Summary of Discussion Local Leadership Meeting May 27, 2004

July 08, 2004 Finance Committee - Mr. José Aggrey (Chair), Luc Gervais, Mike Monaghan, Luc Pomerleau Sandra Wensink (Committee secretary)
CAPE President Mr. Krause could not be present as he was attending a three day Pension Advisory Committee retreat.
Approval of Agenda
Update on EC Negotiations was added.
The agenda was approved as amended.
Opening Comments
The Chair indicated that the objective of the Local Leadership Meeting (LLM) was primarily to consult/solicit ideas on where the Association’s discretionary budget is to be directed to better provide services to members. He reminded those present that their recommendations will intervene after related costs have been analyzed, where possible, in developing the next budget. He therefore reminded the Local Leaders (LL) to focus the discussion on the Agenda items.
Comments from LL on:
1. Identification of Priority Items
i. Communication
< Several Local Leaders commented that more information was needed prior to the consultation.
< It was suggested that there be better notice about meetings.
< Minutes of AGM and, particularly the summaries of Local Leadership meetings, should be posted on the website.
< The Local Leadership requested monthly update reports from President.
ii. Training (members and Stewards)
< It was noted that there would be less workload for Labour Relations Officers if there were more training for stewards.
< It was noted that further development of stewards was desirable with more training and materials needed for Local Leadership, particularly in context with local consultations with the employer.
< It was also noted that more skills were required regarding lobbying in the workplace.
iii. Level of Service
< Discussion centred on the Association’s current deficit and on possible actions to address it, e.g., reducing expenses or the accumulated balance in the bank. In other words, taking appropriate actions in order to maintain the organization and level of service.
It was recommended that actions taken include the possibility of additional staff to maintain the level of service which is a high priority for members. Specifically, there was a recommendation to increase the number of the Labour Relations Officers.
The FC was advised to develop a strategic plan before taking any action on either reducing the deficit or increasing staff.
[On this issue, the Committee observed that organizations develop their Business Plans before developing Strategic Plans. Therefore, it was suggested that it would be more appropriate for the Association to first develop a Business Plan from which a Strategic Plan could be developed.] The Committee adds that a syndicate’s strategic planning is not entirely its own since, more often than not, it reacts to unforeseeable decisions from the government departments.
< It was suggested that level of communications and level of service needs to go up. However, before addressing these issues, it was suggested that studies on the level of service in different areas be done. This should include the cost per Labour Relations Officer per member.
[On the latter, the Committee indicated that member services cost about 26 % of our resources in 2003/2004. This is expected to go up to 31% 2004/2005]
< It was suggested that the Association canvass for more involvement from the Local leadership to participate in LMCCs in all Departments.
< It was noted that using recycled paper may reduce printing costs.
2. Computers and Office Equipment - Rental vs Purchase
While some LL felt they did not have enough information to recommend either option, i.e., rental or purchasing, there was strong expression/endorsement for the FC to take the responsibility to make recommendations to the Association on this issue. It was suggested that:
< the Finance & Executive Committee make a rationale decision on this issue, and
< the Association continue to lease and review the leasing arrangements as the agreements expire.
3. Financial Report to Members - Format, Content and Frequency
The LL requested that financial information to members be presented in the form of a balance sheet. The latter could be presented to members by:
< including it in the Association’s Professional Dialogue.
< sending it first to Locals who could then distribute to members (for cost reasons).
< providing the financial information in a spreadsheet format. The LL found this format easy to understand. It was suggested that the spreadsheet be accompanied by explanatory notes (like the one handed out at the meeting).
Note: It was suggested that the balance sheet should not be posted on the Website.
4. Frequency and content of LL meetings
< On frequency, it was suggested that more meetings were desirable. That they be scheduled for longer than 2 hours and could include training component at the beginning of the meeting.
< It was suggested to hold future LL meetings at the National Office.
[The Committee indicated that this would depend on the number of people attending due to space and layout of the boardrooms. That it was important to get confirmation of attendees early for planning purposes. Teleconferencing was proposed and is possible. However, there might be technical limitations as to the number of lines or signals (interpretation) available, etc. Note, video conferencing was suggested this option is quite costly.]
< It was suggested that material for LL meetings be sent beforehand so that those who have questions or seek clarification could do so by contacting José in advance.
< It was suggested that meetings should be sharpened and have focus as opposed to a free for all.
5. Membership dues
While there were many members who would be more than happy to pay additional dues to maintain the high level of services, others, a minority, would not like to see a dues increase.
The view on dues increase was that increase(s) be tied to the Association’s overall Plans (Business and Strategic Plans), which should address concerns on the deficit as well as level of services to members.
The LL strongly indicated that it was unnecessary to establish a Sub-Committee on dues increase nor to further consult with the LL on dues increase and that the FC make recommendations on dues increase, based on various scenarios, for members’ approval.
The committee will have to consider only the financial aspects of the question and not take into account the political considerations (members’ level of acceptance).
Other suggestion
< It was suggested to analyze the cost of representation per member both regionally and locally. Some questioned whether this would mean more expensive locals/regions would pay higher dues than the other differential fees. Some members have strong reservations concerning this recommendation, which the NEC will have to examine.
EC Negotiations Update
CAPE broke off EC negotiations with the employer in April and filed for arbitration. The Chief Negotiator, Claude Danik and Researcher, Hélène Paris are two of the finest in the business and have been doing a remarkable job for us. Mr. Danik took over from Bill when his mother passed away.
All LL and their members are encouraged to regularly check the website for updates. Once we hear back from the Public Service Staff Relations Board on our application for arbitration, a summary of the key points and milestones on the EC negotiation will be posted on the web.
Arbitration Process
< Application for arbitration has been sent
< Employer has 7 days to respond = end of next week
< Early August for hearing hopeful
< Timing of process will be posted on web and the brief but not until after it is presented to the panel
< Mediation is possible and would require us to show up but we would not participate unless there is large movement by employer
< Decision could be rendered in Sept.
< Employer has 90 days to implement pay increases.