November 2014

Carl Gannon Jr. – National President

Zarina Khan – National Vice-President, Ontario Region

Jayne Auranen – National Executive Vice-President

Debi Buell – National Vice-President, Charlottetown H.O.

Michelle Bradley – National Vice-President, Atlantic

Daniel Gaulin – National Vice-President, Québec Region

Virginia Vaillancourt – National Vice-President, Western Region

Kristin Beauchamp – National Vice-President, Deer Lodge Centre

Lisa Nelson – Alternate National Vice-President, Western Region

Anne Howard – Administrative Assistant


Item 1 Call to Order

The National President called the meeting to order at 9 a.m.

Participants were reminded of the UVAE Harassment Policy.

Item 2 Hours of Session


That the hours of session be as proposed by the Chairperson.

Tuesday,  November 18, 2014                9:00 – noon

1:00 – 5:00

Wednesday, November 19, 2014            8:00 – 10:00

4:00 – 6:00

Thursday, November 20, 2014                9:30 – 4:00

Friday, November 21, 2014                    9:00 – noon

If there is unfinished business a conference call will be held on Tuesday, November 25th.


Item 3 Adoption of Agenda – Additions/Deletions

That the agenda as presented be adopted with the following addition.


Item 11 Clarification of Relocation Policy MOTION CARRIED

Item 4 Adoption of Minutes – NEO April 2014


That the minutes of April 2014 be adopted.


Item 5 National President’s Report

The National President asked the NVPs to take some time to read his report and also updated his report verbally.

a)    Transition

There has been a major turnaround in the National Office and we are transitioning. This transition is not yet completed, but we are working diligently to become as efficient as possible.

b)    Political Action

With federal elections looming, UVAE is looking at strategically targeting ridings in areas around locations where VAC offices were closed. The National President is working with other Component National Presidents to pool resources.

c)     Collective Bargaining

The National President stated that the PSAC Bargaining Team was meeting in Ottawa this week and that we need to support them this round more than ever. Our E.O. Coordinator, Toufic El-Daher sits on the negotiation team.

e) PSAC Convention

The National President explained that although UVAE will only have 7 seats for the PSAC Convention, all NVPs will be attending including the E.O. Coordinator. One attendee will become an observer. The N.P. will have to make a decision shortly as to which NVPs will become delegates. The N.P. stated that he will make his decision based on experience and seniority. The

N.P. pointed out that his position as delegate to Convention is taken from a different allotment.

d) Ste. Anne’s Hospital

The National President’s report goes into detail regarding the Ste. Anne’s Hospital transfer, but the N.P. stated how important it is for all members and NVPs to support Ste. Anne’s through these trying times. The NVPs attended a demonstration at Ste. Anne’s Hospital on November 19th.


That the National President’s report be adopted.


Item 6  National Executive Officers’ Reports

The NVP’s gave verbal updates to their reports.


That the National Executive Officers’ reports be adopted.



Motion to add Scholarship to the agenda as Item 12.


Item 7 Representation – NEVP

The NEVP explained that she is concentrating on getting up to speed with classification grievances, how many and where they are in the system.

Currently, a hearing is being scheduled with Jonathan O’Keefe for the District Manager of Admin Services. Hoping to have the Disability Benefit Assistants scheduled the middle of December or early January.

NCCN/TAC – NEVP asked all NVPs to inform her of situations in the NCCN/TAC network as many of the issues that are arisingin all centres could be dealt with nationally. If a grievance is referred to 2nd level, the NEVP would be responsible for the hearing: needs to be well informed at all times.

Harassment Complaints: member vs. member – union may assist member and can accompany member to meetings, if requested. Union is there to ensure members’ rights are protected. We have no input or opinion. We do not represent member against member and we need to educate all members in this regard. Official harassment complaints go directly to DG, HR in H.O. whowill contract an outside resource person as all staff mediators/facilitators from Organizational Health & Ethics were declaredsurplus in late 2013.

Medical Retirement files: Although not necessarily part of our mandate, I, as former NVP, Ontario had been assisting member during these difficult times. With the centralization of Superannuation (Pensions) and the upcoming centralization of Compensation, all questions and enquiries must go to the pension centre. Thank you to the NVP, Western who has taken on one of these files.

