CUPE 1816

Special Resolution to Remove PBC Board Members Not Up For Re-election

Pacific Blue Cross,
4250 Canada Way,
Burnaby, BC
V5G 4W6

 

To: Secretary, Pacific Blue Cross Society

Pursuant to Bylaw 5.16 of the PBC Health Benefits Society Bylaws, as the undersigned member of PBC Health Benefits Society, I hereby propose seven special resolutions to be considered at the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the PBC Health Benefits Society, as follows:

  1. Resolution removing Malcolm Williamson as a Director of the Society

“WHEREAS the PBC Health Benefits Society (the “Society”) is a not-for-profit society and not a corporation;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, operated as a values-based organization, whose strategy for providing quality services to its customers centred the well-being of its employees;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, had strong relationships with the unions whose members receive benefits through and are members of the Society, to the mutual benefit of the Society and these members;

AND WHEREAS members of the current Board of Directors have abandoned these values and relationship by allowing senior management team to prioritize profit over respectful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relations with the Society’s employees;

AND WHEREAS the members of the Society wish the Society to return to its values-based approach prioritizing quality service and employee well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Malcolm Williamson be removed as a Director of the Society.”

  1. Resolution removing Mark Schonfeld as a Director of the Society

“WHEREAS the PBC Health Benefits Society (the “Society”) is a not-for-profit society and not a corporation;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, operated as a values-based organization, whose strategy for providing quality services to its customers centred the well-being of its employees;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, had strong relationships with the unions whose members receive benefits through and are members of the Society, to the mutual benefit of the Society and these members;

AND WHEREAS members of the current Board of Directors have abandoned these values and relationship by allowing senior management team to prioritize profit over respectful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relations with the Society’s employees;

AND WHEREAS the members of the Society wish the Society to return to its values-based approach prioritizing quality service and employee well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Mark Schonfeld be removed as a Director of the Society.”

  1. Resolution removing Richard Taylor as a Director of the Society

“WHEREAS the PBC Health Benefits Society (the “Society”) is a not-for-profit society and not a corporation;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, operated as a values-based organization, whose strategy for providing quality services to its customers centred the well-being of its employees;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, had strong relationships with the unions whose members receive benefits through and are members of the Society, to the mutual benefit of the Society and these members;

AND WHEREAS members of the current Board of Directors have abandoned these values and relationship by allowing senior management team to prioritize profit over respectful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relations with the Society’s employees;

AND WHEREAS the members of the Society wish the Society to return to its values-based approach prioritizing quality service and employee well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Richard Taylor be removed as a Director of the Society.”

  1. Resolution removing John Fitzpatrick as a Director of the Society

 “WHEREAS the PBC Health Benefits Society (the “Society”) is a not-for-profit society and not a corporation;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, operated as a values-based organization, whose strategy for providing quality services to its customers centred the well-being of its employees;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, had strong relationships with the unions whose members receive benefits through and are members of the Society, to the mutual benefit of the Society and these members;

AND WHEREAS members of the current Board of Directors have abandoned these values and relationship by allowing senior management team to prioritize profit over respectful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relations with the Society’s employees;

AND WHEREAS the members of the Society wish the Society to return to its values-based approach prioritizing quality service and employee well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT John Fitzpatrick be removed as a Director of the Society.”

  1. Resolution removing Colleen Jordan as a Director of the Society

“WHEREAS the PBC Health Benefits Society (the “Society”) is a not-for-profit society and not a corporation;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, operated as a values-based organization, whose strategy for providing quality services to its customers centred the well-being of its employees;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, had strong relationships with the unions whose members receive benefits through and are members of the Society, to the mutual benefit of the Society and these members;

AND WHEREAS members of the current Board of Directors have abandoned these values and relationship by allowing senior management team to prioritize profit over respectful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relations with the Society’s employees;

AND WHEREAS the members of the Society wish the Society to return to its values-based approach prioritizing quality service and employee well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Colleen Jordan be removed as a Director of the Society.”

  1. Resolution removing Mary Laplante as a Director of the Society

“WHEREAS the PBC Health Benefits Society (the “Society”) is a not-for-profit society and not a corporation;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, operated as a values-based organization, whose strategy for providing quality services to its customers centred the well-being of its employees;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, had strong relationships with the unions whose members receive benefits through and are members of the Society, to the mutual benefit of the Society and these members;

AND WHEREAS members of the current Board of Directors have abandoned these values and relationship by allowing senior management team to prioritize profit over respectful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relations with the Society’s employees;

AND WHEREAS the members of the Society wish the Society to return to its values-based approach prioritizing quality service and employee well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Mary Laplante be removed as a Director of the Society.”

