age 70. HR (People and Culture) have been trying to work with Manulife to get this resolved so they do not send our members automated emails but to date this has not stopped. TRU puts those members who are age 65 to 70 into a different class re benefits. Unfortunately benefits do cease at age 70 but Manulife has a follow me plan. Depending on your personal circumstance you may also want to look into BC Forum who has a group plan to age 75 for a membership fee of approx. $20

Pension plan, changes coming in 2022.
Just a reminder that Bridging will still be an option for those it may benefit but will be prorated based on years of service that members have paid into it after 2022. Once the changes occur in 2022 people will be accumulating a larger amount in their pension as the plan will no longer be funding the bridging. This will benefit younger members more but will have some benefit to others depending on how long you work after 2022. CUPE 4879 will be offering a lunch ‘n’ learn on pensions for an opportunity to learn more and ask general questions. Date TBA. If you have specific questions about your personal pension we would encourage you to contact the MPP directly.

Coldest Night of the Year: joining Kamloops and District Labour Council (Team Labour Council 2021)
This year, the across Canada fundraising event will be virtual and held on Feb.20th Participants can walk with their bubble or by themselves on a safe route they have mapped out in their own neighbourhood or neighbourhoods they feel comfortable in. The walking distance should be between 2 to 5 km approximately. It is an honour system of course.

There was a motion at the GM to sponsor up to $300 for the event. $50 each for up to 6 participants from CUPE 4879 who join the Labour Council 2021 team. To register for the CNOY 2021 event go to https://cnoy.org/home and register to fundraise (or donate). You can look for your location (For majority of members – Kamloops) and then it will guide you on how to register for the team Labour Council 2021. This year the Team Captain is Talitha Dekker from HEU. The incentive to participate or donate to team Labour Council 2021 is for bragging rights if the team is the number one fundraiser, but most importantly it supports the Mustard Seed and all of the great work they do for our homeless persons and our community.

If you are one of the first 6 CUPE members to register as a participant on the team we will make sure we donate $50 toward your fundraising goal. Contact myself presidentcupe4879@shaw.ca or cupe4879@shaw.ca to confirm you have registered We would invite and encourage all members to make a personal donation large or small if you can, either to yourself if participating, a CUPE 4879 member on team Labour Council 2021 or to the Team itself.

CUPE 4879 Bursary:
Reminder that CUPE bursary deadline is Jan.15. The Education committee will review applications and announce the winners sometime in February.

Kamloops and District Labour Council Bursary

Congrats to Cindy Ozouf and Dana Bach, each winners of KDLC bursary this year. Reminder to members that each year the KDLC awards 5 x $1000 bursaries. 3 are general and 1 is specifically for Trades Programs. The 5th is a relatively new bursary in Memory of Cindy Ross Friedman that is awarded to a woman who is studying in the STEM programs.

Financial Query from member
One of the questions asked last night at our meeting was about the 4879 budget. The question was when the Budget was presented and approved, did the Executive account for layoffs and retirements – Lois and Lyn provided response that yes the Executive did anticipate lower dues and adjusted some of our expenditures. We have approved a deficit budget this year but we are still in good shape and will be watching as the year goes on.

Door Prizes:
Members in attendance at the meeting were entered into a draw for our regular $20 door prizes and our spin it to win it wheel.
Congratulations to Michael Dillon and Marianna Abutalipova

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Executive, Committee members or contact our office. A complete list of names of elected committee members will be posted shortly.