Labour slate sweeps Pacific Blue Cross board elections

(reposted from CUPE BC)

Progressive candidates take all seven seats as CUPE-led campaign nets massive voter turnout

VANCOUVER—A massive turnout by Pacific Blue Cross primary plan holders at the benefit provider’s annual general meeting last night has resulted in half of the company’s board of directors being replaced by an entire slate of labour-endorsed candidates.

The election of all seven progressive nominees sends a clear message about the desire for change at PBC and represents an overwhelming rebuke of the company’s treatment of its workers in the last round of bargaining, said CUPE 1816 President Beth Miller.

“PBC plan holders were clearly concerned about the board’s role in allowing concessions and tolerating a lockout, and the turnout for this vote really tells the story,” said Miller. “We look forward to working with the new board to seek a new leadership model that will return PBC to its progressive roots.”

Aaron Ekman and Alicia Gallo were acclaimed when two current directors and two BC Nurses Union nominees withdrew before the vote. The other five slate candidates were supported by 90 per cent of the PBC members in attendance. In the health care professional member category, Dr. Sandra Jenneson and Dr. Stephane Voyer soundly defeated current director John Hope while another current director withdrew. In the individual member category, Brendan Dick, Joe Elworthy and Jim Iker similarly defeated incumbent directors Gary Fane and Gerry Smith and a third candidate, Cynthia Bratkowski, who ran to replace another incumbent director who had withdrawn.

The CUPE-led campaign, supported by the BC Federation of Labour and affiliates—including the Hospital Employees’ Union, MoveUP, Unifor, and the BC Teachers’ Federation—created enough momentum to put nearly 800 primary plan holders on buses and get them out to the Westin Bayshore to cast their votes for change.

The shuttle buses came from the PBC offices in Burnaby, a PNE parking lot in East Vancouver, and from Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

“On behalf of CUPE, we want to thank all the plan members who came out to vote, the candidates for putting their names forward, and the BC Fed and its affiliates who heeded our call for change and supported this campaign from beginning to end,” said Miller.

For photos from the AGM, see the Gallery here.

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Retooled CPP expansion still punishes parents and disabled Canadians

(reposted from

CUPE is calling on the Trudeau government to match its rhetoric with action when it comes to addressing the serious gap in the 2016 CPP expansion. The proposed fix to the government’s plan announced Monday at the meeting of Canada’s finance ministers appears to be yet another half-measure that maintains a serious penalty for workers who take time off due to disability or to raise children.

In 2016, the Liberal government’s CPP expansion legislation crucially neglected to include a “drop-out” provision for workers who take time away from work due to child-raising responsibilities or disability. CUPE and other organizations raised the issue at the time, but the government ignored those interventions and passed the legislation with these critical flaws built in. The issue was revisited this week during meetings of the federal, provincial, and territorial finance ministers.

But unfortunately, the government did not implement a drop-out provision that would allow workers to subtract the years they were away from work from their CPP calculation. Instead, the government’s latest proposal will likely, in the vast majority of cases, result in unfair and preventable penalties during retirement for Canadians with child-raising responsibilities, especially women, and people who suffered a significant injury or illness during their career.

“Until the government announces the full restoration of the child-rearing and disability drop-outs, this proposed fix remains a discriminatory half-measure,” said CUPE National President Mark Hancock. “For all their rhetoric about helping working people and middle-class families, the Liberals are falling short of their promises once again, and Canadians are getting short-changed as a result.”

“Canadians view this as an important equality issue, and they shouldn’t have to wait several more years for the government to do the right thing,” said CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury. “We need a full drop-out provision so that workers aren’t penalized when they reach retirement simply for taking care of their kids or for being injured.”

Happy holidays from CUPE National!

As the holiday season approaches, and as 2017 comes to a close, we want to send our warmest holiday greetings and our most sincere thanks to all CUPE members.

The past year has been full of challenges, as members across the country stood strong in the fight for fairness, respect and better working conditions, at the bargaining table and on the picket line. CUPE has led the charge against precarious work, and for more stable employment and retirement security for all Canadians.

CUPE members have never been in a better position to bargain forward on the things that matter most. As a union, with over 650,000 members, our solidarity has never been stronger. We are strong because of activists and leaders like you.

In the spirit of peace, justice and solidarity, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and the very best for 2018.

In solidarity,


General Membership meeting: Thursday, December 14

Seasons Greetings,

We look forward to seeing you for a quick General Membership meeting, Thursday, Dec 14 at 5:00pm, Fisher 200, to be followed by a festive Seasonal Social in the Lansdowne Cafeteria. There will be light refreshments and tasty holiday treats to enjoy!

Please review the Agenda and available documents in advance, so we may keep our business on the day as timely as possible.

2017.12.14 Agenda – December General Meeting Agenda

2017.10.20 – October General Meeting Minutes

2017.12 December Report – Correspondence Secretary


Final Representative Report – Victoria Labour Council November 17

December17 – Representative Report – Job Evaluation Coordinator

We wish everyone a safe, happy and relaxing holiday season.

Modified Work Week during Holiday Closure? Check Your Flex!

Do you participate in the Modified Work Week (MWW) Program? Does your next earned time off (flex) day occur during the College closure from Dec 23/17-Jan 1/18? If so, you will need to reschedule your flex day.

Generally, a flex day may be rescheduled on a work day as soon as possible following the closure as mutually agreed between you and your supervisor and to meet operational needs.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

United Way 50/50 draw


We’re nearing the end of Camosun’s 2017 United Way Campaign. Like every year, there is a fundraising challenge between CUPE, CCFA and Exempt working groups at the College. This year’s challenge: which employee group team can sell the most 50/50 tickets?

Here’s the tragic truth, brothers and sisters – CUPE lost the first round of this challenge. We didn’t only lose, we came in dead last. Luckily, we have another chance! The next draw is this week, on Thursday, Dec 7. We can race like a dark horse from the back of the pack and emerge victorious!

Tickets are only $2.00 each. The more we sell, the better chance CUPE has to win this challenge. Plus, the more tickets you buy, the better chance your chance to win the 50/50 draw. And more tickets sold means more money raised for the United Way, so everyone wins! Note: the tickets you purchased for the previous draw do not count. You have to buy fresh tickets!

Get your tickets from:

The next and FINAL game draw is on Dec 7 at 2pm. Click the rules. Please contact Naji Yazdi if you have any questions.

Good luck!


Get your 50/50 tickets – Everybody wins in support of United Way!

Good afternoon members,

Our Local proudly supports the 2017 United Way Campaign. Like every year, there is a fundraising challenge between CUPE, CCFA and Exempt working groups at the College. This year’s challenge is a little more subdued, but still fierce: which employee group team can sell the most 50/50 tickets?

Obviously, CUPE Local 2081, so let’s do this! Tickets are only $2.00 each – the more we sell, the better chance CUPE has of winning this challenge. The more tickets you buy, the better chance you have of winning. And more tickets sold means more money raised for the United Way, so everyone wins!

You can buy your tickets from:

The first CUPE game draw date is Oct 31 at 2pm. There will be a second game draw on Dec 7 at 2pm.

Click for the rules. Please contact Naji Yazdi if you have any questions. Good luck!

Thank you,

Dawn Svendsen  l  Chief Shop Steward/Office Coordinator

CUPE Local 2081