  1. Resolution removing Robert Wallis as a Director of the Society

“WHEREAS the PBC Health Benefits Society (the “Society”) is a not-for-profit society and not a corporation;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, operated as a values-based organization, whose strategy for providing quality services to its customers centred the well-being of its employees;

AND WHEREAS the Society has, in the past, had strong relationships with the unions whose members receive benefits through and are members of the Society, to the mutual benefit of the Society and these members;

AND WHEREAS members of the current Board of Directors have abandoned these values and relationship by allowing senior management team to prioritize profit over respectful, harmonious, and mutually beneficial relations with the Society’s employees;

AND WHEREAS the members of the Society wish the Society to return to its values-based approach prioritizing quality service and employee well-being;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Robert Wallis be removed as a Director of the Society.”

Myths and Facts II – The World According to Jan

 

July 25, 2017

CUPE 1816 and Pacific Blue Cross

Myths and Facts II – The World According to Jan

On July 17, Pacific Blue Cross President and CEO Jan Grude wrote a letter to Ms. Diane L. Wood, president of the BC Federation of Retired Union Members. The letter, which purported to clarify several issues related to the labour dispute, included several inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and half-truths:

Myth: “Pacific Blue Cross did not lock out our employees.”

Fact: On June 30, PBC’s Vice-President of Human Resources, Rob Chiarello wrote an e-mail to all bargaining unit members, saying the following: “If the union decides to pull a staff member, the duration of the leave will be for the remainder of the week.” According to Section 1 of the BC Labour Relations Code, a “lockout” is defined as follows:

closing a place of employment, a suspension of work or a refusal by an employer to continue to employ a number of his or her employees, done to compel his or her employees or to aid another employer to compel his or her employees to agree to conditions of employment

Mr. Chiarello’s e-mail made clear that the Employer was suspending work in order to compel employees to agree to the Employer’s conditions of employment. Since June 30, the Employer has never retreated from its position that any member who participates in job action will be locked out until the following week.

Myth: “As this is CUPE’s choice and not that of management to be absent from work, we consider this to be strike action.”

Fact: Further to the above, it should be noted that it was the Employer that insisted on an all-or-nothing approach to this labour dispute, and not “CUPE’s choice”. As well, the Employer’s decision to impose unilateral changes to existing conditions of employment—such as by cancelling sick time, flex time and family responsibility leave, and by refusing to collect and remit union dues or recognize seniority in promotions—can only be seen as a deliberate attempt by the Employer to provoke the union on the one hand while denying responsibility for the resulting job action on the other.

Myth: “Current retiree benefits are not sustainable.”

Fact: Current service costs for all retiree benefits for CUPE members amount to less than two per cent of total payroll. The changes sought by PBC amount to less than one per cent of total payroll in savings.

Myth: CUPE 1816 is not willing to bargain while PBC is.

Fact: CUPE 1816 is willing to bargain, and has bargained extensively since September 2016. This round of negotiations has been driven by Employer demands for concessions, and the Employer has not presented a case to justify the concessions it is seeking to our members’ retiree benefits. CUPE 1816 is prepared to bargain as soon as the Employer is prepared to modify its position on retiree benefits. There has been no contact from the Employer regarding bargaining since July 7.

Myth: PBC is transparent in its negotiations with CUPE 1816.

Fact: In claiming that PBC is in financial difficulty, Grude claims in his letter that the Financial Institutions Commission expects PBC to reverse “the trend” of its operating losses. When asked to produce documentation to substantiate this claim, the Employer has thus far refused.

cope491

BARGAINING UPDATE # 11

BARGAINING UPDATE # 11

July 25, 2017 

Resolution Puts Seven PBC Board Members on Notice

A special resolution calling for the removal of the seven Pacific Blue Cross Board members not up for re-election at the September 7 AGM has been signed by CUPE 1004 brother and PBC member Andrew Healey and was submitted yesterday to Pacific Blue Cross Society, your negotiating committee has confirmed.

The resolution, which singles out PBC Board members Malcolm Williamson, Mark Schonfeld, Richard Taylor, John Fitzpatrick, Colleen Jordan, Mary LaPlante and Robert Wallis, was sent by express post to both the Society’s mail and street addresses, as well as by fax. The other seven positions will be up for re-election due to their terms expiring. The resolution in detail is attached.

In other recent news:

  • On July 13, Vice President Rob Chiarello, in a letter attached to employee pay stubs, claimed that PBC’s most recent proposal on July 7 “would have no changes to retiree health benefits.” In fact, the proposal would have relieved the Employer from fulfilling its promise to provide specific benefits in retirement to our members. It would have shifted all risk for retiree benefits on to the backs of retirees, while eliminating any guarantee of the level of benefits to be provided in retirement. The Employer’s proposal included deleting all language regarding retiree benefits from the collective agreement.
  • On the bargaining front: The Union is prepared to bargain with the Employer at any time, however in the absence of any change in the Employer’s position, there is very little left to discuss in bargaining. The Employer has not contacted the union regarding new bargaining dates since July 7.
  • The Union’s Unfair Labour Practice complaint regarding the use of illegal replacement workers will continue to be heard in LRB sessions this week. We hope for a decision soon.