Duty to accommodate: Hands on is the best situation and all situations are unique. There is no one size fits all remedies.

Item 8 Financial Report

The National President advised that the investments are performing as expected.

Item 9 Health & Safety – NVP Charlottetown

NVP, Debi Buell, gave an update. At the moment, Committee members H & S training is due once again. In discussions with the Director, Barry Johnston this training could be offered once again. We are in the process of making the arrangements with the Department  and  PSAC.  Debi  explained  that  a  few years ago the employer had provided H&S training. All committee members will receive training. The NVP remarked on the dangers of Bill C-

4. PSAC is providing training on the impact of the changes this bill has on Health and Safety. One change is on the definition of “Dangerous Work” in that the work must be imminently dangerous in order for someone to refuse. Thecommittee still needs a couple more senior managers but the newest manager on the Committee is Mitch Freeman.

The NVP stated that she sits on the “PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE WORPLACE” committee. Mental Health should be a priority and taken very seriously. We have presented a proposal to Senior Management and are awaiting how we will continue and go forward with the committee.

An email has recently been communicated on the Adverse Weather and the NVP has had meetings with Mitch Freeman, DG, ITIM, with regard to how the messages will be sent out should there be a storm. There is a Network of Senior Managers in Charlottetown and they will be in contact with each other during the storm. The VAC office will never close, but will delay opening at prescribed intervals during the adverse conditions and be put on the “Storm Line” telephone line as well as on the local radio stations. Employees should not leave home until clearly indicated that the office is now open. The union is closelyinvolved in the Health and Safely and well being of our employees and is in contact with the manager during inclement weatherconditions.

The NVPs brought up several points with regard to H&S for the NVP, Charlottetown to bring back to the H& S Committee. The NVP will advocate for those points.

Item 10 Ste. Anne’s Transfer Update

The NVP, Quebec gave an update. Ste. Anne’s is still waiting for much awaited information from the Federal and Provincial levels. On November 15th it was assumed that information would come out, then Bill 10 came out meaning the negotiationswould have to be revisited. On November 27th the NVP and the local executive are going to Quebec City to meet with Mr. Thibault, ADM, Provincial Health department to try to get more information on the situation. At this point, the local would like to hear something whether it be positive or negative, they just want information. This has been ongoing for the last 4 years. Employees need to make life decisions and lack of information iscausing much stress and tension in the workplace and is also creating friction between employees. Members are very stressed and are trying to minimize the effect on clients.

A rally was set up for November 19th, and we are hoping for a large turnout.

Item 11 Relocation Policy

The relocation policy was presented and there was discussion with regard to the policy.


Apartment cost up to $1,500 / month including:

  • Basic phone
  • Cable (including internet) Hydro
  • Parking
  • Return trip home via air to a maximum of $10,000/ year


  • Kilometres to and from home using their own vehicle (max 1000 kms return) for a maximum of $7,000 / year


  • If the elected officer chooses to move their family to Ottawa, the Component will pay for the rental of a vehicle and gasoline to move their personal effects as such, trips home would then be at the elected officer’s own expense.

As a result of the discussion a motion was put forward to amend the policy to remove the words ‘up to’ and amend the cost from $1500 to $1750. M/S VAILLANCOURT, BRADLEY

After much discussion the NVPS wanted clarification on the policy, therefore a motion was put forward to refer this amount back to the Finance Committee for costing.


The Finance Committee reported back and the motion to increase the $1500 to $1750 was voted on. Therefore the new regulation was amended to read as follows:


  • Monthly allocation of $1750 which includes: Basic phone
  • Cable (including internet)
  • Hydro Parking
  • Return trip home via air to a maximum of $10,000/ year


  • Kilometres to and from home using their own vehicle (max 1000 kms return) for a maximum of $7,000 / year


  • If the elected officer chooses to move their family to Ottawa, the Component will pay for the rental of a vehicle and gasoline to move their personal effects as such, trips home would then be at the elected officer’s own expense.

This will not affect the current budget.


Item 12 Scholarship

The winners of the scholarship are Jessica Willis from Charlottetown H.O. and Robert Lalonde from Penticton.

Item 13 Date of next meeting

To be determined.