At its meeting in March, the CULE Executive dealt with a proposal to create an additional CULE Executive position to represent CULE members in the North. The resolution which was passed read:
That the CULE executive recommend to the membership that a Constitutional change be made by adding a Director’s position to the North.
Rationale: Presently CULE members in the North are represented by three Directors; namely The Director for B.C and the Yukon, The Director for the Prairies and NWT, and The Director for the NCR and Nunavut. With the current and proposed additional staff in the three Northern Territories CULE membership will soon be close to 15, including the staff of NEU.
This would represent one of the larger, if not the single largest, CULE constituencies. As well, these members have more in common among themselves than would be the case with any of the other more southern regions. And, the Employer is now in the process of staffing a Regional Coordinator’s position in the North. Combined with the current practice of holding a regional staff conference there is now an opportunity to increase our ability to represent our members in the North through the Union Management Consultation Forum as well as the grievance process.
Some concerns were raised in the debate on this motion. Wouldn’t adding an additional position increase CULE’s annual operating costs and even necessitate an increase in dues?
In fact, at least in the short term there would be no additional costs associated with this change. For the last nine years, the CULE President has been from one of the three northern territories. Today, the President resides on the Prairies. As well, on the previous CULE Executive there were two members-at-large positions added to ensure balance between CULE I and CULE II on the Executive. With more CULE II running for office and getting elected this time the member- at-large positions have not needed to be filled. As such, it is anticipated that the operating budget for CULE Executive meetings and the like will either remain the same or be slightly less than has been the case in the past. In terms of future costs, we can also expect to realize some savings as the new Director would work some if not all costs of representing our northern members into the regular business of the North. So a CULE/PSAC Consultation Committee could be held around the Regional Staff Conference, for example. Likewise, negotiations with NEU could be coordinated around regular work such as a Union School, or negotiations for one of the NEU bargaining units. And, regular discussions with the Regional Coordinator should be easier and more cost effective to establish and maintain than has been the case up to now.
Ballots will be mailed out from the Ottawa Office through the internal mail. Each member will vote on whether to accept the Executive recommendation or not. Each ballot will be put into a small inner envelope which in turn will be put into a larger envelope and sent back to the Ottawa RO by June 4, 2004. Results will be tabulated and forwarded to Dave Jackson on June 7, 2004. If you require additional ballots to cover new staff in your office please do not hesitate to contact Bob Allen or Gina David by email.