ON THE PICKET LINE—It has been more than two weeks since this lockout began. We want to express our thanks and appreciation to the strike committee for all their hard work to make our picket lines the great success they’ve been. We have been inspired by the resolve of our members since the lockout began on July 7.  We are also overwhelmed by all the support we’ve received from the labour movement over the past several weeks. The fight against concessions to post-retirement benefits is not our fight alone, and the support we are receiving from other workers on the picket line demonstrates that.

cope491

Bargaining Update #6: Escalating Job Action

BURNABY — The CUPE 1816 Negotiating Committee was scheduled to bargain with the Employer on
Friday, May 26 and Sunday, May 28. We did meet on Friday and put forward our proposal. After
looking over our proposal the Employer came back and told us they would not be doing a counterproposal
nor would they be bargaining with us on Sunday.

The Employer told us they will “weather whatever storm comes their way.” The Negotiating
Committee is extremely disappointed. We are truly at a loss to explain the Employer’s unwillingness to
bargain with us. We made a specific request to have Jan join us at the bargaining table, but we were
told that he is unavailable. We really can’t explain why the Employer views this labour dispute as such
a low priority and why they are being so dismissive of our attempts to reach a fair Collective
Agreement.

The Employer is now refusing to pay for our MSP, Dental, and Extended Health premiums despite the
fact we have not staged a full walk out. We have held numerous study sessions — for which we have
been paylossed — but we continue to provide work. The Employer doesn’t seem to value this
contribution and is going to start charging us 50% of the premiums from May 29-31 and then make us
pay 100% beginning June 1. Thankfully, CUPE National has agreed to pay our premiums so no one is
going to be directly affected by this reprehensible move on the part of Employer.

We met with our Strike Committee on May 29 and have empowered them to begin preparations for
further job action. The Strike Committee will be handing out surveys and communications so you will
get to know them and your Strike Captains very shortly.

In the meantime, please follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook page as we plan to connect with
you more on social media.

Your CUPE 1816 Negotiating Committee:
• Beth Miller
• Roger Pearce
• Anna Torgerson
• Tracey Harston
• Christine Johnson
• James Richardson — CUPE National Representative

Bargaining Update #5: Time for Job Action!

On May 9, 2017 the Negotiating Committee mediated with the Employer and their legal counsel at the Labour Board. The Union was faced with two options — to either negotiate essential services or schedule a future trial date that would further delay job action.

You have been very vocal about the fact that you don’t want any further delays and we heard you loud and clear. We understand and share your frustration with the length of time it is taking to reach a fair Collective Agreement.

As a result, we decided to negotiate the essential services which allowed the Union to serve 72-hour strike notice and advise the Employer we would be commencing job action this weekend. We also informed the Employer that there will be no further bargaining dates until the concessions are off the table. The Employer initially wanted 36 positions to be designated as essential, but we agreed to the following: 

  • 12 Disability Adjudication Specialists (DAS) 
  • 12 Disability Case Management Specialists (DCMS) 
  • 1 Supervisor

This understanding was made on a without prejudice basis which means that it does not establish BC Life as an essential service in future disputes.

JOB ACTION

May 13
Overtime Ban
Members are prohibited from working overtime

May 15
Work-to-Rule
Five-day workweek = 7.00-hour days
Four-day workweek = 8.75-hour days

We want to thank you again for your dedication and support during this time.

Your CUPE 1816 Negotiating Committee:

  • Beth Miller
  • Roger Pearce
  • Anna Torgerson
  • Tracey Harston
  • Christine Johnson
  • James Richardson — CUPE National Representative

Be sure to check out our new Twitter account @cupe1816 for updates and the latest news.

Bargaining Update #4: Solidarity in action!

Thank you once again for your extraordinary show of solidarity and support, our 98% strike vote strengthened our position at the bargaining table.

With this strong mandate, the CUPE 1816 Negotiating Committee met with the Employer on April 18 and 19. We have not yet reached an agreement, however, we are making ourselves available for bargaining on evenings and weekends as we recognize the importance of ratifying our Collective Agreement.

Confirmed dates for future talks are: 

  • May 9 
  • May 16 
  • May 17 
  • June 7 
  • June 8

The Employer has made an application to the Labour Board to make some of the job duties in BC Life an essential service. The Union and the Employer will be bargaining this issue. If we are unable to resolve this matter we will go to the Labour Board to mediate. Once the outcome is determined, we will be in a legal position to serve 72-hour strike notice.

We will continue to keep you updated regarding the essential service status and possible job action as things progress.

Your Negotiating Committee:
• Beth Miller
• Roger Pearce
• Anna Torgerson
• Tracey Harston
• Christine Johnson
• James Richardson — National CUPE Representative